At the workplace, which is a big institute with almost 50 employees, we always encounter the problem such as who should fix the technical issues, which are not really difficult to solve.

Example: The ink cartridge in printer is over. Who should refill it? The employees escalate this problem up to IT manager.

I need a method on how to deal professionally with those issues. Which problem should be solved by users, which one should be solved by a specific assigned person and how to differentiate them.

Any links will be also appreciated.

EDIT: the question is not about how to manage and track those issues, if we even had 10 programs, it would not help us. The question is what is the best way to distribute those tasks between users and assigned persons?

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    Are you in a position to implement these policies or are you just looking for random people on the internet to validate your problem? – Myles Oct 18 '15 at 15:42
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    If you having filling an ink cartridge escalating to an IT manager then you have serious problems. Who do you escalate the coffee pot is unplugged to? – paparazzo Oct 18 '15 at 17:30
  • whoever has the spare ink cartridges in their desk drawer? – Kilisi Oct 18 '15 at 19:59
  • In an organisation of 50 the IT manager may well be a department of one - so escalating to them isn't as big a jump as, say, the CIO of a major global corporation. – HorusKol Oct 18 '15 at 21:50
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    When I was a Computer Department, it was my responsibility to take care of all technical issues. I welcomed users taking care of repeated mundane tasks themselves but ultimately it was on me. So I developed software, administered LAN, changed toner cartridges, installed upgrades, etc. – PM 77-1 Oct 18 '15 at 22:07

I'm guessing that in a company of 50, you either are the only IT person there, or have only a couple of staff.

The issue here is education - and empowerment.

In the case of the printer, identify a handful of people who most regularly use it. Teach them what the most common issues are (jam, empty cartridge/toner), and how to resolve. Some office printers are quite complicated looking machines (ironic, since a lot of work has been done to simplify them for maintenance), so it isn't a surprise that people don't want to touch them.

Same with anything else - for example, we have trained our front of house staff (who are most certainly non-technical) how to resolve customer password and registration issues, even simple browser cookie settings in Safari, etc.

The trained, empowered users feel good because they can resolve issues for themselves, and IT gets on with other things now they don't have to deal with first-level issues.

  • exactly what I am looking for. Spend time and educate people how do that or assign specific person to do the job. Thank you – Tony Oct 19 '15 at 19:59

It's the IT person/s responsibility at the end of the day.

If a user is not comfortable doing it, then they shouldn't. If they break the printer doing something an IT person considers trivial (this can and does happen) they will be in trouble, because it's not really their role. The amount of things that I have seen go wrong when unskilled staff attempt 'trivial' tasks is actually pretty alarming, and quite possibly your company has experienced some and has a long standing perhaps unformalised protocol that all of these sorts of tasks devolve to IT.

In which case (in answer to your question), the professional way to deal with it, is to go change the toner etc.,


I believe the basis issue you ae facing is lack of proper role management. In my place of work, each person has a designated role, but which still allows for flexibility in assignment. Working in IT Audit, certain roles are clearly our group's responsibility - testing of controls, documentation of IT processes ...etc.

If your employer does not use a project management system such as JIRA that allows for assignment of tasks, tracking of tasks by employee, then I highly suggest your employer adopts such a system

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    These doesn't help a typical user self-resolve anything - it simply formalises the escalation process. – HorusKol Oct 18 '15 at 22:01

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