How to use Global/Parent Tickets Effectively.

Every IT professional knows the scenario: a site goes down or network device fails, and you pick up an inordinate number of tickets for connection failures. What a pain!

The inefficient or uninformed IT professional will begin slogging away on each ticket individually. Does this work? Sure. But it’s a huge waste of time and brainpower, not to mention mind-bendingly boring. The secret to processing large number of tickets related to the same issue is the Global (or Parent) function offered by most major ticketing systems. 

When you assign the status of Global to a specific ticket and relate others to it, you are basically rolling them all into one. Instead of updating multiple tickets with the same update information individually, you just update the Global ticket to represent all of them. Done! Closing the Global ticket will usually have the effect of closing all tickets under it as well, saving you a huge amount of time and excruciating minutiae.

In this document from the CA Technologies library, Robert Kennedy discusses Global tickets as such:

You can mark a ticket as a Global ticket when an issue affects multiple users. You can also mark a ticket as Global when multiple related issues have occurred because of a major issue. When one ticket is declared as Global, other tickets can be related to it as “related to Global”. When, a Global issue is addressed and resolved the other tickets also get resolved. You can relate multiple configuration items to a ticket to monitor an issue and also help troubleshoot an issue.

The key to effectively using Global tickets is to make sure you select the ticket most representative of what is causing the overall problem. For instance, a downed switch may take down an entire site and bring in multiple tickets for every device. In this case, select the ticket for the downed switch to make global and update the ticket comments with something  like this: “Multiple outages due to down switch. Marked as global and related all outages.” This way, others can peep in the ticket and instantly understand the incident.

The next time you receive a batch of tickets all related to the same issue, don’t resign yourself to slogging through the ticketing swamp. Put your global or parent functions to good use and make yourself that much more productive!

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