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Retrospecively Adding Notes and Assigning Time Spent to Incidents

Created: 22 Feb 2010 | 5 comments

I am sure that  am not the only one who has been faced with this issue.

I am looking to see if there is a easy way to do this, as I would like to stay as standard (out-of-the-box) as a possible.
I really don't want to have to start playing with direct SQL data if I can help it.

Obviously the reports are only as good as the data that Altiris holds .. and the policys are to update the incidents while working on them, but this is not always a possible reality.

Example - it's a week later and the notes have not been updated for an incident, possibly due to after hours work (or what ever reason).
Plus the work was done by an team member who is now on leave.

1) Is there and easy way to have the new Notes/Comments back dated
2) Is there a way to assign the comments/notes to a worker (other than who is logged in)

Another example -
Yu have had to call in an external party to do some work for you, and you have just received their time sheet. For tracking and reporting purposes you want to assign the time and actions to an incident, but you would like to have the worker and date reflect the actual time when the work occured.

I am interested to know how others have deal with this.


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mclemson's picture

Each of these would require customizations.  Sometimes I see odd requests on these forums when the real solution is to focus on a business problem, not finding a technology workaround.  Have you done customizations for Helpdesk before?  Are you open to using customized pages as a solution?

Mike Clemson, Senior Systems Engineer, ASC
Intuitive Technology Group -- Symantec Platinum Partner

smassie's picture

To backdate the time a comment is entered is not possible without some special coding and even then you might get problems with version sequencing etc. Have you thought about using the start and end date field to record specific activity? There could be some basic things you could do with rules that might make this a useable field for reporting purposes.

changing the who did it would require the workitem_modified_by_id and workitem_modified_by_contact_id in the workitem table changed to the new worker ids - but you'd have to create some code to enable you to select the incident record, comment and new contact and then update the particular record.

How do people deal with this today?  Generally its not an issue as it's accepted that the comment is always added post event and is not meant to record the exact time something was started or completed, just that it was undertaken and its outcome. I urge users to edit the minutes spent field to reflect the true time they have spent (searching for answers , going to machines etc.) so that one can get a reasonably good reflection of the amount of time spent on each ticket. However many still don't despite it being easy and in their interest to do so.

Getting accurate reports on amounts of time spent on activities within a period or on a job is actually very difficult as there is so much that cannot be monitored or is not recorded (even when it should be). So the reports don;t tell one very much. As a result most look at other better recorded metrics to get a guage on activity levels.

Harold.Moore's picture

Does anyone know what the permissions are for allowing users to post on tickets?

I have some erroring out

MBHarmon's picture

I believe you may have to have the ability to "Administer Incidents" to perform this change.
I'd have to double check and I'm not in the office to do so right now.  I'll look into it when I'm back.

- Matt