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How Do You Manage Requests in Your Organization? 490

Posted by Cliff
from the getting-the-work-done-efficiently dept.
StormShadw asks: "How do you manage IT requests in your organization? There seems to be a lack of software solutions specifically designed to track requests. Most that I've been able to find are either problem tracking systems or bug tracking systems, neither of which completely fit the 'request management' model. I work for a large bank and my department supports all of the internet web presence and online banking applications for the company. We receive hundreds of requests a week (my department has 51 people in it), typically through a variety of mediums (phone, email, hallway conversations). It's impossible to manage all these efficiently when there is no centralized system. What's the solution? What do you all use?"

"There is a 'workflow' aspect to many of these requests: we do our thing, then pass it off to the UNIX admins, firewall folks, or DBAs to process another portion of the request. Ideally, I'd like to have a web based system where our customers (internal lines of business) can submit their requests, get status, etc. We would also manage a queue of work through a web interface, assigning requests internally or to other teams we work with. Email notifications could be generated when requests are completed."

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How Do You Manage Requests in Your Organization?

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  • by maroberts (15852) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:38PM (#7147627) Homepage Journal
    ..with optional basketball hopop located just above it for an additional challenge when filing requests.
  • RT! (Score:3, Informative)

    by ericsante (194883) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:38PM (#7147635)
    check out http://www.bestpractical.com/
    • by johnnyb (4816)
      RT does kick butt. I like it's full email integration. I haven't used it since version 1, and loved it.
      • One more vote of confidence.

        The full email integration is awesome. People (both requestors and IT people fielding the requests) who want to use a web interface can do everything through the web; and similarly people (both requestors and IT people fielding the requests) who want to do everything through email can do that as well.

  • bugzilla (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rizzo (21697) <don@nOspaM.seiler.us> on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:38PM (#7147636) Homepage Journal
    I just tell anyone who needs any work done from me to file it in our intranet bugzilla site. Tracks status, assignment, etc.
    • by sjbe (173966) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:40PM (#7147663)
      I just tell anyone who needs any work done from me to file it in our intranet bugzilla site. Tracks status, assignment, etc.

      My computer's down...
    • Re:bugzilla (Score:2, Interesting)

      by rutledjw (447990)
      We're looking at the same.

      Right now, we're stuck in bed with a big fat obnoxious broad named "Clear Quest". It's part of Rational and an absolute POS. It's heavy weight, doesn't integrate well with it's own products (web interface and Clear Case UML). Further, I was told they (our CM team) could get a CQ database for us set up in a day. That was in AUGUST.

      Developer use and support of it is spotty, in general it's hated but has been named as a standard. Our *nix and system support group is a bunch o

      • Re:bugzilla (Score:3, Informative)

        As the current Rational administrator for where I work, I have to disagree with your opinion. Somewhat.

        Rational is big, I'll give you that. However, there is no reason why your CQ team hasn't setup that database for you. I routinely setup up ClearQuest databases and it takes a grand total of about 4 minutes. After the database is setup it takes an additional few minutes to add the user data (login ID and password) but it doesn't take *that* long to do, especially if the users are already in the system
        • $7242

          Is that per user? If so, that's insane. While I haven't used it, it seems that Rational provides some neat features (according to their documentation, FWIW), but there's little there that you couldn't accomplish with a few Visio stencils and some well-thought-out Word templates, combined with adherence to a few standards for implementing and managing projects.

          Don't like MS products? So use some other drawing tool and a word processor that allows template creation/use. My point is that no softw

    • Re:bugzilla (Score:3, Funny)

      by $hecky (445344)
      You do know their computer is broken, right? What are they supposed to do, dial in with a phone and yell "10010101?"

