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How Do You Manage Requests in Your Organization?

Cliff posted about 11 years ago | from the getting-the-work-done-efficiently dept.

Software 490

StormShadw asks: "How do you manage IT requests in your organization? There seems to be a lack of software solutions specifically designed to track requests. Most that I've been able to find are either problem tracking systems or bug tracking systems, neither of which completely fit the 'request management' model. I work for a large bank and my department supports all of the internet web presence and online banking applications for the company. We receive hundreds of requests a week (my department has 51 people in it), typically through a variety of mediums (phone, email, hallway conversations). It's impossible to manage all these efficiently when there is no centralized system. What's the solution? What do you all use?"

"There is a 'workflow' aspect to many of these requests: we do our thing, then pass it off to the UNIX admins, firewall folks, or DBAs to process another portion of the request. Ideally, I'd like to have a web based system where our customers (internal lines of business) can submit their requests, get status, etc. We would also manage a queue of work through a web interface, assigning requests internally or to other teams we work with. Email notifications could be generated when requests are completed."

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It's a fine post... (-1)

CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) | about 11 years ago | (#7147612)

...but sure tis no first post, english.

Furst failyoor (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147632)

you got first post, but predicted to fail it and, in the process,


Mama's Family Troll (526669) | about 11 years ago | (#7147793)

a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ] a fine post... It's a fine post... (Score:-1) by CmdrTaco (troll) (578383) on Monday October 06, @05:36PM (#7147612) ...but sure tis no first post, english. [ Reply to This ]

zig (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147615)

zag zanihgigivj

Easy answer (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147617)

I use the word "No." Plain and simple, and works wonders. Oh, and my organization is just 1 person, so this may not work for larger groups.

I TELL THEM, NO!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147622)

That's all.

Round filing cabinet (4, Funny)

maroberts (15852) | about 11 years ago | (#7147627)

..with optional basketball hopop located just above it for an additional challenge when filing requests.

I'll bring my shoes (-1, Offtopic)

mao che minh (611166) | about 11 years ago | (#7147628)

So I have them

Re:I'll bring my shoes (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147700)

Sol Rosenberg, is that you?

Simple and Effective (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147630)

Post It notes

RT! (3, Informative)

ericsante (194883) | about 11 years ago | (#7147635)

check out

Re:RT! (1)

johnnyb (4816) | about 11 years ago | (#7147670)

RT does kick butt. I like it's full email integration. I haven't used it since version 1, and loved it.

RTFM??? (1)

RevDobbs (313888) | about 11 years ago | (#7147699)

RT: FAQ Manager? Surely, this most be some kinda geek spoof...

bugzilla (4, Interesting)

rizzo (21697) | about 11 years ago | (#7147636)

I just tell anyone who needs any work done from me to file it in our intranet bugzilla site. Tracks status, assignment, etc.

Process this (4, Funny)

sjbe (173966) | about 11 years ago | (#7147663)

I just tell anyone who needs any work done from me to file it in our intranet bugzilla site. Tracks status, assignment, etc.

My computer's down...

Re:Process this (5, Funny) (450073) | about 11 years ago | (#7147703)

I just tell anyone who needs any work done from me to file it in our intranet bugzilla site. Tracks status, assignment, etc.

> My computer's down...

Send me an email.

Re:Process this (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147704)


It took me a couple seconds to get that. Mod parent up!

Re:bugzilla (1, Interesting)

rutledjw (447990) | about 11 years ago | (#7147759)

We're looking at the same.

Right now, we're stuck in bed with a big fat obnoxious broad named "Clear Quest". It's part of Rational and an absolute POS. It's heavy weight, doesn't integrate well with it's own products (web interface and Clear Case UML). Further, I was told they (our CM team) could get a CQ database for us set up in a day. That was in AUGUST.

Developer use and support of it is spotty, in general it's hated but has been named as a standard. Our *nix and system support group is a bunch of *nix and OSS snobs anyway, so bugzilla seems a no-brainer. Almost the entire team has implemented Bugzilla elsewhere (in previous lives) already.

