web development/marketing agency question

Hey guys,

I am new to a firm that has a small digital office where I have a dual role as a project manager / graphic designer.

I have been noticing so far that the Account Execs have been bombarding the development team with emails, most of which contain bugs they have found, requests for additional functionality, etc.

I am just wondering if email is really the most appropriate medium for this information? It seems that it takes myself and my team away from the work we have to get done more than it should.

Would something like an issue/bug tracker, where stakeholders can spot issues, bugs, and requests additional functionality be a good idea? What are some other ideas?

I have also seen project management software that lets stakeholders comment within a project, instead of email.

Thank you

I work in this field, and email is a horrible medium for this.

We use a bug tracker. It’s great for the purposes you mention - it allows categorisation of issues, categorisation of severity, summary of issues. The reports it generates allow us to set policy in terms of prioritisation, and to track the progress of issue correction, and provide a framework for post-implementation project management.

There are plenty of open source versions out there. http://www.bugzilla.org/ is the most well-known, though not necessarily the best.

ETA: it can also generate emails targeted at the relevant person, when a bug is raised, etc.

Pivotal labs makes the pivotal tracker. Its free and used for Agile development, but it might work for something like this - I think of agency work as being inherently Agile.

No no no, you DON’T want to track that sort of info in email. Heaven help.

Another system to use might be Windows SharePoint Services – you can build what you want (all in the web interface, no coding) or you can install and use the bug tracking template. Can be used for tons of other things as well. It’s all free if you already have a Windows server/IIS/SQL environment. If not, then those backend things would cost money.

The easiest way to make sure is to make sure your website is strict XHTML compliant. You can use thw HTML validator and also validate your CSS with [URL=“http://validator.w3.org/”]W3.Org/URL]

You can also put a “found a problem” button on your website that will make them fill in a form and it will direct info into a specific email address.

Remember to be really useful your site has to be compliant in versions IE5.5 and later. (IE 5.5 is the last IE version to work with Windows 95, and yes there are still enough people using this to warrent it)

You have to to similar the Mozilla based browsers like Firefox or K-Meleon and also Google’s Chrome.