    • Re:bugzilla (Score:2, Insightful)

      by mcguyver (589810)
      We originally used bugzilla to track software bugs. It's now used for a dozen different processes. Everything from IT requests where someone's desktop breaks, emergency hardware failures, business analyst questions, etc. We're an ASP that needs to be up 24x7 - when an emergency issue is created then the right people get pages. I would definetly recommend bugzill for a company that's 50-250 people.
  • Originally we setup a system where users would have to fill out a support request form and drop it in a box for us. This became cumbersome for us because we were constantly having to check and users were having to wait. In the end, I removed the SOP we had in place for requesting support. I would prefer they all submit their requests in the same manner (via email). We do not have a person here that can field calls all day. We also run a pretty cool program called Assett Navigator by Alloy Software (alloy-so
  • What I use (Score:3, Informative)

    by Kujah (630784) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:39PM (#7147643) Homepage
    I use a program called goldmine to manage contacts as well as interactions with them. It stores them in a (db3) database file, and you can add custom filters, etc, to it. I find it quite helpful
  • RT (Score:5, Informative)

    by jdepons (644113) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:39PM (#7147644) Homepage
    We use request tracker. http://www.gnu.org/directory/rtracker.html
    • Re:RT (Score:4, Insightful)

      by SuperBanana (662181) on Monday October 06, 2003 @07:42PM (#7148799)
      We use request tracker. http://www.gnu.org/directory/rtracker.html

      So do I, across three companies now that I've worked for. It's eccentric, to say the least.

      • "Killed" tickets aren't "killed", they're only -marked- killed. Ie- no way to delete tickets. No magic button for the admins to click to delete 'killed' tickets- you've got to delete them by hand in SQL, something management is uneasy about doing on a production system.
      • No way for anonymous users to check on the status of their ticket- you've got to grant them rights, or give guest rights to -everyone- to see -everyone's- tickets(and that leads to why-is-my-request/why-is-their-request crap)
      • Horrible support- on several occasions I've asked in-depth questions and not recieved so much as a peep from anyone; sometimes I've posted 2-3x. The authors are clearly busy consulting- not supporting.
      • Users can bring down the entire system to a halt if you're using MySQL, the default/best supported DB. Because tickets never get removed, and the default search parameters are -all- tickets and -all- queues, a single search can take MINUTES to complete on a SMALL db(20-30,000 tickets).
      • Clunky/confusing interface. Things that should require one click require several. Functions have non-intuitive names. Etc.

      It's not nearly as bad as Big Brother, but it's close, at least in terms of eccentricity. If I had to recommend a system, after almost a half decade of using RT, I'd flat out tell them to try something else first, and leave RT to last to evaluate. Bugzilla certainly does sound interesting, though I have no experience with it.

  • by dagnabit (89294) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:39PM (#7147647) Homepage
    I just let people ask me questions in the hallway on my way to the break room and stuff. Then I use my superior intellect to forget it all anyway.

    If it's really that important, they'll keep bugging me about it until I do something. If it wasn't important, I didn't need to worry about it in the first place.
    • My uncle, who made a shitpile of money, actually had that as an operating philosophy. Messages, mail, and so on often went unread/unaswered into a box on his desk. Periodically he'd chuck the bottom half of the pile.

      Only when he got several requests did he actually do anything about them, since the presumption was these were the actually important ones.

      It makes some sense. I know I've wasted a ton of time trying to be "responsive" to people who wanted something, only to find out they weren't that serio
  • Our own internal app (Score:3, Informative)

    by keesh (202812) * on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:39PM (#7147651) Homepage
    We have our own internal app which people can access via the Web or through Notes. Or, if they prefer, they can call the helldesk who will sumbit the problem for them. All submissions are routed via the helldesk anyway, who then pass them on (usually) to the (usually) correct group.

    Of course, since there's a web interface, we also have several automated scripts that submit problems for us whenever something breaks, reminders of daily / weekly / monthly checks and so on...
  • by TKBui (574476) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:40PM (#7147655)
    Post-it Notes.
  • How do you manage IT requests in your organization?

