Sunday, November 19, 2017

Planned Effort for Change Tasks

ClockThe Planned effort field, which was already available in project tasks, has now also become available for change tasks. The planned effort can be specified in task templates to ensure that change managers do not need to spend time filling out this extra field.

Planned effort field in a change task
The Planned effort field makes it possible to show the progress of open tasks in the Gantt charts. Note that when the Planned effort field is left empty, ITRP assumes for the open tasks that their planned effort is the same as the task's planned duration.

Progress of an open task in the Gantt chart
The Planned effort field makes it possible to calculate how much progress has already been made with the implementation. The new the Progress indicator, which you will find in the 'Time Entries' section header, provides a visual representation of this for changes as well as projects.

Time entries with links to tasks.png
When you open the 'Time Entries' section, you will notice one more enhancement. The task for which each time entry was added is now specified in this section.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Track Self Service Usage with Google Analytics

Google AnalyticsThe standard integration with Google Analytics is now available. This integration allows support organizations to track and report on their ITRP Self Service traffic using the advanced web analytics service offered by Google.

ITRP's standard Google Analytics integration
The administrator of the organization's ITRP account can activate this integration in the 'Apps' section of the Settings console. All that is needed is a Google Analytics tracking ID to ensure that this ID is embedded in all Self Service pages.

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

10 More Reports

Bar chart horizontalNew reports continue to be added to the 'Reports' section of ITRP's Analytics console. This week, the following 10 reports have become available:

  • Open Requests by Service Instance
  • Completed Requests by Service
  • Completed Requests by Impact
  • Completed Requests by Organization
  • Completed Requests by Service Instance
  • Completed Requests by Site
  • Active Problems by Service
  • Solved Problems by Service
  • Open Changes by Service
  • Completed Changes by Service

Solved Problems by Service report
By default, the reports with completed requests, problems and changes include the records that were completed during the past 3 months. By clicking on this default date range it is possible to set a custom date range.

Copy Subject of Template to Requests

Request templateThe checkbox ‘Copy subject to requests’ has been added for request templates. By default this box is checked.

Copy subject to requests checkbox
As long as it is checked, the subject of the template gets filled out in the Subject field of a request when the template is applied and the Subject field was still empty. After a service desk manager has unchecked this box, however, the mandatory Subject field of the request will remain empty when the template is applied.

This can be useful, for example, when you want end users to enter a short description in the Subject field after they selected the request template in Self Service.

Monday, November 13, 2017

New Team Is Not Responsible

AlertLet's say that there is an issue with the production environment of the Sales Tracking application service. The specialist who is working on the incident has determined that there is something wrong with the infrastructure. The Service Hierarchy Browser (SHB) shows that this application instance is running on a Unix server environment. Rather than dragging and dropping that Unix service instance onto the request to cause it to get reassigned to the Unix team, the specialist decides to manually select the Unix team in the Team field and to leave the value in the Service instance field unchanged.

By not specifying which Unix environment is affected, the SLA for that service instance does not get added to the request. Because of that, it is not clear what the resolution target should be for the Unix team, as the targets may differ from one Unix environment to that next.

ITRP now displays a warning whenever the manual reassignment of a request will cause it to go to a team that has no responsibility for the request's service instance.

The selected team does not have any responsibility for the service instance of this request.
This warning should encourage specialists to select a new service instance whenever they believe that the issue is caused by a different service instance than the one that is linked to the request.

The warning is displayed when the new team is not the:
  • first line team of the request’s service instance, or
  • support team of the request’s service instance, or
  • service desk team of the request’s ITRP account.

By encouraging specialists to update the service instance, which in turn automatically updates the Team field, the new team will receive the request with the correct target instead of a 'Best Effort' indication. That should prevent the previous team's resolution target from being violated because the request ended up at the bottom of the new team's inbox.

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Faster Images

ImageYou may have already noticed that the inline images that people have included in their notes load much faster. That is especially true for large images.

Note with large image
The reason why these large images get displayed so much quicker now, is that smaller versions of the original images are downloaded when a record is opened. The original image is retrieved only when a user clicks on one of the images to enlarge it.

The result is a more fluent user experience. This is especially useful for specialists when they open a request that has many notes with multiple pictures and screenshots. This performance enhancement allows them to start scanning these notes almost as soon as the request is opened.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Savaco to Deliver ESM and Digital Transformation in Belgium with ITRP

BelgiumSavaco is an IT service provider that specializes in solutions with impact. Helping organizations optimize and automate their processes, as well as enabling them to efficiently collaborate with their providers, is Savaco’s core mission.

