Tracking Problems and Requests for Service with the New Enterprise Software, "Footprints"
By Dorothea Socea, Footprints Project Manager
Over the years there has been a number of “Help Desk” incident tracking systems used at the state. My memory is a bit fuzzy on the names of all of them but I believe the first online system was one that ran under CICS nicknamed “problem/change”. From “Problem Change” to ________?? (now there’s a trivia question for some of you that have been around a while) to Peregrine, and now Footprints. If I missed any others in between let’s put that down to my eight year’s absence from the central IT organization and not actually having used those systems.
So, when people have a problem, they call a Help Desk and the help desk staffer records the details of the caller’s problem and determines the appropriate action. This includes creating a ticket to document the issue, assisting the caller if possible, and closing the ticket or assigning it to the proper group who can resolve the issue.
Sounds pretty straightforward, so why the need to make a change and why change to Footprints? Well, besides the fact that it truly is a web-based product (accessible to any authorized client from their browser) is the ease of configuring “projects” to track anything customers may need to track. Agents, or users who can create, update and close out tickets, can belong to more than one project as well as to more than one category of service within a project.
Since FootPrints went live at the Office of Information Technology in August 2005, we have worked with many agencies to help them transition from some other product, and in some cases no product, to either their own project in Footprints, or the general purpose project know as “Customer Support”. The Customer Support project is by far the largest one and it includes 43 unique problem types and over 80 assignment groups. Raw statistics show over 17,000 tickets have been closed to date (May 18, 2006).
In addition to the Customer Support project, there are six other projects presently in use with three others in test mode awaiting approval, or eventual incorporation of their functionality, into Customer Support.
Dale Blake has offered many training sessions and recently established a semi permanent location at the Department of Transportation (DOT) to hold new user orientation sessions as more agents are added to the system. We anticipate an eventual demand for training on creating reports since Dale has received many requests.
In the meantime, we hope to keep people informed on what is going on with Footprints through the new Intranet web site found at: http://inet.state.me.us/oit/resources/footprints/index.html . Items of general interest such as instructions, request forms, meeting notes, and standards have been posted on the page.
Feel free to check it out and drop us a note if you have any questions or suggestions.