Project support can be an interesting role...
No task is ever the same. Strata3 manage support for clients of multiple sizes in multiple sectors. Tasks that we would see regularly for example are: redirects to be added, design changes and server issues.
Every now and again however, a large chunk of work will appear in Jira, our task management system. The project management team review the support request with the relevant team and advise the client on hours needed. How the task is prioritised may need further discussion before decided on. Tasks can be prioritised from needing immediate action to simply needing to be scheduled for a later date. Having a schedule that is constantly reviewed and updated is one of the many things that help the studio run efficiently.
The different priority levels for support tasks are:
A critical task is deemed to have severe business impact. Critical tasks require immediate action, this could be that a website is down or that some crucial element is not working. We aim to have this task completed as soon as possible. Normally, we let the client know that we have received the ticket in Jira, but in these cases a call is sometimes required to get more information on the issue. We will then get the required team to take immediate action on the task.
A high task is deemed to have a major business impact and could seriously block progress, we will get back to the client with the effort needed within four hours and aim to have a fix in place within two days unless the task is complex and needs longer than that to complete. High tasks can be anything from uploading/ updating content, creating a new form for a new campaign or something not appearing on the website as was expected.
A medium task is deemed to have minor business Impact and has the potential to block progress. Once the task is logged in Jira, our goal is to fix the the issue in two and a half days unless the task will take longer than an hour to complete. Examples of medium tasks can be reviewing analytics or changing an email address.
A low task is deemed to be a minor problem that is easily worked around.
Our fix goal for a low priority task after it is logged in Jira is three and a half days unless the request will take longer than an hour to complete. Low priority tasks could be adding a translation to some text, or simply answering some questions that require some research and review.
Keeping on top of Client support tasks:
1. Organisation is key, tools like excel and google calendar will be your heroes
2. When an issue comes up, always get the developer or designer who worked on it originally to work on it again. They made it and they know it inside out, so you will find that they can fix this 10 times faster than another developer or designer who is just as good and qualified. As well as knowing the website in and out, no one wants what they made to be down or to be broken, so the developer or designer naturally very often feels a responsibility to keep it at its tip top shape.
3. Be sure to build good relationships with both your client and your resource team so that projects can run as smoothly as possible and produce the best possible result.
4. Be a mediator from the start. I’m going to the designer/developer because they are the experts. I listen to requirements from the client, then bring these to developer to see what is possible and what is not. The developer or designer will tell me what they can do in what time frame. This is also crucial in ensuring that resources don’t get bogged down in things that they don’t have to and can work as efficiently as possible.
5. Make sure the priority of the task is clearly outlined from the start. Ideally the client should decide the priority of the task, if you have to steer them however, a bug is always far more important than a change. This should always be addressed before any content or design changes.