In this day and age, even smaller institutions need some way to track their work, whether they are projects or support requests. At the heart of every college or university is the administration department, who ends up serving as the first point of contact in a lot of cases, even if the issue should be directed elsewhere. This can make it difficult to move forward on projects while constantly pivoting to triage requests coming in. For a small college, an already small workforce might be stretched even thinner. The first step towards relieving that pain is to start tracking the work. Knowing that OneDesk has the ability to do just that, one client came to us seeking a solution.

Our client is a small college that is attended by around 700 students. Currently, the college administration is not using any project management software and has no way to sort through projects at the moment. Aside from the projects that the college works on, the administration also fields requests from different departments that often need to be redirected to the appropriate team. Ideally, our client would like a helpdesk to manage these requests, that integrates well with project management.

OneDesk is known for its helpdesk and project management software, which work seamlessly together. In particular, for the helpdesk, our client identified the need to easily be able to send incoming requests to the right people. The process of triaging a request or question can be time-consuming, even if there is a known criteria that someone can quickly check. OneDesk streamlines this process with the ability to automatically assign tickets to particular teams or people. By defining custom ticket types, our client can indicate what type of request any ticket is. Taking this one step further, a workflow automation can be set up to assign a ticket to a specific department or set of people based on the type.

Although our client was keen on the OneDesk helpdesk product, it was clear to us that our client was concerned about how tickets would get logged into the system. Our customer portal is one way our client can control how tickets enter their helpdesk. By building and presenting forms for the creation of any incoming requests, our client can specify what data needs to be part of the request, and they can even tailor it depending on the specific request type. For example, if our client wants to know what faculty a request is concerning, they can create a drop-down menu on the form with all the faculties listed. This limits what the user can input as well as ensure clarity. Our client loves that our customer portal is configurable. From the colour scheme, to the title, to the form inputs, we leave it open so our client has the freedom to make it their own.

For tracking project work, OneDesk has a separate project management tool. Similar to the helpdesk’s concept of tickets, our project management software focuses around tasks instead. These tasks are meant to capture work that needs to be planned, and with the different views we offer, our client can then see and define dependencies between tasks as well as when work will be completed by. Tasks in OneDesk also have a time tracking aspect. This can be done by importing a timesheet or by using our built-in task timer. Our client sees the benefit of time tracking as recorded times can then be used to provided a basis for planning—is enough time being allocated to the work that needs to be done? Is there a disconnect in what the team is planning for and actual execution? Partnered with the ability to import timesheets, time tracking becomes a powerful tool to help our client find ways to improve their processes.

Sometimes improvements can’t be uncovered until the team is already in the middle of working on a task or ticket. For those cases when ticket work starts to spiral into project territory, our client has the ability to convert tasks into tickets and vice-versa. It can be tricky discerning at the outset of a project what work really needs planning—a reality that our client has experienced in the past. Because our project management and helpdesk software integrate with each other out of the box, it’s simple converting work items back and forth between these two tools when it becomes necessary to do so, without losing any of the details.

OneDesk uses a simple hierarchy for organizing work. Work items—whether tickets or tasks—are tracked under a project, and from there projects can be placed into folders which then ultimately live under portfolios. This hierarchy allows our client to split up work in different ways. OneDesk’s tree view also allows for easy drag and drop management of these levels. Easy and intuitive, our client is able to do bulk operations without having to click into each project or work item to define where it lies in the hierarchy. Aside from the tree view, we also have views based on Status, where tickets sit in the Calendar, and general metrics outlined in a Dashboard. These views all support drag and drop movement so whatever the view, management of work can be done quickly and efficiently.

What sets OneDesk apart from its competitors is how easy it is to work with. Whether the work is longer-term projects or one-time requests, OneDesk handles them all. With an interface that is easy to use, our client found that OneDesk hit all the marks with how quickly they could start managing their work right out of the gate. On top of the custom ticket types, statuses, and workflows, our workflow automations only step up our client’s efficiency. By setting up automations to handle menial changes, our client is freed up to spend more time on providing their users with top-notch service. Coupled with the fully customizable customer portal, OneDesk provides a complete solution for our client that puts them in control of every situation.

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