Cherwell - Training - Working on Tickets and Journaling

This document explains the procedure of working on tickets in regard to Cherwell.

Make sure that you have read Cherwell - Training - Ticket Intake Procedure before reading this document. That document covers escalation and other topics mentioned here.

This document explains what to do when working on tickets. Start from the first step and work to the end every time you begin working on a ticket. An example ticket of superb journalling, Ticket: #259924

1: Evaluate Ticket

Look at the ticket and see what work needs to be done. Typically this is indicated by the ticket's tag or the most recent journal.

2: Open a task 

When you begin to work on a task -- no matter how small or seemingly insignificant -- you must have a task for it. These tasks represent the effort put into resolving an issue. Without a task, there is no way for supervisors or management to know that work was done on the ticket, and no way to know that you contributed time to resolving it.

Again, even if the task is small or insignificant, open a task for the work you did.

3: Troubleshoot or Work on Ticket

This is different for every ticket, but this is the point where you will work on the ticket. Here are some general notes on this process:

  • See Document 65373 is unavailable at this time. for the basics of troubleshooting, and Document 67229 is unavailable at this time. for troubleshooting tools.
  • To send emails to clients, click on the "E-mail" folder on the Cherwell toolbar while viewing the ticket, and then click "SAITS Signature." See Document 66442 is unavailable at this time. for etiquette.
  • If at any point you must escalate the ticket to another department, take a look at Cherwell - Training - Ticket Intake Procedure .

4: Journal

Example Ticket: #259924

After working on the ticket and before moving onto anything else, you need to journal! Journaling is arguably one of the most important parts of working on tickets, and is the glue that holds SAITS together. Journal entries are by far the place on a ticket that should be the most detailed.

Journal nearly everything relevant to the ticket. Journal any equipment that is moved. Journal anyone who gives you orders to move computers. Generally if you are changing something or someone is telling you to change something, journal it.

Most often the problem with journal entries are that they don’t exist. Here are some basic tips for making any journaling legible and helpful for others. Here’s an example in a situation in which a customer had an odd issue where their built-in speakers wouldn’t work, and it was being passed to Endpoint:

 I'll be escalating this to Endpoint since I don't know how to fix this.  


SA-18VT182, a dell all-in-one. The motherboard, monitor, and speakers are all in the same box. 


About 20 seconds after logging in as any user, the built-in speakers stop working. There is no indication on the OS level that the speakers are not producing any output or are disabled. Plugging in headphones/speakers in the jack works just fine, but the built-in speakers don't work. 


- Disabled/Renabled default audio drivers, checked for updates 

- Toggled Realtek audio services 

- Installed Dell BIOS update and Audio drivers from the support website 

- Extensively checked every speaker/audio setting in the system options and the Dell Audo application. 

- Ran the Dell Diagnostics check to see if there were any hardware/software problems 


I've given her some spare speakers lying around the HD room which work fine.  

The client is very keen on getting this done as soon as possible even though the speakers work as a temporary fix. She needs to do webinars and headphones are uncomfortable for her. I've been working on Linda's computer for a while so if you have any questions about this ticket, please send me (Joshua Smith) a message on Skype or Outlook. 

See how this journal has been sectioned into partitions describing the computer, its issue, what’s been done, and any temporary solution or relevant customer details? Your ticket doesn’t need to have these exact sections, but just think about the different parts of the issue you’ve gained knowledge on that should be helpful to anyone else working on it, and communicate it through text. 

It isn’t necessary to follow these sections exactly, but they are a good guide and it would hurt to use a similar template. Just take time to step into the shoes of whoever you are passing this issue to and consider their lack of knowledge and experience with the specific incident. It might take extra time out of your day to create detailed journals, but the time you take is time well spent. 

Journaling Takeaway Tips:

  • Section: If you utilize Cherwell’s bold and italic text features (Ctl+B and Ctl+I respectively), you can make makeshift headers to create sections of text.  

  • Utilize Unordered Lists: By using hyphens or some other symbol in combination with line breaks, you can create lists. These are easier to read than comma-separated phrases. 

  • Be Detailed: Small details such as the time it took for an issue to occur, what specific errors said, or the customer’s attitude regarding the issue can be critical to other’s understanding of the issue. Don’t be afraid to write a couple paragraphs, just make sure they are sectioned and legible. 

  • Context: Don’t just talk about what happened, talk about what led up to the issue occurring. Did this start happening a week ago? Maybe after some Tuesday updates? Additionally, list what happens leading up to the issue and any way to reproduce it. 

  • Journal Everything: If you call somebody and do not receive an answer, journal it. If you work on a printer, say which printer it was and what you did to troubleshoot it. Any contact with a customer, attempted contact with a customer, troubleshooting, or any labor whatsoever should be described in a way that would be relevant and informative to somebody looking at the ticket for the first time.

5: Time Logging

Make sure you log time for the ticket after working on it. Time Logs can be tracked in two ways:

Time Logging within Work Items

This is the preferred way of logging time as it prevents redundant tasks.

Time is logged by clicking on your task and checking the "Track Time Spent" checkbox above the close code. In the box to the left of the "Track time spent" label, enter the amount of time you have spent on that task in hours. When the task is closed, this time will be logged for your task and you will not need to log time as a separate task. 

Note that the time spent should be recorded in quarters of hours, rounding up. If you worked on the ticket for 5 minutes, enter '0.25'. If you worked on the ticket for 15 minutes, enter '0.25'. If you worked on the ticket for an hour and a half, enter '1.5'.

Time Logging as a Separate Task

If you forget to log time for your task after closing the ticket or do not have an open task, you will need to create a new task on that ticket to log time. Create a new task on that ticket and enter the following data:
  • Owned by: you (or staff you are documenting time for)
  • Title: Time Log
  • Type: Time Entry
  • Track time spent: Checked
  • Hours: Number of hours listed in decimal time (ie '0.25' is 15 minutes)
  • Close Code: Completed


6: Closing your task or deciding to keep it open

Once you have finished working on your ticket for whatever reason -- whether it be something as simple as calling a customer and receiving no answer or as effortful as fixing a printer -- you should consider closing your task.
  • If you are willing to take responsibility for continuing the task, keep it open and assigned to you and work on it later. Make sure you log the time even if you don't close the task.
  • If you will be passing the task to somebody else, close your task and open a new one owned by them. Include a descriptive title and description, and make sure your journals are descriptive of the work you did.
  • If you need to have somebody else working on the ticket, close your task and open a new one owned by our team (SAITS Support Services) and leave the owner blank. Include a descriptive title and description. This will send the ticket to the Hand-Off queue and somebody else should work on it.
Nevertheless, make sure there is an open task on the ticket unless you have resolved the issue.

Closing a task is as simple as making sure you have all the necessary information in the task (Descriptive title? Description of what you did?), marking the time spent as shown in step 5, having ownership of the ticket, and setting the status as "Closed."

Keywords:guide, steps, journaling, time log, procedure, task, tasks, journal, ticket, work   Doc ID:66458
Owner:Help Desk K.Group:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk
Created:2016-08-25 14:46 CSTUpdated:2019-01-02 13:41 CST
Sites:UW-Milwaukee Help Desk, UW-Milwaukee Student Affairs IT
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