Working with a client recently I was reminded again of how important an issues tracking system can be, especially during a database system conversion. During a system conversion, if staff is well-engaged during the process, all types of issues will be raised; issues as simple as Where will we store this data in the new system? to as complex as What will our process be for managing events registration?
When issues are raised, there are three challenges faced by the project managers: capturing the issues, acting on the issues, and reporting back to staff about the issues. That last point is critical; one of the most frequent complaints I hear from staff is that issues raised by staff are never addressed. Its not unusual for me to hear staff say: Its as if our comments just go into some kind of black hole.
Whats critically important throughout this process is to ensure there is a process for capturing all of these issues. Part of that process should include an issues tracking software system that is a accessible to all staff.
When managing a project as complex as a database conversion, just promising to respond to issues raised is not good enough. You need to have a system in place where users can submit their concerns and track how those issues are being addressed. Thats what an issues tracking system can do for you .
A modified version of this article appeared in College of Association Marketing e-newsletter.
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