Another good video from BMC, about “BMC Remedy ITSM 7.6.03: Quickly creating a Fully Qualified Incident Request”, as they say, or “Using Incident Templates”, a more clear description. I will take profit on those good videos, to comment and expand them.
So, in this post I will show you this video and provide my point of view.
The template concept
Seeing the video I can extract some best practices, or a recommended way of using the Help Desk form. The steps are:
- Selecting the client
- Selecting a template
- Minor changes on the incident.
Quick an effective. Also if you combine it with the decision tree to ease the template selection, the procedure seems very easy to follow.
I agree with BMC, In fact this is the standard way of service desk users I trained. But I see some counter-effects that must be controlled, meaning an extra train to your service desk, so the procedure is not as simple as it seems.
Number of templates
Well, the number of templates used by your support groups is directly related to the level of detail of your categorization. For instance, you can have one template for “Email issue”, or you can have several templates for this family of incidents like “Email inbox full”; “Email not accessible”; “Lot of Spam”; … The categorization detail degree in the second situation is higher than the first’s. The conclusion is that if you want to have a full qualification, that can provide useful information, the number of templates increases exponentially.
Also, you can’t afford a complete definition of all possible cases. That means that there will always be a chance of no useful template.
As the number of templates increases, it’s a good idea to design a decision tree to ease the template selection. Also, decision trees can go beyond template selection, setting values and firing scripts, so your templates can be converted in super-templates.
Always review some fields
The template can set almost all values of your case, but there are still some fields that must be written or at least reviewed:
- Notes: The notes is the description of the problem under the point of view of the user. I recommend to teach the service desk staff to first complete the customer field, then the notes and finally the template. While the user is describing its problem, the service desk can write the description in the notes field. And when he gets a complete image of what’s happening, he can select the correct template. Also the same template can have a lot of flavors, being the notes of great value.
- Urgency: You can have a default urgency value for a template, but you must always consider special considerations for the user and it’s situation. For instance an “Email inbox full” can have medium urgency at your organization. But, maybe the user is VIP or Sensible (or both), or maybe the situation of the user this day is very special and of vital importance for the organization and he is expecting a very important incoming mail, increasing the urgency to the maximum value.
- Impact: Impact, as Urgency must be evaluated for each case. VIP condition can have an Impact increase policy at your organization. Or the user can explain that there are a group of users affected.
To summarize, explain to your Service Desk staff the quick way of using templates, but without forgetting to review the values of those fields.