Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 7:42 am Post subject: Ticket Subject Lines/Descriptions
Let me start off by describing our department. We support about 6 remote locations around our downtown central location. We are looking at supporting about 800 +/- users with various tasks such as desktop support telephony, blackberries, adds+moves+changes, etc.
We have a small IT group. The Helpdesk lead who is in charge of all the general desktop support and AD type requests and his team of two field technicians that ghost, replace hardware, move pc's, etc. Then you have me. I started off as a telecommunications tech that deals with the infrastructure and phone systems. Blackberries, Cisco routers, phone deployments, etc. I was recently promoted to lead in my position when my boss left and now manage all telephony requests and projects. Last, you have the single helpdesk rep which is more or less a data control technician that forwards the information to a tech. This person does not really resolve problems, just forwards tickets. We have a sys admin that deals with a lot of AD and we have a network opps manager that is MCSE certified and of course the IT director.
When a users has a problem, about 80% of them just send an email to our helpdesk inbox. Our 'helpdesk rep' then forwards the email to me in this example. The rep only adds her signature and something along the lines of, "please assist". Generally the email from the user is bland and states something like, "My phone is broke" with a subject line of "FWD: PLEASE HELP ME MY PHONE IS BROKE". You can imagine the large inconsistency in my inbox of the 25+ emails a day I receive, some of which are duplicates.
I have no idea of the users location, exact problem, phone number, etc. No troubleshooting has been done.
I've been requesting with the network opps manager to get some kind of process management (I think that’s what it is called) to better format these email subject coming to my inbox so I can quickly identify and archive the requests. I said I wanted to see a subject format like this so all emails are consistent: LOCATION COMPONENT DEVICE BRIEF-DETAIL. He does not seem to agree and is keeping things as they are. I posted a clip from my recommendation below, I would like to hear some recommendations from all of you as I am not ITIL certified.
It basically says, the following:
The helpdesk representative is to collect all necessary information over the phone and log it into the ticket in the proper fields. If the information is not present in an email, the helpdesk representative is to reach out to the individual via phone or email for clarification.
If a customer simply says “Broken”, is it to be questioned what device, and the exact problem with the device and placed in the notes of the ticket.
Subject lines shall be formatted in a specific method determined by IT. A recommendation on my part is as follows for all tickets.
LOCATION COMPONENT DEVICE BRIEF-DETAIL
WEST FACSIMILE WW02 RECEIVED FAXES BLANK
EAST TELEPHONE 555-468-2398 STATIC ON LINE
SOUTH CELLULAR 555-989-4566 DROPPED CALLS AND CLICKING
WEST PRINTER WW06 CONSTANT JAMMING AREAS 1
NORTH DESKTOP WCJG8411 Failing Harddrive
Joined: Mar 04, 2008 Posts: 1892 Location: Helensburgh
Posted: Thu Nov 13, 2008 5:10 pm Post subject:
don't worry at this stage about not being ITIL qualified or trained. Studying the ITIL material will help you crystallize your thinking on these issues. But you cannot plug in or impose or even invoke ITIL to tackle this situation.
Your proposed format is obviously in the right direction (but be very wary of requiring users to be more specific about what the problem is except through informed dialogue). However your issue is really how to get your organization on board.
One approach is to talk to them about the problem (wasted time and costs, repeated incidents, etc.) and dialogue about the solution. Perhaps set up an improvement project or working group - it depends on your culture.
Another approach (if the first is not practical) is to formalize your own first response to receipt of incidents. always ask the same questions in the same terminology and record the answers. This will get people (including users who could become your allies) to the point of recognizing structure. Start producing reports based on the data you are collecting - how many incidents in a location; how many of the same incident; others.
Also produce exception reports for incidents that took too long to resolve because they lacked good primary information when they got to you. When your boss or even your customer starts to ask questions based on your reports you gain leverage for acceptance and improvement (That is when you can start to talk about ITIL and how it helps).
To get to the starting line, I think you have to argue by your own example. With good data collected you can make all sorts of improvement proposals. _________________ "Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
Another approach (if the first is not practical) is to formalize your own first response to receipt of incidents. always ask the same questions in the same terminology and record the answers. This will get people (including users who could become your allies) to the point of recognizing structure. Start producing reports based on the data you are collecting - how many incidents in a location; how many of the same incident; others.......
.....To get to the starting line, I think you have to argue by your own example. With good data collected you can make all sorts of improvement proposals.
Very good! I can start a project, but I think leading by example, to both IT employees and our "customers", is the best starting point. You are very informative and I appreciate you addressing my question as a whole.
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