    Post-It notes left on my monitor... :-(
  • Request Tracker (Score:5, Informative)

    by chennes (263526) * on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:40PM (#7147667) Homepage
    Funny you should ask: I just set up Request Tracker [bestpractical.com] this afternoon. While it probably fits more into the bug-tracking genre than anything else, I use it as a TODO list, a wish list and a bug tracking system. It is very easy to use, and setting it up isn't TOO painful. It is quite powerful (I use a MySQL [mysql.com] backend) and completely cross-platform (its main interface is web-based). It has great e-mail integration, and your customers will be able to check the status of their report as it makes its way through the system. In addition, it's free, with support available for a fee [bestpractical.com].
  • ...at http://dcl.sourceforge.net/ [sourceforge.net]

    A couple of years back I had need of an issue tracking system. Double Choco Latte was one of the systems I used. The source code is well laid out and easy to modify if you have special needs.

    There are a lot of features, not sure if it will cover all of your requirements. It actually had more features than I needed at the time I was using it.

  • RT [bestpractical.com] is a tremendous package. Version 3 is out, but you can see version 2 in action at rt.cpan.org [cpan.org]. All Perl bug tracking, both in modules and the core, goes in here. In fact, submissions for various O'Reilly conferences are in RT, as well. It's very flexible.
  • Every company I have worked for that handles this at all succesffuly has a custom dbg app written that tracks information about each request, who requested it, priority, who is working it, status, worklogs etc.

    The problem is people continue to make requests outside of the system, change scope mid project etc.

    You can solve some of that by saying "Everything is one big step" in the tracking system, and then solving scope change via XP-like processes or something, but you project management types usually don
  • Speaking as a sysadmin who's deployed such a system, I'm pretty unclear as to why support-style ticket tracking doesn't work for you. Sure, some systems aren't well featured, but most should be a perfect fit for request tracking. You get issue assignment, updates, web viewability, email notification, etc.

    The main thing that's different between requests and support problems is that you can ignore a request for nearly forever and have that be the correct response (low priority etc.) but most ticket/request
    • The main thing that's different between requests and support problems is that you can ignore a request for nearly forever and have that be the correct response (low priority etc.) but most ticket/request systems don't hardcode any logic that makes this an issue.

      *BOFH Mode*

      There are no differences between "requests" and "support problems". Feh - "Customers (internal lines of business)" is marketing drivel for lusers - don't fall for it. Lusers having the temerity to "request" (read: Whine at you to do yet
  • We use Cerberus [cerberusweb.com] and it's great. You can get site licenses for as little as $99 and you get access to a CVS repo for both the parser and the web front end. It's slick and easy to use; you can correspond via email or via the cerberus website.
  • Request Tracker (Score:3, Informative)

    by Uhh_Duh (125375) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:41PM (#7147684) Homepage

    After facing the same dilemma you're facing and having a VERY limited (read: no) budget, I stumbled upon Request Tracker [bestpractical.com]. It's got all the features you get in the $20k packages (albeit a little rough around the edges on the GUI, as with most open-source), but it's completely free.

    It's scriptable, it has plugins, it's web-based, it has full email management (submit tickets, reply to tickets, and receive ticket status via email -- even have people login to check the status of all their tickets, close tickets, etc.)

    It ALSO has a full command-line suite of utilities, the system is completely object oriented (read: easily extended) and it's overall one of the best most complete perl / mod_perl projects I've ever seen. Jesse did a great job with this one.

    This thing is gold.

    • RT looks pretty cool. I scanned through the stuff on their site, but didn't see any mention of a few things I'd like to know about. As I'd want to use it primarily for tracking support issues of our customers, the following would be important to me:

      1) How easy/hard is it to make RT an interface to a customer database? Would this be a roll-you-own situation, or has someone hacked out an add-in to handle this?

      2) I see that you can make e-mail automagically trigger a new ticket. Is there a way that all
      • Answers:

        1) RT supports external authorization, basically converting the e-mail on the incoming address to account info. Interfacing it to your customer database is probably roll-your-own. There's a nice user community, though, so post specifics on the mailling list and maybe someone will have already done it.

