Documentation for JIRA Service Desk 1.2.
Documentation for [JIRA Service Desk Cloud] and [other versions of JIRA Service Desk] is available too.

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New to JIRA Service Desk? This page will walk you through the process of getting a basic service desk up and running for your customers and your team!


A quick overview of JIRA Service Desk

Successful service teams have a customer focus. The Customer Portal in JIRA Service Desk gives you easy tools to translate your team's process into a simple interface that your customers will understand. Here's how you, your team, and your customers will work together using JIRA Service Desk:

Ready to create a service desk?

1. Make a list of the things customers ask

If you're moving from an existing help desk application, you can use your existing request categories to get started. Or, if you're setting up a service desk for the first time, take some time to think about the requests you'll be handling for your customers.

  • How would your customers ask for something? (e.g. 'I need a new monitor' vs 'Hardware PO')
  • Can you break things down into smaller chunks? (e.g. 'Help with a printer', 'Help with laptop problems', 'Help with software problems' )
  • Is there a way to avoid specialist terminology? (e.g. 'I need access to a system' vs 'Deploy SSH key')

Here's a look at the default types of requests that are pre-configured in JIRA Service Desk:

2. Create a request type for each of the requests you'll handle

For each request you'll handle, set up a request type in JIRA Service Desk (or modify one of the existing request types). Each request type maps to a JIRA issue type. (You can read more about how JIRA Service Desk uses JIRA issues in How JIRA and JIRA Service Desk work together.

JIRA Service Desk provides a few request types that are configured for basic IT help desk scenarios. Here's a high-level look at how you might set up a new request type for customers to request access to your wi-fi network.

  1. Click the Customer Portal tab in JIRA Service Desk.  Then create a new request type by filling out the information in the starter request type line:
  2. After you've added the request type, you can customize how the request will appear for customers in the Customer Portal. Click Edit form to open the customization options. 

  3. To collect more information from the customer when he/she files the request, add another field using the Fields tab. You can rename the field to something more customer-friendly (for example, you might change "Priority" to "How urgently do you need access?"). The available fields are the fields configured in the scheme associated with the underlying issue type.
  4. You can also customize how the workflow updates will appear to customers by using the Workflow Statuses tab. You can give them more customer-friendly names, or you can give multiple statuses the same name to simplify the appearance of the process for customers. The workflow statuses you'll see are the statuses associated with the JIRA issue type the request is based on.

At any time, you can go back to the main Customer Portal tab to add more request types. You can also check how your portal will look for customers by clicking the link in the upper right.

3. Organize your customer portal

If you have several request types, you can use groups to organize the Customer Portal. (We think groups are helpful if you have seven or more request types.) Groups let you specify one or more category names to each request type. Then, JIRA Service Desk will automatically sort your request types into tabs in the Customer Portal, making it easier for customers to find exactly the type of request they need. For example:

If you add these group names:

Your Customer Portal will look like this:

To add groups, simply click the Customer Portal tab and then use the Groups column to create groups for each request type. If you assign multiple groups to a single request type, that request type will appear on multiple tabs.

4. Make queues for your team to work on

Queues are the tool you use to sort requests for your team. You can also use queues to see, at a glance, what your team's workload is like. Queues are based on JIRA Query Language (JQL) queries that filter which issues will appear in the queue, as well as the order in which they'll be selected.

JIRA Service Desk provides some pre-configured queues that can help you get an understanding how queues work. Let's look at how you might create a new queue for your most urgent outage issues.

  1. Click the Queues tab and then select New Queue
  2. First give your queue a name, such as "All urgent outages."
  3. Next, create your JQL statement that will control which issues appear in the queue. For example, if you used the JIRA issue type "Fault" to create the request types for outage issues, you might create a JQL statement that looks like this:
  4. Lastly, choose which columns you want to appear in the queue. You can also reorder the columns by dragging the names in the box.
  5. Then save your queue! The best way to see your queue in action is to create a few test requests in your service desk project and watch them appear in queues depending on the criteria that they meet.

5. Publicize your Customer Portal

Once you're happy with your request types, the organization of your Customer Portal, and you have the inner-workings set up for your team (queues and SLA), you're ready to put your Customer Portal into the hands of your users! Here are a few options:

  • Post a link on your intranet
  • Add a hyperlinked button to your web portal
  • Email your customers and let them know about the new, easy way to get help!

You can get the URL of your Customer Portal by clicking any of the "View the Customer Portal" links in the configuration screens.

Bonus tasks!

After you have your basic service desk up and running, here are a few suggestions for other things to try out:

Set up SLAs

JIRA Service Desk provides a service-level agreement (SLA) designer, which makes it easy to set up SLAs for your team. SLA information will appear on issues in JIRA, as well as on queues in the JIRA Service Desk interface, so no matter where your team work, they'll be able to see if they're on track to meet their SLA targets.

The SLA designer is extremely flexible: you can make very simple SLAs or very complex ones, depending on what you need for your team. We'll look at how you might set up a simple SLA to set different resolution time goals for issues with various priority levels.

  1. Click the SLA tab and create a new metric. SLAs should be time-based (not based on types of issues or issue information). For example, you might create a new SLA called "Time to resolve high priority issues." Within the SLA you can specify the types of issues that you want to track against this SLA.
  2. Use the Start and Stop conditions to specify when time starts being counted for the SLA and when time stops. A common start time is when the issue is created, and a common stop time is when the issue is resolved.
  3. Use the Goals area to define the time you want to achieve for different types of issues. For example, you might want to resolve all non-trivial issues within 12 hours.

There are lots of ways you can further customize SLAs. For example, you might not provide 24/7 support for your customers. In that case, you can create a new calendar (on the SLAs tab) to specify non-working days or hours that shouldn't count against the SLA. You can also check out some of the examples for creating more complex SLAs.

Run reports

Whether you use reports to track your team's status or you report up to a management team that doesn't use JIRA, it's easy to create charts that illustrate your team's progress on all issues or on a subset of issues or time periods. Your service desk team members have read-only access to the reports, so they'll be able to see how their work is being tracked too.

Reports are based on JQL so you have lots of flexibility in the way you have JIRA Service Desk collect the data.

  1. Click the Reports tab and then create a new report. For example, if you want to track how long it takes your team to resolve all the non-trivial issues, you might name it "Resolution time for urgent issues."
  2. Reports are based on series, so add at least one series to pull in the data you want to see. For example:
  3. You can add more series, such as one to see how long it took Support to respond to the same types of issues. The report will show the realtime data, so you can see the exact state of your team's work when you look at the report!

Connect to a knowledgebase

If you use Confluence, it's easy to connect it to your Customer Portal! This lets your customers search for solutions to their problems before they file a request.

  1. If your Confluence instance isn't already connected to your JIRA instance, connect them using application links.
  2. Go to the Knowledge Base tab and choose the Confluence space that will store your knowledgebase articles.

There are several ways you can further customize how JIRA Service Desk presents the knowledgebase options to users; you can use the other settings on the Knowledge Base tab to tweak your integration. You can read more about integrating a knowledge base with JIRA Service Desk in Providing self-help resources for your customers with a knowledge base

Get your company or client's logo and colors in the Customer Portal by using the Look & Feel section of the Customer Portal tab. Simply upload a logo and JIRA Service Desk will style the Customer Portal with complementary colors.

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