Web team support calls from 2010-2011

Gareth Saunders
Wednesday 8 February 2012

Graph of support calls over two semesters

(Click the graph to see a larger version.)

This morning I’ve been gathering data for a meeting with have with the University Lean team tomorrow, including this graph of support calls (above). I thought I’d share something of what I’ve discovered.

The project with Lean is to help us design a more efficient way to manage projects and to explore how to better balance moving projects forward with our on-going, and unpredictable, support calls.

In the academic year 2010-2011 the Web team recorded how many calls we received each week. This included:

  • Emails to our IT Helpdesk call management system
  • Support-related emails to our personal inboxes
  • Telephone calls
  • Personal visits to the Web team offices

Basically, if it wasn’t related to an on-going project then we recorded, grouped into calls that took up to

  1. 10 minutes
  2. 60 minutes
  3. 120 minutes or more

And we further categorised them as

  • Advice—e.g. could you tell us what template to use for this website? Do we support IE6 now?, etc.
  • Fix—e.g. this page is broken please fix it, please remove this document from the server, etc.
  • Request—e.g. could we have a meeting with you about x? Could you create a generic page template for this web application, etc.
Support calls (2010-2011)
Advice Fix Request
Semester 1 434 722 509
Semester 2 328 547 382
Total 762 1,269 891

That’s a grand total of 2,922 calls over the course of 35 weeks. Or approximately 83 calls per week.

What it shows us immediately is what we’d long suspected: that the start of each semester is the busiest time of year for us. This should help us to plan projects and which parts of the year to keep clear to make room for more support requests.

Something that this has highlighted too is to look into how to reduce the number of calls asking us to make fixes to existing content, structure or CMS elements.

No doubt we’ll report back as we progress through this project with Lean.

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