So, I used to think that it would be a good idea to give the customer access to the issue tracking system, but now I've seen that it creates less than ideal situations, like:

  • Customer judging progress solely on ticket count
  • Developers denied to add issues to avoid customer thinking that there is less progress
  • Customer appointing people on their side to add issues who don't always do a good job (lots of duplicate issues, insufficient information to reproduce, and other things that distract people from doing their real job)

However, I think customers should have access to some indicators or proof that there is progress being done, as well as a right to report bugs.

So, what would be the ideal solution to this situation?, specially, getting out of or improving the first situation described?

  • I am not sure if there is an ideal solution to the describe situation. It would be different for everyone, in some cases, the customer could make this a requirement.
    – Ramhound
    Nov 19, 2012 at 12:06
  • Have you considered adding some (strict and transparent) rules about making a ticket? And maybe even designating a moderator for the issue tracker?
    – andrybak
    Nov 28, 2014 at 11:35
  • @AndreyRybak - it doesn't matter, the problem is that you have any tickets. If you measure it, somebody will judge based on it. Actually, no, the problem is that you have a ticket-tracking system; people will make judgments if you have no tickets. This transcends the bounds of reason - it's why some managers say things like "you sold a lifetime-widget to everybody in town this year, can you maybe sell everyone two next year?". Nov 28, 2014 at 12:52

3 Answers 3


It's hard to say. To use an analogy some restaurants allow you to see into the kitchen so you can see how hard the chefs are working. Some don't.

However, we're programmers not chefs. I would say you need a forum where developers can be honest so as work can get done. The solution is either to adjust the security settings so some things stay private (we have this at my current place of work) or to see if it is possible to better educate your customers.

Judging productivity on ticket count is a bit like judging a horse's performance in a race on the amount of hay it's been eating.

The system we use is ZenDesk. This allows our customers to submit tickets but we use permissions to keep some things private.


You tagged this with "Agile", so I'd suggest that one of the "agile" tools might be a good option--use a Product Backlog, containing a list of what needs to be done, and have a Product Owner manage it. The Product Owner should share what's in the backlog with all stakeholders and be able to explain why issues appear (or not). This gives visibility into the progress being made, which is a good thing, but limits the amount of confusion that it might create.

Basically, you've identified an area where trust and visibility are at risk in your organization--so you need somebody to manage it.


I think some transparency is needed. Customers are expecting it and it can separate you from a competitor that doesn't take that extra step.

For example, you may want your customers to see the status of their request, such as "open" or "closed" in their interface. On the other hand, the admin could have a wider array of statuses that would be invisible to the customer. This helps us to keep customers in the loop.

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