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22 November 2012

Ticket Time Tracking - Folder HelpDesk Gives Four Options

Folder HelpDesk Ticket TimeHelpdesk and support center staff have important tasks to handle, and for the issue tracking manager it is crucial to understand what incidents will take long time to solve and what are quick or can even be answered with a FAQ.

Therefore all good helpdesk systems should have a way to measure the time spent on a ticket. The kalmstrom.com incident management application for Outlook, Folder HelpDesk, has for a long time had three different options. From today's update there are four!

Ticket time always in database
Folder HelpDesk adds a lot of information about incidents and issues to the selected database – currently Access, SQL Server or SQL Azure but a SharePoint alternative will be added next year. The time tracking data is of course included and used for the statistics reports integrated in Folder HelpDesk.

Folder HelpDesk logotypeThe user specified time is shown in the ticket also, while the two admin specified values are shown in the settings and added automatically when the ticket is closed. The fourth, new, option for ticket time tracking is only shown in the database, as it is a pure calculation.

1. Minutes worked defined by responsible
Folder HelpDesk converts incoming e-mails into tickets that are shared in an Outlook public folder or shared mailbox. It is also possible to add a blank ticket to the list in Outlook, for example if someone calls about an issue.
Work done field
In the ticket the responsible person may add how many minutes he or she has worked on the case. This can be done several times, and the sum is added up in a field that cannot be changed  important for example when several people work with the same ticket. This is probably the most accurate way of measuring, but it takes some time to add the minutes for each ticket.

2. Admin defined by incident type 
Often the manager or administrator knows approximately how much time each type of incident takes to solve, and then a value can be defined in the Folder HelpDesk settings. This value is added automatically when the ticket is closed, but only if no value has been added manually.
Folder HelpDesk settings
3. Admin defined for all tickets
The administrator can also define how many minutes will be applied to all tickets where an incident type value is not defined and no value is added manually. Maybe the time spent on each ticket is not very important, or values for incident types are only applicable in some cases? Then this method is convenient.

4. Hours open
In the update of Folder HelpDesk released today the tool will make better use of the Hours open entry in the database, as it will track the first closing time instead of the latest. The value will now be calculated from the creation of the ticket until it is closed for the first time. Reopenings will not be counted, so the helpdesk staff can reopen the ticket for reference anytime without affecting the value for Hours open.

In the calculated value for Hours open all time the ticket was open is included, not just the time when someone actually worked on the case. It is an interesting value for managers, both as such and to compare to the value entered for Minutes worked. The time is given in hours with two decimals.

Upgrade
Folder HelpDesk upgrade iconFor more information about the new update, please refer to the Folder HelpDesk Revisions page. As usual Members of the kalmstrom.com Community are welcome to upgrade their installations of Folder HelpDesk without extra costs.

Please also read my earlier article about future updates of Folder HelpDesk to learn about our plans for the kalmstrom.com tool for issue tracking in Outlook.

Try it!
Folder HelpDesk Test iconIf you need a tool for issue tracking and incident management that is powerful and yet easy to learn and use, you are welcome to evaluate the full version of Folder HelpDesk for Outlook for 30 days. We give free support to evaluators, as well as to subscribers, so please contact us if you cannot find the answers to your questions in the Folder HelpDesk documentation.