District Department of Transportation

Crow Canyon Service Desk Ends Delays and Slow Responses at Washington, D.C., Dept. of Transportation

Problem: DDOT’s IT department had an automated ticketing program in place, but only 5% of employees were using it. The department was getting overwhelmed with ad hoc and walk-in requests. Each new request started feeling like just one more log on the already out-of-control fire. Both the IT Department and the DDOT staff were frustrated by the long delays in responding and the issues being dropped.

How Crow Canyon helped: Crow Canyon’s Service Request application addressed these issues by providing an efficient way to keep track of tickets and improve resolution times. The program brought consistency to IT requests. Employees now submit tickets using the familiar SharePoint platform. No extra hardware was required and user adoption was fast. The Service Request system eliminated the need for employees to learn a new software program from scratch.

Result: After implementing Crow Canyon’s Service Request, the IT department noticed an 85% increase in employee-submitted tickets. IT staff were able to work on and close 50% more tickets. Walk-up requests decreased dramatically. The IT staff is now able to work more efficiently, while employees have their IT needs addressed more quickly and in an orderly manner. “It’s so easy for [employees] to input a ticket and they get regular status updates, instead of long lag times without any information,” says Ukamaka Udeh, DDOT’s SharePoint Administrator.

About DDOT: A staff of 1,100 employees is tasked with keeping Washington, D.C., running as smoothly and efficiently as possible on a daily basis.

Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation vastly improves help desk service to its employees by adopting Crow Canyon’s Service Request for SharePoint

IT Department ends help desk chaos and inefficiencies; employees and staff much more productive

The list of U.S. cities known for high traffic always includes Washington D.C. and for good reason. The Capital Beltway alone, which circles the city, carries almost a quarter of a million cars each day. The challenge of keeping our capital “moving” falls to the D.C. Department of Transportation, known as DDOT. This team of 1,100 highly skilled people is chartered with making sure that everything from parking meters to the bus and streetcar network is running efficiently and “green” wherever possible.

That’s a huge job, and to support an “always on” service network, DDOT employees rely upon a complex infrastructure of equipment, software and telecommunications services. At the center of all this is a hard working IT department, handling an average of 1,000 internal service tickets per month for issues including computer crashes, keyboard malfunctions, Bluetooth replacements and phone problems.

The Challenge
  • Diverse, geographically scattered campuses, each with unique issues and needs.
  • IT department clogged with ad hoc “walk in” requests.
  • Inefficient manual tracking of tickets, leading to longer resolution times.
  • Employees less productive; IT department over worked and less effective.
The Solution
  • Crow Canyon Service Request Software for SharePoint installed in less than 1 week.
  • Integration to SharePoint, leveraging additional value from existing system.
  • Broad range of flexible options to fit dynamic tracking and reporting needs.
  • Easy to use and maintain, with familiar SharePoint interface.
The Results
  • 85% increase in automated ticket submission by users.
  • IT staff able to close tickets 50% more quickly due to less “walk up” interruptions.
  • Greater productivity and happier end users.
  • Better service to the community.

The Challenge. DDOT’s existing home grown ticket filing system made filing even 50 tickets feel more like 500. Ukamaka Udeh, SharePoint administrator, remembers those days. “The original system was not easy to use, so people basically side-stepped it,” she says. “That meant a lot of ‘walk ups’ or hand written requests, requiring manual filing of tickets by IT personnel.”

The “take-a-number” approach was time-consuming and disorganized, as well as distracting for IT employees, who had to drop everything to hand-enter tickets on the fly. “Since only about 5% of the employees were actually using the system, you can just imagine the long lines forming outside the IT office,” says Udeh. With a city transportation infrastructure to support, not only were blood pressures rising, the ensuing back log led to longer resolution times. On top of that, the hard-working IT support team was taking a serious credibility hit.

The DDOT IT support team knew they needed to find a better way, and quickly. While other departments had used BMC’s Remedy help desk software, people complained that it was cumbersome and hard to maintain — the last thing IT needed. The optimum solution, if they could find it, would allow them to use the Microsoft SharePoint interface with which they were already familiar. SharePoint, a popular collaboration platform, had been in use at DDOT since 2008 and anything that could build off of SharePoint was a plus.

The Solution. The solution, when they found it, seemed almost too good to be true. “One of our managers came in one day and said ‘I think I’ve found it!’ And he had!” said Udeh.

The solution was Crow Canyon’s Service Request for SharePoint, an agile, easy-to-use software application from a creative team of developers led by Scott Restivo. “We know help desks and understood the challenge for DDOT,” said Restivo. “The last thing they needed was to have to learn another complicated interface. They needed a solution that would extend the capabilities of SharePoint in the direction they needed, with the flexibility to scale up dynamically.”

Understanding there was no margin for error, Crow Canyon even let DDOT test the software before they purchased it, allowing them to put the software thought a rigorous “tire-kicking” process to make sure it would stand up to their demanding environment. It did.

The Results. Crow Canyon worked with DDOT on an installation that took less than a week to install. Training was concentrated on features and short cuts, since the users were working with the familiar SharePoint interface. DDOT began seeing results almost immediately as end users discovered how flexible the software was. Also eye-opening was the wide range of features, including tracking incidents from multiple sources, asset and equipment tracking, service level agreements, flexible reporting options and more.

That was two years ago, and the Crow Canyon solution continues to get rave reviews. “Our users absolutely love Crow Canyon,” says Uka Udeh. “It’s so easy for them to input a ticket and they get regular status updates, instead of long lag times without any information.” As for IT, it’s turned things around. “90% of users are now inputting tickets using Crow Canyon,” she said. “Our end users are so much happier and we’re all more productive.” The Crow Canyon software lets DDOT track the progress of open tickets, create easy to read reports and share them with management and other departments.

Keeping D.C. transportation flowing smoothly is a disciplined balancing act that requires every DDOT employee to execute at optimum levels. Crow Canyon’s Service Request for SharePoint has proven itself to be a system that can keep up and not bog down. Since Crow Canyon software has been on the job, the long lines outside their office have disappeared, replaced by an empowered team of transportation professionals, providing first-class support for the most important city in America.

Uka Udeh makes her closing comment with a chuckle, “The only walk ups we tend to get these days are outside-the-box requests such as fixing someone’s digital camera!”