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General Chat Thread, Am I asking too much? in General; Am I asking too much if I ask staff in the school to fill in a quick form when they ...
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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Am I asking too much?

    Am I asking too much if I ask staff in the school to fill in a quick form when they have a problem with their computer? Asking for details such as the software that is the problem, or which printer? Asking them to tell me what any error messages say?

    I am looking at formalising the fault reporting in the school, as the current system is failing, but some staff who I have asked simply say 'it would be more paperwork making our lives more difficult'.

    What do other schools do?

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    webman's Avatar
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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    Not asking too much at all. If they wan't the problem sorting out, the least they could do is to give you enough information about it to sort it out. Not giving you such details will only prolong the support time More information = quicker fix :P

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    I have an online fault logging system they have access to, not that its over-used or anything.

    But the satff are slowly getting the gist, that if they log a fault i'll do it straight off, but if they catch me in the corridor i'll, uh, "forget"

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    Hello

    We run a simple web based helpdesk system here which all IT related issues go through, be they equipment requests, computer problems, toner cartridge change etc. etc. Staff submit the problem directly to the helpdesk, and it pops up on our screens in the admin module, and also sends out e-mails notifying of call updates etc.

    I know a lot of schools do the same, although I think most that do use more complex systems that the one we use (which is free!)

    A paper based system can work, I used a paper based system in my previous school before I discovered the wonders of PHP and web based applications. What you need though is the backing of your ledership team so you can state that all requests must be on one of these forms, else they won't get actioned. People will soon start using them.

    What system do you use now??

    mike.

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    Jake's Avatar
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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    We use the Liberum helpdesk software as a place where staff can fault report. Its pretty good, and after alot of early unwillingness to use, the staff have now finally begun to understand that the fastest way to get things resolved is to use it to report faults/requests. Having said that, we still have a few members of staff who blatantly refuse to use it (usually saying they dont know how, despite a total of 4 memos having now been mass sent out with step by step instructions). Those staff members either stop us in the corridor, write something on a piece of paper in our pigeonholes, or worst of all simply dont bother to report anything at all.

    Which is mildly annoying when someone says "yeah..<insert hard/software> hasnt worked for weeks and weeks". Sadly my psychic abilities to detect issues without anyone raising that there is an issue in the first place is not as powerful as it once was

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    chrbb's Avatar
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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    I have a fault book in the suite, a noticeboard in the staff room and I'm in the staff room at breaktimes, you think that would suffice for reporting faults - no I get a child coming to me mid lesson to say their classroom computer is still broken and hasn't worked for weeks!

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    I am implementing RT at the moment (just waiting to get email ports unblocked so it can send and grab email), which I will encourage staff to use but there will be a large number of staff who won't use such a system. So I am creating a paper alternative to it.

    The exact fields I ask them to fill in are: name, date/time, urgency (1-5), what the problem is with (email, word, printer etc...), if it is actually affecting them or a pupil and if a pupil, who. which computer it affects and details of the problem/error messages.

    It should take 2 minutes to fill in at most...

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    @localzuk: can I recommend you have a look at BECTA's FITS (Framework for ICT Technical Support) Guidelines?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    Quote Originally Posted by beeswax
    @localzuk: can I recommend you have a look at BECTA's FITS (Framework for ICT Technical Support) Guidelines?
    I have had a brief look but it seems a bit 'theoretical'. I am the only support person in the school and I am simply trying to implement a formalised system so that staff always tell me of problems in the same way rather than the scattered 'post it note on my door', 'mention it to me when I walk past', 'poorly thought out email', 'complaining something has been broke for 4 weeks' system I have inherited.

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    BECTA's FITS is a great way to start - we have used it and improved / modified for out site's needs.

    as to fault reporting - the only way imo is a WEB form where you HAVE to fill
    all boxes before you can send it. Next step - announce IT issues will be resolved ONLY if proper request has been raised. It was a while before teachers get used to it but the effects are great - more organized work, no wasting time. When you get the web form to pass data into some sort of database prioritizing work is much, much easier as well.

    Let's not forget it all depends how big/small is your network.

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    We have also introuduced Liberum recently, and its been more of a success than I thought it would. There are still a large number of staff coming in in person, but not so many phone calls anymore

    The only problem I'm finding is that they submit their problem and wash their hands of it. The problem is they often dont give enough information, and despite us replying to them (which generates an email to them so no excuse not to see) we very rarely get any more information

    I think the reason it has been a semi success here is that we've made it quite clear we prioritise problems submitted though the helpdesk. Stuff thats 'on the board' gets left till there are no urgent helpdesk problems left

    Its just hard convincing people WHY they need to use it though. A lot of peoples perception is that we just sit in our office twiddling our thumbs until they call, and so their broken mouse is top prority. Where in reality having the phone ringing constantly just distracts us from the important behind the scenes stuff

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    We require a form to be filled out for every single request, no exceptions.

    One employee thought he was too good for our form and wrote "computer not work," on a blank piece of paper and did not sign it or anything. We finally brought him a whole stack of blank forms for his future use

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    Re: Am I asking too much?

    I agree with a lot of the points made here - Eg. getting SMT to back you, being persistent, giving priority to your preferred web-based support tool and so on; and all are good ways to get something like this off the ground.

    We went through the process a while ago and it is a struggle at first. When people phoned or stopped us out-and-about, we'd kindly remind them to use the ICT Support form so we "didn't forget". Yes it pissed a few people off because we didn't fix their problem there on the spot; but in the long run this approach has worked wonders. Any new staff, when given introductory IT training are shown how to use it so it's there from day 1.

    We also had backing from SMT, who gently reminded staff every now and again in staff briefings to use the ICT Support feature.

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