We've all been there. You are walking down the hall and someone asks you to take a quick look at something since your just walking by. There is not a ticket for the issue. It ends up taking a couple hours because his software is not communicating correctly with other software. It takes a lot longer than it should have. What can you do in situations like these? I have a few suggestions to get them to submit work tickets if this has ever happened to you.
Getting Users To Submit Work Tickets
Here is a little list I have put together. This can be a tough topic depending on your work environment but keep at it.
Get Your Management To Do It
This can sometimes be very challenging. Managers often don't take the time and can't be convinced otherwise. Of course you can't be too pushy either because you likely are not management. So gently reminding is sometimes the best you can do. This is the most important factor in getting the users to do it. I constantly get told to drop what I am doing and work on some other issue that does not have a ticket. I always ask if there is a ticket for it and the answer is usually no. I ask for the tickets anyway and hope for the best. So if you have this problem also I feel your pain. So for this my best advice to keep reminding them and that everyone has to wait their turn.
Have IT Lead By Example
One of the best ways to enforce a ticketing system is to have everyone else doing it correctly too. Have all of IT submit work tickets too. If users see one IT person doing work randomly then the users will exploit that and not follow any other established rules. Have a meeting with everyone and make sure all the help desk people understand its importance. Having you all on the same page will help a lot.
Delay Until They Put In A Ticket
This is not to be mean but there have to be lines. This is often a good way to get the point across. Just be nice and say that you will go over their issue after you have looked into all the other tickets. It might take a few times but eventually they get the idea. Tickets have to be priority, that is why you have the ticketing system. If you are the one working on tickets then assure them that you will get to it as quickly as possible.
Have A Defined Priority System
Where I work emergencies come first. If a computer is down then it is only fair it be looked at over someone with an application update that just sits in the system tray and annoys the user. What defines an emergency among users is sometimes a problem but generally this approach works well. It is also important that you are upfront about your policy. I handle emergencies in the order they come and then I handle the rest in the order they come. If you have more categories than that the principle still applies. If the users know this then they will be more reasonable. Just getting them to submit work tickets is key. What causes problems is when they think others get attention quicker. So avoid that. It's your job to be professional.
Broadcast Your Ticket Status
Let users know where they stand when they submit work tickets. I usually tell people how many are in front of them in the system. This helps with unreasonable expectations. There have been many instances where i get a phone call from a user saying they put in a ticket and then they ask if I can make it by lunch. Well only if I am Superman in disguise. There are 17 people in front of you so it looks to be 3-4 days most likely. After hearing that they do not bother me as much. If you have departmental meetings it is also a good idea to announce how many tickets you have cleared. This enforces the system with your fellow IT members. I also mention people that do not put in tickets and that I am working with that person on the issue.
Be Fair And Compassionate
I think this is also an idea important to keep in mind. I don't mean to go against your system but sometimes people just have bad days. They might need a little extra help or a visit in person to let them know you are there to handle things and it will get done. Some basic encouragement goes a long way.
Help Them With The Ticketing System
Some users still just get on their AOL email and believe everything on the internet when at home. In other words, they do not have a very deep understanding of computers and they may need help to submit work tickets. Sometimes just showing them a few things you find cool and talking to them can lighten the mood. They may see why it is important for you in order to do your job. Ask them to go through the process of submitting a ticket and see if there are any shortcuts to make it easier for them.
Use Positive Reinforcement
When users do the right thing let them and everyone around it know. Humans like to be applauded and this is a good example. Tell them all the ways this might help them when they submit work tickets. They may not care about you or your job but they will care about themselves. So use this to your advantage. Plus when others hear it they will be more likely to do the same.