Streamlining support, getting the job done

Is it right that, for some jobs, the help desk ticket takes longer to resolve than the job itself?

This week I witnessed IT support as it should be.

Last weekend Britain switched from Greenwich Mean Time to British Summer time, a painful annual event that deprives us of an hour’s sleep during the last weekend in March.

Most Windows-based PCs will, unless other controls have been enabled, change their clocks automatically, unless security restrictions have disabled the option.  I was in the office of a bookshop where the EPOS tills connected to a UNIX server via the office PC, running Windows XP. Apparently the clock changing is always fraught with difficulty, and this year was no exception.

IT services had removed the admin privileges from the local user as they had encountered problems with shop floor "experts" in the past.

The matter was resolved in a pristine fashion; the shop manager rang through to her IT department, told them the problem and which store she was in, and immediately, the support guy took control of the PC remotely, connected to each of the EPOS terminals, corrected the clock settings, and then tested and checked the settings.

We went down to the shop floor, logged out each of the tills in turn to allow the update, and when they were logged back on, the settings were correct. The tech stayed on the line all the time and checked that the update was visible at our end, then ended the call. The whole process took less than three minutes and there was no clumsy logging of job tickets, which-- for simple updates -- is the best way to proceed.

If it is necessary to record the work done by the support team, it is okay to enter small jobs like this into a log.

How often have you had a job where the help desk ticket takes longer to deal with than the problem?