Why separate bug and issue tracking is a bad idea

This post was originally published on August 14, 2017, and updated most recently on February 19, 2021.

Many companies allow departments to choose their preferred bug and issue tracking tools. Allowing departments to choose their own apps and systems makes sense: It creates an optimized workflow within the department so colleagues can work together as a cohesive unit. As long as work is getting done efficiently, the system proves itself valuable. On paper, this sounds ideal.

Unfortunately, that’s not usually the case for larger companies. Segmented apps and systems impact the company as a whole. What might be right for Department A creates conflicts with Departments B and C’s communication preferences. Meanwhile, Department A’s tasks are going unresolved due to a communication gap with Departments B and C. Once this happens, gaps and holes will surface early and often like productivity sinkholes.

That’s why effective teams keep their issue and bug tracking all under one roof.

Unless unified under one system, operations become disorganized. Instead of bringing everyone together, departments unwittingly put walls up between them and vital departments they deal with regularly. With these walls in place, communication becomes hampered instead of honed. Departments lose valuable information about their colleagues. Schedules, bandwidth, statuses, and messages become inaccessible.

It is essential for organizations to keep their department’s systems and operations close-knit. Doing so promotes teamwork and efficient workflows — and resolves many headaches for your Project Managers.

Headache Relief

Looking at some of the most common Project Manager challenges reads like a list of problems that arise when departments aren’t aligned. While your team’s bug and issue tracking choices won’t entirely alleviate these challenges, they are valuable steps in the right direction.

Take a look at how some of the most common challenges occur when the company fails to get on the same page:

Lack of accountability

With barriers between teams or departments, you often find a lack of accountability. When teams can’t get on the same page about bug and issue tracking, communication is likely to fail.

Departments often start blaming one another: Support blames the Devs, while the Devs place blame on the Product Manager. Everything becomes a mess, and no one is sure where things fell apart. The only thing anyone knows is that things aren’t working.

With lapsed deadlines and other severe issues, teams and companies alike could find themselves in a costly position. Budgets may need to expand, and scopes will need adjusting. These lapses may even result in job losses or outright cancellation of the project.

Improper risk management

If tracking isn’t under one roof, risk management becomes exponentially more difficult. How can anyone prepare for something they are unaware of?

By putting up technological walls between teams, vital planning information may never reach the right person or department. And this impacts more than just the Project Manager alone.

Anyone assigned to the affected tasks will feel the consequences of a mismanaged project, and it all stems from miscommunication. Consequently, everyone is left with extra work and, possibly, some very angry people to report to.

Poor communication

This is the most obvious headache. Very rarely, if ever, does a colleague or department deliberately engage in bad communication. Rather, it develops over time.

With disparate systems in place, it is easy to develop an echo chamber

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