Everyone has numerous reasons NOT to use an issue tracker. Few reasons that the old style management people say are:
We already use Excel or Google spreadsheets to track the issues. We put individual issues in each row of the excel sheet and the person who is responsible for it.
You could try sending out excel sheets through email and ask everyone to update the sheet end of date, but who will handle the conflicts? Or you could use Google sheets to allow everyone to edit it together. Even then, conflicts are possible.
Everytime an issue is created you need to send an email to everyone who are affected by that issue and keep them in the loop.
Which brings me to the next reason that is popular.
we track all issues via email. All issues are sent via email to the relevant people and it works really well.
Email works well when you want to communicate the issues and update the status, and as long as everyone remembers to reply back the status. And what would happen when that one person hits “Reply” instead of “Reply-all”?
And there is no single place to view the status of all the issues nor there is a way to prioritize the tasks.
Both these reasons are stupid to begin with. But at least it is something which might work.
But there is one reason which should never ever be cited to not use an issue tracker.
The minute someone (especially from the management team) says we don’t have the budget for using an issue tracker, then it means they have completely lost it. There are numerous issue trackers available and they would probably cost a few dollars per user per month.
Jira one of the most popular issue trackers cost $7/user/month. If your company has 50 employees, you will be spending $350/month and I agree it is a significant amount for a startup. But if you are having 50 employees you would definitely be handling clients who would be paying a few thousand dollars per month. And if you are lucky to have enterprise clients, you would be earning hundred thousands of dollars.
If you are not willing to spend those few hundreds of dollars to track the issues properly, you run the risk of losing hundreds of thousands or even million dollar clients.
Penny wise; Pound Foolish.
So the next time you want to claim you don’t have budget to use an issue tracker or buy a seat for everyone in the company, just imagine throwing away a few million dollars every year.
Stop being a cheap company and start handling issues professionally.
Also published on Medium.