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Managing internal queue jumpers

Discussion in 'Business & Enterprise Computing' started by AzonIc, Jan 24, 2014.

  1. AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    Just wondering how my fellow IT Managers go about managing internal queue jumpers, or ensuring staff correctly use internal helpdesk systems? We're a company of about 80 staff and have a problem with walk ups / emails for IT assistance for both general IT break fix & on our unfortunately problematic internally developed software. We have an IT helpdesk (manage engine service desk) that is accessible via web and also can log jobs via a simple email, and whilst a good portion of the company does the right thing, there is still a not insignificant amount of people who walk up / call / email directly and expect help straight away. They're also the people who then get offended if we do tell them to go log the job correctly. It's starting to take a toll on my main helpdesk staff and myself as a result, but also creating a backlog in the helpdesk for those that are doing the right thing.

    Policies? Procedures? Share your tips and help, please!
     
  2. OpenSystem

    OpenSystem (Banned or Deleted)

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    I setup a monitor/thin client above my partition with the help-desk/new ticket home page.

    I politely point to the screen when I have a walk up.

    Its not full proof though.
     
  3. Primüs

    Primüs Member

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    Simple: It is company policy to not look at a job unless it is correctly logged.

    Reason? Every problem needs a paper trail for auditing and quality assurance purposes.

    Have a CxO send out a memo as such.

    If you continue to have walk-ups, once they tell you their problem tell them you will look at it once finished the current jobs you are working on, i.e. the queue. If they want faster service, log a job in that queue.
     
  4. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    Don't help them.

    If it is a rule set by the people who run the business just follow it.

    If someone walks up and asks for help, kindly explain to them that it is a condition of your employment to follow the procedures set forth by the business.

    Sell them on why it's important : "If we don't do it like this it can take a lot longer to fix stuff and it can be hard to know exactly where we are up to in your issue"

    I've put a ticket system in here at work after getting sick and fucking tired of people putting notes or some shit on my desk. Now everyone knows any paper left on my desk goes directly to the shredder without being read :)

    The Kiosk idea is a good one too. I like that a lot actually.
     
  5. NSanity

    NSanity Member

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    Ultimately this is what it comes down to. You cannot reinforce negative behaviour if its causing a problem.

    But then someone from the Board (or equivalent exec team) needs help - and he will get your ass sacked if you don't help him >Now<

    So you do what you can - whiney users can just be put off until they write a ticket. Ensure that you have buy in from your managers and their wing of the exec team, then work within the terms set.
     
  6. C4ndl3s

    C4ndl3s Member

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    At the moment I get the following help requests:

    Walk-ups/drive-bys
    Email to my Inbox
    Lync Messages
    Email to IT Support Mailbox
    Helpdesk Software tickets.

    When I get a walk-up or drive-by I won't do it unless it's either:
    -A: Urgent; or
    -B: Used to curry favour with a department or resource 9Ie you scratch mine, I scratch yours).
    I always let them know if its not urgent that they have to send an email to IT support, otherwise Ill forget.

    Email to my work inbox, is low priority. Everyone knows this but still does it. I have 1257 unread email in my mailbox (plus 1394 in my archive), which I will continue to ignore, (Unless urgent).

    Lync messages - Once again, I ask for a ticket or an email to IT Support. If they persist I will give vague responses that never sorts out their questions.

    Email to IT Support - These I work on constantly, people who email though get the best response and the best service.

    The helpdesk software is only for projects for me. I raise my own tickets, unless it's something for an external client. This are the highest priority (Client tickets only) internal staff that raise tickets are notified to stop wasting my time with helpdesk tickets. I don't need to waste time with ticket admin to help you log into a website.
     
  7. Iceman

    Iceman Member

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    It's a systemic problem for IT support everywhere and there's no single fix.

    You have to change the culture from "I get the best/fastest support by going straight to my guy" to "I get the best/fastest support by following the rules and using an approved method to queue jump when I can justify it".

    How you achieve it is company specific. Most places that experience this in SMB cannot afford to simply piss everyone off by saying 'you get no help without a ticket". Too much politics, too many people who can talk someone higher up into saying "er, if I say 'just do it' then person x leaves me alone".

    One trick that I have seen work in your instance is the tech who gets the call - rather than saying "I'm busy, go away (and log a ticket)" - deliberately walks the user through logging a ticket, slowing gathering all the information, listing everything they've tried but not offering anything beyond basic suggestions (reboot, etc), when they have all the details they say "well I've logged a ticket for it for you, but I have to finish what I was working on when you interrupted me".

    Sometimes they're happy to have "talked" to someone, sometimes they'll still bitch that they weren't attended to immediately but now they're on the back foot as they can't complain that they were ignored, that "IT support "doesn't care" or "didn't listen" or that the helpdesk didn't follow procedure - only that they didn't get what they wanted when they wanted it.

    In short, instant client gratification is the worst thing you can do from YOUR end and telling them to go and log a ticket is almost as bad as ignoring them completely from their end.
     
  8. PabloEscobar

    PabloEscobar Member

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    +1 To this.

    Stick a Terminal in your office, if you get a walk-up, ask them to create a ticket, "so that we can better track issues that people are having and identify longrt term trends" while you finish up what you were doing.
     
