This is the Reason for a “System”

A “system” will help quantify and qualify the stuff so it can be dealt with in an organized, efficient, and responsible manner. Right now the Help Desk staff fully bears the burden of managing “stuff” and it would be more efficient to distribute this burden. In the end those extra few seconds or minutes spent creating the tickets I believe will result in a faster resolution of problems (especially critical ones). It may also result in time being freed up to actually provide TRAINING which has been a big issue as you have observed. Read on…

The Problem with “stuff”

Getting Things Done succeeds because it first addresses a critical barrier to completing the atomic tasks that we want to accomplish in a given day. That’s “stuff.” Amorphous, unactionable, flop-sweat-inducing stuff. David says:

Here’s how I define “stuff:” anything you have allowed into your psychological or physical world that doesn’t belong where it is, but for which you haven’t yet determined the desired outcome and the next action step. [pg. 17]

Stuff is bouncing around in our heads and causing untold stress and anxiety. Evaluation meetings, bar mitzvahs, empty rolls of toilet paper, broken lawn mowers, college applications, your big gut, tooth decay, dirty underwear and imminent jury duty all compete for prime attention in our poor, addled brains. Stuff has no “home” and, consequently, no place to go, so it just keeps rattling around.

Worst off, we’re too neurotic to stop thinking about it, and we certainly don’t have time to actually do everything in one day. Jeez Louise, what the hell am I, Superman?

So you sprint from fire to fire, praying you haven’t forgotten anything, sapped of anything like creativity or even the basic human flexibility to adapt your own schedule to the needs of your friends, your family or yourself. Your “stuff” has taken over your brain like a virus now, dragging down every process it touches and rendering you spent and virtually useless. Sound familiar?

- David Allen, Getting Things Done: The Art of Stress-Free Productivity


Right now I/we receive incoming requests by the following methods:

1. Email
2. Phone
3. iChat
4. Verbal
5. Observation

A web form input is not used at all at the present time.

This “stuff” needs to be triaged and managed primarily in my head which then can’t be shared with other staff members efficiently. By reducing the input of “sfuff” to primarily just one method (web based form) and two secondary methods (phone and verbal) it will make it more efficient to triage and report to others on how much stuff there is to do, what has been done, and what might need to change in the future.

I’ve found over time that nearly 90% of all verbal request aren’t sufficiently important enough to require a response. If they had been important the user would have emailed or called.

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