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Incident and Problem Classification Hierarchy best practise

Often when a Help Desk upgrades from a simpler system (sometimes no system at all)  to HelpMaster Pro there is an irresistible temptation to enter assets into the Issue Codes field (the  user populated hierarchal list which used to be called Problem Codes).

This is bad.

Placing an asset or asset type within the Issue Codes restricts you from being able to access useful information about the asset within the HelpMaster Pro application. It also is a recipe for issue duplication.

Take a look at the following Issue Code examples:


When assets are recorded in the hierarchy like this, there is a very strong tendency to unknowingly duplicate the issue in more generic issues codes. These generic issue codes are needed for instances where an asset has not been record in the hierarchy. Therefore when an officer has to log a Job for replacing a toner cartridge for HP Lrg format 012 they have two correct choices; Service Request / Consumable order or Service Request / Hardware/ Compaq Printer XYZ / Ink replace. Different selections will be made depending on the officer’s mood and coffee status. This is frustrating for the officer and is a nightmare for effective information retrieval.

A better structure would be:

With the asset captured via an asset record liked to the job. There is now no duplication and there is an added bonus if not needing to repeat the third tier for each distinct printer asset.

Asset data

But wait there is more. There is another reason for not capturing assets in the issue code hierarchy.  When logging a Job, linking the correct asset information to the record is an essential part of identifying, troubleshooting and resolving the issue. If you rely on the Issue code to provide this information how will you access the asset location, serial number, configuration info and other important details? These can’t be recorded in the Issue Code.

So the moral of this story is that assets belong in the asset registry where they can provide additional information to aid troubleshooting, leaving the issue codes free to capture the essence of the issue succinctly and quickly.

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