I'm thinking we'll do that and I'll beg forgiveness later (if anyone really cares). But I would recommend against ClearQuest

Applix and Track (1)

SpudGunMan (456448) | about 11 years ago | (#7147638)

I use a product called Applix back end of SQL - it's ok but it sucks ... switching to a broduct called Track in the near future

Re:Applix and Track (2, Funny)

UrgleHoth (50415) | about 11 years ago | (#7147682)

How is it ok and sucks?

Re:Applix and Track (1)

grendel_x86 (659437) | about 11 years ago | (#7147728)

trackit is an horrible product!!! I used it at my last job, and it seemed to make more work for us. We ended up going back to paper and white board. The db is very poorly designed, and the modules to enter it automatically into trackIt is horrible, and rerely if ever works.

Our solution - Broken but it works.... Kinda (2, Informative)

johndoesovich (691840) | about 11 years ago | (#7147639)

Originally we setup a system where users would have to fill out a support request form and drop it in a box for us. This became cumbersome for us because we were constantly having to check and users were having to wait. In the end, I removed the SOP we had in place for requesting support. I would prefer they all submit their requests in the same manner (via email). We do not have a person here that can field calls all day. We also run a pretty cool program called Assett Navigator by Alloy Software ( It is one of the few reasonably priced solutions that will manage the entire enterprise. It was pretty painless to roll out and their inventory module is pretty cool. They also have a web interface for the roaming IT person where he can check his to-do list. Being that it runs on Access or SQL, you could write a few scripts that would give the users the ability to submit their own support calls. The manager or someone else could easily route calls between techs. Additionally, techs can escalate calls to other techs if needed.

My ideal solution is an automated one. The last thing I want to do is answer calls all day from my users.

Outsource their ass to India (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147640)

We had a bunch of clueless IT people running around, didn't know squat about Unix/Linux, always recommended we upgrade all the boxes (300+ total at single location) to Windows XP Pro and buy Microsoft Networking servers, like ISA and stuff. Two were even MCSEs, but didn't know how to install the right CD-RW drivers on someone's PC.

Fired 3 out of 5 about two months ago and outsourced their asses. Haven't been happier since.

What I use (3, Informative)

Kujah (630784) | about 11 years ago | (#7147643)

I use a program called goldmine to manage contacts as well as interactions with them. It stores them in a (db3) database file, and you can add custom filters, etc, to it. I find it quite helpful

RT (5, Informative)

jdepons (644113) | about 11 years ago | (#7147644)

We use request tracker.

Re:RT (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147805)

Be warned, RT requires mod_perl.

But, it does seem to be the best solution for this sort of thing, and we use it all over.

Hallway conversations (5, Funny)

dagnabit (89294) | about 11 years ago | (#7147647)

I just let people ask me questions in the hallway on my way to the break room and stuff. Then I use my superior intellect to forget it all anyway.

If it's really that important, they'll keep bugging me about it until I do something. If it wasn't important, I didn't need to worry about it in the first place.

Re:Hallway conversations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147751)

It's funny because it's true...


Bug tracking software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147648)

We use bug tracking software for all kinds of things other than tracking bugs.

Our own internal app (2, Informative)

keesh (202812) | about 11 years ago | (#7147651)

We have our own internal app which people can access via the Web or through Notes. Or, if they prefer, they can call the helldesk who will sumbit the problem for them. All submissions are routed via the helldesk anyway, who then pass them on (usually) to the (usually) correct group.

Of course, since there's a web interface, we also have several automated scripts that submit problems for us whenever something breaks, reminders of daily / weekly / monthly checks and so on...

Don't use... (4, Funny)

TKBui (574476) | about 11 years ago | (#7147655)

Post-it Notes.

Re:Don't use... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147791)

Mod this post redundant d= 7147630

e-mail (1, Funny)

sosume (680416) | about 11 years ago | (#7147657)

from: employee #680416
to: it-supplies
subject: 19" flatpanel

Hey guys, can you fix me up with one of them new 19" panels when the new pc shipments come in?