  9. closed_gate

    closed_gate Member

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    It's simple. If I get a walk up, I'll ask them to log it and I'll let them know I can't do it right away, but if I can fit it in between other jobs then I will. (Usually it ends up happening in order of tickets).

    If it is someone higher than me then I ask how urgent it is and let them know what I'm in the middle of, sometimes they will say "that's all good, can you come up as soon as you're done" and that is most of the time, if they say they can't wait, then I'll ask them to log a ticket while I walk up (generally try and help them over the phone first because it is usually just a different button needs clicking.)


    IN any case, everything is logged and done in a timely manner,
     
  10. millsy

    millsy Member

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    When I worked on helpdesk, the IT room was restricted access to only IT staff unless you were invited, and only IT and security could access the room.

    It was generally accepted that if the door was open, you could walk up because I wasn't too busy, otherwise log a ticket.

    TL : DR, lock the door ;)

    As someone who now uses a helpdesk instead of works in one, I found from my experience the process to log a job if you had a critical issue was atrocious. We had machines that were single sign on, and if your machine broke it took up to a day to get another one. When you consider people can be charged out quite decently into the 4 figure range in one day it's just not acceptable from a user point of view.

    So I guess the TL : DR of that is, if a user submits a critical job just let them know someone is aware of it, and trying to come up with a solution
     
  11. plasticbastard

    plasticbastard Member

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    I'm in an environment where we have to deal with the "walk/phone ins" because it's the type of environment we have (education).

    During really peak times we've actually shut the door and locked it to give us a chance to have a break (lunch!) as well as actually get on top of real work that is stopping someone else from getting their job done, instead of the annoying users that can't be bothered remembering how to type their password correctly (yeah, I know that technically stops them from logging in, but dammit Jim, remember your f**king password and don't bitch about how much of a pain it is, because I have to remember a lot more than you do, and most of them are at least five times more complicated).

    I can only imagine that some tough love is what is required in the OP's workplace, but only with the support of management in relevant departments, and you get that by providing evidence of how those walk/phone in's take your time and focus away from critical response jobs.

    The other problem as someone else pointed out, is the 'political' aspect. My workplace has its share of people that expect a certain type of service because they know or are "somebody" in the organisation. Then there is one department that got treated like kings & queens by my predecessor, and they're struggling to come to terms with the fact they don't get priority support for their support requests anymore.
     
  12. Rubberband

    Rubberband Member

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  13. newgen

    newgen Member

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    1. By walking up they are disrupting your workflow and not respecting your time.

    2. They are not doing the right thing by others who are following the correct procedure by coming up.

    The most effective way to stop it is to make it clear you won't attend to their issue ASAP if they walk up. Why would they log a ticket if they get service straight away when they pop by? Make them log a ticket via the correct procedure, advise them that once the issue has been logged it will be attended to based on urgency compared to other jobs in the queue.
     
  14. Gumby

    Gumby Member

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    My solution to this is "sure, i'll drop what i'm currently doing and work on that immediately, but you need to notify other said manager that you've bumped them down the list". Only ever happened once :)
     
  15. OP
    OP
    AzonIc

    AzonIc Member

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    Hi All

    I have been following this thread and there are some good points and suggestions here that I will be implementing. I like the walk up helpdesk PC, that is a great idea and is a passive way to redirect them into doing the right thing.

    We're also changing our helpdesk system to one inside our CRM that our customers use, to reduce the numbers of systems our staff have to work with. With that will come new policies and procedures. The advise here will help build those.

    I'm also looking to involve the department managers in this & implement Agile sprint cycles for development work that they'll have input into the planning of. When they have a software bug, if we're out of support hours, they can choose what development they want to put off. That'll only work for some items though.

    As for them respecting IT - that is a massive issue but one that isn't solved. I also don't think we haven't earned it - I have some very committed staff who go out of their way to help people. But that is probably part of the problem.

    I'll update later as we progress.
     
  16. shift

    shift Member

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    You forgot:
    -C: Boobs.
     
  17. mr_death44

    mr_death44 Member

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    This... But there are only 4 women working in my workplace and no... just no, not in a million years! Where's my brain bleach?

    The IT guys at my place will log the ticket infront of any walk-ups, however I believe we're getting a dedicated help-desk person (I've been in Europe for work recently).

    Calls are told basic info and told to lodge a ticket, and ticket submissions are now monitored and brought up in monday morning meetings (sometimes a name and shame for finding things like the power on button) in an effort to get the general staff to ask someone who had the same or similar issues and fix it that way.

    Executives are still being dealt with on a first come first serve basis, however we've changed who IT are reporting to from a management perspective and the executive team have been threatened with a pineapple to the rear into following the rules.
     
  18. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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  19. newgen

    newgen Member

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    These passive aggressive techniques should be avoided, it really does send the wrong message to your user base. Plus what if their computer isn't booting up?

    I always say: log a ticket/send an email to the helpdesk queue, if you can't, or if it's super urgent, call the helpdesk number.
     
  20. ^catalyst

    ^catalyst Member

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    tis more for the lolz where i am, my co-workers are quite taken by it and are requesting all manner of signs now!
     

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