how to encourage people to log info in JIRA instead of sending emails?

I'm managing a product feedback process in JIRA and I'm struggling with people who prefer to send emails than adding comments to an issue. Do you have any suggestions to manage this? Thx

Raphael

5 answers

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Hi, Raphael!

You can take try Customer Case for JIRA Cloud. This add-on supports two ways of communications:

  • emails
  • open customer portal divided into separate projects

So your customers can continue submitting their feedback to the allocated emails and they will be able to view their ideas on feedback forums. Voting for ideas will allow you to prioritize the development of specific features that your customers need in your products or services.

For more details, please see
https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/customer-case-for-jira/cloud/overview

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There's loads of variations on this, but I would:

  • Be nice to them.  Set up a standard email handler so that their emails are imported as comments when the subject of their email contains an issue ID.  This won't encourage them to use JIRA, but it does mean that they won't feel neglected or ignored when responding to JIRA emails, and you get to keep their responses.
  • Set the email handler to send new issues to a dedicated project for "spurious emails".  Ie. when there's no issue id in the subject on the email, drop it into a project that makes it absolutely clear that you consider their emails to be unfocussed and uninformative.  If you want to be "bloody minded" about it (lovely English phrase, if you don't know it, it sort of means "stubborn" or "strict about detail"), then you can
    • set up the project to reply with "Thank you for your vague email, please log into JIRA and move it to the right project so we can deal with it properly"
    • quietly tell your developers to ignore all the issues in the project for at least a week.  Then when a user comes to you and says "I sent you an email", the response is "Yes, but it could not have been important because you sent it to the wrong project.  You know, if you'd raised it in JIRA properly, we'd have dealt with it much more quickly"
  • Set up a filter for "reported by currentUser and in duff-email project" and dump it on the dashboard so the users get to see all the junk they are raising.  (I'd love to subscribe them too, so JIRA nags them, but it doesn't quite work)
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Both Daniel and Nic have good thoughts on this. Interestingly enough, I am currently facing just such a request from one of our groups to handle support requests from the groups sales-beings who "need massively urgent support to do this special case and massively difficult integration for a 10 minute demonstration that if you DON'T do it we won't get this sure thing eleventy-million dollar contract that only needs this demonstration coupled with a tender maiden's first tear from her first broken heart dripped onto a rose petal on a rose growing in the forest on an especially mild day in February".

Currently these are coming in as email requests to the same set of people they always pester for such thing, they're always urgent (usually because they didn't notify when they first knew they needed it and left it until the day before the presentation) and/or phone calls.

The request was to have a way for them to still send an email but end up somewhere they are tracked to get some metrics on which ones are the worst offenders. I suggested that, rather than bending to and perpetuating a bad behavior, perhaps we should just make them log into JIRA to make their ridiculous request and do it... right.

Apparently, however, them actually navigating to the JIRA server is just too much trouble for them even though they regularly have to connect to the network to do things like put in expense reports or time reports. The business manager in question has said he'd still like the email so he can take baby steps but I'd be MORE afraid of, by supporting what they've always done, make it NEVER go away.

To what Nic said, one can be sure that no matter how drool-proof you might make it, they will still manage to send incoherent email or, even better, just forward a customer's vaguely stated needs to that account and expect that it'll all be better now. I had tried to suggest that the structured world of JIRA might be the wrong place to put this and perhaps an email to create a new page in Confluence might be better.

The jury is still out on this approach and I continue to attempt to suggest that the business manager just do his manager stuff and tell them to do their dang jobs properly.

Perhaps you might be perceiving that I am a tiny bit bitter about this.

So... I think my short answer (too late) is that there are a variety of ways your need could be done and everyone's suggestions above are valid. However, I would be more tempted to at least try (as I continue to do) just get them to put their foot down and not validate/support/perpetuate these people's bad behavior. They are ostensibly professionals and will do the job the company is paying them to do and if that includes logging into JIRA to create issues and update them... they should do that.

I should have emphasised that my approach was thinking of one specific client, and it was the "solution" we arrived at there as being the most effective. For them. You should always judge the approach for *your* user base. Daniel's point about Carrot and Stick is a really good way to put it too, just make sure the carrot looks like a really good carrot in the eyes of your users (and the stick looks scary. I prefer to emphasise carrots because I like to be nice, and I quite like carrots) Basically, I'm just supporting what Mike has said here - you're going to get a range of users from those who go "oh, cool, I can see it's better to go to JIRA" (or even "oh I didn't know I could do that") through to the ones who are essentially an Oatmeal caricature ("Email, blarg, do it because I said so and my hair is so pointy you must automatically what I dribble think wabble bleep bleep")

Geez Nic, I wish I wouldn't have had a mouth full of soda when I saw the "Email, blarg, do it because I said so and my hair is so pointy you must automatically what I dribble think wabble bleep bleep" caricature. Now I have to clean it off my display from spitting it out when I started laughing.

Completely stolen from "The Oatmeal" (Certainly the style, if not the exact words). Although I have worked for some people heading that way. I don't know if you're familiar with UK newspapers, but one of my worst examples of that caricature could be explained by saying "he used to work for the Daily Mail"

I am indeed familiar. I might live in California but I am a misplaced Canadian which is... "British lite"

I am terribly sorry that you've suffered the Daily Mail. (For any Americans reading this thread who haven't read it, it's the equivalent of Fox "News" - wildly inaccurate and horribly bigoted )

Fox News is inaccurate? Really?! :))

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Daniel Wester Community Champion Nov 19, 2015

Couple of ways of handling it.

First way is with a stick and carrot approach. Make sure that any email sent is sent to you and then individually follow up on it and help folks to put in an issue. After a while they'll learn that it's faster to just put in an issue. The carrot is to make sure that the initial response is quick. 

Second approach is to automate it but it's just going to help for so long.

Ultimate solution is to show folks that spending a minute extra helps them. Anything else will fail. 

 

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Take a look at JEMH for JIRA (https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.javahollic.jira.jemh-ui). Evaluate and see smile

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