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Footprints is a ticket tracking system that is utilized by the University of Akron Information Technology Department. It tracks both opened and closed tickets and provides communication between departments. Students and staff can log in and check up on the status of a ticket if one is not sent to their email address. The link is

A guide to using Footprints (condensed)

Always use a UANET ID

  • Why?
    • An ID with email allows the user to see all of the work you have done by sending them all changes to the work order.
    • Reoccurring problems can be seen if one user seems to have the same issue a number of times. This will allow you to recognize problems that go beyond the original solution.
    • If a user is abusing the system by asking for work on a large number of systems that may not be theirs, using their ID to track them is the best way to track their behavior.
  • Using the "History" button
    • After a user has given you their ID, you can click on the "History" button to track previous work orders or the history of specific work orders.
    • The "History" button is located on the horizontal toolbar above the first field when viewing a ticket on in the "Contact Information" bar when editing a ticket.
    • Use the "History" button to track use of the system, abuse, and to avoid making duplicate tickets if one has already been started.

When a user does not have a UANET ID

  • What to do
    • If a user does not have an ID because they are a prospective student with questions about the University, record all contact information in the boxes provided but enter "prospect" in the UANET ID field. Obtain the user's address and other relevant information in the description. This information can then be forwarded to Admissions.
    • If a user has non-computing questions about The University of Akron but does not have an ID, process the ticket as you would normally but enter "noncomp" in the ID field. Make sure to get all of their other contact information so that the appropriate departments can forward them appropriate information in the future.
    • If a user is requesting an ID because they do not currently have one, enter "pending" in the ID field. Gather the rest of the contact data as the ticket will serve as an initial record of the user. Obtain the user's address and reason for requesting an ID and record it in the description box.

Searching for work orders

  • Using the "Display" box
    • When looking over tickets, primary criteria, like departmental assignment, can be selected as a filter from the Display box on the top left of the screen.
    • Filters can include departmental assignments, personal assignments, and saved advanced searches.
    • Use this method of searching to determine which tickets need attention, what tasks you personally need to be working on, and to assure that the oldest tickets get faster resolutions.
  • Changing sorting criteria
    • Clicking on the title of sorting criteria arranges the column in ascending order with the first click and descending order with the second.
    • Order tickets by number, status, contact name, or any other criteria that you wish to view using the preferences function of footprints.
    • Ordering tickets in this way assures that tickets are handled in the "first in, first out" method and allows you to see like tickets in one group.
  • Using the main search field
    • The main search field is located on the top of the footprints screen.
    • You can search by a word in the title, the ticket number or by any word that may appear in the ticket, including UANET ID and even computer serial numbers by selecting the appropriate button.
  • Advanced search
    • Advanced search allows you to search for tickets with specific characteristics like when it was created, where the ticket is being handled, or by any other piece of information that might be contained on the ticket.
    • Advanced searches can be saved before they are run. Thereafter, they will appear in the "Display" drop down box where they can be accessed quickly.
    • Use advanced searches to find tickets for which you have little information or like tickets for gathering information.

When to update tickets

  • Reasone
    • Every time work is done
    • When you begin work on an open ticket, assign it to yourself.
    • Every time you contact the user or the user contacts you.
    • When a ticket is pending further action by someone else.
    • When closing, include a full description of the solution or reason for closing the ticket.
    • ABC = Always be closing

When to reopen a ticket

  • In order to reopen a closed ticket, it must meet four criteria:
    • The original ticket must not have been closed for more than a week.
    • The reason for reopening the ticket must be related the original work done.
    • NOT: When a new problem arises on the same computer.
    • NOT: When a user has a similar problem on a different computer.
  • Examples
    • YES: A user complains that, although the virus scan you instructed her to run three days ago seemed to work, the infection has returned. Realizing you had forgotten to disable the "System Restore" function, you reopen the ticket to include additional troubleshooting steps.
    • NO: A user picks up his computer after having Windows XP installed. Four days later, he comes back and complains that he has many pop-ups and that the machine runs slow.

Proper Documentation

  • Title
    • Will include a brief, general description of the problem.
      • BAD: "internet not working," "please look at machine," “needs looked at ASAP” “internet in dorm room” and "virus"
      • GOOD: "connecting to zip-space in dorm room," " boot problem, system doesn’t recognize hard drive" and "instruction on virus removal," ”hard drive making clicking sound,” “information on OBEN payment/sign up,” Cannot access various Internet sites from home OBEN connection,” ”on boot sequence sad face appears.”

There is a problem so there is no need to state that in the work order

    • Priority should never be changed without the approval of a supervisor. All tickets will be handled as soon as possible
  • Contact Information
    • Obtain all possible information, regardless of perceived relevance.
    • UAnet ID, phone number, and email address are absolutely necessary.
  • Ticket Information
    • Select options with the closest meaning to the problem, not the one that affords the least information requirement.
    • Provide all information on computers including serial numbers, model numbers, operating system, computer name and manufacturer. For university machines, entering the UANET ID will link to the Footprints database and provide automatic links that will import information for machines that the client uses frequently.
    • The main description should be a complete set of information obtained from the original contact and a complete list of processes as the ticket is subsequently updated. The description should not include editorial comments about users, contacts, coworkers or departments of The University of Akron. Negative or ad hominem comments will no longer be acceptable. Also refrain from using words and phrases like "please," "ASAP," and "take a look."
    • Tech comments are meant for internal eyes only. That being said, the same rules apply to this box as the description, but this is the place for asking coworkers to provide more information, commenting on missing or possibly false information from the user, and the like.
  • Assignees
    • Auto assignment works by filling in the equipment location in the fields labeled “equipment location” and “equipment room number” in the problem type category. By matching building locations, equipment type, and the original submitter against a list of who would typically handle this problem you can manually assign tickets, but it is critical to assign the work order to the correct person(s) and group(s).
    • Assign all groups directly involved with the ticket as well as individuals who will be handling specific aspects of the ticket like repairs or appointments.