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HelpDesk Use Cases, separated by position:


Position: Manager, Network and Servers

Customer Role: This positions is a customer of the Help Desk who regularly opens tickets for tasks to be performed within the functional area and outside the functional area. The user prefers a web based interface allowing easy look up of customers, ticket creation and assignment. Ticketing system should support simple attachments for the inclusion of additional information (i.e. documentation, screen shots, etc.). When updates occur to tickets which this position is the customer, email updates should be sent with a direct link included in the email to the ticket within the ticketing system.

When updates or assignment of tickets occur where staff from this functional area are the service providers, correspondence to the customer is to be send with a reply to email address of the technician. The system should also have an easy method for the supervisor to see all tickets assigned to staff members within the functional area.

User Role: This position is a consumer of Help Desk information, resolves tickets and/or referrs tickets to the appropriate staff. Ticket should include the following information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Customers Supervisor
  • A detailed description of the problem
  • Reproducible steps, documented and verified by the Help Desk staff opening the issue
  • Name of person opening the call on the customers behalf
  • Ability for technicians to classify the ticket for later reference and tracking of number and types of problems received over a given range of dates
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. Network - Internet Connectivity)
  • Ability to view tickets assigned to staff this position supervises
  • Automatic ticket assignment based on rules. (i.e. Network - assigned to Network Technician) (this could be manual performed by Help Desk screeners)
  • Screenshot and/or full copy of any error messages attached to the ticket

This position also expects the Help Desk to provide resolution of customer reported issues which are due to lack of user training or user error in using the system or application. Application use issues should be resolved at the Help Desk level and not reach technicians. Examples:

  • I cannot connect to wireless - Help Desk would diagnose if wireless is available in the requested area, report to desktop technician to verify proper wireless configuration of the computer - then if still not working, advance ticket to a networking technician.
  • Telephone is not functioning - Help Desk diagnoses, is the display lit, is the phone plugged in, can the phone dial out, can the phone be called, is this a user training issue or an issue to be advanced to the Telecommunications staff.
  • I'm not getting email - What software is the user using?, are the settings correct? send the user an email - did they get it? send the user an email from off site - did the user get the email? Is the incoming mail being assigned to junk mail? Verify customer spam rules are not causing a problem. Verify the sender has the proper email address for the user. Verify the sender is not getting a rejection message for their ISP being blacklisted or sending improper attachments. Finally forward unresolved issues to Systems Technician.
  • I cannot send email - What software is the user using? are the settings correct? Is the user entering the proper email address for the recipient? Is the user getting a rejection message? Can the user email the Help Desk? Attach the error messages to the ticket. What does the error say? Is the email going on campus of off? Check for typo's, is the email being sent to delhi.com instead of delhi.edu? obtain the email address and send a message. Is the error reproducible from the Help Desk email  account? - Finally forward unresolved issues to systems technician.
  • I cannot connect to the Internet - Is the user on wired or wireless? Have the authenticated onto the network if necessary? Can they reach Intranet sites? Can they reach Internet sites? Is their browser working properly? Is the users network showing they are connected to the network? Are users in the same area/building experiencing the same problem (Help Desk calls someone else in that building and doesn't rely on second hand feedback from the frustrated user.) Can a DNS query be performed? Are the results accurate? - forward to network technician

As can be seen by the examples offered, the Help Desk is not expected nor is it desired that the Help Desk diagnose the actual underlying problem creating the situation.  That task is best left to the functional area technician/expert. It is not reasonable to expect Help Desk staff to be experts in all areas and all depths of systems on campus. If it were reasonable for everyone to be an expert in every area, then there would only be a need for Help Desk technicians, and there would be no need for PC technicians, application programmers, network technicians and so on. However, the sheer breadth and complexity of systems supported by CIS requires area experts with intimate knowledge of individual systems. Rather the service the Help Desk provides should be initial screening to eliminate human errors, issues related to lack of user training and act as a front line clearinghouse for technical area experts allowing them to work on true functional issues rather than being burdened with data collection and user errors. The Help Desk should be responsible to reproduce any conditions which yield the situation, meaning that if the Help Desk cannot reproduce the problem, in most cases that issue should not be forwarded to a technician until such time as it can be reproduced. Obvious exceptions would be error messages in an event log showing bad hard disk sector or multiple reports of no network connectivity in a given building.


