Choosing a Process/Product for Change Requests

My department is just beginning to launch some large training programs for multiple new systems internationally. A lesson I've learned from projects passed is that to stay useful, courses need updating. Especially system-related courses that are based on programs that are continuously going through updates. I've also learned that the whole process is often underestimated in time and resources. In my case I'm anticipating a big job down the line for a small team. I'd like to get something in place now that allows us to store and track the status of all change requests as SMEs and project owners begin to send in requests for course changes. 

What I'd really like is something that begins as an electronic form that a SME/Stakeholder will fill out to request a change in an existing course. The data from the form would then populate a database that we could track and update.  I'm thinking something like this could be done in Access, but does anyone else use anything like this or know of a product intended for this type of purpose?

Looking forward to hearing from you!

Natalia

12 Replies
Steve Flowers

If you have access to Google Docs, a Google Spreadsheet and custom form could do the trick for you quick, easy and free.

If you have the ability to install something yourself and want a tool that's more robust and built for purpose, take a look at Trac. Love this tool. It includes built-in ticket reports. It's made for software development. Trac requires some installation know-how.

If you want a service to take care of installation for you, a SAAS tool might be the ticket. Zendesk is pretty good and offers an API that you can hook to as well as email threading of a ticket. I believe this feature lets you create a history of communication attached to an issue communicated through email.

Jerson  Campos

Do you have access to Adobe Acrobat Pro? You could create a form with it that will allow your SMEs to fill out the info you need when they make a request. Then all they need to do is press the submit button and will automatically be sent to you. (if they have internet service) The PDF form will be sent to you, but then you can export the data into a .csv format which then can be imported into Microsoft Access or another spreadsheet.   This is how I gathered information for one of my classes I was preparing to develop.

Natalia Mueller

Thanks guys!

@Mike, that's an interesting idea. I'm walking this line where i want to have a certain set of features and tracking but I also don't want to over complicate things. A lot of what I want mirrors software development change requests, but those tools can go places that make me dizzy.  I realize that in my last comment I said 'more robust than Google docs' but maybe that's not the case. Maybe I just need to learn more ways to use these basic tools. 

I didn't see a free version of SurveyGizmo anywhere. Just a 14 day trial. They reference a free version, I just couldn't find it.  I'm certainly not opposed to buying something, but free is still a good place to start. 

Troy Broas

Does your organization happen to have SharePoint? If so, I've used it for something similar that you described above. You can build a simple change request form with SharePoint, or if you need a slightly more advanced form, you can build it using Microsoft InfoPath. SharePoint will also allow you to attach a workflow to the change request and also allow you to export to Excel if needed. 

Natalia Mueller

No kidding? Yes we use SharePoint extensively. I'm constantly finding out more things it can do. I imagine the form would be pretty straightforward. I want a notification once something is submitted and then a way to update the status of the request. Then I want to have the ability to run reports, but I bet they would be simple enough that I could do it with Excel and some filters.

Many thanks for all of these great responses. They have really been helpful.

onEnterFrame (James Kingsley)

Hey all,

Not sure if you found a solution for this… We were having issues getting good reviews from SMEs, stakeholders, etc. so we created our own solution.  We can upload our courses to the cloud and send review invites to people. All the comments are collected in one place. Plus it has Screenr built into it. It’s been working really great for us and we decided to open it up to others.

You can check it out at ReviewMyElearning.com

Thanks

James