        2) Yes. It can even cooperate with the e-mails (i.e. you can communicate both ways via e-mail regarding a ticket that was created through the web interface).

        3) Yes.

  • Check out Request Tracker [bestpractical.com]. It's not constrained to problem reports or bugs, it can be used for general requests, and you can customize the hell out of it, it's easily the most versatile tracking system I've seen. Chances are you'll be able to adapt it to your needs.

    As for phone or in-person requests, all you need is the discipline to capture the request in RT, or perhaps a policy that all requests must be entered into the system either via the web interface or by e-mail. Perhaps my only complaint with RT i

  • DCL (Score:3, Informative)

    by YinYang69 (560918) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:42PM (#7147698)
    My answer [sourceforge.net]

    'Nuff said.

    If they ask me via phone, email or IM, I ignore them until they add the task to DCL. Backed by a simple, yet effective agreement between management and staff to which all people can understand that if its not in DCL its not a trackable problem.

    Of course it helps to pitch the idea of what DCL can do for the organization, but past the agreement, let DCL be set in stone.

    • Soooo.... don't get me wrong, but the name of that package always sounded really dumb to me. I mean too cute, and .... dumb.

      I've never checked it out because of that.

      But I'm just a "coffee black, no cream or sugar" kinda guy. Maybe straight espresso. But none of these foo-foo coffee drinks (of which this one has the name of).

      Tell me it's a good project and that the dumb name does not reflect the real seriousness of the package.
  • Wouldn't some type of ticketing system work for this? For example, RT [bestpractical.com]. I help out with a certain free dns service [everydns.net] that started using this.
  • Remedy (Score:5, Informative)

    by Wetkarma (550384) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:43PM (#7147710) Journal
    We used a customized version of Remedy [remedy.com] where the user enters his problem via a web interface. The requests are automagically passed to the right department, and assigned to an individual tech. The tech works on the problem, making notes in the "work log" of the ticket, and finally closes it out. At this point the user receives an email stating (confirming) his problem is solved, and depending on the department they get the option to fill out a survey to ask how their experience was.
    • Re:Remedy (Score:2, Informative)

      by spooky_nerd (646914)
      I'm surprised it took this many posts for someone to mention Remedy. I've used it every day for the last 8 months, and it works quite well. One of the best features is its scalability. The company I work for has over 20 buildings in Washington state alone. It's important to be able to look at all of the tickets on a campus, and then drill down to a single building or person.
    • Re:Remedy (Score:3, Insightful)

      by lushmore (41101)
      My company uses Remedy also. The people who decided to use Remedy paid some consultants to help with the setup, then it has done nothing but rot since then. The new cool features in later versions are untapped, and the changing support structure is not reflected in the schema. Whatever system you go with, make sure someone is committed to keeping it maintained, or that the system is easy to modify. Like most tools, someone has to keep it sharp.
  • take a look at http://otrs.org/index/
    they also provide an online demo.

    looks very nice, very versatile and seems to be what you want/need.
  • Try This (Score:2, Funny)

    by mslinux (570958)
    "Open Door Policy"
  • It's a simple web application. It tracks requested by, date requested, assigned by, department assigned to, staff member assigned to, date assigned, date resolved, resolved by, date verified, verified by, status ("New," "need more info," "complete", etc) subject, "system", and notes. I use the excellent HTMLArea for the "notes" field, so they can paste in formatted text and fragments of web pages. The tool, tracking the above data, enfores a four-step process of
    1. Make request
    2. Assign request (optional)
    3. Res
  • . . . from home-grown solutions all the way up to $100k packages that run on top of pick-your-favorite-SQL DB.

    We use Blue Ocean's Track-IT [blueocean.com]and have for a few years now. It has pretty much every major bell and/or whistle you could want available for it. Blue Ocean was recently purchased by Intuit and they haven't managed to mess up the package yet.

