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Seeing the Forest and the Acorns in the Decision Tree Sandy Burke Computing Center HelpDesk Manager Copyright Sandy Burke, 2003. This work is the intellectual.

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Presentation on theme: "Seeing the Forest and the Acorns in the Decision Tree Sandy Burke Computing Center HelpDesk Manager Copyright Sandy Burke, 2003. This work is the intellectual."— Presentation transcript:

1 Seeing the Forest and the Acorns in the Decision Tree Sandy Burke Computing Center HelpDesk Manager Copyright Sandy Burke, This work is the intellectual property of the author. Permission is granted for this material to be shared for non-commercial, educational purposes, provided that this copyright statement appears on the reproduced materials and notice is given that the copying is by permission of the author. To disseminate otherwise or to republish requires written permission from the author.

2 One Full-Time Manager 7 Part-Time Employees (185 hours/week) –Monday–Thursday: 8am-midnight –Friday: 8am-8pm –Saturday: 9am-5pm –Sunday: 1pm-midnight Support 30,000 Students, 5000 Faculty and Staff, Retirees, Others Computing Center HelpDesk

3 Reports to Associate Director of Academic Computing Previously reported to Administrative Computing, Network and Microcomputer Support, and others Main Number for Computing Center Support

4 Expectations We are to know everything We are to have very thick skins New projects announced by other areas are to be supported by HelpDesk We cause things to go down just to upset the users

5 Reality We use student workers They attend classes as their first priority We are not informed of new applications We are told of equipment problems when the first user calls complaining Communication between units could stand some improvement

6 REALITY The only constant thing about the computing environment is that it will change – normally without advance notice

7 Our Attempt to Serve We are expected to know the overall picture THE FOREST We are expected to know details The ACORNS

8 Solution – Online Decision Tree

9 Online Decision Tree Paper Copy did not work All workers can update information Setup Help Information is online All tools needed are accessible Empowers workers

10 First Known Problem Included contact information for key staff – home and cell phone numbers Could find information using UNT Search site function

11 Solution Moved information from HelpDesk site Requires login Even if pulled up on UNT Site search, have to login to access

12 Two HelpDesk Sites External site: Internal site:

13 Window for the World

14 Window for HelpDesk Employees

15 Decision Tree Information What to do if: –The Mainframe goes down

16 Decision Tree Information What to do if: –Cannot access Web Registration

17 Decision Tree Information What to do if: –Cannot Connect to UNT dialups

18 Decision Tree & Employees Get the buy-in from your employees –They know where they need help –They remember being new employees –They can see a different viewpoint –They love for you to ask for their help

19 Decision Tree & Support Areas Ask the Support Areas to put it in writing –What questions do they want us to ask –What information do they need –Where do they want us to check before contacting them Very Little Resistance

20 Decision Tree Guidelines Do not duplicate information Provide links to critical information Follow good Web Page Guidelines –Do you want the hyperlink to open in a new window? –Do you need navigation icons? –Accessibility Guidelines followed?

21 Decision Tree Documentation Include HelpDesk Internal Guides –Daily Checklist –ID and password for public machines –How to “read” the Account Status Page –Job Expectations and Information Not needed everyday – but there as reminders

22 Conclusions – Win/Win Student Workers Can Find Information Easily Buy-in from Support Areas because they get to spell out their expectations Better communication between areas Empowered employees

23 Conclusions – More Win/Win Better Inclusion when new services are introduced More confidence in HelpDesk staff More credibility for HelpDesk staff We are seeing the FOREST and the ACORNS

24 Thanks For Being Here Sandy Burke – Web Site: or


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