Custom Categories for Requests

Targetprocess tool supports Service Desk and Incident Management processes. Requests and support tickets can be grouped by custom categories. In this article we describe how to implement simple classification.

Custom categories for requests help to increase efficiency of support workflow. They make it more organized and transparent from all sides: for requesters, service desk agents, responsible teams and departments, and the business as well.

Work items of Request entity type are used to track requests and support tickets in Targetprocess. Categorize the Requests with the following fields and properties:

  • Request Type
  • Business Value
  • Custom Fields

All these capabilities are supported both by core Targetprocess application and by integrated Service Desk.

Request Type

Custom types of requests increase the number of scenarios that the Service Desk can be used for. A request can have a type selected, such as Issue, Idea, Question, Ticket, Service Request, Incident. You may enroute requests into queues based on selected type. Every queue may have dedicated responsible people such as individual assignees, teams, and departments. Create and configure a view for each queue with advanced filters. Once views are set up, your support staff see only items related to them. Independent custom SLA (service-level agreements) can be set per queue.

By default there are three Request Types defined in Targetprocess: Issue, Idea, and Question. The types can be customized by Administrators.

Request Type

Targetprocess users view and change types for requests on detailed forms. Selected value appears in the Info panel. Here an item can be quickly converted to other type as well.

Request Type. Image 2

Service Desk users and requesters view requests grouped by types within separate pages (tabs). Links to them are displayed in the header menu.

Request Type. Image 3

Type for a single request is displayed on a requester's form. The type can be set, viewed, and converted both on the Add Request and Edit Request forms.

Request Type. Image 4

More information: Request Types.

Business Value

Optionally, a request for on demand work can have a priority level, such as Emergency, Urgent, Medium, Low. You can allow the requester or support agent to indicate the priority level on the requests. In this case, you must define the various priority levels. Business Value field may be used to select a priority for a request. Requests in your queue become grouped by priority. Support agents focus on more important tasks first.

By default there are two Business Values defined in Targetprocess: Urgent and Normal. The values can be customized by Administrators.

Business Value

Targetprocess users view and change Business Value for requests on detailed forms. Selected value appears in the Info panel. Here priority level for an item can be increased or decreased as well.

Business Value. Image 6

Service Desk users and requesters view and change Business Value for requests within Priority field. It is displayed on a requester's form. A priority level can be set, viewed, and changed both on the Add Request and Edit Request forms.

Business Value. Image 7

More information: How to customize Priority of Requests.

Custom Fields

Add Custom Fields to requests to group them by custom categories. Requests may be classified by identified signs, levels of impact, underlying causes, affected product areas, involved components, clients.

Custom Fields support public and private categories. By default all custom fields are private. They are visible in Targetprocess application only. Support agents see and fill in them, while external requesters do not. Administrators may make a custom field public and visible for Service Desk requesters.

Axes settings and Advanced Filters for views and reports in Targetprocess support grouping and filtering requests per custom field values. Requests within any assigned category can be easily tracked separately.

Initially Custom Fields are not set for Requests in Targetprocess. Custom Fields are set up by Administrators.

To add a custom field named Category to Request entities, browse Settings > Processes > [Select your Process] > Custom Fields page. Fill in the form as shown below:

Custom Fields

Added field appears in the fields list:

Custom Fields. Image 9

Targetprocess users view and change Custom Field values for requests on detailed forms. Selected value appears in Custom Fields panel. Here selected value can be changed as well.

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Service Desk users and requesters do not see Custom Field values for requests by default. Service Desk Administrators may toggle custom fields on/off, making them visible or hidden on a requester's form. To access settings page, click your Avatar Icon > Settings > Projects and Custom Fields. Mark the fields with checkboxes and save changes.

Custom Fields. Image 11

Selected fields appear on a requester's form. A custom field value can be set, viewed, and changed both on the Add Request and Edit Request forms.

Custom Fields. Image 12

Sub-categories and dependent custom fields

All custom fields are independent in Targetprocess. Drop Down Lists with subcategories and Configuration of dependencies are not implemented yet. The only known workaround is to make a plain list with options specified in string form:

Category1 : Item1
Category1 : Item2
Category2 : Item1
Category2 : Item2 : Subtype A
Category2 : Item2 : Subtype B

More information:

Best Practices

Classification schemes vary from organization to organization. When the process evolves, rules of grouping may be changed. However, the following principles are quite common:

  • Categories should always be agreed between IT groups, the Service Desk staff, and the business.
  • Categories should direct further analysis, evaluation and routing, not attempt to diagnose root cause.
  • Categories should be as simple and easy to use as possible.
  • Categories should view things from a user perspective, not from an IT organization or technology viewpoint.

Frequent problems with classification include:

  • Creating classification schemes with too many entries. It makes difficult for Service Desk requesters to navigate and select.
  • Improperly selected classification. It may cause Service Desk agents to guess when trying to convert user reported symptoms into a technical taxonomy.
  • Having a classification scheme that looks like an organizational chart. It causes Service Desk requesters to waste time with attempts to determine and then route to the correct support group.

These problems all reduce the value and effectiveness of classification. Hopefully, being aware of the issues, you will make your own journey easier.

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