Position: Manager, Central Systems

Customer Role: This position rarely opens tickets or places calls to the Help Desk. This user perfers a web based interface but also likes the option to call the Help Desk for assistance. System should support simple attachments for the inclusion of additional information (i.e. documentation, screen shots, etc.). When updates occur to tickets which this position is the customer, email updates are preferred, with a direct link included to be able to update the content of the ticket.

User Role: This position is a consumer of Help Desk information, resolves tickets and/or refers tickets to the appropriate staff. Ticket should include the following information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Customers Supervisor
  • Problem classification system that allows catagorized tracking of issues (i.e. Banner Password, Banner Security)
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. Banner, Cool Query, Banner Connectivity)
  • Ability to view tickets assigned to staff this position supervises
  • Automatic ticket assignment based on rules.
  • Description of the specific issue
  • Screenshot or full copy of any error messages attached to issue
  • Documentation within the system of steps taken by the Help Desk in an attempt to triage and resolve the problem.

This position also expects the Help Desk to provide basic triage and resolution of customer reported issues. Help Desk issues assigned to this position or the positions this position supervises should have undergone basic triage and routine issues should be resolved entirely at the Help Desk.

Looking for feedback or other examples to be posted to refer to for format, presentation and content



Position: Manager of Online Educational Technology

Customer Role:
As a customer of Helpdesk, I submit tickets via email, telephone, and mostly via the Web interface. After submitting a ticket, when the ticket is assigned to a technician, I receive an email. I also receive an email when any more work has been done on the ticket, or when it is closed out, which works well for me, as does the capability to communicate with the technician. This ticketing and reporting system seems to work fine for me. The only thing I can think of that would improve the experience would be a more full, robust, searchable Knowledgebase where I can sift through and search for common bits of relevant computer/network/software information (could be on the CIS / Helpdesk main Delhi webpage). Perhaps the Knowledgebase and Ticketing system could be integrated. This could potentially save the customer and the Helpdesk both time - if documentation of issues is stored in a knowledgebase accessible to faculty, staff and students. Otherwise, my helpdesk tickets have always been addressed and resolved rapidly.

Partner Role:
This position is a partner in Help Desk services for assistance with online teaching and learning issues. In particular, these issues pertain to the Learning Management Systems, as well as any other systems and software used for online education (audio, video, PowerPoint, images, HTML, NetTutor and other websites).  Some expectations include:

  • It is expected that Helpdesk resolves any possible entry level tickets, such as login and password issues (by referring students to Records and Registration)
  • Tickets that come in from faculty/staff members would be assigned to their name/email address, even if on behalf of students. For example, if a student emails an instructor about an issue, and the instructor sends it to the Helpdesk, the ticket would be made to the instructor's email address.
  • Differentiate between WebCT, SLN, or Moodle issues with a sub-category in the tracker.
  • For SUNY Learning Network (SLN) courses: tickets regarding issues with enrollment to courses should go to Records and Registration, tickets regarding questions about a course (once enrolled) should go to the instructor, and tickets for help with other technology issues should go to the SLN Helpdesk (All calls for technical assistance or help with SLN courses should go through email:  helpdesk@sln.suny.edu or 1-800-875-6269
    Or visit: http://sln.suny.edu/sln_helpdesk.htm )
  • Helpdesk would also provide triage and refer tickets to the appropriate staff for issues and incidents for other areas. Issues with wireless access or user desktop hardware, for example, would go to the attention of a different department. It would be up to the Helpdesk to ascertain whether an issue/incident is the result of lack of wireless access, or malfunction of the LMS, and forward the ticket accordingly.
  • In the case of students not knowing what is expected of them in a class (pedagogical issues) the students should be referred to their instructor, but a ticket denoting "Pedagogical Issue - referred to instructor" would be noted for documentation.
  • Helpdesk would ascertain whether the ticket is an issue (such as training, or something the user does not know) or an incident (something the user knows how to do but is not working...) and tickets would be denoted as such in the database.
  • In the case of technical incidents (software bugs, programs not working as they are known to, etc.) a ticket should be forwarded to Coordinator of Online Education.
    Such tickets should include the following:
    • Name of Customer, phone # including area code, email address(es), best times to be reached
    • Course CRN #, Title, and instructor name when applicable
    • Name of program (and version) or site where the incident occurred
    • Has this occurred before? Or is this the first time? If repeated will it happen again?
    • What exactly was clicked on and what was expected to happen? What actually occurred? (Specific error messages should be noted)
    • Whenever possible, a URL to a specific resource causing problems is desired.
    • Timeframe: is this issue extremely urgent? Is there a cutoff time or deadline?
    • to be continued...
  • In the case of issues, such as training issues and unknowns, there should be a separate category in the Helpdesk ticketing system for these. In this way, a listing of training issues can be produced, from which future training plans can be made. Also, it would be beneficial to have a searchable (and perhaps user-editable) Knowledgebase where users can go to for questions and unknowns, training, etc. This should be easily accessible from the main CIS web page, and linked to the Helpdesk ticketing system, so that, for example, when a user asks about "how to do x" in a Helpdesk ticket, the user can immediately be referred to the Knowledgebase with pertinent information, and then be contacted to see if that solved their issue. When new issues arise that had not previously been in the Knowledgebase, new pages of information for those could be added, and users could search these for answers 24/7, thus providing some more resources on a full time basis.
  • Gaps - in the case of gaps and needs, there should be a category for tickets relating to needed or desired capabilities that are not present. For example, if an instructor desires to have live audio-enabled whiteboard for intern interviews at a distance and this is not currently offered or supported, there should be a way to document and add this to the database where others who may have the same need may be able to build a use case.

