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Online IssueTracker – Mantis

Coding is fun but as we are all know, too often people forget the management behind it. Lack of project management significantly decreases the satisfaction of the client, team spirit, quality of deliverables or, total project failure.

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Especially when your are a provider for outsourcing services and your client is far away it is import to manage the project well. So what tools and forms does CSharp Jobs use? Below I’ve listed some of the many tools/documents that we use. It is not limited to C# projects as we also use them for J2ME, Java and other projects. Spread over several posts we will address each tool/form.

  • ONLINE ISSUE TRACKER (this post)
    For the last 32 projects we have been using Mantis Bugtracker (http://www.mantisbt.org/). We prefer to call it an IssueTracker rather than Bugtracker because not all items that are reported are bugs. Many reported items are feature changes, preferences changes, etcetera and not a bug at all.
  • Why Mantis?
    We tried several other systems but somehow Mantis is was easily understood by most our clients and not seen as a tools developed for geeks only. The reporting capabilities are good. Developers can be assigned category and received email notifications when new issues are posted or if updates to an issue were made.
  • Log Issues
    Logging issues is pretty simple and straight forward, especially for the reporter if you only give them access to the simple reporting function.
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  • Drawbacks
    A drawback of Mantis is the look and feel of the user interface. It isn’t fancy and you can’t apply templates. It is all a bit plain.
  • Who uses the IssueTracker?
    Our developers, managers and freelance QA auditors as well as the client. Depending on the client and type of project we provide the client access to our internal IssueTracking lifecycle or his own dedicated section in the system.
  • Why let clients access the IssueTracker?
    Especially for clients who do not have experience with software development projects it can be frustrating to see that parts of an application don’t work yet although we are working on it. They don’t realize the amount of testing required before a product works really well and do not know the many hidden business rules that are required to complete their project. If they see the progress on the IssueTracker they understand better where they pay for.
  • Reporting
    Mantis has good reporting features and enables you to automatically maintain a Change Log.
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