Savaco logoSavaco recently expanded its service portfolio with Enterprise Service Management (ESM). This offers Savaco's customers advice and tooling for the implementation of service management processes throughout their organizations. The service makes it possible to bring all employee support together, from IT support to HR and Facilities to Finance.

The unique out-of-the-box benefits that ITRP provides to organizations, such as secure collaboration with other organizations, tracking of SLAs from managed service providers, extensive confidentiality settings and more, makes ITRP the perfect solution for Savaco to offer as the preferred ESM tool for its customers.

The short implementation time and easy set-up of ITRP ensures that customers start receiving the benefits of Enterprise Service Management within days rather than months.

The first benefit for customers as well as Savaco, is that collaboration between them is now seamlessly covered within ITRP. This gives customers easy access to all services provided by Savaco and real-time transparency of all service levels.

We are proud to work with Savaco in achieving ESM excellence for its customers! Read more in Savaco's press release (in Dutch).

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Declined Requests KPIs

KPIThe recent improvement of the Decline feature has made it possible to add another enhancement. Two more KPIs have been added to help organizations understand how well their Incident Management process is performing. The new KPIs are 'Declined Back to Us' and 'Declined by Us'.
Adding a filter to a request report
The KPI 'Declined Back to Us' tracks the number of times a request was declined, causing it to be returned to a team of your support organization. The KPI 'Declined by Us' shows how often a team of your support organization has declined a request.

Declined Requests KPI
When a team of your support organization (i.e. a team that is registered in your organization's ITRP account) declines a request, this request gets picked up by both KPIs. It gets more interesting when a team of a managed service provider declines a request, causing it to be returned to a team of your organization. In such cases, the request shows up in the 'Declined Back to Us' graph of your organization's ITRP account. The managed service provider sees it in the 'Declined by Us' graph of their ITRP account.

If you work for a shared service center that supports a number of local IT departments in your region, then you can see it work the other way around. When one of your organization's teams declines a request back to a team of the IT department at headquarters, then the people at headquarters see this request when they look at the 'Declined Back to Us' KPI. Your people see it when they open the 'Declined by Us' KPI.

Sunday, November 5, 2017

More Completion Reasons

CompletedA few more completion reasons have been made available for requests. After a service desk analyst or specialist has set the status of a request to 'Completed', the Completion reason field becomes available. This field now offers the following additional options:

  • Duplicate - Same as Another Request of Customer
  • Rejected - Rejected by Approver
  • Declined - Declined by Service Provider

Request Completion ReasonsThe extra completion reasons make it easier to select the most appropriate option when completing a request.

They also allow problem managers to identify more precisely the requests which root cause will need to be found and eliminated to prevent future occurrences.

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Decline and Forward with Mentions

FilterMentions have become so popular that people expect this functionality to be available whenever they are adding a note to an assignment. That is why Mentions are now also available in the dialog window that pops up after you press the Decline or Forward button in the toolbar.

Forwarding an assignment with multiple mentions

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

More Report Filters

FilterThe ability to filter reports was only recently introduced. It appears to be quite popular. Customers have already submitted requests for additional filters, which helps us to decide which filters are important to have.

The most recent release has added the following filters for the configuration item reports:
  • Site
  • Service
  • Product
Adding a filter to a request report
These additional filters are now available for the request reports:
  • Organization
  • Site
  • Service
  • Service Instance

The problem and change reports got the following additional filter:
  • Service

And finally, the SLA reports can now be filtered on:
  • Service
  • Service Instance
  • Organization

Monday, October 30, 2017

Broadcasts for Service Desk Analysts

BroadcastBecause service desk analysts often spend most of their time in the Service Desk console, they may not see the broadcasts that are intended for them. Also, when they are assisting someone, it would help if they could see the broadcasts that are relevant for this user.

Both concerns have now been addressed. When a service desk analyst accesses the Service Desk console, the broadcasts targeted at him/her are displayed in the bottom left corner. And as soon as someone is selected in the User field, the broadcasts for the selected user become visible.

Broadcasts in Service Desk console
This makes it possible, for example, to remind users of an upcoming outage. Users may not yet have seen this broadcast in ITRP Self Service, and the service desk analysts may not be the target audience of this broadcast because they do not use the service that is going to be unavailable. Still, it will impress users that the service desk knows about the planned outages that are going to affect them.

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Impressions from ITRP CAB 2017

TrustThis year's customer advisory board meeting was held at a fort in Cascais, Portugal. The program was redesigned to allow more time for in-depth functional discussions. These discussions were mixed with short presentations from ITRP's developers.

