3

I often work with our web team to make changes to web server configurations for the applications I manage. Things like permission changes, file migration, PHP config settings, etc. I can not make these changes directly, so I rely on them to handle the work.

To follow procedure I put a ticket into our tracking system and assign it to their queue. I also follow up with an email describing the ticket and what I'm trying to do.

I feel a quick heads up via a personal email is a nice courtesy. However, upon this most recent request I wonder if I'm being more of a bother. It's a nuanced thing, but what is the proper protocol? Should the request and associated ticket be enough communication? Am I just bothering them further with a ticket (which generates an email to the team itself!) and an email or is it a nice personal touch that would be seen as welcome?

  • 8
    I think the answer to this question is going to be very dependant on your company culture. The right answer for you is probably different than the answer to many other workplaces. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 16:02
  • What is your expected cycle time for resolution? – enderland May 29 '13 at 16:04
  • 3
    @Chad disagree with "too localized". A lot of companies have a ticketing system, and both answers explain when it might or might not be appropriate. – explunit May 29 '13 at 17:34
  • 1
    A decent ticket system generates those emails for you... – jwenting May 31 '13 at 5:38
  • I don't think it's improper etiquette, but I do think your ticket is incomplete if you feel that you need a follow-up email to explain it. Why can't you put that explanation in the ticket itself? – alroc Jun 3 '13 at 11:27
14

In general, no. Especially if the email group you're using corresponds exactly with the queue assignment in the ticketing system.

However, it depends on the effectiveness of your ticketing system. If tickets routinely get mis-assigned or never-assigned, then emailing the people most likely to address the problem will help speed the process. And if that's the case, they're probably already accustomed to getting out-of-band emails for queue management.

A ticketing system lets people (and the company) optimize their workflow around it, customize their notification preferences, keep all documentation of an issue one one place, etc. By adding another communication system you are:

  • potentially subverting the work flow
  • encouraging documentation to evolve outside the ticketing system (in replies to your email)

You said nothing about the urgency of the issue, but I'll assume that's not really the question here. I've seen many cases where people started with a direct contact (e.g. chat, phone) for urgent issue and then logged a ticket as a place to document the work.

  • 2
    +1, plus it's extraordinarily distracting, especially if the ticketing system already provides some kind of notification. Now the target is getting notified twice of the same thing, which also subverts workflow. It's nearly as bad as sending an email to someone, then following up by approaching them at their desk shortly after sending the email. – Shauna Jun 4 '13 at 17:55
3

The answer is: it depends. You could always ask your co-workers if they are OK with getting the extra email.


It really depends on the ticketing system (or any other system that sends automated email alerts) and the people receiving the tickets. Some people at my workplace actually ask that I send them a heads-up email when I'm sending them a ticket. Apparently, they get so many notifications from the system that they have them all silently sent to a separate mail box they only check a few times a day. If I send a personal email alerting them to the ticket, they act on the ticket much faster.

I personally would start to find it annoying if I got an email saying:

I'm sending you a ticket

and then got the ticket.

If the email had more information in the ticket (maybe because the ticketing system only allows a limited amount of input, or some of the info is only tangentially related so should not actually be on the ticket itself) then I'd welcome the extra email.

  • This is not really an answer so much as your opinion of when you would want and email and not. – IDrinkandIKnowThings May 29 '13 at 17:43
  • @Chad: I think the answer is "It depends", and I've tried to make that clearer, with the examples below. – FrustratedWithFormsDesigner May 29 '13 at 17:56
  • 1
    In Good Subjective, Bad Subjective, the first guideline explains that answers should explain why and how. The second suggests they be on the longer side than the shorter side. The third mentions they should be fair and impartial. The fourth suggests sharing experiences over opinions. The fifth suggests that, when there are opinions, they be backed up with facts, references, or experiences that happened to you personally; this is the foundation for the site's "back it up rule". This answer nails it. +1 – jmort253 May 30 '13 at 2:28
-1

The one who screams gets attention. If your conf team have a large queue to work off, its likely that they proritize someone that calls/mail about the task as well. Probably annoying but maybe good for your cause.

If you can write whatever you want, attach files etc. to the ticket, it will help solve it. Otherwise your conf team likely enjoy such extra info over mail (it makes their job easier and will likely be done quicker - who is not going for low hanging fruits first?)

  • While technically true, this behavior can be a huge morale killer and subverts processes that are put in place for a reason. If the information in your email would be useful, they should be in the ticket to begin with. If you can't do things like attach files, and the company hasn't provided a route for it, then the process is broken and you should work to fix the process (and have an interim, approved, route for the extra information), not subvert it. – Shauna Jun 4 '13 at 17:53
  • This is overly simplistic. "Getting attention" does not imply that the attention will be positive. If your "screaming" annoys the recipients, the attention may take the form of complaints to your supervisor to stop it. They might go as far as trying to get you fired if you antagonize them enough. – Andrew Medico Apr 14 '14 at 18:10
  • Maybe so, but if someone is annoying a major instinct is to get rid of the "annoying person". One easy way to do so (short term) is to help out. – Petter Nordlander Apr 15 '14 at 8:04

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.