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eCity Interactive, a full service interactive agency in Philadelphia, creates engaging online experiences for Global 2000 companies. A full service team of designers, animators, usability specialists, developers, online marketing and ecommerce experts enable clients to efficiently develop fully integrated campaigns that deliver results. With multiple website projects in various stages of development, testing, review and approval, eCity needed a way to effectively manage Quality Assurance and testing.

The company initially used spreadsheets to manage QA issues, but it was a challenge to effectively track the ongoing evolution of each individual issue.

The spreadsheet approach also made it difficult to keep both clients and internal teams updated on current issue status. Since the spreadsheets could only ever show a snapshot of an issue status, by the time someone reviewed the report the statuses had already changed. With so many issues across multiple projects, it was obvious that an automated web-based tool was needed.

Martin Weinberg, Senior Account Manager at eCity Interactive had used Elementool previously at another interactive agency, and enjoyed the easy collaboration with team members, vendors and clients. When Weinberg joined eCity, he recommended that they implement Elementool Issue Tracking for quality assurance testing.

"Every issue itself is like a small project," continued Weinberg, "with scope, work estimate, internal review, and client sign-off. An average website can easily have 120 issues during the beta phase. Each issue takes a journey from tester, to programmer, to project manager and ultimately to the client," says eCity's Weinberg. "Elementool helps us keep this process searchable, manageable and reportable."

As a Software-as-a-Service provider, the Elementool web-based business model lets eCity collaborate with vendors, clients and geographically diverse teams to work together on projects simultaneously, but asynchronously. One team can be testing, while another is working on issues, all while the project managers and clients are reviewing elements for sign off. All of these actions are happening at the same time, without clogging up email inboxes, because every step and every action related to an issue is well-organized in an intuitive interface.

The project manager can easily determine the overall status by referencing the excellent project dashboard, drilling down to an individual issue or quickly creating summary reports. This speed and efficiency lets the team at eCity concentrate on building websites and growing their business.

Weinberg had tried other issue management tools in the past, but when it came time to select one at eCity, he went with Elementool largely due to the ease of customization. The Elementool Issue Tracking features reflect input from real system users. It was easy for eCity to customize the interface, since Elementool doesn't impose a workflow. They were able modify field positions, labels, default values and other form aspects directly through the web interface. This lets the agency get to manage just the information they need. Weinberg said, "I can make Elementool work the way that we do."

Using Elementool has allowed eCity to improve their QA testing process. The agency can transfer tasks easily from one person to the next, within the company and to clients as well.

Weinberg notes, "When you use an issue tracking tool like Elementool, nothing slips through the cracks. Because it's all in a database, every issue is addressed in an organized way."

eCity's clients have also benefited directly from the Elementool issue tracking tool. For ongoing web updates, the company generates a detailed billing report with a summary of all work accomplished. Clients can also log directly into Elementool to view details of any of their issues.

eCity Interactive has found the Elementool Issue Tracking to be useful not only for the process of creating websites, but also for ongoing updates. It's truly become a part of the process streamlining website development and improving client communication.

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