Albert Einstein once said, “It’s not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”

Like Einstein, QA managers spend most of their time resolving problems (although lucky for them, nothing on the level of, say, solving for relativity). Jira makes managing issues much simpler, but it’s not a complete fix if day-to-day management is ignored.

Luckily, Jira has excellent “out of the box” tools for managing a daily complaints process that makes tracking and resolving issues more straightforward than you might think.

The problem with most complaints management systems

QA managers have no problem with laying the groundwork for a complaints system in Jira. They are competent at specifying the necessary fields (i.e., reporter, details of the issue, etc.) and understanding the steps required to process complaints.

What’s usually missing is a consideration for what happens once the system is in place. How is the process managed daily? How can the QA manager ensure that issues are handled by responsible parties, so nothing slips through the cracks?

The answer is to know your Jira, so you can make like Einstein and stick with problems until there’s a verified solution. Here are five features and tactics to help you forget your troubles with complaints management.

  1. Use a Kanban Board.

Perceived complexity can complicate issue resolution. A Kanban board allows teams to visualize complaints without having to wade through long-winded SOPs or other bottlenecks. It also unifies stakeholders by providing a clear snapshot of the status of each complaint — simplifying daily management and promoting timely resolution.

  1. Master Jira’s search. 

Filters are vital to improving daily complaints management, allowing users to swiftly cycle through their tasks All you have to do is prepare a few specific filters, like “all open complaints” (i.e., sorted by assignee, department, or status) and “priority complaints” (i.e., complicated, delayed, or audit-related). 

Click on the following links to learn how to create a basic search and an advanced search

  1. Check with your colleagues.

While Jira does a great job automating complaints management, there’s a critical human element to it, too. Talk to your team members about how they use Jira to manage complaints, so you can ensure that your top issues also appear in the filters and dashboards they use most.

  1. Don’t count on email notifications; move into filter subscriptions.

Depending on your Jira set-up, team members’ inboxes may quickly become overloaded with notifications when a complaint ticket is updated — making it easy for them to ignore.

One easy way to get people to stay focused on the complaints they’re responsible for is to create a personalised filter for them to subscribe to. You just set up for each complaint, so it’s associated with one or more components, such as “Service,” “IT,” “Ops,” “Manufacturing,” etc.

For example, let’s say the Jira default component field is “Department.”Each component includes a person responsible for resolving the issue — the “lead.”Each lead should receive a daily email with all open complaints on their to-do list.

Here’s how to set up a personalised filter:

  1. Define the search criteria, which looks like this: project=”MDRQ Complaints ” AND resolution in (Unresolved) AND component in componentsLeadByUser() 
    This means it will find all open complaints that are owned by the designated lead.
  2. Share this filter with all users who have access to the project so that they can subscribe to daily updates.

This will trigger Jira to scan the users to see if anyone on the project is a component lead. If so,  the system will kick out an email that details all assigned complaints. The title of the email will be the name of the filter. The clearer the name, the more likely it is that the lead will open it — and act on its contents.

  1. Create a dashboard.

A Jira dashboard is a simple yet powerful solution that allows you to view several real-time reports on one screen. You can also share the dashboard with all stakeholders to support shared understanding. 

Here’s what the dashboard shows:

  1. A pie chart with current open complaints about each product. Not only is this an excellent overview, but you can also drill down directly from the dashboard into the actual set of complaints about each product. This is a great way to start action-driven discussions with the product owners.
  2. The 2D table is a good snapshot of who needs to act on the open complaints and the size of each person’s complaints load. This helps the Quality Manager identify who needs the most support in getting their complaints under control.
  3. The activity stream is filtered, so it only shows the activities related to the complaints project. This makes it simple to get the up-to-date pulse of the project.

As Einstein once also said, “We can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.” Hopefully, this gives you some new ways to tackle your complaints system. And although I’m no Einstein, I’m always here to help. Contact me if you have questions about setting up an effective complaints management system (or other QA system) in Jira.