ITRP CAB 2017 Hotel in Cascais
The customers shared how they use certain features internally. They explained why some of their proposed enhancements are more important to them than others. Some site seeing, live music and amazing culinary experiences provided welcome diversions between the sessions.

ITRP CAB 2017 Excursions
At the end of the nearly 3-day CAB, the customers decided that the main themes for 2018 should be more reporting, more project & portfolio management, more resource planning, more CMDB, more knowledge management, and more mobile. So that is the focus for 2018.

ITRP CAB 2017 Offroad Adventure

Tuesday, October 24, 2017

PDF Designs

PDF DesignThe PDF design field has been added for approval tasks of changes and projects. This field is also available in change and project task templates when their category is ‘Approval’.

PDF design field
This field is set to the change or project summary design that was already available by default in ITRP. What is new is that account administrators have the ability to edit these default designs. They can also add more designs so that a different design can be used for specific approval tasks. It is even possible to empty the PDF design field to ensure that a change or project summary PDF does not get generated for some approval tasks.

To edit the default designs, or to add a new design, an administrator can go to the Settings console where the new ‘PDF Designs’ section can be found.

PDF Designs section of the Settings console
Before editing a PDF design, it is important to familiarize yourself with the hint provided below the HTML field. You can start adding field values and logic to your designs by entering two {{ curly brackets. When you are adjusting your JsRender tags you can pull up the available values by pressing Ctrl+Space.

Editing a PDF design
After saving a design, use the option ‘Generate sample…’ to see a preview for a specific change or project.

Generating a Change Summary sample in HTML format
By generating the sample in HTML format (rather than PDF) you can use your browser to inspect the code, which can help you figure out how to improve the HTML or CSS of your design.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Declining Requests Up the Assignment Trail

DeclineAfter a request has been declined, it is automatically reassigned. The request is returned to the team coordinator when it was declined by a specialist who works for a team that has an active coordinator. The team coordinator may subsequently need to decline the request as well to ensure that it is returned to the previous team. In turn, the previous team may need to send the request back to the service desk.

In the past, this was not so easy. When a request was already set to the status 'Declined', it was no longer possible to update the status to 'Declined' again. But now that a system note gets added each time someone declines a request, the status field is no longer needed to indicate that a request was declined.

Open Requests Aging since Last Updated report
This made it possible to add some automation. After a request's status has been set to 'Declined', ITRP automatically updates the status to 'Assigned' as it reassigns the request to the team coordinator, the previous team or the service desk.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

System Notes

NoteThere are some notes that ITRP adds automatically to requests. For example, when a change is successfully completed, a note is added to each request that is linked to the change to inform the requesters that the change has been implemented. What is new is that it has become easier to distinguish these system notes from notes that were added by people.

Open Requests Aging since Last Updated report
And what is especially nice, is that these system notes are now presented in the preferred language of the user. So when a French-speaking user is looking at a system note, the message appears in French. The same system note is displayed in German when a user, whose language preference in ITRP is set to German, looks at it.

Open Requests Aging since Last Updated report
This enhancement also includes a few new system notes. For example, there are now system notes that indicate when a request was completed and when it was reopened.

Open Requests Aging since Last Updated report

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Configuration Items by Status

Bar chart horizontalAnother two reports have been added. These new reports are there to help configuration managers find CIs with a specific status. These reports are ‘Active Configuration Items by Status’ and ‘Inactive Configuration Items by Status’.

Active CIs by Status report

Inactive CIs by Status report
Do check out the filters that can be applied to limit the CIs that are included in these reports.

Thursday, October 12, 2017

More KPI Dimensions

Line GraphKPI dimensionsA few more dimensions have been made available for filtering the KPIs. The new dimensions are: Region, Service instance and Site.

You will find them in the Analytics section below each KPI graph that is based on data from requests.

Note that the ‘Region’ refers to the geographical region that is specified for the internal organization to which the person belongs for whom the request was submitted.

Similarly, the ‘Site’ is the building or facility where the person, for whom the request was submitted, works.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Aging Requests

Bar chart verticalTwo interesting reports have been added that help identify requests that may need some attention. These are the reports ‘Open Requests Aging since Registered’ and ‘Open Requests Aging since Last Updated’.

Open Requests Aging since Registered report

Open Requests Aging since Last Updated report
Remember that these reports can be filtered, for example, to filter out all requests with the status 'Change Pending' or 'Project Pending'.