Re:e-mail (4, Funny)

WTFmonkey (652603) | about 11 years ago | (#7147730)

from: it-supplies to: Employee #680416 subject: re: 19" flatpanel

Well, we hear from from management that you won't be needing that computer for too much longer anyways, so the monitor's definitely out.

It's been nice working with you!

--Your company's computer guy

The Tried and True Way (1) (450073) | about 11 years ago | (#7147661)

How do you manage IT requests in your organization?

Post-It notes left on my monitor... :-(

Re:The Tried and True Way (1)

Jellybob (597204) | about 11 years ago | (#7147808)

Post-It notes left on my monitor... :-(

Hey... when did we hire a new person for IT?

Guess the memo must have un-stickied itself and fallen underneath my keyboard.

I'll WHORE myself since others are afraid....... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147664)

Easy: squeaky wheel gets the grease.

Or, to say it another way, the meaner the person making the request, the more I'm likely to get them satisfied and out of my way as quick as I possibly can. Nice people and doormats get pushed to the end of the stack.

I know, I know: Law of the jungle. But if you're half-way honest you'll admit that's the way you work, too. ;-)

Re:I'll WHORE myself since others are afraid...... (0, Troll)

WTFmonkey (652603) | about 11 years ago | (#7147782)

Nope-- the closer you are to being the next CEO the quicker your stuff gets done. Assholes in low places get smokescreens and handwaving. Assholes in high places get "Yessirs" and fast results. Nice people in either position get served based on 1) how nice her rack is, or 2) do they buy rounds at the bar on weekends.

At least, that's how it looks from the outside.

Help Request system (1)

zetes (110457) | about 11 years ago | (#7147666)

My organization, a 15-person support unit for 1500 faculty and staff at a university, developed its own Help Request system. It is on a MS SQL backend with CF front. It is pretty nice, and we are finally starting to utilize it for knowledge management instead of just a functional request system.

We require all users (and outside departments) to use the web form to ask questions or request aid. No phone numbers or private emails are given. And if something gets through, we either send them to the web forms or submit a request ourselves.

But this was a custom system. I designed a similar system for my servers - a problem ticket system - in PHP and MySQL. It is fairly easy to build your own inhouse custom Help Request system. Just takes some time and design considerations.


Re:Help Request system (2, Funny)

Tin Foil Hat (705308) | about 11 years ago | (#7147818)

I have done this also for a very large organization (as part of a team). We found that the biggest problem was getting people to use it. More often than not, requests continued to come in the old-fashioned way: the customer would send an email to the CEO, who would instruct the CTO, who would instruct the project lead, who would then pass it down to us programmers, who would then fill out the change request forms we designed for the customer at the customer's request.

Request Tracker (5, Informative)

chennes (263526) | about 11 years ago | (#7147667)

Funny you should ask: I just set up Request Tracker [] this afternoon. While it probably fits more into the bug-tracking genre than anything else, I use it as a TODO list, a wish list and a bug tracking system. It is very easy to use, and setting it up isn't TOO painful. It is quite powerful (I use a MySQL [] backend) and completely cross-platform (its main interface is web-based). It has great e-mail integration, and your customers will be able to check the status of their report as it makes its way through the system. In addition, it's free, with support available for a fee [] .

Give Double Choco Latte a look.... (2, Interesting)

bigtoy (170668) | about 11 years ago | (#7147668) []

A couple of years back I had need of an issue tracking system. Double Choco Latte was one of the systems I used. The source code is well laid out and easy to modify if you have special needs.

There are a lot of features, not sure if it will cover all of your requirements. It actually had more features than I needed at the time I was using it.

RT is God (1) (114827) | about 11 years ago | (#7147669)

RT [] is a tremendous package. Version 3 is out, but you can see version 2 in action at [] . All Perl bug tracking, both in modules and the core, goes in here. In fact, submissions for various O'Reilly conferences are in RT, as well. It's very flexible.

