Hey, I just un-installed this and wanted to provide some feedback.
It was initially great, and I still think it’s a great plugin, but it ended up not working for us. Our staff of 6 tested it pretty aggressively for just over 3 weeks. We went through about 75 tickets overall, and decided that it just wouldn’t scale well for us.
That’s not to say that it won’t work for others; it might. Here’s what we found though in case it’s useful:
As recommended, we used this plugin alongside Discourse Assign. The pairing makes great sense.
However, we quickly discovered that it fell short of our needs to view multiple staff members being involved in a single deliverable. This is obviously not the Tickets Plugin’s fault, but it did effect our usage of it. There’s debate on whether or not a task should have more than one assignee vs a single owner, but our situation didn’t allow for compromise on this matter.
Our workaround was to create a new “ticket-topic” for each task, thats only purpose was to point to a unified discussion topic. This worked well enough at first, but even for a small staff of 6 this quickly grew out of control. We even set up a sub-category just for these new tickets, which did help a bit, but not enough.
A good example of how absurd this became is that when a community member reports an issue (PM topic 1) that requires our attention, we create a new staff-only discussion (topic 2) that points to topic 1 so that we can discuss privately. Whispers unfortunately don’t help us much here, for unrelated reasons.
Then, as this new topic requires multiple assignees, we create new tickets (topic 3 - up to topic 8) so that relevant staff members can be notified and their distinct ticket statuses can be monitored.
All this for a single issue.
Integration was both good and bad
Given the above, all the various ticket notifications quickly became noisy enough that it reduced the general usefulness of notifications as a whole.
Our other issue was that, especially given our workaround leading to duplicate ticket-topics, the “Latest” views within the forum quickly suffered from self-inflicted spam and also became fairly useless. We tried to use tickets as group PMs to get around this, but then they wouldn’t show up in the tickets view, so we stuck to regular topics.
Unfortunately, our primary reason for wanting tickets within Discourse in the first place ended up being the reason we changed our minds; it became overly present. In the end I am reminded that Discourse is built for discussion, and conceptually, bringing tickets in as literal topics breaks this model.
In other words, of course Discourse thinks every time we create a ticket that we also want to have a conversation. Why wouldn’t it? It has no reason to care that a ticket might not necessarily warrant a larger discussion.
Other minor issues
The tickets view itself was also broken for us, in that using a url that combined different options (for example, to-do sorted by owner) would intermittently negate any options, giving us a list of all tickets. Our solution was to just use a single “to do” filter and re-do whatever other options we wanted if we felt compelled to.
Speaking of the tickets view, it was generally very useful but we also did realize that there’s no way to express the effort that tickets require, which is important for us to evaluate how much work is being done as not all tickets are equal in scope. We need this to both plan upcoming work and to assess staff efficiency.
There’s also the issue I mentioned in my post above about case sensitivity breaking individual staff members’ personal ticket views.
None of these by themselves are outright horrible, but given our overall experience it made it further difficult to argue to keep using this plugin in place of an external purpose-built tool.
We did end up moving to such a tool, and although I really wanted to keep using this plugin, I couldn’t form a good enough argument for it given everything above.
I appreciate all the work involved here! Please don’t take any of the above personally, I’m just providing my own experience in case others in my shoes later on find it helpful.
I would still recommend this plugin for those who don’t need multiple assignees on a ticket, and aren’t concerned with visualizing effort.