Looking for your opinion on linking cases to solutions
One of the more underused features within Clarify/Dovetail is the ability to link cases to solutions. Its a great feature – I just don’t see it used often enough.
This allows organizations to track which solutions are used the most, and use that information to feed back to production groups (development, engineering, documentation, etc.) to help prioritize changes/fixes/enhancements.
Solutions have a title, an id, and a description of the problem. They also have 1 or more resolutions (workarounds).
For example, take a look at this solution on our website.
It has a title: Dovetail SDK Web Service calls return a Could Not Load Assembly error
an ID: 348
a description of the problem: Could not load the assembly ‘FChoice.WebServices.Clarify,…
and 2 resolutions (which I’m paraphrasing here):
1. run the Dovetail SDK installer
2. copy the "bin" directory from the Dovetail SDK directory into the Dovetail Web Services web application directory
When I link a case to this solution, technically, I am linking it to one of the workarounds. Not to the solution (probdesc) itself. This is how Clarify represented it in their data model.
- The Solution is actually stored in the probdesc table.
- Resolutions are actually stored in the workaround table.
Question: Do you link cases to Solutions, or link cases to Resolutions?
The question I have is: Do you think about linking cases to Solutions, or linking cases to Resolutions?
Technically, you link a case to a resolution(from a data model standpoint).
But is this how you think about it in reality?
Do you care which resolution its linked to? Or just that its linked to a solution? Why?
Perhaps you care that there’s X number of cases linked to the problem, so you can then use this information to persuade development that this issue should be fixed.
On the other hand, perhaps you care to track which exact resolution resolved the customer’s issue.
When a case is linked, both the case and the solution get an activity log.
The activity log for the case:
The activity log for the solution:
My experience from The MathWorks
When I was in Technical Support at The MathWorks, our usage was that we linked a case to a Solution. Every quarter, we could examine those solutions with the most number of linked cases, and feed this information back to Product Development so as to give them guidance as to which problems were causing the most support calls. Those were the problems that were costing the company money, and those were the ones we wanted fixed. Our Tech Support Director Jay even wanted to charge the costs back to the Development organization – since these bugs were costing his department money. Interesting approach, but I don’t think he ever convinced others that it was in the best interests of the company as a whole.
My experience from Dovetail Software
Again, we link cases to solutions. I have a report that lets me know which solutions are being linked to the most, and this helps prioritize features and bugs in the development backlog.
What do you think?
Do you link cases to solutions at all?
Do you think about linking cases to Solutions, or linking cases to Resolutions?
Is this how you think about it in reality?
Do you care which resolution its linked to? Or just that its linked to a solution?
Any and all responses here would be appreciated.