Supervisory Role:
Because the Coordinator of Online Education serves in a supervisory role (to Online Education) certain data and statistics are expected to be gathered for purposes of training and evidence gathering.
For example,

  • A tally of all tickets related specifically to the LMS, further divided up into sub-categories (to be continued)
  • A tally of tickets relating more generally to issues with students or faculty attempting to teach or learn with online resources
  • Subcategories for training issues
  • A tally of issues that are resolved by users (without further assistance) after being referred to the Knowledgebase
  • The ability to export such data and statistics on demand and in a common format such as XLS, etc.
  •  

to be continued.... how are we doing?


Position:  Technology Center Coordinator

Customer Role:  Same as Coordinator of Online Education.

Helpdesk Role:  This user receives tickets from the current Help Desk and also receives face-to-face requests for immediate assistance from users of classroom and tech center technology.  Issues such as hardware, software, network, printers and projector triage which will initiate this user to place a help desk ticket.  Ticketing software currently has the required fields sufficient for this user.    

Outcome Wanted:  Use of a chat would be helpful for both sides of the helpdesk.  The helpdesk does not contain data reports that this position would use as on a regular basis except knowledgebase and search options. 



Position: Manager, Client Support Services

Customer Role: This position opens tickets but very rarely places calls to the Help Desk. This user prefers a web based interface but also likes the option to call the Help Desk for assistance. System should support simple attachments for the inclusion of additional information (i.e. documentation, screen shots, etc.). When updates occur to tickets which this position is the customer, email updates are preferred, with a direct link included to be able to update the content of the ticket. I also would like to see a way to notify another technician about a ticket without assigning it to them (sort of a heads up).

User Role: This position is a consumer of Help Desk information, resolves tickets and/or refers tickets to the appropriate staff. I also use help desk software to stay abreast of tickets that direct reports are working on. Ticket should include the following information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Problem classification system that allows categorized tracking of issues (i.e. Banner Password, Banner Security)
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. Banner, Cool Query, Banner Connectivity)
  • Ability to view tickets assigned to staff this position supervises
  • Automatic ticket assignment based on rules.
  • Description of the specific issue
  • Screenshot or full copy of any error messages attached to issue
  • Documentation within the system of steps taken by the Help Desk in an attempt to triage and resolve the problem.

I'm in agreement with others as far as the help desk analyst being able to triage situations and document what they've done. It would probably be beneficial for this person to be able to do some password resets, as well as have remote access into customer PC's. When classroom controllers are put on the IP network it would be expected that the analyst log into the controller and try to resolve or replicate the problem.


