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Schedule Calls to log automatically?

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In Supportworks there used to be the option to log regular call requests on a scheduled basis automatically, are there any plans to add this facility in Service Manager? We relied on this heavily so it will be a great loss when we move to the new system, especially with the limited use that call templates give us.

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Hiya, We have the same issue here too, and was told this feature will be available soon (90 days from last month). We currently us the Activities as reminders ( But this is really not doing the job), but will hold on untill we get a go ahead that this is working.

Hope this helps...

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Hi Thanks for the post.

Scheduled calls are not currently available in Service Manager, it is an area we are looking into but there is currently no defined timeframe for the roll-out of this functionality. 

There is already the functionality to schedule tasks, and for these to have reminders, and manual follow ups, checklists for completing actions on each task.  

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.25.30.png

 

We have new Activity functionality which allows you to view activities in list, board and calendar formats.  You are able to view activities assigned to users, roles and groups in the calendars and you are able to build your own views as shown below.

Screen Shot 2016-06-02 at 11.21.29.png

Making it easier for you to manage tasks across your groups. 

We will obviously update as there is progress in regards to scheduled calls. 

Thanks 

Steve

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If you're desperate to schedule you could always use windows scheduler as the trigger and call the Hornbill API to log the call until scheduling is built in.

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The scheduled calls is something we use within Supportworks for backup reminders etc.  We will record any issues etc noticed against that particular call - this is needed for audit purposes and to look back and assign the calls should there be something that needs addressing.

I know you can set a follow up to an activity within Service Manager but this just moves the activity to the next date not allowing you to individually record any issues/observations with the backups on that particular day so that you are able to look back.  Until we have the ability to set a re-accruing activity that appears each day as an individual activity or a scheduled call facility, Management want us to continue to use Supportworks for the scheduled calls.

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Thank you for all of your posts.  I would like to continue to get your feed back on this topic as I too can see the importance of being able to schedule work to be done.  As some of you have mentioned in Supportworks you were able to schedule a "call" and possibly some people went further and created their own "call class" to create something that would represent a job that could be scheduled.

The Hornbill Activities have been recently gone through a number of improvements and they now include a calendar view, a list view, and an extremely flexible Board view.   Managers can now also get better visibility to oversee the activities assigned to their managed teams.  Activities can be assigned to teams or individuals including Hornbill users that don't have have access to the Service Manager app.  Activities can currently be associated to Service Manager requests or to the organisations stored in Customer Manager.   It would also be reasonable to add the functionality to associate an activity to an asset, for example a server that requires back-ups to be changed.

As one approach to managing jobs, I would be interested to here from you what you feel is missing from the Activities feature to fulfill your requirements?



 

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James just to add to this, with the release of Configuration Manager (Beta), it is now possible to have activities raised against individual Assets.  With Configuration Manager installed, you can put Assets In Policy from the Configuration Manager options, and any Assets marked as in policy will enable activities and a timeline against each Asset.  

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 07.05.06.png

Info on Configuration Manager: https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/Configuration_Manager

Once an Asset is in policy, this enables activities against those assets as shown below, as well as the ability to post and add comments to a timeline for each asset.  

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 07.01.14.png

As shown above, if you create an activity against the asset, you can set start on, due on dates, you can define what needs to be done, and also create a Check List of items which need to be completed on the task. The Task can be assigned to an individual, group or role, and this can be viewed on calendars etc. 

Screen Shot 2016-06-04 at 07.09.31.png

Once the Task is complete, there is an option to schedule a Follow Up.  The original task is marked as completed and you can record any information, issues etc in the Description field of the task, but this completed task remains as an individual record of the job, which you can view on the calendar, you can create your own views in the new activities views to show completed or pending activities, and on the asset itself you can view both Completed and Assigned Activities which are due from the Follow Up action as shown above. 

All of the Activities are then reportable against.

As James refers to above it would be great to hear what you think would be needed here, is it simply the ability to automate the recurring of the Follow Up action or is more needed? do we need the ability to record more notes, or options to raise a request from an activity etc if further action is needed?

Thanks 

Steve

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I think it is generally "simply" the ability to automate the follow-up - the reason for the quotes is that it's not simple to predict the frequency of the schedule.

