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  1. #1
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    Iíve been tasked to analyse trends regarding the raising of support calls to our IT Service Desk for a small sub-set of our User base, (about 400 Users out of a total of more than 10,000). I collected data for all of the calls logged by our Users from January through to the beginning of April 2009 and attempted to slice and dice them in various ways. The analysis has proved useful and our mandarins are quite happy.

    One question came back at me regarding the spread of calls raised across the week. Please see the attached screenshot. The hourly trend across the average day was expected and brought no real surprises. It was the weekly trend diagram that gave rise to the question.

    Thereís a peak of calls on Monday, as youíd expect because people have had the weekend to forget their passwords. Tuesday to Thursday are more or less even but thereís around a 20% drop on Friday. The question was to try to find the reason for the Fridayís drop.

    I got back to our Service Desk, who provided the original data, to find out if it was a peculiarity of our particular User subset. On the contrary, I was informed; the Friday drop is visible at all levels of data collection, from the smallest business unit to the whole of the Company, across all of the various desktop builds we have and across all of the countries we operate in.

    Initial discussions around the office suggests that the reduction may represent Users with surmountable problems they can work around putting off logging the call until the following Monday (and thereby adding to the peak we thought was mainly due to weekend password amnesia). While this is feasible, I was wondering whether this trend is visible in similar statistics for other companies and, if so, have they arrived at any sufficiently plausible explanations for the drop?

    Do any of the loungers work for IT helpdesks and would care to comment or offer a suggestion? A (virtual) beer on offer for the most plausible/interesting!

    P.S. I wasnít sure where else to post this, so if thereís another more appropriate board, please feel free to move it.
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    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  2. #2
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    [quote name='SteveTetch' post='781692' date='25-Jun-2009 11:12']Initial discussions around the office suggests that the reduction may represent Users with surmountable problems they can work around putting off logging the call until the following Monday (and thereby adding to the peak we thought was mainly due to weekend password amnesia). While this is feasible, I was wondering whether this trend is visible in similar statistics for other companies and, if so, have they arrived at any sufficiently plausible explanations for the drop?

    Do any of the loungers work for IT helpdesks and would care to comment or offer a suggestion? A (virtual) beer on offer for the most plausible/interesting![/quote]

    Having run a Helpdesk operation my self my first immediate thoughts are as follows:

    1.) A lot of companies have implemented what are often termed "9/80" work schedules where you work 9 hour days over a two week cycle and you get every other Friday off (On the second Thursday you only work 8 hours). The only stipulations are that you are meeting your project schedules, available for all meetings, and not everyone in your work group/project is taking the same Friday off (work teams alternate their Friday's off).

    2.) More companies (especially these days) are implementing alternative work schedules where more of the workforce is working from home. I have noticed that employees working from home make fewer support calls. They are either having less issues working from home or they are saving them up for the days they are in the office, I suspect the latter.

    3.) It could be that, being Friday and the end of the workweek, there is less work actually getting done so there are fewer problems that they need assistance with .

    Anyways, those are my initial thoughts and observations. As I do not drink I will take my remunerations in the form of a virtual choccy bar
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  3. #3
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    I agree with Mickey.
    I work (before Retirement) on a 4-10 with Fridays OFF.
    So less work on Friday.
    Also on Friday a lot of people are making plans for the week end, so still less work and/or don't care if there is a problem and we will have a look at it on Monday

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  4. #4
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    [quote name='DaveA' post='781709' date='25-Jun-2009 12:12']I agree with Mickey.
    I work (before Retirement) on a 4-10 with Fridays OFF.
    So less work on Friday.
    Also on Friday a lot of people are making plans for the week end, so still less work and/or don't care if there is a problem and we will have a look at it on Monday [/quote]

    Or what they are really thinking/hoping is that someone else will have encountered the problem and have it all fixed by Monday
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  5. #5
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    Surely this is the result of Friday being POETS day? (sorry about the absent apostrophe!)
    (Push Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday...)

    (Try plotting the distribution of calls during the working day for Monday..Friday, to verify this suggestion.)
    BATcher

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  6. #6
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    Thanks for all of your input, gents.

    While I'm aware of the "9 days a fortnight" schedule, we don't embrace it here. We certainly have the capability of working from home and this may have something to do with the reduction of calls on Friday, I can't help but think this is not the only reason. The building certainly doesn't seem 20% emptier of Fridays, for example, but this is purely an observation. Also, while POETS day is a well established principle, (albeit worded somewhat differently ), the data don't reflect the reality.

    I charted the figures for the Fridays during the data capture period and the results are below. As you can see, there's no real tail-off in the afternoon suggesting people are leaving early. The pattern isn't vastly different from those of any other weekday - only the volumes are less throughout the day.

    I'll continue digging and asking questions here, but if anyone can confirm or refute the trend in figures from their own companies, I'd be very interested.

    Thanks again.
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    Steve

    "A good friend will help you move; a really good friend will help you move a body"

  7. #7
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    This may now be the single most important thread in the Lounge.

    I suggest you skip the analysis and concentrate on the implications. Every consumer, individual or corporate, who has some flexibility with deadlines, now knows WHEN to call to avoid interminable and aggravating wait times. Just keep it secret enough so that every passenger in need doesn't rush to the Friday side of the boat at once.

  8. #8
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    This means that on Fridays they can give 20% of the IT department a day off without pay, what a cost savings!

    Now running HP Pavilion a6528p, with Win7 64 Bit OS.

  9. #9
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    [quote name='BATcher' post='781720' date='26-Jun-2009 00:55']Surely this is the result of Friday being POETS day? (sorry about the absent apostrophe!)
    (Push Off Early, Tomorrow's Saturday...)

    (Try plotting the distribution of calls during the working day for Monday..Friday, to verify this suggestion.)[/quote]


    Could it simply be that by Friday most issues for the week have been resolved.
    The unattended systems accrue faults, passswords etc are fogotten over the weekend.
    Therefore more calls to the Help Desk until fixed.

    Friday is when the Help desk starts winning, and only the 'base level' callls are received.

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