Managing support time with external developers

In the last few months, I noticed our support bills with external developers had slowly been creeping up, so I created a workflow document to manage the way we’re using helpdesks internally.

Although it’s a very low-key, totally internal workflow chart, one developer mentioned that quite of few of his clients ask for similar guidance, and asked whether he could share it more widely.

I hadn’t really considered it might be something useful beyond our team, but he made me realise this is probably quite a common problem, so here’s a format-free copy in case it’s useful for you too:

What’s the issue?

A new requirement: 

  1. Have the team given you a full and robust description of what they want?
  2. Would what they want provide significant value for Time to Change?
  3. If yes, give full brief to Becca
  4. Becca puts in development sprint
  5. Becca manages sprint, UAT and deployment

A problem with something that used to work:

  1. Have the team given you a full and robust description of the problem?
  2. Is it broken for everyone, are they using IE, remote desktop, or another likely cause?
  3. Can you easily / routinely resolve it yourself without any unknown implications?
  4. If difficult to resolve alone, have you discussed with the rest of the digital team?
  5. Before escalating to a developer, is it critically urgent, or if not, has it been consistently broken for two days?
  6. Have you described the full problem and expectations for resolution in one simple Podio message?
  7. Once actioned by the developer, does their solution match or better what you asked them for?

If you’ve had similar problems, l’d also be really interested to know how you’ve solved them!


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