    It also depends on what support model your company uses. We had a HUGE culture shift from stopping-IT-person-in-hall to call/web/e-mail-the-help-desk but it has
  • by Anml4ixoye (264762) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:46PM (#7147744) Homepage
    I work for a large county government. We support around 6000 users. We use a help desk with a product from Perigrine called ServiceCenter for requests. They then get assigned to the appropriate sections within ITS. For example, phone issues go to Telecomm, web site issues to the Web Team, etc.

    Additionally, requests for updates to the website get sent through our communications department to us, or directly to us using a common email address that goes into a folder the web team shares.

    The ServiceCenter works well, but the entire web request method just is horrible.
  • I'm currently using the freeware helpdesk software Liberum and am working on modifying it to track project requests (it's taking me a bit of time because I'm not a developer by trade and am an 'army of one'). It's free, web-based and it works.

    www.liberum.org
  • by El (94934)
    I go to the IT person, I make requests, he ignores them... no problem! At the previous job, the strategy was IT people lock themselves in a room with a sign on the door that says "do not knock under any circumstances." If you wanted anything fixed, you had to have the balls to go knock on the door.
    There's plenty of web-based software for tracking requests, but I've never seen any that was any good, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You may be better off rolling your own to match your own work
  • The official IT support unit can take some weight off their own shoulders by not being so anal about ownership of administration passwords and allowing some of the more tech savy non-IT employees domain admin rights or admin passwords.

    You know the sort of employee I mean - the one who works in Marketing but knows more about XP than most people in IT support.

    That way, they can sort out many of the problems that occur within departments and not have to bother IT support.

    You're probably saying to yourself "
    • I dunno about this... especailly when you want some sort of desktop standardization so that you can insure that your sms delivery of the latest security hole/virus fix goes to everyone properly.

      Although this trusted guy may know a lot about technical issues, he may not be in the loop with the direction that IT in the firm may be going.

      Plus it's not his job... shouldn't he be marketing to somebody somewhere? Not to mention, it might be asked "If Ed can fix it, why do we pay those IT guys?"

      Fixing an issue
    • The proper deliniation is not IT vs world + dog. The proper way to decide who gets an admin password is: if they break something, will they get paged at 4am Saturday or will someone else ? Then there are little administrative details like which VP(s) would get involved and whose budget repairs and downtime come out of.
  • We use a commercial customer service product from RightNow Technologies. (www.rightnow.com [rightnow.com]) People can email in requests or fill out a request using a web based form. For hallway conversations, I just ask the person to send me an incident using the product. That way all requests are documented.

  • Modified Open Source (Score:2, Informative)

    by phpcoder21 (589609)
    My organization has been happy with a heavily modified version of dotProject (..more info available at my website [erichkolb.com]. Not only does it do a great job of keeping track of "support tickets", but you can send via email and they are automatically added to the support database. There are also a couple of modules for project management which work well too.
  • Well Dan usually comes in and says, "Jason, are you having any trouble getting to email?" and I'll say "I don't think so. Let me check." and then I'll have a problem and be like "Yea, let me check it out." and I'll fix it a few minutes later.

    If instead Greg says something like "Hey, we need an ecommerce site for this new project." I'll usually pull up notepad.exe and type "Write ecommerce engine for new project." and just leave it up so I don't forget.
  • by dattaway (3088) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:53PM (#7147817) Homepage Journal
    Here [uni-sb.de] is what the BOFH uses with great success.
  • Sticky Notes! :) (Score:3, Interesting)

    by dbretton (242493) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:55PM (#7147848) Homepage
    Does the job for me.
    Little, yellow, different, better.

  • Our system (Score:3, Informative)

    by merlin_jim (302773) <James.McCracken@ ... lt.com minus bsd> on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:58PM (#7147872)
    Helpstar.

    It includes workflow management. We setup problem types that indicate the functional area that is addressed, and the current team status (for instance, a bug in this sytem will go from Project - Defect to Project - Fixed (indicating fixed but not ready to promote) to Project - QA (indicating ready to be confirmed))

    Of course it doesn't apply just to bugs. Everything from "reset my password", to "install service pack x on server y", to "Change the border of the website to green" goes through it...

    users file requests either by phone (we have a small call center to log incidents and route appropriately) or by e-mail (in which case the call center representative still takes care of routing, but the incident itslef is logged automatically by the system). A new incident can be assigned to a specific person, or a queue that represents a team of people.

