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This is a none technical question but I think you guys are PM and system admins and you can guide me through.  Here is my question in a nutshell???
Due to the budgetary constrains my org has decided to discontinue outsourcing our Helpdesk.
I've been tasked to create a Helpdesk team immediately.  I can't hire anybody except pick from regular users however, I can buy books and other training materials but no paid instructors.   I need to put something together in a fry and the team working.  Our users are not good in technical issues but can be trained and have a career change.  Our helpdesk call volume, ava- between 20 and 40 a day...in good days, but can go up to 30 to 55 in  a bad.  
Ok enough>>>>. I need good simple books, training materials, hands on training that will help trainiging these team.   I'm not instructor but I can teach..given the right material.  What do you think, any magic way to convert a regular user to a technical problem solving user?
thanks  All.    Environment:  AD, XP and hardware DELL.
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1 Solution
Before you go the book route, see which of you existing employees have significant understanding of your environment/application etc.

i.e. which of your users rarely called the outsourced help desk services but were/are able to resolve those matters.
What was the nature of your help desk calls. i.e. my mouse does not work? Or was it an application specific issue.
Those are the start of your team.
Hopefully the users that did call the help desk, remember how to resolve issues that they had.

What are the skill sets of your existing employees and which of them are interested in being retasked for this purpose?

Any search engine can help in resolving an issue if the problem and the question is properly formulated.

Dell has support depending on your support contract.

Depending on your business, you could see whether there are college students that would like to intern to gain some real world work experience.

timnjohnsonInformation Security EngineerAuthor Commented:
1. Employees have significant understanding of your environment/application etc?
It's a mixed group but most are well aware of their environment i.e apps, but hardware they need a lot of help.  
2. What are the skill sets of your existing employees and which of them are interested in being retasked for this purpose?
They range from data entry, admin assist, file clerks, accts payable, truck drivers, machanic, building care taker..etc....   I'm looking at three data, building caretaker and truck driver.
For hardware you have to find a person/s who tinker and fix stuff.

Hardware maintenance is often not the section that generates the large number of helpdesk calls.

You should find within each group the person who has expertise in addressing their tasks.

Do you have a local web server?  one option is to setup a local wiki (Windows you should use http://www.openwiki.com/ow.asp?OpenWiki%2FInstallation)  where users will post their questions/issues and you and other users who've you identified as experts, post their responses. This way you will build your knowledge base resources while at the same time identifying common issues and common solutions.

managing the AD you should keep for yourself for now and just increase your own understanding of the AD/GPO using GPMC.  You could then delegate certain AD tasks to others I.e. adding users, adding (joining) computers to the domain etc.

In effect you are breaking your support team into application support and hardware support/OS install.
timnjohnsonInformation Security EngineerAuthor Commented:
Right on the MONEY:  I  combined your suggestions with mine and presented to our VP.  He was impressed and added more ideas of his own.  We're now to go.  Thanks arnold for your input/suggestions.  
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