Technology Helpdesk Protocol

The best way to request technology help is to send an email to helpdesk@msad17.org

What happens when you email helpdesk@msad17.org

Sending an email to this address will automatically create a helpdesk ticket in our Spiceworks helpdesk system. 

All new tickets are seen by all technology staff, along with anybody who is CC’d on the email.  You do NOT need to CC any technology staff (that just means we get the email twice).

 

The tech team member who is best placed to resolve an issue will accept the ticket and attend to it as soon as they are able.

 

How much detail should I include in my email to the helpdesk?

The more detail we have, the faster we can diagnose the problem. If we have to guess details or ask follow up questions, it’ll take longer.

 

If we do ask a followup question, it’s because we don’t have enough information to solve the problem and we typcially will not work on the ticket again until we get an appropriate answer to our question. 

 

When writing a helpdesk request, think about the 6 W's...

 

Who:  If you are creating the ticket for yourself, your email address is automatcially attached to the ticket, so we already know the who in most cases.  But if you're logging the ticket for someone else (like a student or a new staff member) then we will need their name(s), and it is OK to share names during helpdesk correspondance. 

 

And if a problem is affecting multiple people - give us a few names so we'll have some test cases to help us investigate the problem.

 

What: Use the subject line of your email to provide an accurate and concise description of the issue. This will make it easier for us to find your ticket among a list of all tickets. We frequently see tickets with a subject line of something like "IC".  It helps us (and saves us time) if you differentaite your “IC” issue from all the other "IC" tickets, try writing something like: "Unable to see my Language Arts roster in IC". 

 

Then within the body of the email, describe the issue in greater detail (using the 6 W's).

 

Where: Please don’t assume that we know where you are, we support over 600 staff and over 3400 students.

Sometimes locations are physical (e.g. projector won't turn on in room B116 at the high school).

Sometimes locations are virtual (e.g. I can't run a report in IC from Index > Student Info > Reports > Enrollment Forms).

 

Whatever the case - the more information you provide the less chance we'll have to ask a follow up question, which would delay the resolution of your case.

 

When: If something is urgent tell us it’s urgent (and please use good judgment about what is truly urgent)

Also - if something worked at one time, but then stopped working - please tell us both times you tried, because timing is important in many resolutions.

 

Why: A reason is not needed all cases, but sometimes it is.  For example, if you want extra access to specific software rights, we'll need to know why you need access (and who approved it).

 

How: A description of how a problem arose can help with diagnosing an issue.  Also tell us if (and how) you may have tried to fix the issue yourself.

 

How are ticket prioritized?

Tech staff accept helpdesk tickets based on location, knowledge, urgency of other tickets and priorities, and staff availability. We may adjust our priorities multiple times per day depending on the severity of incoming issues. Issues that affect multiple people are usually given preferential treatment.  Widespread connectivity issues (phone or internet) generally mean we drop everything else and work on that.

 

Can I still create a ticket from my bookmark bar?

Last year we directed people to a ticket creation link (from their chrome bookmark bar) that has a lot more required fields than a simple email.  This "full" ticket creation link is still valid - but you may find emailing to be less onerous. Also - if you type your email incorrectly in that form, you won’t be linked on any replies.

 

Can I call or email tech staff directly?

If - instead of creating a ticket - you seek tech help by emailing a specific tech (or the tech director) directly, or by calling a tech's direct extension, or by dropping in in-person, you will likely be creating more work for that individual tech (who will have to create the ticket for you). And if that tech doesn't create at all, you will be reducing the overall efficiency of the technology team because your issue will only be seen by one person.  You may also delay your own issue's resolution if the tech you attempted to contact is not available.  

 

We do understand the importance of interpersonal relationships, but we also need to have tickets logged properly for the purposes of tracking issues, and for sharing our department's workload equitably, and for monitoring the type and quantity of issues that we deal with.

 

Having said that, it would be appropriate to send a helpdesk email, and include mention of a tech's name who may have helped with a similar issue in the past, or to even follow up with a phone call after logging the ticket - but we do want the ticket logged so that the whole team is aware of all issues, because many issues are often related, and we can all learn from each other's resolutions..

 

- If you have access to email and your issue is not critical, please request tech help via email (i.e. to helpdesk@msad17.org).

- If your tech problem is preventing you from emailing, you can call the helpdesk on 1111 (or 1234) from an internal line.  Or on 2077438914 ext 1111 from an external line.

- If neither phone nor internet are available go to your tech office in person, or use a cell phone to call central office.

- If your issue is of critical importance, you can call the Tech Director directly.  Please use good judgement before calling in a critical issue.