Here in Perficient’s life sciences practice, we use a defect tracking system as part of our application development process. It helps us keep track of bugs and resolutions as we develop and test, but there’s nothing particularly remarkable about it…except that we use it for another purpose too: to track problems with our QA controlled documents and templates, as well as suggested improvements.
After years of tracking feedback and ideas in random emails, spreadsheets, team meeting agendas, and who knows where else, we realized that our tracking requirements were basically the same as an application developer’s – we needed a centralized system in which to track problems/ideas and their outcomes.
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So! In our bug tracking system, we set up a “product” called “Controlled Documents” and assigned the entire practice to it. Then, we set up each document and template as a “component” of that product. Finally, we provided everyone with a basic user guide.
Now, when someone completes training on a guideline and finds a section confusing, or when someone is using a procedure and finds themselves in a set of circumstances that isn’t covered, or when someone is using a document template and comes up with an idea for improving it, they simply log a bug in our bug tracker, the document owners receive automatic email notifications, and the document/process improvement begins.
It’s simple, cost-effective, and, dare I say, beautiful. Who knew that bugs could be beautiful?