The nth day of the month is easy, sometimes developers remember to allow the nth Monday/Tuedsay etc.. Then someone will need every 3rd Wednesday, or every 10 days, or every leap year if the 29th falls on a weekend - allowing for virtually every combination of schedules is the tricky part.

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Steve,

Yes thats exactly right.  Although we have a schedule capability that works, I think what the team are questioning/feeling for, is weather or not scheduled calls is really a good idea.  The main problem with scheduled calls is proving variable input. If thats not required its relatively straightforward to implement although I am not sure at the moment there are sufficient platform functions available to the application team (Service Manager in this case) to easily schedule application-specific stuff.   This will probably lead to having the ability to schedule the invocation of an application-provided API (FlowCode) but then we are back to the problem of how to easily map the required input params of the flowcode to sensible values without making our customers need to have to "code", we are 100% committed to code-free daily use. In Supportworks we always had that crutch to revert back to a bit of PHP or JavaScript but we dont like where that leads to (inability to update) so the product teams here at Hornbill are mandated to provide user features that are easy to use and never require coding/scripting/complcations....  thats why this is taking some discussions....

Gerry

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Just to show interest.

Our Server team are desperate to schedule backup etc like in the old supportworks.

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we too use a number of scheduled  task in supportworks   for database checks , server room checks .....  , we have a call origin of "scheduled"  on which we can perform searches , we attach checklist to calls and record spent hours against them

so we really would like them implemented too .

 

 

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Kelvin

Thanks for the feedback, the Configuration Manager app (beta) is available to install from the app store on your instance now, and this will allow your Server team to use Activities against their Servers (once they are marked as In Policy in Configuration Manager).

Whilst this isn't the recurring scheduled tasks we are discussing, it will enable them to schedule the Back Up task against each server, complete the job, and schedule the next, keep the history of previous backup's / outcomes, and comments, as well as view these on Activity calendars, lists or they can create a custom board, or view using the new activities functionality which is specific to the backups (Title Contains Backup etc)

I hope this helps them in the meantime. 

Regards

Steve

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Thanks Ralf

There is a consistent theme here definitely

With the examples you mentioned would the ability to define your checklists as tick box items on the tasks, and if needed add attachments help? as these are currently available with tasks, as is the ability to record the time spent on completing the task, and using the new activities view I can filter the tasks by personal views, boards, calendars and search for specific terms in the tasks descriptions as shown below:

Screen Shot 2016-06-06 at 16.46.05.png

I am keen to see if it is added functionality needed to the current tasks or if people feel they need more and scheduled Jobs with multiple tasks etc is actually required? 

Sorry if it appears I am laborings the tasks theme here, but I want to ensure we are aware of it's current capabilities before we explore other options.

Thanks

Steve

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I'm not on Service Manager yet, so apologies if this is a basic question.

Would the format be that you created a job of "Server Backup" and then set a recurring task within that job to perform that backup? Then once the task is complete you set a new date and the job "sleeps" until the next occurrence is due?
For me, that would work - the question would then be how easy you make the assignment of the next due date. I would want to be able to set a schedule at the job level, so when you are asked to add the new date it appears pre-populated with the option to adjust if necessary - and we're back to the awkwardness of what people want as schedules.
I'd be happy at that point with a good selection of schedules - I would expect daily, weekly, monthly, nth of the month, nth Monday of the month and every n hours/days/weeks/months to be available and if you want a more complex one just pick the nearest and alter it when you schedule the next task - I'm not sure everyone would agree with me, though.

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Hi Steven,

i had a look at the new Activities View, i seem to see less items  in that view , for example i have created a task (owner)  and assigned it to a group i am not a member of. 

In the "old" view the task is listed , in the "new" view it's not .

i can see how  "Activities"  could almost handle scheduled task , but you rely on the user to correctly use the follow up feature .

Also some Analysts are very keen on their call statistics and scheduled calls would bump them up , activities wouldn't count .

On a side note : for a supervisor is it  required to be a member of all groups they manage to have visibility across all teams ??

Thanks

 

Ralf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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By the way, in the screenshot above the "Due On" and "Created On" dates are formatted differently - that will annoy me greatly when we migrate ...

