A common project structure in VisionFlow is something like:
- Engineering / development
- Product Development / Maintenance
- Delivery / installation / service
- Sales and Marketing activities
This means that one central support project is created which works as a Single Point Of Contact (SPOC) with the customers. Through this project all communication is done with the customers/end users and there is where all their issues reside. Issues are then normally managed throughout the system using active links/copies, such as:
- Customer reports support issue to Service Desk (email, web form, live chat or by phone)
- Support team classify, categorize the issue and clarify things with the customer (they might email back and forth with the customer a couple of times if needed). All information is stored on the issue.
- If the support issue issue can't be resolved in the Service Desk, an active copy is made of the issue to another project (Normally to Product Development or CAB/Change ). This will mean that any number fields can be linked and kept in synk (normally the status field, and release/sprint/delivery information).
- After the issue is copied to the dev/tech project it is also updated. Normally the issue type is changed to Bug (or feature request), and the status is updated. This will mean that both linked issues will get the same status in both support/dev projects.
- Normally not all statuses exists in both projects, but you pick what statuses might be interesting for customers/end users to see, only the fields that exists in a project is updated from the other.
- If multiple customers report the same issue then the support issues are linked to the same back end bug (or feature request)
- The bug/feature is planned for implementation. Staus is updated (such as from new --> "verified") and customers are automatically informed about this (customers love to get frequent status updates)
- Someone starts working on the bug/feature. Staus is updated (such as to "work in progress")and customers are automatically informed.
- Bug/feature is completed and delivered. Staus is updated, and customers are automatically informed, or support personnel can report back to the customer.
- To communicate easily between the Service Desk and Development/Maintenance/Delivery teams you can configure the active links in the system to also copy comments between issues. That way it is possible to add a comment on an issue in the Service Desk intended for a technician and it can be replied to in the linked issue.
The idea with this is to keep and manage all customer communication and customer issues in the support project (SPOC/Service desk) so that the customer can see and follow. Then you plan and work with the linked development/tech/maintenance issues (bug/feature/change) and the customer is informed of important status changes (the one you choose).