Issue trackers, various ways to get feedback

Contributor: Elena Zabashnaya, PM at Archer Software


What is the secret key for multiple projects, which is independent from development methodology?


It’s a generating consensus and buy-in it from stakeholders. That’s why it’s very important to get Client’s feedback up to day. You can use many various ways to get feedback: questionnaire, interviewing phone or skype call, etc. Also you can make arrangements re feedback frequency by choosing defined data (every first day of the month), by event (end of sprint, milestone). And the main important point is saving and accessibility of information received from feedback for all team’s members.


Very simple and obvious decision is saving feedbacks via emails and skype logs. It could be done, but some routines should be kept, e.g. all feedback emails, summarise emails should be stored in separate folder, special marking of this letters. But if emailing is very intensive or Client gives various feedback (re different project aspects) to different team member it will be difficult and time-consuming to operate with this big amount of letters. And, by the way, such kind of feedbacks storing can cause problems in PM interchanging or engaging new members in team.


Collecting and storing feedback on defined corporate resource could be a good variant. In this case all your information would be shared with anyone who can access to this resource. Also team’s member and Customer can add info by themselves. But if your company has straight security rules, your Clients can have problems with access to this resource.


Good alternative is using google services, especially GoogleDocs. You and your project participant’s need to have cooperative google account. You can create folders, save your feedback as a doc, spreadsheet, mind-map or other, give various permissions for working with document. The interface is simple, stakeholders don’t need to have any special skills.  And using google calendar will help you and your team not to forget to give/save feedback :) And the main goal would be achieved, all feedbacks are stored as your team like and accessible.


We can propose one more interesting way - to use issue tracker. This will have a lot of advantages. Everything for your project can be stored in one definite place. All participants have access and predefined permissions. It’s easy to work with issues, to link them, create subtasks, attach additional info. Using jira you won’t have problem to find necessary feedback due to handy search functionality. Also you will get email notification if somebody works with issue or changes its information. 


So.. If it seems to you that your feedbacks are lost from time to time, and your PMs don’t use any of the described ways for feedback collecting, don’t waste a time and propose to use it  :)