[unisog] Systems support staff on HelpDesk rotation?

Brad Judy judy at Colorado.EDU
Wed Mar 8 21:10:37 GMT 2006

We have optional service center "ride alongs" that some group managers
have strongly encouraged among their staff.  I did one myself some time
ago and it was very enlightening, particularly about the wide range of
calls they receive.  These "ride alongs" are short (2-4 hours IIRC)
sessions of sitting 'shotgun' with one of our call center staff members
listening on a second headset.  In general, the ride-along person does
not participate in providing support, but mainly just listens.  

I can't say if it has made customers happier, but I think it has
improved the understanding of the service center role among the other
staff and has led to some improvements in workflow.  You'd be surprised
how far just that amount of exposure can go, particularly if it is
revisited periodically.  The "ride along" idea avoids the problems of
staff always trying to get up to speed on service center level support
for all services and is pretty easy to try out.  

I definitely encourage you to give it a try.

Brad Judy

Information Technology Services
University of Colorado at Boulder

> -----Original Message-----
> From: unisog-bounces at lists.sans.org 
> [mailto:unisog-bounces at lists.sans.org] On Behalf Of Robin Anderson
> Sent: Wednesday, March 08, 2006 11:44 AM
> To: unisog at lists.sans.org
> Subject: [unisog] Systems support staff on HelpDesk rotation?
> Our management is considering rotating all technical/systems 
> support staff through the HelpDesk on some sort of preset 
> schedule.  The stated goal is to expose the staff to a direct 
> customer service and support environment, making them more 
> sensitive to the customer's needs and the HelpDesk's position 
> as intermediary.  Management's premise is that a lot of other 
> schools do this, and that it will be beneficial to all involved.
> A few queries on the subject:
> 	* Is your site actively doing this? ... considering doing this?
> 		* What experiences have you had	with it?
> 		* Are customers happier?
> 		* Are employees happier? (Management, HelpDesk, techies)
> 		* Have workflow processes been improved?
> 	* What reasons are behind the decision (either way)?
> Feel free to add other commentary as it occurs to you.  Thanks!
> --
> Robin Anderson
> SysAdmin, Security Specialist
> Office of Information Technology, UMBC
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