Track-It (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147671)

We used a program called Track-It ( It was accessible by any of us from any of the Windows XP machines attached to the network, and served as both the inventory system (for the audio-visual room) as well as a checkout counter (for the library), computer auditing system (occasional updates allow us to log any changes in hardware or software installed on a machine), call logging system (for technical issues reported by phone or e-mail) and even as a knowledge base for issues with common solutions. It was practically invaluable for the entire summer I used it :>

Custom solutions (1)

Gaijin42 (317411) | about 11 years ago | (#7147672)

Every company I have worked for that handles this at all succesffuly has a custom dbg app written that tracks information about each request, who requested it, priority, who is working it, status, worklogs etc.

The problem is people continue to make requests outside of the system, change scope mid project etc.

You can solve some of that by saying "Everything is one big step" in the tracking system, and then solving scope change via XP-like processes or something, but you project management types usually don't like that answer

Also, in larger shops you have to worry about resource management alot, and delays to the current project affecting the time lines of other projects, thats the kind of thing you really need people to handle, but the database can keep track of whatever decision was made.

I tell them to hug a root (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147673)

you see, hugging a root cleanes the souls of your feet making it possible to predict the past with 42% accuracy dertermined by the quality of the history book being used at the time

there's a reason good solutions are hard to find.. (1)

dAzED1 (33635) | about 11 years ago | (#7147674)

most companies develop this stuff in-house. All you need is a little mysql and php, and boom. Otherwise, there are several "solutions" you'll find and/or be told about...they are all very expensive relative to how quickly one can be put together.

Why not like problem tracking? (1)

k8to (9046) | about 11 years ago | (#7147675)

Speaking as a sysadmin who's deployed such a system, I'm pretty unclear as to why support-style ticket tracking doesn't work for you. Sure, some systems aren't well featured, but most should be a perfect fit for request tracking. You get issue assignment, updates, web viewability, email notification, etc.

The main thing that's different between requests and support problems is that you can ignore a request for nearly forever and have that be the correct response (low priority etc.) but most ticket/request systems don't hardcode any logic that makes this an issue.

My personal favourite is roundup.

Cerberus! (1)

ZaMoose (24734) | about 11 years ago | (#7147676)

We use Cerberus [] and it's great. You can get site licenses for as little as $99 and you get access to a CVS repo for both the parser and the web front end. It's slick and easy to use; you can correspond via email or via the cerberus website.

more information needed (1)

dnotj (633262) | about 11 years ago | (#7147678)

Are you looking for OSS or commercial. The commercial spaces certainly offers many choices (CA has a product and Lotus Notes can do this).
I've never looking in the OSS space for these products. I'm sure you will get some good recommendations here.

I find RT helpful (1)

dotKAMbot (444069) | about 11 years ago | (#7147681)

RT is a web system that recieves request via e-mail. I use it to manage requests from people in my office as well for my small webhosting company.

check it out

I know server beach uses it for their support system, and I believe that Rackspace does as well. pi c_id=31%2C30%2C130%2C846%2C822


Request Tracker (2, Informative)

Uhh_Duh (125375) | about 11 years ago | (#7147684)

After facing the same dilemma you're facing and having a VERY limited (read: no) budget, I stumbled upon Request Tracker [] . It's got all the features you get in the $20k packages (albeit a little rough around the edges on the GUI, as with most open-source), but it's completely free.

It's scriptable, it has plugins, it's web-based, it has full email management (submit tickets, reply to tickets, and receive ticket status via email -- even have people login to check the status of all their tickets, close tickets, etc.)

It ALSO has a full command-line suite of utilities, the system is completely object oriented (read: easily extended) and it's overall one of the best most complete perl / mod_perl projects I've ever seen. Jesse did a great job with this one.

This thing is gold.

Intranet submittal form. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147685)

We have an ASP form that takes pertintent info and logs it in a simple .mdb file. It also e-mails us when new requests are made. We even have one set up for the blokes in facilities so when a light bulb goes out they get to yell at people to put a help request in on the intranet.

RT works great (0, Redundant)

jarboy (653135) | about 11 years ago | (#7147686)

Its a huge package with many many features that we will never use here, but it makes a great feature request tool -- in the form of trouble tickets. It works both with the web interface and via email.

