Stephen D Buyze

“Empowering Managed Service Providers to Increase Profit”

Out With The Queues, In With The New?

Are queues still relevant for managed service providers? Where should you be using them? How do they compare to widgets? Find out in this article...

Queues. Can you think of any topic more interesting?  

Kidding aside, I’m not sure where you are in the transition from working on tickets out of queues to leveraging Dashboards and Widgets, but I can tell you from experience – Dashboards and Widgets are way more 

  • Productive 
  • Flexible 
  • Easy & enjoyable to work from  
  • And, they offer multiple levels of information 

How Many Queues Does Your MSP Need? 

Once the transition is complete, how many queues do you need? That depends on the new role queues play. It used to be that we utilized queues to segment groups of Tickets.  

For example: New Tickets (Triage), First Assigned (Level 1), Escalated (Level II), etcToday all tickets can reside in one queue, and we can use Widgets to filter down the volume of tickets and organize them into a Dashboard that makes sense. 

To be honest, we still recommend a simple list of queues, just because some are required by the Autotask PSA software. Someday we will mature into using Widgets to explain the workflows. 

Download your copy of IT Service Delivery workflows based on Widgets here 

Why You Should Use Widgets Over Queues 

One reason is to reduce the number of Workflow Rules and therefore, the chances of a ticket being lost. We have many workflow rules that are in place just to move tickets from queue to queue.  

We use change in status to trigger the workflow rule, and the same status change can move the ticket from one Widget to another without using CPU time (not sure this is important anymore, as I never hear about CPU time these days). 

Queues also come in handy for Live Reports, and it is one of the main reasons why we hang on to them. As you may know from our article on the Workflows, segmenting Customer requests makes life much easier, more efficient, and enjoyable, not to mention it helps us keep our promises to the Customers and it also makes more money for the company.  

In the Workflow article, we used Priority to segment the Customer Requests. So why do we not use Priorities to filter in Live Reports? Probably because Im old school and that is the way we have always done it. 

It’s Time for a Change: Finding a Happy Medium 

Well, if you put it that way, then it may be time for a change. Going forward, we will use one queue for all tickets and segment them into widgets and live reports by status, priority and Next SLA Event Due Date 

Hold On For A Minute, doesn’t that mean we will be underutilizing a significant part of the software? Isn’t that just as bad as not using the SLA module, Workflow Rules, or communicating with the Customer?  

Well, yes, now that you mention it. 

So, where is the balance? Here are my thoughts: 

  • Ithe majority of a group of tickets are managed by a different team, then they need a queue 
  • If the group of tickets stays with the same team, they are just in a different place on the journey from the cradle to the grave, therefore, we should use Widgets to segment them into different views.  

We can use the same thought process for Live Reports: 

  • If the report is for a specific Team, use a queue filter 
  • If it is for a different place in the engagement process, use priority, status, or SLA to filter or group the information. 

The Recommended Queue List Every MSP Needs 

What does that look like at the end of the day?  

Here is our recommended Queue list: 

  • Monitoring Alerts 
  • Client Portal 
  • Triage 
  • Post-Sale 
  • Support 
  • Projects 
  • Recurring Tickets 

The list of Widgets depends on the role of the EmployeeHere is our recommended Widget list: 

For Technicians:  

  • Ready to be Resolved 
  • Waiting Status 
  • Service Calls Scheduled 
  • Out of Office this week 
  • My Open Tickets 
  • Team Hours worked this week 
  • Scheduled Tickets (including all project tickets) 
  • SLA – Triage (First Response) 
  • Assigned/Completed over the last 3 months 
  • SLA – Tech Engagement (Resolution Plan) 
  • SLA – Completion (Resolved) 
  • My Aged Tickets 

For an article on how to use these widgets Click Here  

For Service Coordinators: 

  • Triage 
  • Open Tickets by Resource 
  • Next SLA summary 
  • All Open Tickets 
  • All Waiting Status 
  • On Hold Tickets 
  • All Service Calls Scheduled 
  • Team Hours Worked This Week 
  • All Open Projects 
  • Out of Office this week 
  • Contracts Expiring 
  • Closed Tickets Ready for Billing Review 

For an article on how to use these widgets Click Here 

In summary: As our world changes, we need to change with itThere is a benefit to being Widgetcentric over QueuecentricBe smart, use a few queues when needed, and use widgets for the rest. 

Download your copy of IT Service Delivery workflows based on Widgets here 

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