The world is full of issue tracking systems. GitHub, JIRA, Zendesk, and Bugzila are just a few of the numerous tools out there. These tools are extremely important pieces of our development processes and do a remarkable job at helping us stay organized. So why would you need yet another issue tracking method?
When working with external vendors or manufacturers, it can be extremely difficult to get them to use your internal issue tracking system. Each of their clients or partners probably uses a different system, and in China your awesome web-based tool may be blocked altogether.
To combat this, most contract manufacturer (CM) and vendor teams prefer to utilize a spreadsheet for issue tracking. This solution works reasonably well, though if you don't have a template ready you might not be sure what information is important.
I'm sharing the exact Master Issue List template that Embedded Artistry uses to work with multiple CM and vendor teams. We have used this exact template for tracking electrical, mechanical, firmware, and test issues.
I've included a version field at the top. I recommend that you stress the importance of updating the version number on every document exchange. I've also created features that allow you to see the breakdown of issues based on their stage (open, in progress, waiting for feedback, closed).
This article was updated on 21 July, 2018 to link to the Embedded Artistry store.