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Work Assignment--do not assign things to me while I am away

Carol_LeeCarol_Lee Customer IT Monkey ✭
When I am away on holidays or sick leave, how can I stop anyone from assigning work items to me?  It's frustrating when I come back to see unattended requests and concerns.  I am sure the Requesters would feel the same too.  Zendesk has this feature.  Please advise.


  • Gerhard_GoossensGerhard_Goossens Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    Since we went live in Sept, this has been one of the biggest requests. We come from OTRS and even they had this feature...
  • Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    I think the idea would be this - you need to extend the User Class to support a boolean value and two date fields. Then using PowerShell/Orchestrator you need to sync those values from Exchange or whatever mail engine you are using to set the true/false (out of office) and the date times they are away into these fields on the user record in SCSM. With this first half done (i.e. the data set) you can move onto the second step.

    Then you need to build some automation that only triggers on Assignment, if the user being Assigned has these values set you need to revert back to the person who did the assigning (or null if it was new). There are several ways to do this second part but I immediately jump to using the SCSM Authoring tool and building two workflows - one that fires on new and another that fires on update.
  • Carol_LeeCarol_Lee Customer IT Monkey ✭
    @Adam_DzyackyThanks for the reply, but what you said there is just too much work to do.  In Zendesk, we just have to click a button. That's it.  Cireson Portal should be smart and user friendly enough in this regard.  I will post this in the New Feature request (I cannot believe I have to request this).
  • Justin_WorkmanJustin_Workman Cireson Support Super IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    @Adam_Dzyacky - This sounds like a great solution!  
    @Carol_Lee - Keep in mind that the portal provides an interface to SCSM and the functionality you're wanting would be an extension more to SCSM than the portal.  Even if the portal were going to prevent assigning a work item to a user who is "out" there would have to be an extension to the user class in SCSM to capture that flag.
  • Carol_LeeCarol_Lee Customer IT Monkey ✭
    @Justin_Workman So should I raise this to Microsoft instead?  It is just not user-friendly for me or anyone in the organization to go to a user class in SCSM to make this happen.  It just does not make sense.  The assignee can be someone not in the SCSM team nor in the IT team, who does not have SCSM console installed on their computer, who have no idea what user class it.
  • Tom_HendricksTom_Hendricks Customer Super IT Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    Some of the cheapest/"worst" ticketing solutions like those "help desk only" ticketing apps have this, while some of the bigger, more established ones do not have this, or have poorly implemented it.  Yet I think we can all agree that anything to prevent unattended requests would be good.

    There are some 3rd party tools out there that specialize in managing off-hours coverage and team capacity that integrate with ticketing apps, but this seems very feasible, if not quick or easy, to build within the framework of SCSM.

    @Carol_Lee, I see your feature request (upvoted!) and would also recommend requesting from Microsoft.

    In the meantime, someone might want to tackle this with a customization.  With apologies for the wall of text that awaits you, here are some thoughts about how this might look within SCSM / portal if you are going for an experience more similar to the other ITSM apps (otherwise, @Adam_Dzyacky made a great suggestion for handling it behind the scenes):
    • Starting with the obvious: "something" needs to indicate that the person is out of office.  That could be a checkbox as @Justin_Workman suggested, it could be a call to EWS (or slack API if you use that) to query if they are out "now" or you could even get complex and have a calendar in SCSM derived from the existing calendar class.  I somewhat prefer getting the answer from Exchange/EWS since they should already be updating that, and it can be set in the future.  That is easy to do in the portal, more difficult (IMO) in the console, but still possible.
    • I believe it is worth mentioning that the user class can be updated from the portal with some relatively simple code.  It could even be a task/button on the user pref form in the portal where users select their date/language locales, so this is not a barrier.  We do not allow use of the console, either.  In addition, the CI forms are coming in v9 (I still like the idea of having this particular feature in the user prefs better)
    • Next, the user(s) would need to be filtered out of the list of available support group members, or perhaps disabled but visible, instead.  This part seems simple for CR tickets, less so for SR tickets, and very difficult for IR tickets: do I filter on their availability now or try to figure out when the ticket is being worked and filter for then?  If only looking at their availability right now, this isn't so bad.  That seems to be your suggestion, too--please correct my assumption if incorrect!
    • In the portal, this could be accomplished with custom code that filters the Assignee user control after the support group is chosen (I would recommend starting with this) that further refines the filter to either hide OOO assignees or show but disable them.  If someone wanted to get fancy, the disabled users could display an "Are you sure" dialog when selected and allow selection if "yes" is chosen.  Maybe that would be a v2... :)
    The only two reasons I mentioned the derived calendar class above as a way of setting one's OOO, in spite of its added complexity, are 1.) maybe you want to set it independent of Exchange, such as working on a TDY or special project but still in the office, and 2.) you want to create a custom calendar page (Kendo Scheduler control, to be specific) that lets you edit your OOO by dragging the appointment edges or the whole appointment, like you might in Outlook.  This would be very complicated for a v1, but possibly appealing to some and maybe worth targeting for later.

  • Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    Let me go put the System Center gauntlet on and I'll see what I can do about helping this solution along @Carol_Lee . I can't make any promises but I can certainly look into an estimated effort required.
  • Carol_LeeCarol_Lee Customer IT Monkey ✭
    Thanks @Tim_Hendricks.  I am finding a way to bring this up to Microsoft.
  • Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭
    This took me a little under an hour to put together, but what I originally outlined above has now been published - https://community.cireson.com/discussion/4569/scsm-out-of-office-prevent-work-item-assignment
  • mhendawymhendawy Member IT Monkey ✭

    Hello Adam,

    I Noticed that after applying your solution, the WF still in the disabled state.

  • Adam_DzyackyAdam_Dzyacky Product Owner Contributor Monkey ✭✭✭✭✭

    Hey there @mhendawy - that's expected if I remember correctly. If you import it and then the override MPs that enable the workflow. The console for some reason stills shows them as "disabled". @Gerhard_Goossens keep me honest here?

  • Gerhard_GoossensGerhard_Goossens Customer Advanced IT Monkey ✭✭✭
    edited June 2020

    @Adam_Dzyacky @mhendawy

    Yes, that is correct. I thought that is the way it should work... You need to enable the workflows in the console for the workitems that you want to be triggered by this feature.

    I actually added some awesome features and automation to this solution. BUT it is not yet ready to unleash upon the world....

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