Better Sysadmin: Using a Ticketing system

Like most Sysadmin’s you have a lot of projects to work on, issues to resolve, and still somehow try to stay sane(ish). You have a big long to-do list, but the odd things are getting missed, your team can’t easily delegate requests to each other, you don’t work as a team, some projects aren’t getting worked on, and you have to deal with the consequences.

So, how can we fix this? It seems like a big problem but we have to start somewhere, and using a ticketing system is a good start. There are many available, but I am particularly fond of Request Tracker (RT) by Best Practical. RT is free and open source, has a strong feature set, commercial support is available, and there is a strong community.

A good ticketing system will allow you to prioritize tasks, set deadlines, add projects and sub-tasks, hand-off tasks to other team members (and vice-versa), automatically take requests, record information as you work on tasks, help your team look good and waste less time.

Users can fill in a web-form or send email to a single address to get help, and they can get feedback as you work through their problems. Your manager will be happy as she will be able to see what your team is working on, know what is due soon, and use this better visibility to help do her job.

So, this all sounds good but it will require some work. In the next few weeks I am going to publish an install guide for Request Tracker 4 on Debian 6 (it should also work for the upcoming Ubuntu 12.04). After that look forward to some further RT guides.

One thought on “Better Sysadmin: Using a Ticketing system

  1. Pingback: Better Sysadmin: improving a crappy work situation | Burn.co.nz

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