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What should a help desk incident managment system be able to do?

Overview: This article will list the features/abilities that a good help desk system should have.  This is drawn from my help desk management experience and the usage and assessment of various help desk incident (ticket, case, problem etc.) management systems.  My experience is just that (mine), so please use this information as one of your sources when evaluating help desk systems.

Intended Audience: Anyone evaluating their current help desk system with the view as to if it does what you need it to do, or anyone evaluating new help desk systems.

Purpose: This article is to provide an overview of what I believe help desk systems should be able to do, so people will be able to make informed choices when evaluating systems.

My Background: Before you get to the details of what I believe are the important elements of a good help desk system, I want to give you the background of where I got the experience which has brought me to find and define this information.

I started working on a technical help desk over ten years ago and the help desks I have worked with over the years have managed their incidents in a number of ticket/incident/call management systems, including Heat, Magic, Remedy and Peregrine.

In my current role as the ITS Help Desk Training Manager at CSULA, I was asked to decide upon and implement a new help desk system for our ITS help desk and division.

WIP...More to come...

  • the flexibility to work with your existing workflows, not force you into a new workflow
  • end user submission of tickets
  • web based so agents can close/update tickets from client workstation
  • ability for tickets to have child tickets 
  • ability for one ticket to generate multiple tickets (e.g. new hire)
  • ability for quick ticket entry (e.g. calls re network outage)
  • sane database structure so data can be used with other tools, e.g. brio


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