Agenda and Minutes - Jul 14, 2011 1200 UT

Discussion Topics:
  • Current Helpdesk activities, existing workflow and lessons learned from ALMA Cycle 0.
    • Discussion: In NA - Triage handled 70-80% of all tickets. We need to "spread the pain" more. Also, during the last week, select triage staff were manning the HD basically 24/7. Need to either assign or take volunteers if we are to repeat that for cycle 1. We did not have a clear workflow for USS submitting tickets to the HD that were not just bugs or enhancement requests to software systems. We did not have a clear workflow to deal with "problem" users that repeatedly opened tickets and clearly were not reading the documentation.
    • EU/EA did the 8 hours per day but also noted they do not have the time zone constraints NA does and the traffic in the evening hours was quite low.
    • EU noted that the ARC nodes may have to/should be allowed to submit HD tickets similar to any other users. In NA and EA, we do have the ability to walk to each other's office to find the answer which is not possible in EU. However it was pointed out that almost no SciStaff submitted KB articles and that more diligence should be done on the part of SciStaff to find the answers to questions outside the HD and publish KB articles. This needs to be reinforced further in the staff guide.
    • Action Item: For each ARC, more training is necessary to educate the SciStaff on procedures in the staff guide and to encourage more drafting of KB articles.
  • Interaction with the JAO during the last 36 (and more importantly the last hour) before the deadline. Should we formalize how to "broadcast" the outage or interruption of service?
    • Discussion: In NA - we added a KB and news article as well as an announcement on the science portal. EU did as well but EA did not. This was only done after the length of the outage exceeded 45 mins. First it is important that each ARC follow the workflow for the emergency dept. It was only causing confusion to have more than one ARC try to handle tickets to the emergency department so if a particular ARC is on call during that time, the other ARCs should let them handle it. This will be reinforced in the workflow. Juan is going to take part in a "lessons learned" meeting next Tues where they will discuss, "when", "where" and "what to tell the users" in the event of another extended downtime.
    • Action Item: Juan - report to the HD WG the results of that meeting so actions on behalf of the staff or triage be included in the staff guide.
      • - full set of notes from the lessons learned meeting.
      • In what concerns to the Helpdesk WG, the most relevant is the following:
        • Notification to users in case of submission problems:
          • 40-50 people contacted the helpdesk when they could not submit. We need a procedure to notify users if they cannot submit:
            • The best would be a more descriptive error from the OT. According to Alan it is possible to implement this.
            • Other possibilities discussed are broadcasting to registered users, SP news, twitter?, but it was agreed that a more descriptive error message from the OT is better.
        • The final conclusions were:
          • In case of submission problems the users should be notified from the OT. A more descriptive error message(s) needs to be implemented in the OT
          • Do not limit queries or number of resubmissions. Improve the proposal submission system to deal with queries and resubmission
    • Suzanna - follow-up with the OT group to see if more informative error messages can be included and conveyed to the users when the OT cannot connect to the archive.
  • Handling/triage of the Proposal Submission Emergency department tickets. Some emergency tickets were in fact being submitted to other departments (e.g. OT) - obviously we have to make the availability of the emergency department clearer in the user interface
    • Discussion: We need to make the emergency department more prominent to the user at the helpdesk interface to try and avoid this confusion.
    • Action Item: Kelly - Get a summary of how many tickets were submitted to the emergency department (that have now been moved e.g. to the Proposal Handling department)? How many of these were real emergencies - and how many real emergency tickets were wrongly submitted to other departments? Work with Tony on this and an automated script to run yearly to produce these numbers.
    • Kelly - put the emergency department at the top of the list, in red and flashing if necessary to alert people that is where they should submit tickets in the last hours before the deadline. -- DONE
    • Akiko - discuss with the EA ARC about manning the emergency department at all times in case a ticket is submitted in Japanese. EA should make every effort to let their community know to submit emergency tickets in English but this is a contingency measure to ensure emergency tickets are replied too. We can re-assess this request because it is a lot to ask from the EA ARC.
  • Proposal Handling department: should be set up so that the ticket always stays assigned to the triage person dealing with it, NOT the PHT - this will probably just require changing the alters for the PHT
    • Discussion: AJR - This should be simply resetting the PHT alerts to make sure they get notification of all tickets submitted to that department NOT those just assigned to them.
    • Action Item: Kelly - change the alerts of the PH departments and test next week with Gautier's team. -- DONE
  • Several people tried to mail the do-not-reply e-mail addresses - we have to make it clearer to users (e.g. at the top of the e-mail alerts they receive) that they should reply by logging into Helpdesk.
    • Discussion: AJR - should this be included in the user guides to the ARCs? That is where we currently discuss the helpdesk support. Else, perhaps a News or KB article as well? The instructions need to be included in the automated reply sent to the users.
    • Action Item: Kelly - add to the automated reply to users that they need to reply through the helpdesk and not to the "do-not-reply" address. -- DONE
    • Maria - will work with the Science Portal working group to include instructions on using the helpdesk off the science portal.
    • Each ARC HD manager - work with their local people drafting the "user guides to the ARCs" to include additions on using the helpdesk.
  • More generally speaking, some very short and easy guidelines for users should be put somewhere prominent, e.g. on the Helpdesk entry page - the user notification that a ticket has been resolved could be improved - also signatures for automatic notifications should be consistent
    • Discussion: AJR - again should this be included in the user guides to the ARCs?
    • Action Item: Remijan will look at how the other Kayako HD systems (e.g. Herschel) inform their users on how to use the helpdesk.
      • It came as a bit of a surprise to me that Herschel actually operates 2 separate helpdesks. I do not know the extent to which they communicate with each other but there is no user documentation on how to use the helpdesk on the ESA side but from the NHSC side, the following website: gives users a brief introduction on how to use, register, submit questions and look at the Knowledgebase articles. Perhaps this is something that we can include off the UP or in the regional "Guides to the ARCs".
  • State of the JIRA systems and tickets submitted by USSs.
    • Discussion: Postponed until next telecon
    • Action Item
  • AOB?
    • Maria - We need to be provided the users automated replies to assess the content of those replies and edit accordingly. This is a relativity low priority.

-- AnthonyRemijan - 2011-07-13
Topic revision: r8 - 2011-09-30, AnthonyRemijan
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