• Inok Systems

Categorising your tickets

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The first task of a Service Desk is "Logging all relevant incident/service request details, allocating categorization and prioritization codes." (ITIL Service Operation: Service Desk objectives)

Now, why do we need a category selection? They help in segregating tickets, assigning to different teams and reports to help in:

1.       Supplier management decisions

2.       Problem management filtering

3.       Ticket Trend analysis in particular area

4.       SLA settings based on category

There are several methods of designing you category fields, but the challenge is to find the balance. A general 1 field categorisation makes it too generic for reports to serve any analysis purposes and a too deep down 5 levels categorisation will just increase confusion for the helpdesk staff logging the ticket. Throughout all my project experiences, I have identified 2 common methods used:

1.       CTI – Category/Type/Item

(eg. Database | SQL | lost connectivity)

This incident is under the “DB” category, regards to the “SQL” type, relating to the item of “lost connectivity”. Quite a straight forward 3 step selection, for the helpdesk and we can achieve objectives such as:

a.        set auto assignment rules based on the “DB” category to the DB team for level two support

b.       report based on all the “lost connectivity” issues for problem analysis

c.         report based on “SQL” type for SQL vendor contract negotiations.

2.      SCIM – System/Component/Item/Module

(eg. Printer | Laser Printer | HPLaser500 | Printouts)

This 4 level categorisation is more technical and require some tech knowledge of the systems you have in the environment. We can meet all the objectives as well with even more details, but you will need a very mature helpdesk environment. Worst nightmare is to have a “Garbage-in-Garbage-Out” scenario where the helpdesk agents don’t categorise correctly. It will lead to misleading reports and wrong management decisions.

There is no hard and fast rule to designing a category table. It all comes down to how mature your IT operations are and what services the IT team is supporting. I will also strongly suggest holding bi-monthly reviews on the category listings as there are always new server purchases, new applications added or obsolete items. It will also be good to review all the tickets under “Others” category and try to minimise the use of it.

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