Request Tracker (1)

Roadmaster (96317) | about 11 years ago | (#7147692)

Check out Request Tracker [] . It's not constrained to problem reports or bugs, it can be used for general requests, and you can customize the hell out of it, it's easily the most versatile tracking system I've seen. Chances are you'll be able to adapt it to your needs.

As for phone or in-person requests, all you need is the discipline to capture the request in RT, or perhaps a policy that all requests must be entered into the system either via the web interface or by e-mail. Perhaps my only complaint with RT is that it's somewhat cumbersome to set up, but the instructions will take you step by step, just be sure to follow them closely.

"Wish list" (-1)

YourMissionForToday (556292) | about 11 years ago | (#7147695)

Why not set up a web form using PHP? You can have everyone email you their requests that way, and then maybe use a PHP/MySQL application from Sourceforge to track that status of all requests. That would be fun!

DCL (3, Informative)

YinYang69 (560918) | about 11 years ago | (#7147698)

My answer []

'Nuff said.

If they ask me via phone, email or IM, I ignore them until they add the task to DCL. Backed by a simple, yet effective agreement between management and staff to which all people can understand that if its not in DCL its not a trackable problem.

Of course it helps to pitch the idea of what DCL can do for the organization, but past the agreement, let DCL be set in stone.

ticket system? (1)

Wakkow (52585) | about 11 years ago | (#7147701)

Wouldn't some type of ticketing system work for this? For example, RT [] . I help out with a certain free dns service [] that started using this.

Modified Bug Tracking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147705)

Why NOT a bug tracking system?

Find one that lets you create your own problem "classes" and let one of those classes be "job request".

Then you just need a way to keep the PHB's from thinking that every open request is an unresolved bug.....

All Requests Here Go To The Top: +1, Patriotic (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147707)

Go to the President-Vice Cheney []

Thank you and have an Ashcroft-free day,


Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147708)

because master of sco/lunix he is.

Remedy (5, Informative)

Wetkarma (550384) | about 11 years ago | (#7147710)

We used a customized version of Remedy [] where the user enters his problem via a web interface. The requests are automagically passed to the right department, and assigned to an individual tech. The tech works on the problem, making notes in the "work log" of the ticket, and finally closes it out. At this point the user receives an email stating (confirming) his problem is solved, and depending on the department they get the option to fill out a survey to ask how their experience was.

OTRS is maybe what you want (2, Informative)

malasa (677028) | about 11 years ago | (#7147712)

take a look at
they also provide an online demo.

looks very nice, very versatile and seems to be what you want/need.

GForge is good for both bugs and requests (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147717)

Emacs (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147721)

Doesn't emacs have something for this?

MS Exchange / Outlook forms (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147722)

We use these. Someone wrote some VB inside of the forms so they can track states. Lots of drop down list boxes etc.
The next move would be for the guys in IT support to be a little more co-operative. Our support team have never heard of the phrase customer service.

GForge (1)

sardonic2 (576701) | about 11 years ago | (#7147723)

Our company uses GForge [] and create projects based on support (internal, customer and such) and then assign and track through gforge. It also handles internal projects (coding/documents) also, its handy.

Try This (2, Funny)

mslinux (570958) | about 11 years ago | (#7147724)

"Open Door Policy"

ISO-9001 (1)

Rex Code (712912) | about 11 years ago | (#7147731)

Although it can be draconian, these are problems that ISO-9001 quality assurance seeks to address. In the process of gettting certified for ISO-9001 your organization will have to create ways for request/complaint systems to evolve and correct themselves if they aren't working. It's a big stick, but something to consider.

Track-IT (1)

arctuniol (592174) | about 11 years ago | (#7147732)

I am actually looking for similar software. I had previously used track-it but found the software too much of a pain.

