Top 5 Issue Tracking Software

Today’s distributed teams benefit from cloud-based software — including collaborative issue tracking software. It provides a highly accessible and centralized location of information regarding projects, products, issues, and tasks. Issue tracking web apps help identify priority issues, provide task details, and improve rate of resolution, so teams work more efficiently and customers receive support faster.

Table of Contents

What Is Issue Tracking Software?

Issue tracking software is software that enables the capturing, registration, organization, tracking, and management of issues or problems discovered or reported. An issue can come from a customer with a question or complaint about a product or service. It can also come from the product or project team discovering a defect or bug during the development process.

An issue tracker enables the routing of the issue to a responsible agent or team. It lets users set a priority system for issues, add helpful details like notes and status, and create a reference or ticket number that allows for easier searching and tracking. The application helps set and streamline the process of receiving, recording, resolving, and reporting issues with visual tools like dashboards, messaging, checklists, and labels.

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Top 5 Issue Tracking Web Apps

Users who need more than a spreadsheet to track requests, complaints, or tasks can check out our picks for the top issue tracking web apps, so they can resolve issues faster and avoid more issues further down the road.

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Types of Issue Tracking Software

An issue is a general term that can hold several meanings. It can mean any problem encountered in the course of day-to-day work, such as a customer complaint to a service agent, a user request to the IT department, a defect in software code, or an item in a construction punch list that a contractor needs to rework.

Bug Tracking Software

Bugs are errors or defects discovered during software testing. Bug tracking software enables the development team to log, evaluate, monitor, and prioritize these defects for debugging. Larger systems can have more bugs, which can multiply as the development process move onward and systems near completion. A bug tracker is an effective way to detect, monitor, and report the presence and status of software bugs.

Help Desk Software

Help desk software is a type of issue tracking system that enables a user to deal with computer-related incidents and complaints. While bug tracking software tracks product defects, help desk software records and follow the progress of any issue that a computer end user identifies. Types of issues go beyond product development activities, and can span specifications, design, workflow, and operations of a system.

Service Desk Software

Service desk software provides a central point of communication where employees and other internal customers can find help from their IT service providers. While help desk software enables agents to fix computer-related issues, service desk software enables agents to deliver services that include service request management, knowledge management, self-service, and reporting — on top of incident management.

Integrated Issue Tracking Systems

Other types of issue tracking tools are integrated systems, where issue tracking or bug tracking software is combined with other productivity apps like project management, customer feedback, error tracking, or product monitoring and analytics. The objective of an integrated system is to consolidate processes and provide a single solution to the user, rather than having multiple separate solutions.

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Best Issue Tracking Software & Tools 2021

We examined a variety of issue tracking software. Here are the best solutions we found, in no particular order.

Freshdesk

Freshdesk is help desk and customer service software that enables users to engage better with their customers. Several plans are available, including a free plan; more advanced features, higher automation limits, and more channels are available in the higher priced plans. It simplifies the activities of prioritizing, categorizing, and assigning tickets to the right agents.

Freshdesk allows users to convert customer issues coming in from any channel into tickets to ensure they do not miss any conversation. The Team Inbox supports collaboration for higher productivity. Aside from collaborative ticketing, the software also has SLA management, intelligent automation and recommendations, and field service ticketing with automated scheduling and routing, as well as a mobile app.

Freshdesk screenshot

Pros

  • Quick email to ticket conversion
  • Multiple channels of communication
  • Collaborative ticketing and shared ownership with continued visibility

Cons

  • Steep learning curve for new users
  • Users wish for easier customization of reports

GitLab

GitLab is a DevOps platform that includes a bug tracker and collaboration tools to help teams deliver software faster and more securely. Teams can collaboratively plan, build, secure, and deploy software with complete transparency, consistency, and traceability. It has built-in metrics, supports portfolio planning and management, as well as providing scalable repositories and a distributed version control system.

GitLab has an Issues Board built on top of its issue tracking functionality, with labels that can function as lists on a Kanban board. Users can construct different views of the Issue Board and use filtering and sorting capabilities. They can track issues that appear as cards, and communicate progress with a drag-and-drop interface. Users can create multiple Issue Boards for each project and create Issue Boards at the group level while managing all issues in a single concentrated view.

