Forms - Day to day
currently we do alot of logging on paper based notepads. However, I want to look creating forms for various things such as loaning equipment, new users and purchase requests.
Do any of you have any forms you can share with me or alternatively share your methods for doing such things.
I'm especially interested in email/PDF forms that can be completed electronically and then submitted.
Thanks in advance for any resources/info given.
I don't have any forms here - all requests instead are simply emailed to the helpdesk.
There generally aren't enough details required to need forms - ie. a new user has the following details - name, year. Or an equipment loand - who, when, how long for.
Although we always request certain info, we never get consistancy. If I were to point people to an interactive form that couldn't be submitted until all fields are completed then that should provide us with more consistant information. I don't know really, I'm just thinking at the mo and though getting other people angles on this will help.
My point was more 'why do you need consistency' than anything. The amount of actual details needed for loaning stuff out, or adding a new user are very small and as such if you're having problems getting consistency then my guess would be that you're asking too much of staff.
Originally Posted by bodminman
Pointing people at any sort of complex form will simply annoy them - I know when I tried to introduce more fields on my web based helpdesk form, its use went down, as staff feel they don't have the time to faff around with such things. So now, the helpdesk has a subject and a body, like email. If pertinent details are missing from a request, I email them and ask for more detail.
I'm not asking to get a chapter of 'War & Peace' out of them but like you say just the real basics. For example, we'll ask for 'Firstname' and they would just add an initial and also they leave things out like whether they're fulltime or part time etc and we end up having to do the chasing. Alot of the issues are down to the heads secretary who is supposed to provide us with such info but despite several chats and demo's, she still fails to provide us with accurate essential info first time everytime. However for this example, if we had an electronic form, she could email this to the new employee, they could fill in their bits and return it, the secretary could then fill in the HR bits then email to us.
For eg a new teacher is joining and they're name is joe bloggs and they will be joining the maths dept on a part time basis. The info we'd like get is: Name j bloggs / Maths / Fulltime.
Adobe LiveCycle ES2 is the tool we use has a 30 free trial so you can play
With forms, you've got a few options. You could use Adobe Acrobat - PDF forms can be set up to be electronically filled in, or if you've got access to a sharepoint site, you could use that. Another option would be to use Joomla with something like this module - Joomla Forms, the best Form Generator and processor for Joomla 1.5.x.
However, the details you are asking for should all be stored within your MIS system, so missing info should be easily retrievable from there. Do you have access to this?
My fear is that if you introduce an electronic system, you will receive complaints from those having to use it as they will feel that it takes too much time. Without SMT supporting you 100%, people will instead turn to post it notes and mentioning it in the corridor, making it worse than it was before.
If you have MS Office have a look at Infopath, in later versions 2007 etc they can be made easily to gather information and do all sorts with it like send it on to another person, add it to a database or even enter it into a form higher up the chain.
Office 2003 does have infopath but the later versions are much easier to make standalone and web based. They really come into their own if you have sharepoint because it opens up all sorts of options with regard to how you manage the data that you collect and automating as much of it as possible.
Infopath is indeed your friend ... especially if you tie it in with Sharepoint 2010.
+1 everything to the helpdesk, having a unique ref# for everything makes things so much more effective.