Solution for Tracking Issues (1)

Merlinium (678576) | about 11 years ago | (#7147735)

We use a Program called BridgeTrak, it keeps them all under wraps pretty well. looks like they have a new program called Helpdesk (though I haven't looked into that yet)

I wrote one (1)

1010011010 (53039) | about 11 years ago | (#7147741)

It's a simple web application. It tracks requested by, date requested, assigned by, department assigned to, staff member assigned to, date assigned, date resolved, resolved by, date verified, verified by, status ("New," "need more info," "complete", etc) subject, "system", and notes. I use the excellent HTMLArea for the "notes" field, so they can paste in formatted text and fragments of web pages. The tool, tracking the above data, enfores a four-step process of
  1. Make request
  2. Assign request (optional)
  3. Resolve request
  4. Verify resolution
Items assigned to you or your department, items requested by you, and items assigned by you (where "you" is a particular employee) show up on the intranet home page.

There are a TON of problem tracking databases . . (2, Informative)

dgrgich (179442) | about 11 years ago | (#7147742)

. . . from home-grown solutions all the way up to $100k packages that run on top of pick-your-favorite-SQL DB.

We use Blue Ocean's Track-IT [] and have for a few years now. It has pretty much every major bell and/or whistle you could want available for it. Blue Ocean was recently purchased by Intuit and they haven't managed to mess up the package yet.

It also depends on what support model your company uses. We had a HUGE culture shift from stopping-IT-person-in-hall to call/web/e-mail-the-help-desk but it has been very successful. Of course, the bean counters in my management area outsourced the people answering the phones to Singapore and they don't speak very good English - but that's another story.

Check out Track-IT. We love it.

Help Desk / Centralized Mailbox (2, Informative)

Anml4ixoye (264762) | about 11 years ago | (#7147744)

I work for a large county government. We support around 6000 users. We use a help desk with a product from Perigrine called ServiceCenter for requests. They then get assigned to the appropriate sections within ITS. For example, phone issues go to Telecomm, web site issues to the Web Team, etc.

Additionally, requests for updates to the website get sent through our communications department to us, or directly to us using a common email address that goes into a folder the web team shares.

The ServiceCenter works well, but the entire web request method just is horrible.

Modifying existing helpdesk application (2, Informative)

JesterOne (214933) | about 11 years ago | (#7147747)

I'm currently using the freeware helpdesk software Liberum and am working on modifying it to track project requests (it's taking me a bit of time because I'm not a developer by trade and am an 'army of one'). It's free, web-based and it works.

Bugzilla (1)

boto (145530) | about 11 years ago | (#7147750)

Here at our company, we use bugzilla. Not only to track software bugs, but also track requests and assign tasks to people or teams.

The only bugzilla feature I miss (maybe someone already implemented it, I don't know) is the ability to add comments to tickets by just sending mail to an address that looks like

HelpSTAR (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147752)

Simple (1)

El (94934) | about 11 years ago | (#7147753)

I go to the IT person, I make requests, he ignores them... no problem! At the previous job, the strategy was IT people lock themselves in a room with a sign on the door that says "do not knock under any circumstances." If you wanted anything fixed, you had to have the balls to go knock on the door.
There's plenty of web-based software for tracking requests, but I've never seen any that was any good, because there is no one-size-fits-all solution. You may be better off rolling your own to match your own work processes.

Issuetrak (1)

amplt1337 (707922) | about 11 years ago | (#7147756)

IssueTrak [] , I should say. That's what my company uses anyway.

Not too sure why I'm plugging them, it's just what my company uses... But the software seems to work pretty well, is quite featureful, and offers pretty much everything you asked about, so if the existing recommendations don't do it for you (and you don't feel like rolling your own), ask them for a sales call. All with a web interface (yeah there's a surprise.)

Trusted "non-IT" staff (1)

Boss, Pointy Haired (537010) | about 11 years ago | (#7147762)

The official IT support unit can take some weight off their own shoulders by not being so anal about ownership of administration passwords and allowing some of the more tech savy non-IT employees domain admin rights or admin passwords.

You know the sort of employee I mean - the one who works in Marketing but knows more about XP than most people in IT support.

That way, they can sort out many of the problems that occur within departments and not have to bother IT support.

You're probably saying to yourself "you can't let non-IT staff have admin passwords - you never know what might happen." Like I said, stop being so anal about it.

