This article is part of an ongoing series where I discuss how a particular customer in a specific industry uses OneDesk.

Whether you’re a one-person development team in a larger company or one of several developers in a development-focused workshop, you need to consider how to track your work in a meaningful way. It doesn’t matter if you report to a manager or to your fellow developers, you need a system to organize and surface your work to the other people you work with. Even if you are a developer contracted by an external company, you will need to be accountable for the work you’re doing. Sometimes you might be working on a team that is too small to have a project manager on it. That doesn’t mean that you and your team’s work doesn’t need to be managed. If anything, you take the onus of management onto yourself for whatever projects come your way. After coming to this realization, one web developer approached us looking for a solution.

Our client is a web developer for a financial company. His current project is to launch a new website, but at the same time, he still has to oversee and provide updates for other webpages. These updates go through a pipeline that require compliance approval before going live. Our client came to us needing a tool that would allow him to organize all of the updates he needs to do, track compliance approvals, and show the rest of the business how much work he was putting into all of these projects and tasks. OneDesk’s helpdesk and ticketing software help solve his problems and then some.

The concept of compliance approval was an important stage in our client’s workflow that he wanted captured. OneDesk’s ticketing system is fully customizable in terms of the workflow that users define for their work. Our client highlighted that he has multiple website updates outside of the new website launches that he frequently needs has to work on. By creating a particular ticket type for these updates, he has set up a workflow for these updates that captures each stage and can even be automated based on certain conditions. A use case that worked particularly well for our client was when a ticket comes into the system without a compliance number. Using automation, this ticket can be sent to a particular status demanding attention from the needed team members. In OneDesk, rules can be set to transition tickets through any configured statuses depending on actions in and outside of the ticket system. Status transitions can alert other team members that items are ready for review and even assign tickets to them so they aren’t lost. An aspect that our client was pleased to hear was that emails forwarded into OneDesk can be automatically turned into tickets, making it simple to link communications to work that is done.

For larger endeavours like a new website launch, OneDesk also has a way of tracking this work. Unlike the more transient and temporary tickets used for smaller one-off jobs, OneDesk has a concept of tasks that make up larger projects. These tasks can be organized into projects and folders, and can be planned out in a longer term view. Project tasks can be estimated and organized through different lenses: calendar, Gantt, Kanban — these views can even be customized to give teams the best visibility. Along with the ability to track actual time spent on tasks, our client gets insight into where work might have gone off the rails. For projects that tend to re-occur, OneDesk gives our client the ability to clone the project structure and re-use all the set-up and organizational work. This can be done repeatedly to save time and reduce overhead.

One feature in particular that our client finds useful is the built-in time-tracking OneDesk provides. This is done at a ticket level and provides visibility into how much and when work is done. Timesheets can also be imported against a ticket, which allows for multiple work log entries to be added at once. As our client mentioned that he needs to be able to prove to his company that he is making progress on work items, these timesheets are ideal for showing that breakdown of time. With OneDesk’s mobile app, time tracking becomes even easier. From his device, our client can log his time against work tickets without pulling up the entire OneDesk interface. This enables our client to easily keep his tickets up to date wherever he is.

When it comes to tracking work, OneDesk gives our client the full ability to log and manage projects as well as escalations and ad-hoc work. This is ideal for any development team, large or small. With configurable automation and customizations, OneDesk handles a lot of the overhead of tracking work progress, which allows teams without a dedicated project manager to remain organized and cognizant of potential issues in their project planning. For our client, OneDesk is the right tool for capturing all of his development work and surfacing that to the rest of his company. By simplifying the management of both project and shorter-term work, OneDesk allows our client to focus on the development work that he loves.

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