Tech Questions: Why do you require use of the ADMSupport system for technology support requests?

The answer to this question can be summed up with a handful of numbers:

Support Requests (8/20/12 to 2/11/13):  962
Average Time to Resolution: 21 hours, 59 minutes
Average Work Time per Request: 1 hour, 16 minutes

In 111 school days since the start of the year, that is an average of 8.7 tickets per day, and just over 11 hours per day spent working on tickets by technology department staff (of which 98.3% are assigned to me, with the rest going to Kendra Wolf).

I don’t share this information in order to discourage the submission of support requests; if you have a technology issue, please consider the support system to be your first resource in terms of addressing the issue.  Since we have – essentially – a one-person technology department, the demands of keeping up with this workload are very high, and the ticket system allows me to keep technology support issues organized and to attempt to ensure that reported problems do not get lost in the shuffle, so to speak.  Support issues sent via e-mail or mentioned in passing are likely to be forgotten about, albeit unintentionally.  Furthermore, when tickets are submitted via the support system, I generally document the solution for the problem, especially in cases of a problem that is difficult to solve.  Thus, when a similar problem arises in the future, I have documentation of how I solved the problem the first time to help guide me to a quick solution.

That said, the support system itself is not perfect.  While all tickets must be closed intentionally, I’ll frequently suggest a solution or post a question in response to a ticket, and if I don’t hear back within a couple of days, will assume that my suggested solution solved the problem or that the issue is no longer occurring.  This approach is used instead of waiting for a confirmation of resolution from the user due to the fact that during a two-week trial run of waiting for user confirmation to close a ticket, only 6% of users responded affirmatively or negatively to requests to confirm whether a solution was successful.  If you submit a ticket and it’s been awhile since you’ve heard from me, or you notice that the ticket is marked “closed” even though the problem isn’t yet resolved, you can always reopen the ticket by posting a comment on it via the ADMSupport system.

The purpose of the ADMSupport system for technology support requests is not to impose unneeded bureaucracy, but rather to provide for a very necessary structure for support request management to ensure that tickets are addressed as quickly, consistently, and effectively as possible.

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