Web Coordinator

Customer Role: Primary reasons for opening tickets - network and web server related issues; needs focusing on performance, permissions, and malfunctions. Prefer to enter tickets via the phone, and am satisfied with email responses for: updates, requests for more information, and completed work notification when appropriate. Phone or face to face contact to clarify issues and / or solutions, to aid in joint decision making / problem solving, or when complexity requires it is always helpful and welcome.

User Role or what i think i do when i receive a ticket (needs work):

I receive a help desk ticket via email. I read the ticket assigned and try to determine if:

  • the problem as presented in the tickets actually applies to me (my functional area).
  • If the ticket needs to be assigned to a different functional area, I will call the help desk and explain that it needs to be reassigned and let them determine who it should be reassigned to.
  • If the ticket belongs within my purview, I try to determine if the problem/information as presented within the ticket makes sense to me and whether or not it is sufficient for solving the problem - do i understand the nature of the problem and based on the information can I solve it?
  • If I am confused and don't think it is appropriate to contact the person on whose behalf the ticket was placed into the system (in order to avoid compounding any confusion), I will call the help desk and try to get clarification on the ticket.
  • After that step, or if the ticket information is sufficient and clear:
    • I will either contact the person to begin the process of solving the issue, solve the issue and then contact to insure/test that the solution is correct and or working for them, or reach out to another functional area for help if a piece of the problem falls within their purview and then contact the person - or some variation on the theme.
  • Initial contact is usually either a phone call and an email (email from within the helpdesk software).
  • Solutions can incorporate the use of: email, im, phone and face to face contacts.

Ticket Information - I like the list as it is being developed by others, one addition at bottom:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Problem classification system that allows categorized tracking of issues (i.e. Banner Password, Banner Security)
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. Banner, Cool Query, Banner Connectivity)
  • Ability to view tickets assigned to staff this position supervises
  • Automatic ticket assignment based on rules.
  • Description of the specific issue
  • Screenshot or full copy of any error messages attached to issue
  • Documentation within the system of steps taken by the Help Desk in an attempt to triage and resolve the problem.
  • For webpage based problems the URL of the page in question would be helpful.

Reports:

  • Incidents, Training, Requests

Other:

  • Would prefer that all helpdesk request filter through the helpdesk phone, removing the ability for users to self enter, self select category / type, and priority of their incident via a web interface.
  • Would like to see the Help Desk provide basic triage at first point of contact if possible, but could also live with the helpdesk being a call router if the information collected was thorough, and routed appropriately.

Position: Help Desk Analyst

Customer Role: This position opens tickets but very rarely places calls to the Help Desk. This user prefers a web based interface but also likes the option to call the Help Desk for assistance. System should support simple attachments for the inclusion of additional information (i.e. documentation, screen shots, etc.). When updates occur to tickets which this position is the customer, email updates are preferred, with a direct link included to be able to update the content of the ticket.

User Role: This position is a consumer of Help Desk information, resolves tickets and/or refers tickets to the appropriate staff. I also use the help desk software to stay abreast of open tickets and ticket resolution, this assists in eliminating duplicates and in knowing which issues may need an FAQ or further training.

Ticket Information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Problem classification system that allows categorized tracking of issues (i.e. Software, Hardware, Network)
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. New Install, Issue, Deployment)
  • Ability to view ALL tickets as well as being able to break this down into units (i.e. staff this position supervises)
  • Description of the specific issue
  • Screenshot or full copy of any error messages attached to issue
  • Documentation within the system of steps taken by the Help Desk in an attempt to triage and resolve the problem.

Other:

  • I would like to see a way to notify another technician about a ticket without assigning it to them (sort of a heads up).
  • I would like to be able to cc a supervisor or other involved individual who may not be the customer and may not be a technician.
  • I would like some integration with the FAQ's or some sort of notification box that could be checked when the Technician feels it might warrent a new FAQ, change to the existing FAQ or some other attention.
  • I would like to be able to easily query for and print needed/requested reports.
  • Help desk analysts should be able to triage situations and document what they've done.
  • Help desk Analysts should be able to do some password resets and basic requests of this nature.