    Project Managers, QA Testers, and Programmers can log incidents themselves and route manually, bypassing the call center stage entirely.

    It has lots of nice reports and automatic time tracking by incident, as well.
  • Check out Remedy... (Score:3, Informative)

    by TWagers (657500) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:58PM (#7147877)
    At NCR, for the IT Services helpdesk, we used Remedy (http://www.remedy.com/solutions/servicemgmt/css.h tml), which intergrated phone, web, and voicemail requests, problems, and questions. Takes a bit of setup to use and to create taskable teams, but it's a very comprehensive and powerful program for tracking basically all requests and problems from a help desk perspective.

    It's not really hard to use either, it's a fairly low learning curve, and can tie easily into existing knowledgebases (a Lotus Notes DB, for instance)
  • by ikewillis (586793) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:59PM (#7147879) Homepage
    http://www.google.com/search?q=trouble+ticket+syst em [google.com] returns a number of tools suitable for this purpose, such as this open source application [otrs.org].
  • Use what's there (Score:3, Insightful)

    by polyphemus-blinder (540915) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:59PM (#7147884)
    I think that feature requests are similar enough to problem fixing requests so that you can just make that one of the choices when filling out a helpdesk ticket. Then they'd be easy to sort, and all in one place and searchable and all that good stuff.

    When in doubt, use what you've got.
  • by orthogonal (588627) on Monday October 06, 2003 @05:59PM (#7147886) Journal
    How do you manage IT requests in your organization?

    Allow each requestor to post his request on something like a bulletin board.

    Allow some persons the ability to commend or denigrate a limited number of these posts, making the commended posts more visible and the denigrated posts less visible, by adding to or subtracting from, the post's "priority" points.

    Occassionaly award a small number of (say, five) "priority points" to those posters who gain the most priority points from others, allowing these points to be assigned to yet other persons' requests.

    Designate different types of "priority points" to distinguish types of requests, but make sure there's some ambiguous overlap: you might include points for requests that are, e.g., "Insightful", "Interesting", "Funny" as positive points, and "Overrated", "Troll", and "Flamebait" as negatives.

    Make sure you patrol the request board for goatse.cx posts, and try to limit the number of posts that comapre popular requests to Natalie Portman covered with grits.
  • Requests and problem tickets are really the same thing... issues that prevent or hinder the employee from doing their job, or from doing it as well as it should or could be done.

    Wanting something written/rewritten/upgraded/etc. should go to the same system that you have for broken computers. It might go to different people or groups, but the tool that you use can easily be the same.
  • I just have this little shared todo manager that manages user and group todo lists. Everyone who uses it has it on their desktops, and can assign to, view and edit each other's todo lists, reassign items, etc. No user specific passwords, we just trust each other. Comments can be appended to each item. Due dates can be specified. It can pop up alerts when important items are added by others, since we often have windows obscuring our desktops. And we just remove (hide) items as we finish handling them. It too
  • RT: Request Tracker (Score:2, Informative)

    by tweakr (90832)
    Here's an OSS project that we currently use to support several hundred organization's worth of email-based support requests:
    Request Tracker

    http://www.bestpractical.com/ [bestpractical.com]
    We find it to be quite useful! I definitely recommend checking it out :)

    Cheerios!
  • ...was actually very efficient.

    There were forms in all the labs. Problem? Fill out the form, stick it in the basket outside the lab. Lab techs would collect the sheets on rounds, take 'em back to central, everything would get LOGGED and then problems would be fixed.

    Oh, 3dstudio keeps crashing? You didn't fill out a trouble ticket? SUFFER.

    We used the same process for print outputs, with the difference being that all output was logged in a databse (this wasn't done with tech stuff for the obvious reas
  • If it's *really* important, they'll come to my office with an offering of fresh donuts from Winchell's.

