Quick start guide - Administrator basic
Before you begin
It is intended that this Quick Start guide should be followed only after HelpMaster has been installed, and you have been able to logon to the Desktop Edition.
If you are looking for instructions on how to install HelpMaster, or how to configure the database, please refer to the Installation Overview
Quick start for HelpMaster administrators
The following steps are recommended in order to set up your helpdesk with a workable minimum of functionality in the shortest possible time.
It is highly recommended that before any configuration settings or system codes are defined, that the entire helpdesk staff team and other users of HelpMaster get together to discuss the business practices and rules of the company. This discussion will greatly assist the administrator when configuring HelpMaster. It will be highly beneficial if you can discuss with first level support, second level support, managers and even key clients within your enterprise some of the issues outlined below. The more input you can gather from your users, the better you will be able to “tune” HelpMaster to serve your helpdesk needs efficiently. It may be helpful to discuss different “helpdesk scenarios”, with different “client profiles” and business requirements.
We suggest that you work through the examples and scenarios on a whiteboard, or another form of general display and discuss the various system codes, issues and workflow processes before starting on the actual software configuration.
How to use this page
Follow the steps below by clicking on the link to move to the relevant section in this help file. When you have finished, use the “Back” button at the top of the window to return here so you can move on to the next step.
Step 1 - Define the system codes
This step involves defining some of the common system codes that are used throughout HelpMaster. System codes are the codes that HelpMaster uses throughout the entire program and are usually the options that appear in various drop-down boxes on many of the screens. The system codes define the context of your helpdesk system because they give the different entities meaning when they are associated with them. By default, when you install HelpMaster, a minimum number of system codes for each mandatory category will already exist. Use this first step of the quick start guide to review and change as necessary the default settings. You may find it useful to spend some time with the helpdesk staff and users of HelpMaster to define what codes your helpdesk will use. Talk about different scenarios regarding your helpdesk and the different service level agreements that you have with your clients.
How many Job Priority codes do you think you will need? 3? 5? 10? What will they be? “Urgent”, “Critical”, “Important”. Which has the higher priority?
What types of Job Status will you use - what is your helpdesk job lifecycle like? You might define codes such as “Open”, “In Progress”, “On-hold”, “Resolved” and “Closed”. Depending on which stage of the job life-cycle, you could associate one of these codes with a job.
This first step is really about going through this system codes screen and adding, updating or deleting any system codes so that HelpMaster is speaking your language.
Step 2 - Define the classification hierarchy
Each helpdesk job needs to be classified. Create a hierarchy of issues/classification codes in this step that will be meaningful to the different “Issues” that arise within your helpdesk environment.
For starters, it may be best to define a few broad, top-level categories. Remember to keep them fairly generic as detailed “children” can always be added.
Example of top level classifications for an IT-related helpdesk may include : Hardware, Software, Training
Examples of secondary classifications may include : Printer, Monitor, Mouse (children of Hardware), Word, Excel, PowerPoint (children of Software) etc.
Remember that the Classification hierarchy can be up to 5 levels deep and each node of the hierarchy can be “dragged” and “dropped” onto another node for easy administration and placement.
Step 3 - Define the skill groups
Skillgroups are a logical grouping of staff. These must be created before any staff can be created because every “client” that is marked to be a “staff” (i.e. a user of HelpMaster and queue-holder) is required to belong to at least 1 skillgroup.
Examples of skillgroups for an IT related helpdesk may be :
- Hardware specialists
- Software specialist
- Network administration
- 1st line support
- 2nd line support
Step 4 - Create security groups
Security groups define the different roles and actions that staff can perform within HelpMaster. The “Administrator” group is created by default and provides full control of HelpMaster, however you may like to define other groups with more restrictions. HelpMaster staff are assigned to a security group.
Examples of security groups may include :
- Administrators - a built in security group. Allows unrestricted access to all areas of HelpMaster
- Power users - granted access to most features and screens within HelpMaster
- General users - limited in their access to logging, viewing and working with helpdesk jobs
- Restricted users - very limited to viewing only helpdesk jobs assigned to them - nothing else
Step 5 - Create staff members and assign to a Skillgroup and Security Role
Helpdesk staff are the people that use HelpMaster to log, view and action helpdesk jobs. A HelpMaster “staff” is really a HelpMaster “client” that has their “Is staff” checkbox checked. Each staff member must belong to both a skillgroup and a security group. Once a staff member has been created, they will able to log into HelpMaster and will appear in the Helpdesk Explorer as a “queue-holder”.
Step 6 - Create templates
Templates for helpdesk jobs, actions and outgoing email form the basis for consistent, quick and managed helpdesk workflow. Although not essential, templates are a great time-saver and can help your helpdesk staff work better and more consistently. Think of them as blueprints on which your helpdesk environment operates.
Use this step to define the common jobs that your helpdesk encounters on a daily basis.
Step 7 - Entering site information
Sites are the companies that the business deals with. A site may represent a company, a building, a location or any other structure that clients, or people can be linked to.
Sites can be organized in a hierarchical manner and can either be entered manually, or imported from a text file. Once a site has been entered, any clients that are linked to it may “inherit” the sites address and contact details.
Step 8 - Entering clients
Clients are the people that use the helpdesk. They can be manually created, or imported from a text file. Each client is given a unique “Client ID” that can be manually specified, or automatically generated by the system.
Step 9 - General administration settings
HelpMaster has a number of system-wide configuration settings that should be set before it is used. Some of these settings include the file paths to a common attachments folder, the reports location, and how automatically generated client ID’s should be formed.
Advanced Configuration Administration
For more advanced administration topics, click here
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