GitLab screenshot

Pros

  • Integrated issue tracking, project management, and private repository hosting
  • Dashboard overview
  • Free community edition

Cons

  • Needs more granular permissions management
  • Authentication issues

monday.com

monday.com is a flexible work management platform that lets users build a custom bug tracking or issue tracking web app. It provides a central workspace to manage all issues and tasks. The software is highly visual, with multiple work views that let users have a clear overview of the statuses of different issues and an easy way to add and update issues, as well as assign them to team members.

monday.com is customizable and allows users to filter views using various parameters. Users can customize their issue tracking workflows with custom stages, lists, and statuses. They can prioritize by dragging and dropping tickets on the board. Built-in collaboration tools allow teams to easily share videos, screenshots, and files to better describe the problem and resolve it faster. Other features include notifications and tagging.

monday.com screenshot

Pros

  • Integrated project and task management with issue tracking
  • Customization of workflow and apps
  • Ready-to-use templates

Cons

  • Users wish for more reporting tools
  • Some problems with specific integrations

GitHub

GitHub is a software development platform that includes git repositories, automation, and project management tools. It offers a free plan, as well as several paid plans with additional development tools. The software makes it easy for users to write code, collaborate, configure a development environment, and automate workflows.

Recently updated, GitHub includes a new Issues feature for project planning. Users can create issues, break the issues into tasks, and have conversations about the issues. They can convert issues into tasks and track the status with progress indicators. Other new features include markdown tools, mentions, file attachments, multiple work views, custom fields, and other code action references.

GitHub screenshot

Pros

  • Staging process for continuous deployment and integration
  • Version control
  • Free plan and open source community support

Cons

  • Needs improvement in sending of notifications
  • Handling of bigger file sizes is difficult

Spiceworks Help Desk

Spiceworks Help Desk is a free cloud software to help IT manage tickets and tasks. It has monitoring, alerts, custom ticket attributes, ticket rules, and reports. IT engineers can initiate secure remote support sessions from within the tickets. The software also has a mobile app that supports push notification.

Spiceworks Help Desk lets users easily accept tickets and then reply with additional notes. Users can add custom fields for closer tracking. It also comes with a user portal for self-service. Integration with Windows Active Directory automates the addition of end users, portal authentication, and tagging. Other features include ticket rules for auto assignment, ticket collaboration, and support for multiple portal sites.

Spiceworks screenshot

Pros

  • Ticket notification and automatic routing
  • Comes with self-service portals
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Users wish for test formatting features
  • Outdated UI design and colors

SysAid

SysAid is automated IT service desk and help desk software. It offers several products for teams and companies of different sizes. Its help desk software for growing teams includes simple-to-use tools like asset management, ticket automation, self-service, automated reporting, and cloud or on-premise deployment. Larger teams and companies can opt for the ITSM and ITSM+ service desk systems.

SysAid’s ticket automation sorts, routes, and sends tickets to the right agent. It also has self-service automation that give employees the means to resolve common IT problems on their own. Users can manage IT assets directly within the software with asset data and records to resolve tickets faster. It also has remote control, reporting, UI customization, and screen recording that end users can send for issue investigation.

SysAid screenshot

Pros

  • Incident reports
  • Integrated asset management
  • Easily scaled to full ITSM system

Cons

  • Challenges in integration with other systems
  • Users wish for easier workflow automation

BugHerd

BugHerd is a bug tracker and visual feedback software. It is ideal for website developers, QA, and clients during acceptance testing. The software is like an additional layer over a website, where end users can post comments like sticky notes. BugHerd pins feedback about a website directly to page elements whether on a desktop, tablet, or mobile.

Users install it as a JavaScript snippet or through a browser extension. The software captures a screenshot to annotate and automatically collects technical information, such as type of browser and OS. It also supports real-time commenting. Feedback goes to a Kanban-like Task Board for issue tracking and management.

BugHerd screenshot

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Responsive support
  • Automatic logging of technical information

Cons

  • Only for websites
  • Can get expensive with more users because of the pricing structure

Userback

Userback is a visual feedback tool for software development teams. It collects customer feedback directly from the website. Teams can also use it for user acceptance testing, features requests, design feedback, customer satisfaction, and bug tracking. Companies that use it include web agencies, design and development firms, and software teams.

