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Like any software company, we want to keep our engineers focused on developing new functionality. But we know that some of their time will also need to be used to deal with bugs. We eventually realized that we could use ProForma to help make our bug reporting process more efficient and keep our engineers focused on higher value work. Note that I am with ProForma. This article represents the results of our dog-fooding.
One of the processes we really wanted streamline was the handling bug reports. Our goals was to shift as much of the information gathering as possible to the Support Agent, so that the Support Engineer could focus on actual development and debugging.
A few of the challenges we wanted to address were:
We ended up with a solution that combines ProForma forms with another app - Deep Clone for Jira. Using these two tools, we developed a workflow that:
Here's how it works:
Along with gathering structured information that saves time for the dev team, the biggest advantage we've discovered is standardization – Using a form ensures that the Agent asks the customer all of the relevant questions. Communication between all three parties (customer, Agent and Engineer) is organized around topics rather than just listed chronologically. When we need to refine the process, we can easily add fields to the forms without making any configuration changes.
While this solution works for clearly passing information between the customer, the Agent and the Engineer; and for converting a customer's bug report to an issue in our dev backlog, it does have its limitations. In cases where the customer has reported multiple bugs on the same ticket, we can attach as many Bug Triage forms as needed. However, the forms do not have an identifier. When viewing the issue you have to click into each form to see which bug it's associated with.
Since managing bug reports is a challenge we all face, we'd love to hear from you. How do you handle communication, and division of labor between your Support Agents and your Support Engineer? What fields do you collect on bug reports? How does a bug go from a customer request to an issue in your development backlog?
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