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We are also interested in a scheduled call facility.  This is important for checks to be carried out by our staff for example on the second Wednesday of each month (the day after Windows Updates are released), we have a member of the team check and deploy the updates to a test group for example.  Another example we have is a daily morning check (rota basis) carried out by the team where we log on and test everything is up and running across the firm before staff arrive into the office.

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Hi Michael

I think we can partially help already here. 

In the second part of your post, you want to arrange daily checks in the morning which are allocated on a rota basis.  

With the new activities you can create these and assign them to a user, role or group - you can then use the Activity view to create a Morning Checks view which can show the morning checks activities, and if need be break these down by different areas.   

The user on rota can use this view to see all the tasks which need completing (because they can view their own, role or team based activities), and when they complete the task they can use the Follow Up option to schedule the same task for the next day and the next person on rota?  

An example is shown below, where multiple morning checks are organised into a View, broken down into a list showing areas hat need checking, and that the tasks are assigned to a Role, and that the user can switch to the view easily from the various options highlighted. 

Tasks.png

Hopefully that helps a little

Steve

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We, like Michael work on a rota basis (weekly) for our morning tasks - I can see what you are suggesting above Steve however the bit I have an issue with is the manual follow up bit.  We really just need the same as we had Supportworks where you can create an activity that you can schedule to appear on a daily basis that can either be assigned to a group or role - where you can either set the end date or leave it to run forever.

This way the analyst can record (or complete the checklist), record anything against it that they need to then resolve the call, knowing there will be another one there for tomorrow.  This means no one has to worry about remembering to follow up a call or 'will they all be there for me next week?' etc.

Thanks

Tina

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Tina thanks for following this up. 

Once we have progress on the ability to automate the scheduling i will certainly update this post, in the meantime as we continue to improve the activities functionality we will continue to post ideas and approaches to working with the functionality as it evolves. 

Thanks

Steve

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Hi Steve,

is there any progress with the automation of scheduling task ?

We find the manual follow up requirement  is a real problem !

 

Thanks

Ralf

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Hi @Tonyo @jbrown @Kelvin @Michael Sharp @Tina.Lapere @Ralf Peters

An update on where we are with the introduction of the scheduling of automated re-occurring activities.  We are looking to have this available in the next 4-6 weeks (subject to any unexpected challenges / issues etc).

Just to clarify this will be providing the ability to configure the scheduling for the reoccurrence of the activities functionality of Hornbill, not the scheduling of Incidents, Changes etc. 

Morning checks, and regular maintenance etc would fall under the activities umbrella compared to break / fix (Incident) or Request Fulfilment (Service Requests) etc, and the introduction of this will now provide the ability for these activities to be automated and not reliant on the manual use of the follow up options which are currently available.

Once this is released i will post back here and make all aware.

In the meantime if there are any urgent requirements to automate the creation of activities or in fact Incidents / Service Requests etc, we have provided an API Scheduler Utility which will allow you to define a schedule for the creation of activities and requests through our API's, in fact this can be used to schedule any of the Hornbill API's.  

This will involve some more advanced understanding of our API's and how to structure / define there Params but maybe something you wish to explore.

More information about this utility and where you can download it etc are available on the wiki here: https://wiki.hornbill.com/index.php/API_Scheduler

In the case of activities, this utility will allow you to define all of the parameters such as title, category, owner, outcomes, due dates etc and schedule the creation of these say hourly, or daily at specific times, once a year etc.

In the case of requests, the utility will allow you to define Summary, Description, Source, Owner, Customer, Priority etc parameters.  You can also define the Service which it will be raised against, which will allow you to then automatically spawn the Business Process linked to the Service of the Request type, and this can be used to manage more advanced routing requirements, use of service level timers, suspend operations, task creation etc against the requests raised through this utility. 

This utility utilises API Keys, and these can be created via the admin tool and via the User Accounts you wish to use,  under System > Organisation Data > Users 

I hope this helps clarify where we currently are.

Thanks

Steve

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@steven boardman is there a way of adding clickable hyperlinks in the .json file?

We have a number of web locations we require to visit as part of our daily scheduled tasks and as it is in the browser already I was thinking it would be easier to just click the link in the check list rather than copy and paste it every time.

Thanks

Dan

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