    Then I'll do it. :-)
  • by Mullen (14656)
    I'm at my second company that uses Remedy and it's value is only as useful as the people who use it.

    The first company that used it was a 5000 employee company and Rememdy was pretty good. Most people knew not to screw around with assigning tickets to someone else knowing they would assign it to the correct people. They knew not "ping pong" their tickets. The company had a Remedy management/programmer team that knew what they were doing and actually had one guy that maintained tight control of the groups, t
  • I support 170 some odd users for telephone and IT. We use a form based e-mail system, when something gets done, I just put it in a "Completed" folder, I also print out a hard copy and sign and date it, then put it in a file folder. No need for anything fancy.
  • by kstumpf (218897)
    We're a small company (70 people), so we just have a helpdesk mailbox on our exchange server that we monitor for requests. When a request is done, its moved to a "closed" folder. Pretty weak, but its quick and easy and it's worked.
  • I dont know how suited this would be to you but we track everything in "Tracker". It allows for various levels of security to be assigned so that requests must be entered by certain levels of management. Some things are "owned" by particular groups and others may be assigned at will. It can be as detailed as you like. I barely use it and dont necessarily like it because there are too many hoops for me to jump through just to get a change initiated (I'm an office supervisor and have to get at least one appr
  • "No", and "we're too busy for that" work pretty well in my company.
  • We use an ASP hosted custom ticketing system called T'aira that has the following features (partial list): Multiple input methods: (email, web based, automated) Assignment directly to staff members or departments. Multiple realms (aka departments) Hierarchical tiers withing each department or even across departments (escalation). Tiers can be based on criteria you desire (skillset, dept, management level, etc). One individual can be in different 'tiers' in different departments. Email notificatio
  • Remedy (Score:2, Informative)

    We use Remedy Action Request System [remedy.com] here at Western Carolina University's IT Services. It offers multi-tier user accounts so that our Techs, Consultants, and IT Dept heads have different access levels. It includes the ability to incorporate a profile for every call, email, walk-in, even complete system re-works for faculty and staff. There is an ability to include priority levels and mark a ticket as resolved once it has been passed on to the proper department and solved. It also contains a bulletin board s
  • We hooked up Mantis [sf.net] to e-mail, and it's worked pretty well for us. Yes, it's a bug-tracking system (we also use it as such, and are integrating it with CVS, too), but it as features like issue assignment which make it fairly appropriate for request tracking. It also has some great reporting tools.

    E-mail me if you're interested in any details of our e-mail bridge and such.

  • ...if you don't mind going with an expensive (as in microbrew) solution, it sounds like you're asking for the Kintana Demand Manager product (they were just bought by Mercury Interactive).

    From the website [mercuryinteractive.com]:

    Some of the demand on IT is routine but high volume, such as service requests, software defects, new employee provisioning, and project issues. Other demand is more complex and strategic, such as requests for new applications to support business initiatives. Mercury Demand Management (formerly Kintana D

  • IRM (Score:3, Informative)

    by atrus (73476) <atrus@nosPAM.atrustrivalie.org> on Monday October 06, 2003 @06:33PM (#7148173) Homepage
    There is IRM [atrustrivalie.org]. It integrates an asset database with a trouble ticket system, which in many cases makes lots of sense.
  • by killermal (545771) *
    can't beat em...
  • Siebel (Score:2, Informative)

    by bombadillo (706765)
    A company I used to work for used Siebel for this. It worked very well. Siebel worked better than other ticketing systems I have used such as Vantive and Peregrine.
  • In the Problem Resolution Center (not the People's Republic of China) we used to use Utopia, which used an Oracle database backend. When I left, the PRC was being re-org'd out of existence, and Peregrine was being phased in.

    Hmmph. Who knows what the geniuses there are using by now.

    2 points to anybody who can guess the company and location.

