Issue tracking system

Issue-tracking systems fulfill different functions, in particular:

  • Entering of dysfunctions, errors and requests (e.g. manually or by e-mail Response Management Systems)
  • Distribution and assignment of issues to persons in charge
  • Monitoring of handling, time spent and quality of work
  • Ensuring the observation of internal processes by forced control with help of workflows
  • Statistical analysis of the number of tickets
  • Automatic generation of tickets by alarming systems, e.g. network monitoring
  • Fulfillment of external service agreements (Service Level Agreement, SLA)
  • Systematic collection of questions and answers for FAQs
  • Assignment of a priority to each issue based on the overall importance of that issue, the customer, date of submission, SLA
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  • Containing a detailed descriptions of the problem being experienced, attempted solutions or workarounds, and other relevant information
  • Maintaining of a history of each change

An issue tracking system (also ITS, trouble ticket system, support ticket, request management or incident ticket system) is a computer software package that manages and maintains lists of issues, as needed by an organization. Issue tracking systems are commonly used in an organization's customer support call center to create, update, and resolve reported customer issues, or even issues reported by that organization's other employees. A support ticket should include vital information for the account involved and the issue encountered. An issue tracking system often also contains a knowledge base containing information on each customer, resolutions to common problems, and other such data. An issue tracking system is similar to a "bugtracker", and often, a software company will sell both, and some bugtrackers are capable of being used as an issue tracking system, and vice versa. Consistent use of an issue or bug tracking system is considered one of the "hallmarks of a good software team".

A ticket element, within an issue tracking system, is a running report on a particular problem, its status, and other relevant data. They are commonly created in a help desk or call center environment and almost always have a unique reference number, also known as a case, issue or call log number which is used to allow the user or help staff to quickly locate, add to or communicate the status of the user's issue or request.

These tickets are so called because of their origin as small cards within a traditional wall mounted work planning system when this kind of support started. Operators or staff receiving a call or query from a user would fill out a small card with the user's details and a brief summary of the request and place it into a position (usually the last) in a column of pending slots for an appropriate engineer, so determining the staff member who would deal with the query and the priority of the request.