Setting up Issue Tracking List

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Tracking issues is a common task in companies. This may pertain to testing, product development, code promotion etc. SharePoint has a Issue Tracking list that can be used out of the box.

This article outlines the steps required to setup a Issue Tracking system.

  • Select Create from the ‘Site Actions’ menu
  • Select ‘Issue Tracking’ under ‘Tracking’ region (the Navigation may differ)
  • Enter a ‘Name’ and ‘Description’ for the list
  • Select ‘Yes’ to display in the Quick Launch region
  • Select ‘Yes’ to send e-mail notification. This is a good feature as the assignee of the issue gets e-mail notification
  • Click ‘Create’ button to complete

Add an Issue

You have a basic issue list with standard columns and views. Create additional columns and views as required (as explained later).

  • Click ‘New Item’ in the ‘New’ poplist to create a new issue item
  • Enter a ‘Title’ for the issue. For example, ‘Report’ fails with error
  • Select the employee or user to whom the issue is assigned to. If e-mail notification is enabled as explained earlier, this person would be notified of the issue creation and updates
  • Accept the default ‘Issue Status’ (normally ‘Active’ or ‘Open’)
  • Select the ‘Priority’ from the list
  • Enter a ‘Description’ for the Issue – this could be the nature of the issue and what caused it
  • Select a ‘Category’ from the list i.e. if you would like to track the issues by category
  • If there are ‘Related Issues’, select suitably
  • Enter a ‘Due Date’ i.e. the date by which the issue has to be resolved by
  • Click ‘OK’ to complete
  • To add a new item, follow the steps again

Adding Columns

You can add to these columns or delete irrelevant columns as required. For example, let us assume that an additional column is required to capture the ‘Environment’ the issue originated from. Steps are as follows:

  • Click Settings > List Settings
  • Click ‘Create Column’ under ‘Columns’ region – One can also ‘Add from existing columns’
  • Enter ‘Column Name’
  • Select a suitable information type for the column – In this example, ‘Choice’ is checked as we intent to select the appropriate environment from the choices given
  • Complete ‘Display Choices’, ‘Default Value’ sections
  • Click ‘OK’

Views

Apart from the default views, additional views can be created as well. There is no threaded or flat views in an issue list.

Printing Feature

The Issue Tracking list lacks a print view as well. However, the flexibility to export to spreadsheet and print is available; however, this involves additional formatting.

Status View

It is possible to report on Open, Closed, or Resolved items in the Issue Tracking list. This is an important requirement as one would like to know what issue are still outstanding at any time. Create a view named ‘open’ or ‘closed’ and apply suitable ‘filter’ criteria to accomplish this.

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  1. The notification email is sent as an Alert notification. When you click ‘Modify my alert settings’ in the email, it is observed that no entry exists for this list. I am assuming that an alert has to exist so the user is notified of the changes.

    As a workaround, you can create an Alert and be notified of all changes. This is not ideal, though, as all the assignees need to create Alerts to be notified.

  2. I have observed the same. It only sends a notification when an issue is Assigned and not when updated. I don’t understand why no notification is sent on issue update

  3. Hi, I have a problem with the Issue Tracking e-mail notification..
    I selected the ‘Yes’ to send e-mail notification and I actually recieve an automatic email once a new issue is CREATED and assigned to me. The problem is that I don’t recieve any notification when the issue is CHANGED. I know I should recieve emails either the issue is created or changed..Can you help me pleaaase???

    Thanks!!