Ticket Inbox Zero

Blackboard implemented a ranking system to determine the priority of support tickets. This effort uses criteria like the age and recency of updates to ensure the attention of Technical Support Managers. Certainly this initiative is due to continuing customer complaints about languishing tickets. Last spring we saw a similar push to fix support.

We have a weekly call with our Blackboard TSM where we discuss the status and priority of the issues. As GeorgiaVIEW is a consortium, these calls allow us to track the progress of the couple dozen of active tickets. From our vantage point, the tickets get verified as a bug in relatively short order and escalated to Development in rather short order.

Once there, the tickets languish for months to years. Most tickets impact a single section so once grades are posted, a fix is pointless. Even one ticket who passes this point to me proves a failure in the system. As fixing the issue after this point solves nothing. It cannot help anyone as the class is inactive. Yet, we hold on in hope someone might look at the issue and provide a fix for the next time this happens. Maybe that will be another customer or ourselves soon?

Unless a fix is provided immediately, we start losing the confidence of the instructors or students. Within only two weeks, we have irrevocably lost the confidence of these users. At that point we are incompetent to this person and may never be able to regain trust.

Our TSM seems effective in the realm in which she operates (confirming bugs, providing known solutions, and pestering Development for updates). We hawkishly ensure no tickets are dropped through the cracks.

If the goal really is to make the customers happy, then providing us timely updates that nothing is being done will not cut it. Provide the resources to Development to get our tickets resolved. Only then will our users be happy.

The plight of the older sibling

Older siblings are shaped by parents into perfectionists to set an example for the younger siblings. They are less likely to do bad things and more likely to turn out better than the younger siblings.

What it also says to me is it is effective on the older siblings. If the parents maintained the same level of strictness on the younger siblings, then the younger kids would turn out better as well. Because the parents are only putting on act, the younger siblings end up more likely to become screw ups.