1Request Tracker 4 (RT4) Implementation Project Lisa Tomalty,Information Systems and Technology
2What is request tracking? Ticket/request-tracking systems are used to coordinate tasks and manage user requestsUsers receive updates on work being doneStaff working on a ticket see all of the activity, communications, history, etc.
3Background: RT Investigation Project (2012-13) Recommended RT4Open source; support available from Best Practical Solutions LLCExisting expertise for RT exists on campusWell liked, stable solutionMany new features, customizable and expandableActive user communityMany issues identified can be addressed viaProcess changes/leveraging existing RT functionality
4RT Investigation Project Recommended RT4Meets critical requirements identifiedWorks with browsers/operating systems used on campusAbility to integrate with asset management and other systemsRequest Tracking Investigation Project Recommendation
5Campus Wide Involvement Members from each IT area on campus to provide input/participationIn implementationIn on-going use and developmentConsistent user experienceKey success factor:adoption of common request tracking system
6RT4 Implementation Project Continue to provide an ongoing, reliable RT systemMeet the most important request tracking needs of the IT areas on campusImplement a knowledge baseIntegrate with the service catalogueEnable processes to improve IT support
7Benefits of Campus Wide System EfficiencyShared tool, one installationShare administration and developmentImproved IT service support throughCollaboration between and within IT unitsImproved communications, supportIncreased functionalityEnable/automate improved IT service processesShared knowledge baseCommon tracking and metrics
8Program of Projects Program of related projects will include: RT4 Implementation ProjectIT Best Practices ProjectAsset Management ProjectSLA ProjectPossibly other projectsDependencies between projects will be defined
9BP vs ITBP, ITILBest Practical (BP) is the company that develops and supports the Request Tracker systemIT Best Practices (ITBP) project is a campus wide project that will review IT Service processes and ITIL best practicesITIL is …. (Best practices) guidance for IT service management …
10Objectives/Goals-1Work together with IT areas on campus to leverage the many benefits of RT4Enable IT units to share and collaborate on requestsUpgrade to the most recent version of RT4Update user request formsImport existing dataProvide training, documentation and communicationExpand the use of RT4 to other IT units on campus
11Objectives/Goals-2Implement new functionality and configure the new system based on:Requirement information gathered in the RT Investigation ProjectRequirements that will come out of the IT Best Practices project (TBA)Other requirements that are deemed necessary for IT support on campusNon-IT areas use of the system:Non-IT areas may continue to use the systemFocus will be on meeting IT needs of campus for request tracking
12In scope The objectives listed above New user request forms Form an RT administrators group to:Define standards and procedures for changes and developmentConfigure and administer the system and permissionsDevelop add-ons that are needed by IT support areasDevelop the Knowledge BaseInstall, configure and assess an SLA moduleRTIR (used by IST Security) installation and configurationFollow best practices for development to ensure ability to upgrade
13New functionality/features-1 Reporting/metricsKnowledge base (“Articles”)New user request forms (linked from service catalogue)Shared queue administrationCustomizable workflows - per queueCustomizable templates – per queue
14New functionality/features-2 Recurring ticketsEscalationBetter tools for synchronizing accounts/groups with Nexus/LDAPImproved user interface (including ability to hide quoted text)Improved searching/canned searchesSupposedly significantly faster. :-)
15Not in scope Writing SLAs Importing data for non-IT areas into the systemImporting data for other IT areas into the system, if deemed too complexDeveloping the system beyond the needs of IT areas on campusModification of source code or database structureAsset ManagementDevelopment for integration with other systemsExtensive development (beyond core requirements of IT areas)
16Known risks and constraints Delays in an RT 4.2 stable release would result in project delaysLow budget (for support/consulting) may result in a slower implementationStaff availability:Significant amount of time required from current RT administrators and support staffProject team: amount of time they have available to participate in the project/development could varyNon project team staff availability for:Testing system and features for their area before productionDevelop and configure for workflow and processes for specific areasAssisting in migrating their request tracking operations into the new RT4 systemsSignificant development/configuration time from the project team and/or from the specialized IT area if additional functionality is requiredA risk register will be created and hosted on the RT4 SharePoint site.
17Preliminary, known assumptions Able to engage enough staff to participate fully in the project and assist with development, testing and feedback.Able to communicate with ITBP project and implement recommended process changesRT4 can meet the needs of campus IT support, with configuration (and development, in some cases)There exists sufficient hardware for the system, testing machine, failover machine and backups
18DependenciesIT Best Practices project recommendations for workflow, processes, knowledge base, etc.If RT 4.2’s built in reporting/metrics are not sufficient, reporting/metrics may be dependent on the Cognos 10 Reporting Tool being available (expected sandbox in November 2013; expected availability January/February 2014 hopefully)Timeline for the project maybe dependent on budget for monthly support from Best Practical.
19Budget Limited budget for this project. As of September 2013, there was no additional guaranteed budget money available for this project.Support from Best Practical: budget of 3 days of consulting have been approvedAlso see the RT Budget spreadsheet.
20Approach Phased approach Incremental changes Keep RT system operational and functional throughout the project
21Timeline Phase 1A (late Dec 2013) Phase 1B (Jan-Apr 2014) Planning, clean up user accounts in RT3Install and configure newest release of RT 4.2 and necessary plug-insPhase 1B (Jan-Apr 2014)Configuration/developmentTestingPermissionsDocumentation, Training, CommunicationSome new featuresPhase 2 (May-Aug+ 2014)More new featuresMigrations and continual improvementMake recommendation for maintaining and keeping RT currentTraining/documentation of changes
22Notes from first meeting Keep it Simple/ease of useBe consistent (queue to queue; processes)Buy in is important with commitment, collaborationImproved reporting with correct classification of tickets neededAutomation (e.g. workflow, assigning tickets, etc.)Transparency- sent from system should show who is CCdKnowledge Base (KB) (internal and external articles) ; proper permissionsTraining/documentation for users, issue solvers, queue managers (clear, simple)Escalation – (tier escalation; tickets not being looked at/completed)Time tracking: needs improvementRT admin group is of interest to some areas
23IT Strategic Objective mapping “IP9: Exchange high quality data and information when, where, and how it's needed" and "...ensure that the University community is fully enabled any time, anywhere, on their preferred platform or device, ..."Web browsers: RT4 works across all/most common browsersMobile: RT4 works well on most mobile devicesClient computer: RT4 requires no special configuration to use in web browser
24Related Strategic Objectives RM1 "Make the necessary technology infrastructure and resource investments"Investing in helpdesk and staff support technologyOC2 "Take a University-wide perspective to IT"OC3 "Build a cohesive knowledgeable IT community across the campus"Enable communication, collaborationKnowledge sharing through requests and knowledge baseIP5 "Continuously improve and optimize IT processes, workflow, and platforms"Collaborative, structured approach to improving processes and workflowU1 "Empower the user and optimize the user's experience"Improve responding to requests, allow users to check progressKnowledge base: help "build our users' knowledge and capabilities"
25Related IT DirectionWork together to improve the usability, delivery and support of ITRelated potential opportunity:Create integrated, service-oriented helpdesks that uphold excellent standards and stay connected to share information to best serve users.One installation of the request system used by all and shared knowledge base would help achieve this.
26Questions?Inquiries and requests for RT access/queues can be directed to:Lisa TomaltyRT4 Project documentation Web site: https://uwaterloo.ca/it-service-asset-management/request-tracker-4-rt4-implementation-project