IT Employment

General discussion


Getting Users Mandatory IT Support Data

By west ·
I have struggled with supporting a network of 330 PC's for 6 years and I have one Tech to assign to five locations. All IT Equipment is referenced in my database for tracking Inventory, Support and likely warranty and history since I'm also the Purchasing Manager. I have a simple property Tag on each item with a 4-5 digit number that links back to everything on that equipment. Users are required to submit requests with either the property tag number or serial number and a minimum description of the problem at hand. It's driving me crazy that after 6 years I cannot get users to provide me this most basic of info and I end up processing double emails. It has gotten worse over the years. I've developed an on-line web form to collect the info with javascript in the fields that'll prevent submission without it being complete but awaiting linking the form via CGI or ODBC before use. Does anyone have brilliant suggestions on how to get cooperation from users? I have 7 years to retirement and this is going to drive me crazy, I've had 10 requests the last week where I had to repeat email to get the info. HOw does one force users to help themselves and make it so I may focus on far more important things. I simply canot have phone support and lack the personnel and time for it.

My IT Policy requires it yet users seem to ignore it about 90% of the time. Help! I feel like Master Chief in Halo fighting off the Flood with my users (XBOX)! Anyone with brilliant ideas? Allen West; Purchasing Manager/Network&Website Administrator/PC Techncian

This conversation is currently closed to new comments.

Thread display: Collapse - | Expand +

All Comments

Collapse -


by timwalsh In reply to Getting Users Mandatory I ...

Allen, your problem is tthe bain of all tech support people, whether thay are lucky enough to have sufficient staff or not.

Unfortunately, other than ignoring a trouble ticket unless the proper information is provided, there really is no way to "force" users to follow procedures. Ignoring problems could have a negative impact on your lengevity in your present position.

User knowledge is often a large stumbling block. Trying to get marginally technical information out of totally non-technical users is usually like trying to pull teeth from un-anesthetized wildcat.

You might try bringing your conundrum to the attention of managment and try to get their help in solving the problem. The downside to this is that managers are often the worst of the offenders with this problem. All I often get is "My computer won't work, fix it!" And of course, the answer to my question of "Can you give me a little more info?" is "I don't have time for this now, just fiz it!" What can you do when you get a "request" like this from a VP?

Get buy-in from the management level (assuming they approved your process to begin with) and let them apply the whip and hopefully provide you with at least part of the solution (maybe "Don't follow up on any trouble tickets that aren't complete. If any users give you problems, send them to me." -- Lots of Luck)

Collapse -

possible easier idea

by sikki In reply to Getting Users Mandatory I ...

instead of that fancy java applet, how about a special email template(i know outlook will let you do this) that asks for all the info and can't be sent till all the fields are used.
Getting management in on the plan is also a definite, IT has to watch what they do so users don't think we are trying to rule them. They are the ones who are our bosses(in a sense, like we are the bosses of our elected officials).

Collapse -

I have had similar problems. p1

by admin In reply to Getting Users Mandatory I ...

(most here probably have).

Basically, as long as we kept fixing or allowing them to fix or load and then play "catch-up" with the paper trail it stayed broken. Unfortunately, for a while upper management supported the users disregard of policy and thought it was the job of IT to serve the internal customer (users) this way. After I carefully broke down how much money they could save by not allowing users to load or install hard or software without a ticket, I got their buy-in and after enough people submitted in a hurry without their full info only to find they never recieved anything, got no real help, and were locked out of the ability to do it themselves did it finally change. So far this calender year our IT is bearing out a real dollar savings too. We are at about 58% of our budget for online costs and 80% overall in IT up to the end of August. There is a real dollar cost to not having users do their part and management usually supports the dollar, while users tend to only do things when they have to. Make it harder (or better, impossible) to get anything the wrong way and they'll start choosing the right way to everyone's benefit.

It's more basic than brilliant, but if you just sent out a standard form e-mail identical to everyone simply saying they must fill out all the fields and re-submit, (at least until you get your script up and running) . Don't tell them what's missing. Make them do it over and over until they get it right. You could copy it once and pasteit bcc'ing everyone who submitted wrong once a week , or, if possible, get management to get one of your companies support staff to do this for you. If they call to rush it through, tell them that you will be glad to get them what they need as soon as they submit all the required info to you via e-mail (if this is indeed your preference).

Collapse -


by admin In reply to I have had similar proble ...

I have found that policies seem to not matter much internally unless they are enforced in a way that discourages rather than encourages them. It does seem though, that getting your CGI submission form available to them would be the best solution. PERL and CGI aren't real intense on equipment and may take a less time than setting up an e-mail solution I would think. I wonder about the reason you don't go this route? Also, although I tend to develop things myself, I know there is ready made software to acquire and track requests readily available- perhaps another user here could suggest a cost-effective proggy for this purpose? At any rate, if it's anything like my company, what with turnover etc. the only way to get them following a plan is to never deviate from it once it starts. It's kind of Pavlovian, but I swear if they get around a policy 1 in 20 times they all hear about it and start trying again untill they finally see it's a brick wall.

Good Luck!~ It can work- everyone submits all their credit card data properly if they want anything :)

Collapse -

MS SMS is it!

by ghstinshll In reply to Getting Users Mandatory I ...

I'm not sure, but if you have compaq hardware, compaq asset insight manager may have more fo ryou as well!

Related Discussions

Related Forums