[unisog] Systems support staff on HelpDesk rotation?

Chris Crowley ccrowley at tulane.edu
Wed Mar 8 22:20:41 GMT 2006

> 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)?

Tulane does not do this.  I am not part of the decision making process
for that.

But, I am happy to share my opinion on the matter.  From a 2nd level
support perspective, I find my time best spent actually solving problems.

Good customer service is demanded by my manager.  This customer service
includes rapid, thorough, complete solutions to issues brought to my
attention.  But, my manager wants me to spend my time addressing issues
for systems I am responsible for. Not helping a user to configure his PC.

I work with the Help Desk to resolve issues.  But, as a System
Administrator, IMNSHO, I shouldn't be talking to users.  If escalation
and workflow mechanisms are working, I should get a task assigned to me
to resolve or trouble shoot an issue.  This task should contain
pertinent, complete information.  It should also be relevant to my area
of expertise.

If there is something that comes to me as incomplete, I talk to the Help
Desk Analyst who assigned me the task.  I explain what else he/she
should have done, asked, or included.  We also try to identify if there
should be an update to the Help Desk documentation. We maintain
communication.  I don't need to speak to the End User to thoroughly
understand the problem.  The Help Desk needs to be able to convey this
information.  Maybe I've already developed the End User Empathy that
this exercise seeks to cultivate.  But I don't think that the intended
result will be achieved through this mechanism.

I'll use a sports metaphor to summarize my stance on the subject.  I
think it best that each person learn to play his/her position to the
best of his/her ability -- before trying to learn to play all the other

Christopher Crowley
Network Administrator
Tulane Technology Services
ccrowley at tulane.edu
phone: (504) 324-2249

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