Position: Software Lead Programmer-Analyst

Customer Role: This position opens tickets but very rarely places calls to the Help Desk. This user prefers a web based interface but also likes the option to call the Help Desk for assistance. System should support simple attachments for the inclusion of additional information (i.e. documentation, screen shots, etc.). When updates occur to tickets which this position is the customer, email updates are preferred, with a direct link included to be able to update the content of the ticket.

User Role: This position is a consumer of Help Desk information, resolves tickets and/or refers tickets to the appropriate staff. When updates occur to tickets which this position is the technician, email updates are preferred.

Ticket Information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer Phone Number
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • How many individuals/computers/classes are being affected or is the request for
  • Service Tag number (or computer name) if the issue is with a specific computer or set of computers
  • Problem classification system that allows categorized tracking of issues (i.e. Software, Hardware, Network)
  • Problem sub classification system that allows problems to be classified (i.e. New Install, Issue, Deployment)
  • Ability to view ALL tickets as well as being able to break this down into units (i.e. staff this position supervises)
  • Name of the specific software that request is related to
  • Who is in physical possession of the software media that relates to the request
  • Description of the specific issue
  • Screenshot or full copy of any error messages attached to issue
  • Documentation within the system of steps taken by the Help Desk in an attempt to triage and resolve the problem.

Other:

  • I would like to see a way to notify another technician about a ticket without assigning it to them (sort of a heads up).
  • I would like to be able to cc a supervisor or other involved individual who may not be the customer and may not be a technician.
  • I would like to be able to easily query for and print needed/requested reports.
  • Help desk analysts should be able to triage and resolve basic or routine situations and document what they've done.

Position: Chief Information Officer

Customer Role: The user enters tickets to all business units and staff, but would be happy to interact through the Service Center (Help Desk) rather than directly entering tickets.

User Role: The user would like to access the ticketing system to, 1) develop reports specifying current CIS productivity, workload and backlog (see the CIS Production Dashboard for an example), 2) monitor issues that may be under development within the ticketing system, 3) occasionally address tickets directly.

Ticket Information:

  • Customer Name
  • Customer Department
  • Customer Location
  • Customer email address
  • Building where the issue exists
  • Room within the building where the issue exists
  • Classification of ticket based on CIS Business Unit
  • Classification of ticket based on Cabinet Level
  • Classification of ticket based on Service or System (i.e. Service Center, Online Learning, Printing, Networking or Wonderdesk, Moodle, DMC, Switch; respectively)
  • Classification of ticket based on sub classification of service or system.
  • Classification of ticket based on type (issue, incident, task, request)
  • Search, view and sort tickets by all fields (e.g. plot all tickets submitted by the Math department to Client Support Services for projectors)
  • Graphs and charting to display reporting in a graphical format.

Other:


Other Stakeholders:

  • CIS - Technicians (already identified above)
  • Students
  • Faculty
  • Staff
  • Administration
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  1. May 02, 2007

    Anonymous

    "Automatic ticket assignment based on rules" is a current function of the helpdesk however this means that you (the technicians) are going to get even more calls routed to you incorrectly and without any basic level triage and troubleshooting as the helpdesk may not even see the call if the customer enters it themselves.

    1. May 02, 2007

      Good point, raises question in my mind that I'll share.

      Should customers be allowed to enter "trouble" calls  for themselves?

      I see entering a ticket as different from diagnosing a ticket. I'm trying to make my needs generic and not confined to the way our current software operates. But if we look at WonderDesk for a second, should the user be allowed to select a category on a self reported ticket? I don't think most customers have the knowledge to determine if they are having a network problem versus browser problem. So wouldn't categorizing the tickets be a function of the Help Desk triage process? I say yes, so that may mean down the road that the project manager will decide WonderDesk doesn't work or that the self-reporting form needs to be modified so users cannot assign categories, halting un-triaged tickets from bypassing the help desk.

      My original thinking was to relieve the burden from Help Desk staff about where to route a ticket. Let the functional area supervisors manage where the ticket needs to be routed via rules. The Help Desk just needs to know it's a Network problem, priority high. That now triggers other thoughts for me about my having time of day requirements, combined with call priority. If an off hour emergency is logged because Internet is down, shouldn't the help desk system page someone and also escalate the paging if it doesn't receive a response.

      This is great interaction as one comment has helped me better define my use case and hopefully triggered ideas for others.