Remedy (1)

ToadSprocket (628571) | about 11 years ago | (#7147765)

I work for a very large company and we use Remedy. (Probably average somewhere in the neighborhood of 10k+ support calls a week spread over all of the various organizations in house) It is oookaayy, not great. I think a lot of the distaste for it here is the lack of customization. (Yes, they deployed it pretty much out of the box)

I have heard real good things from a couple of people using it at different companies. This takes quite a bit of customization as I understand it. Be prepared to pay $$ for a couple developers to suit it to your needs.

Bottom Line: Take the time to research and find something that fits your requirements. We had a roll your own ticket tracking/workflow system that was fantastic. The geniuses that call themselves managers got rid of it for something that cost a lot more and in the end, didn't do everything that we wanted it to. This makes tracking your work a big hassle. (They weren't willing to pay for the customization IOW)

RT (1)

DJDaveET (129429) | about 11 years ago | (#7147767)

We use RT, Request Tracker, from Best Practical. (Software here [] .)

It's web based, takes requests in via email, allows different people to get assigned to issues, and allows issues to be assigned to different groups (queues) and different people.

The trick to things is to remove the concept of bug or problem from your approach -- everything is an issue to address (thus a request, by RT's model), and you can build the flow you need to manage your requests.


Big Web Desk (1)

mistert2 (672789) | about 11 years ago | (#7147769)

Big Web Desk []

I liked having the guy down the hall just fix stuff. But, budget cuts have hit, now we use Big web desk.

It kinda sucks from a user perspective. I guess you can have people call besides using the web interface, but you pay to have someone answer the phone.

We use it for our facilities management, too. I have not had much luck getting facilities to fix problems using it. It has helped the IT dept, because they have a faster turn around time, the users get to see the dates(opening, closing, and re-opening), messages(between IT gurus, users, and admins), and if it is closed prematurely.

It is really great when their web site goes down. I can never figure out who to call.

our workflow (1)

ecklesweb (713901) | about 11 years ago | (#7147771)

We have requests for software development come in via two avenues.

First, new projects are requested via a Notes database. It is the responsibility of a business liason group to prioritize the requests submitted to that database, and then we (development) just work on the requests in order of priority.

Second, enhancements to existing systems can come in a couple of ways. If a call to the help desk turns out to be something that requires a software change, the ticket (we use Peregrine Service Center) gets transferred to the development group where we copy it into our issue/bug tracking system (PVCS Tracker). If anyone notices a problem with a system under development, test, or pilot, the issue goes straight into Tracker. Tracker lets us assign the issue to different people or groups, track the change history, etc. (just typical bug tracking software). We have procedural checkpoints that make sure all open items associated with a particular project or system are addressed before moving on to the next phase/iteration of development or before elevating.

So in the end, we have one place to look for new project requests, and one place to look for enhancements to existing systems.

Confusion at a Large I-Bank (1)

stu-pendous (445253) | about 11 years ago | (#7147774)

Basically we have different types of requests systems for different types of requests (firewall changes, sw installs, more storage on a fileshare, new desktop, new server in the datacenter, new circuit or datafeed, etc...) Some of these request types require MS excel or MS Word templates filled out and emailed to the proper department. While other request involve intranet webforms or worse yet proprietary software installed on the requestors machine. It gets really complicated when request spawn other sub-requests.

BOFH (1, Funny)

pauly_thumbs (416028) | about 11 years ago | (#7147787)

So you want your mailbox qouta expanded?
sure thing
clickety clickety clickety clickety click
there it's contents have now been deleted
plenty of room now
thanks for coming out

RightNow Technologies commercial product (1)

venom600 (527627) | about 11 years ago | (#7147792)

We use a commercial customer service product from RightNow Technologies. ( [] ) People can email in requests or fill out a request using a web based form. For hallway conversations, I just ask the person to send me an incident using the product. That way all requests are documented.

Aw man... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147794)

I'd love to help you out with that one Slashdot, now if you'll just fill out these forms in triplicate and get the green one signed off by your line manager, I'll be able to fulfil your request...

