Over the years of leading teams and working in various IT environments I’ve discovered, there are generally three types of tickets within the small to medium size companies.
An Idea Request is where someone has an idea, and it would be nice to try it out and see if it works or not. An idea is not a request that is based on current business needs but on the possibility to improve something that is already working. A good example of this would be a call to action of the funnel. The funnel works, but they want to see if they can improve conversion by adding more help. Doing this or not doing this does not affect the current state of the business.
Tirage: Put the ticket into your to investigate list and investigate at a leisurely pace and find out if there is an actual need for the ticket. If there is, treat it as a feature request.
A Feature Request
A “Feature Request” request is when someone requests something that would make the way the business operates better. An example would be different bank account details for management accounts. So it’s something that does affect the state of the company. That is, currently people have to log in and change the bank details constantly or phone up and talk to someone. Doing this feature will improve the lives of both the management account user and the account management team. Not doing it will result in more pain on the account management team and most likely result in payment errors.
Tirage: Put the ticket into a list for investigation within the near future and prepare a ticket for the backlog.
A Feature Demand
Unlike the other two, these are rarely actually stated as requests. The reason is this is something the department must do, one way or another. An example of this would be duplicate projects. The reason we must do it is it is a business requirement. The lack of it is blocking someone. If we do not add a feature to allow them to do it, we will have to do it by hand. The feature already exists it’s just currently a manual process.
Any time the IT department has to do a manual database change, an urgent deployment, or spend a considerable amount of time doing something unscheduled. This sort of request usually is a feature demand.
For example, if your account managers require a row to be duplicated, this would be a feature demand.
Tirage: Investigate the specs immediately and prepare a ticket for the backlog as soon as possible.
I’ve found that by splitting tickets into these three types and treating them as such allows for a much more comfortable relationship with other departments. As departments that are generally unhappy with the responsiveness of the IT department are usually the ones where the demands have been ignored, and the ideas have been implemented. If you fulfil all the demands of other departments usually are quite happy with that.
For me, the best approach is to implement all the demands quickly, implement most feature requests, and implement a few ideas. This way the departments get what they need, quite a bit of what they want, and also get to experience the joy of seeing their ideas being turned into reality.