Request Tracker

I setup Request Tracker to help us to get a handle on all of the issues that come flying in. It will be particular handy for those small, yet no less important, tasks that can all too easily fall by the wayside when one is busy putting out bigger fires.

There have been more than a few times up to this point where one of us, in the rush to fix yet another large, brown stained fan, forgot to mention a request or todo item to the others. Which inevitably leads us to have to bump it’s priority up even higher later on when we realize that it was lost in the jumble and wasn’t done in a timely manner. That in turn pushes other things down the list and the whole flow of the support stack starts getting jammed up.

On top of that, the lack of a cohesive, centralized place for us to track and churn through all of the issues that we juggle meant that it was difficult to task manage as a team. Because when one of us found ourselves at a natural breaking point between tasks and was lining up the next things to tackle they could only work off their own list and couldn’t tap the list of items that someone else had. Even though what that other person had might be a far more important thing to focus on.

Another cool thing that I did was to add the RTFM (Request Tracker FAQ Manager) extension onto it. RTFM acts as a knowledge base that we can use for things like canned replies to common issues. And with the change in email hosting that the county is doing, we are getting a lot of repeat issues and questions about email. So RTFM will save us some time and be a value add to our clients by helping to lower their support costs over redundant issues.

Of course that’s not the only cool thing that I did. (And naturally I saved what I think is the coolest for last.) I had a moment of inspiration earlier today and I just created a mashup by setting up a Google Voice number to go direct to into voicemail and then I set it up so the transcriptions get forwarded to our support address. Now we can give out a phone number that clients can call and when they leave a message describing the problem they are having it will create a ticket for them in our Request Tracker. Brilliant!!

I just want to test it a little bit more before we start giving the number out because the voice recognition can be a little bit wonky. But if it works decently, people’s jaws should drop.

I’d also like to write some code to rework the message a little and perhaps even either lookup their name based on the number that they are calling from or use the name string that Google Voice passes along so we can even have it be smart enough to know who they are.

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~ by ghendar on August 17, 2009.