Userback lets users track bugs with video and annotated screenshots. Users can collect bug reports from a website or application and send screenshots and videos as attachments. Features include bug reporting templates, console logs, event tracking, custom workflows, chat and email notifications, user permissions, task assignment, and team collaboration, among others.

Userback screenshot

Pros

  • On-site text and notes
  • Video recording
  • Integration with other apps

Cons

  • Email notifications need an image preview and other information
  • Users wish for additional features, like survey forms

Backlog

Backlog is project management software for software teams. It includes code management tools that make it well-suited to issue tracking. The project management tool lets users capture information, prioritize which issues teams need to work on first, and track them to resolution.

As a full development cycle tool, Backlog helps teams manage projects and issues from start to end of product. Users can track project progress and fix bugs faster, using push notifications and a history thread of updates. Teams can collaborate easily with drag-and-drop file attachments, built-in version control, and in-app commenting.

Backlog screenshot

Pros

  • Integrated project management
  • Real-time updates
  • Direct integration and API with other development tools

Cons

  • Users wish for additional space to describe bugs
  • Big jump of pricing between plans

DoneDone

DoneDone is an all-in-one task management and bug tracker. It offers two simple paid plans. Teams in marketing, product development, and property management use it to help in product launches, feature updates, and software maintenance.

DoneDone bug tracking features include customizable statuses, assignees, priorities, tagging, and due dates. It integrates with other apps like GitHub, Slack, Google Drive, and Harvest. Other features include workflows, calendar, dashboard, reporting, filtering, and notifications.

DoneDone

Pros

  • Ease of use
  • Clear representation of tasks and tickets
  • Integrated task management and mailbox for customer support

Cons

  • Needs improvement in reporting
  • Users wish for additional project management functionality

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Issue Tracking Software Features

A centralized issue tracker web app provides a one-stop information hub for teams, helping them achieve effective collaboration, improved efficiency, and better customer service. Here are some important features to look for when evaluating the best issue tracking app for your team and company’s requirements:

Scalability: As an organization grows, it will be easier and more cost effective to scale the software, rather than add another or change systems down the road.

Integration: A solution that can integrate with more applications and services is more flexible, and can provide users more configuration options.

Support for multiple methodologies: Teams can use different methodologies in managing and resolving issues. One team can use Scrum, another can use Kanban, etc.

Incident management: The process of identifying, logging, categorizing, prioritizing, and responding to an incident. Some solutions provide multiple channels for receiving reported incidents. Incident logs, or tickets, can be manually or automatically created and assigned.

Escalation management: A feature that allows users to update and record the status of ticket requests.

Knowledge base: Central storage of tickets, where users can search for solutions to previous incidents and other references.

Reporting: Users are able to get real-time information on demand about the status of tickets and the performance of the support team, usually through dashboards.

Integrated communication: This feature allows developers or support agents to directly communicate with users, customers, and other team members for better investigation and faster resolution.

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Features for Small Businesses

Small businesses need to focus on establishing their issue tracking system first, rather than getting everything perfect on the first try.

  • Integrated System: Small businesses can save on time and cost if the issue tracking software also performs other valuable business processes like task management.
  • Communications: Whether it’s a bug tracker for internal clients or a help desk for customers, having a communication tool within the software enables the company to make sure efforts are focused on satisfying the user’s needs.

Features for Midsize Businesses

Midsize companies deal with more clients, and that usually translates to more issues.

  • Help Desk: Midsize companies should invest in help desk solutions that are more flexible to deal with a wider variety of issues.
  • Dashboards: Dashboards and other visual reports can provide an overview of issues to help users make the right decisions regarding priority.

Features for Enterprise Businesses

Enterprise businesses can offer multiple products and services, and thus will need a more robust issue tracking solution.

  • Service Desk: Enterprises have the financial and manpower resources to invest in a service desk system, going beyond simple incident management.
  • Integration: Enterprise-grade issue tracking software should be easy to integrate with other systems like CRM, ERP, and BI tools, which larger companies use to manage client relationships and business processes.

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Jose Maria Delos Santos

Jose is a subject matter expert and member of the writing team for Project-Management.com and Bridge24. He has written hundreds of articles including project management software reviews, books reviews, training site reviews, and general articles related to the project management industry.