In many Helpdesk and business situations, we encounter commonly occurring tasks that are repeated over and over and over… password resets, slow network, paralyzed printers, network connections, bugs, etc.

Quick Request templates are great productivity boosters for increasing speed, reducing error rates, promoting consistency, and insuring that all the information required to act on commonly occurring tasks is provided without requiring back and forth communication between end users and helpdesk staff.

When we initiate a Quick Request, much of required information is pre-filled for us.

For example, if we choose a Bug type request from the drop down:

The request is automatically routed to a quality assurance dispatch queue, its priority is set to critical, and the memo field is populated with preliminary data.

Custom Fields with Sub-tabs

In addition, Custom Fields tab has been added, with a number of sub-tabs, including details (shown), modules affected, code review, QA testing, etc.

Each sub-tab contains its own data, which can be cross referenced to other database fields.

As the request flows through the process, data is gathered, and it may optionally trigger alerts such as service level breaches.

Evolution of Process Maturity

Business (and IT) process maturity reflects the ability to achieve repeatable quality results through standardization and automation.

The underlying principle and motivation for templates, whether for baking cookies or for following business processes is to achieve standardized outcome with as quickly and with as much automation as possible.

Process maturity is commonly defined as having 6 levels (starting at 0):

  1. Undocumented - personal work methods that produce inconsistent results and require much supervision. Outcomes vary between one individual and the next. When individuals leave, processes ‘evolve’ or die out.
  2. Documented procedures – manually documented procedures that tend to quickly be out-of-date and not be followed almost as soon as they are articulated.
  3. Partial implementation – processes are documented, but not always adhered to. Variations lead to inconsistent performance.
  4. Full implementation – processes are well defined and adhered to. Corporate vulnerability to departure of any one individual is minimized.
  5. Automation and Measurement – in addition to being completely defined, processes are automated, ensuring to service level breaches and measured for quality.
  6. Continuous Improvement – goals and targets are analyzed and compared to performance. This level is a management process, and is beyond the scope of software.