RT is used for a number of different purposes at FREE GEEK; see the page on RT for more information on that. Here, we'll discuss a few common functions that staff or volunteers might want to be familiar with.
Everything in RT is based on the ticket, which can be thought of as a task. Every ticket will be in a queue - this shows what sort of thing it is, or what it relates to. The TechSupport queue holds technical support requests, the HardwareGrants queue holds grant requests, the Technocrats queue holds things the Technocrats need to do, and the staff subcommittee queues hold tickets relating to the things those committees need to get done.
There are many characteristics a task can have, including an owner, a priority, a due date, and a status. When a new ticket is created, it has no owner and no due date.
- The owner is the person responsible for the ticket. (See Claiming a ticket, below.)
- The priority is often used to determine how pressing the task is. If the priority of a ticket is over 50, the group should bring it up at their meeting.
- The due date can help with prioritizing as well, though some people never use it.
- The status is important, because if it's not kept up to date, the todo list will never get any shorter. (See Closing a ticket, below.)
RT at a glance
When you log in on RT, you will come to your home page, titled "RT at a glance". This has several sections. The left has navigation stuff; you will usually just use Home (to get to this page) and Tickets (which will get you to a ticket search). That and the top are consistent throughout RT. The top has the tool that will let you make a new ticket (be sure to select the proper queue), and a search form.
The main body of the page can set up to show useful and relevant information in a number of ways. Exactly what appears will depend on what level of access you have to the RT system, but typically the default setup will include a list any tickets you have bookmarked, the 10 highest priority tickets you currently own, a list of the newest unowned tickets (not terribly useful to most), some fields for quickly creating a new ticket, and to the right you will see a list of any reminders you have set up and an overview of all the queues you have access to.
To customise what appears on this page you can click on the various Edit links at the top-right corner of the different elements. These will allow you to configure the various elements present on the page, but to add or remove elements entirely you will need to use the "master" Edit to the top-right of all the other elements. On the following page the lists on the left indicate elements available to be added and the lists on the right indicate what is currently selected for display. The top set is for the larger frames appearing at the left on your home page, the bottom set for the smaller summary frames on the right. You can modify the order in which they appear by selecting an element you've added and using the up and down arrow buttons next to the list.
Looking at queues
If you click on one of the queue headings on the right of your home page, you will see the list of all currently active tickets in that queue. The list of queues will not be exhaustive unless you are Richard; generally, people sign up for queues that are related to things they do. You will not be able to look at a queue or add to it unless you have permission to do so.
The headings in that list can be clicked on to sort by that category, so if you wanted to see which tickets in a queue belonged to you, you could click on Owner to see that, or you could click on Last Updated to see what has been languishing for months without any update. You can see more information about a ticket by clicking on its title.
Updating a ticket
When you're looking at a ticket, you can update it. You can change any of the important fields, like priority or even title, or you can make a comment on it (if, say, a phone call came in relating to an item, you could record that in a comment). You can also make a reply to the person who made the ticket, called the requestor. The reply might be a status update ("Ok, i did such-and-such. Check and see if that works for you.") or a request for more information ("I can only move forward on this if you give me the phone number for that person.") Communicating with a requestor that way makes a record, so you can see when you acted on it and so it doesn't look like the ticket is lying idle.
The reply and comment options are at the top of the page, under the search form. Each of the colored headings under that (The Basics, People, Dates) are links to pages where you can change those fields.
Claiming a ticket
Near reply and comment
Closing (Resolving) a ticket
Closing a ticket in RT is called "resolving" it. There are three ways to do this.
- Click on the "Resolve" link at the top of the ticket to give yourself a space to make a comment.
- Click on "Reply" to send a message to the requestor and change the status button to "Resolved".
- Click on "Basics" and change the status to Resolved.
Once the ticket is resolved, it no longer appears in the queue's list, but can be found by an appropriate search.
If you are not able to resolve a ticket in a queue for which you believe you should have that right, contact a member of the RT admin group.
Deleting a ticket is very different, and access to that function is only available to RT administrators. This is used only for tickets created by spam, or test messages.