Original Date: 06/02/2003
Revision Date: 01/18/2007
Best Practice : Shared Responsibilities of Help Desk and Quality Assurance
ABC Virtual Communications, Inc.’s Help Desk and Quality Assurance teams share responsibilities to meet the cyclical demands of both functions while minimizing the overall cost. The results are a continuously up-to-date Help Desk, increased knowledge of product features, and greater availability to customers.
Prior to ABC Virtual Communications, Inc.’s (ABCV’s) implementation of its product, ECLoanPro, one test team was adequate. In 1999, ECLoanPro was rolled-out and customer support became necessary. A Help Desk was created to support the new customer base using the expertise resident in the test team. Today the company’s Help Desk and Quality Assurance (QA) teams are collocated and share responsibilities.
Help Desk and QA workloads are cyclical in nature and revolve around the release of software packages. Both Help Desk and QA functions are very complex due to the many different state and county rules and regulations, which must be tested by QA and understood by the Help Desk. QA is extremely busy during the weeks prior to a software release, while the Help Desk workload is typically low at this time. QA tasks decrease after a software release, while Help Desk calls spike. Help Desk support covers both technical support of the software and implementation of market-specific functionality within the product. The Help Desk team assists with testing prior to software release, which reduces the QA workload and familiarizes the Help Desk personnel with the new software release. After software release, QA personnel assist with the spike in Help Desk calls. QA personnel also have insight into the next software release, which answers some Help Desk calls.
The Help Desk receives between six and 20 calls per day from 50 clients with approximately 2,000 users. At its peak, there were five QA and four Help Desk personnel, which has leveled off to three TOTAL. Personnel track the types of calls and look for any trends or repetition. Statistics on Help Desk calls are distributed to the entire team by e-mail. Sharing resources between these two teams has minimized the overall cost for QA and Help Desk, while meeting the demands in call volume and testing.
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