A trouble ticket (sometimes called a trouble report) is a mechanism used in an organization to track the detection, reporting, and resolution of some type of problem. Trouble ticketing systems originated in manufacturing as a paper-based reporting system; now most are Web-based and associated with customer relationship management (CRM) environments, such as call centers or e-business Web sites, or with high-level technology environments such as network operations centers (NOCs). A number of companies make software for trouble ticketing, such as NesterSoft's Request Commander. Several other types of software, such as Bluebird include a trouble ticket component.
The Internet Engineering Task Force's Network Working Group specified requirements for a trouble ticketing system in RFC 1297 (NOC Internal Integrated Trouble Ticket System Functional Specification Wishlist). In the RFC document, the author compares the trouble ticket to a patient's hospital chart, because both define a problem and help to coordinate the work of several different people who will work on the problem at different times.
As a ticket moves though the system, it is usually classified as a certain type of issue, which in turn determines the skillset and expertise level of the agent(s) the ticket is assigned to. Until the issue is resolved, the "open ticket" for the problem remains in the work queue, with issues of highest priority taking precedence in terms of work flow.