  • At my last job (a smallish art college), I wrote my own in php+mysql. It was pretty basic with the following fields: summary, status, user's priority (number), my priority, detailed request + names and dates, etc. It presented me with a list, ordered by my priority and allowed everybody to easily track their request.

    One warning: don't put anything related to time in the user's priority field as they'll abuse it. All of my web-update requests became priority "1 - Immediate Attention Required".

    This syste
  • by 4of12 (97621)

    Some folks at MyCorp use DOORS [telelogic.com] from Telelogic for this purpose.

    If your workflow is fairly predictable, then perhaps the burden of learning how to use The System would be tolerable. I sat through a short training course for it once; as a programmer I could see how everything was essentially just an object in a big system, exchanging messages as deadlines pass and responsibilities shift from one person to another.

    These kinds of tools can be either a great help or fodder for Dilbert. Again, it depends on how

  • wreq [duke.edu]

    I searched responses and saw no mention of it. We use it. It works well.
  • I think most good change management system should be tweakable to do decent job of request management. I think someone already mentioned Bugzilla.

    The company I work for makes a commercial CM solution that we use internally for IT request management (as well as bug and code feature management), though it was never explicity designed to do so. Some of our customers also use it in this manner.

    The feeling I get is that not a lot of companies actually do any company-wide IT request management, so we tried to

  • I use Yellowfish Software's Revelation HelpDesk.

    I love it, my users love it, the rest of the IT support staff here loves it. It does use IIS and SQL Server, which might be outside the range of visible reality for some of you, but I have no such religious issues with IIS or SQL Server.

    Their website [revelationhelpdesk.com] has more details.
  • Sun ONE App Server Enterprise Pro includes a process management system that is pretty flexible for the sort of routing you are talking about. They bill it is far more useful than it really is, but for workflow ticketing, it's pretty damned cool, if insanely expensive and packaged with the usual quality documentation *cough* and caveats emptor. On the other hand, it has lots of pretty shiny buttons and Visio-style lego development widgets for selling to the megalomaniacal PHB. Make sure you have a working so
  • by hacker (14635) <hacker@gnu-designs.com> on Monday October 06, 2003 @10:38PM (#7149953)
    At SourceFubar [sourcefubar.net] we use Mantis [sf.net] exclusively for bug, issue, feature tracking. After evaluating about 15 other projects and products, commercial and non, we decided on Mantis. It is feature-rich, extensible, written in PHP, hooks to MySQL [mysql.org] and other databases, and the developers are really a great bunch of people to work with. They are very receptive to patches, ideas, fixes, and anything else you can throw at them.

    Mantis is actually getting me some contract work on the side, from Free Software developers on our projects who brought the notion of Mantis to their employers, who are talking to us about doing deployments of Mantis in their enterprise for customers and internal use.

    The second-runner up out of the 15 we tried was a product called "Round-Up", written in Python. The reason it didn't win out over the top was the fact that it was written in Python (no flames, just that Python is more resource-hungry than PHP itself), and that the web-based interface wasn't anywhere near as mature as the Mantis interface.

    Give it a try, you will most-certainly be impressed. I was, and still continue to be, to this day.

  • by AppyPappy (64817) on Tuesday October 07, 2003 @07:57AM (#7151839)
    A small segment of the working white collar world is not comfortable putting things in writing. They don't want documentation of their cluelessness. They will tell you things via voice but you should always a demand an email. If they complain their request has been ignored, remind them of the email requirement. Eventually, they will find someone else to annoy.

    Another segment hates email. Face it, they hate ANY technology. I call these the 12 O Clock crowd because that is what is blinking on their VCR and microwave all the time. These are the people who call Tech Support to change their background once a month when their son sends them a new baby picture. They would never dream of simply doing what they were instructed last time they called. And if you send them written instructions, you are wasting your time. When you mention that an email is required, they will get the Stunned Bunny look and simply decide their request is foolish anyway.

    Also, make sure the requestor signs off on test results. That shakes a WHOLE lot of people. You will eventually be reduced to working on truly important matters rather than time fillers.

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