In my organization of 10,000 employees... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147797) is just easier for me to do everything.
(yeah, I'm really tired)


Modified Open Source (2, Informative)

phpcoder21 (589609) | about 11 years ago | (#7147798)

My organization has been happy with a heavily modified version of dotProject (..more info available at my website [] . Not only does it do a great job of keeping track of "support tickets", but you can send via email and they are automatically added to the support database. There are also a couple of modules for project management which work well too.

Dan comes in... (1)

Ageless (10680) | about 11 years ago | (#7147801)

Well Dan usually comes in and says, "Jason, are you having any trouble getting to email?" and I'll say "I don't think so. Let me check." and then I'll have a problem and be like "Yea, let me check it out." and I'll fix it a few minutes later.

If instead Greg says something like "Hey, we need an ecommerce site for this new project." I'll usually pull up notepad.exe and type "Write ecommerce engine for new project." and just leave it up so I don't forget.

BOFH console (3, Funny)

dattaway (3088) | about 11 years ago | (#7147817)

Here [] is what the BOFH uses with great success.

you actually listen to them? (1)

mauthbaux (652274) | about 11 years ago | (#7147821)

I usually treat reqests just like all other items of insane babbling.... reply with: 1: RTFM! 2: Get over it! if they succesfully accomplish either of those, the problem is solved!

Search sourgeforge ! (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147824)

We get aprox 30- 70 calls a day and use my own system with a web interface.Developed in asp and ms sql- but looking at it now i could well do with a open source system like :
cerberus rus-kb/
liberum help desk

use your Help Desk software (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147825)

Help Desk software probably already exists at your company. It almost certainly has the workflow and reporting features you need to get the request up to the approval process.

JD Edwards (1)

Rostin (691447) | about 11 years ago | (#7147826)

I'm an engineer at a chemical plant, and we request our maint. dept. to do work using a work order system called JD Edwards [] . (The company that makes it was recently absorbed by PeopleSoft.) I don't know how much the type of maintenance done around a chemical plant has in common with requests for IT work, but there you go.

Virtually all custom web-based solutions (1)

PIPBoy3000 (619296) | about 11 years ago | (#7147832)

About six years when I started working in our IT department, we had an off-the-shelf product called Applix which managed our help desk calls. From that very simple starting point, a group of us started slowly growing and modifying the code base until the product as it began no longer really exists.

Customers call our help desk for broken items (or use a web page to record the call), then it's paged out to the appropriate rep. The reps go to a browser and works the call.

We've got a "project" request system that is also web-based, allowing customers to submit projects, managers to view them, reps to document their work, and a time tracking system to track time against the projects.

There are other related web-based systems, such as an interface to the HR system that lets us know when new users have been hired, fired, or transferred. There's an automated system for setting up users (tying into Applix, NT, Exchange, and some other miscellaneous things).

We also have a generic web-based form builder that anyone can use to create simple request forms. Some teams have very specific pieces of information they want to see their customers give them, so they direct them to the web form.

Strangely, everyone seems to take it for granted that this is all in place. I have no idea how we'd function with all this infrastructure to help us do our jobs. Go back to e-mail and sticky notes, I suppose.

Custom gives you exactly what you need. (1)

Cornish (453293) | about 11 years ago | (#7147835)

We use a web-based, SQL backend, system to track bugs, projects, enhancement requests, software orders and installs, customer disconnects, just about anything really. It's very versitile, mainly because it was written in-house by the people who needed, and wanted, it and has evolved over the last 20+ years as we've evolved. Nothing beats in-house software, except perhaps really good third-party software that's given away for free.

email, but... (1)

Roadkills-R-Us (122219) | about 11 years ago | (#7147841)

Most places I've worked that had an actual system used either gnats (two of those places I did a lot of custom work on gnats, esp. for the web front end), or a Remedy (or similar) based solution.

Gnats is a pain to work with. The commercial solutions tend to be expensive. Bugzilla is OK, but not quite what we wanted. So we still use email here.

But I'm going to check into RT and maybe Double Chocolate Latte.

Although... "I got RT installed and only about three hours" (from memory). Yikes!

Jyve (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 11 years ago | (#7147843)

this is a good web application that handles this sort of need:
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