Experience & advice for managing IT teams for OpenMRS implementations

I consider it important to have a topic where we can share experience on administering tickets, ticketing systems, user experience and challenges other implementers are facing while managing projects in their implementations.

2 Likes

Thanks @bwabuti for starting this valuable conversation. I know many organizations that use OpenMRS have created various types of IT teams and support process to help those users in different ways. I hope we can all share some background on what we have done, what worked well, and what didn’t (so far) … the hope is that we can learn from each other some tips for IT management as it relates to the teams using and supporting OpenMRS.

I will also think a bit about our experiences with our own OpenMRS Infrastructure Team and how we support our community tools, and will share some of our experiences too.

Looking forward to the conversation!

Thanks Michael, i will begin by sharing some vital information. Through use of cheat sheets, we have been able to share useful tips on how to get the support IT teams may need. Following is one example:

Cheat sheet for getting the support you may need

Wiki • OpenMRS Wiki: https://wiki.openmrs.org

Chat • OpenMRS IRC: https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/IRC/Home • Use the main window for chats, not a separate/private chat • Initiate a chat by stating: @person’s handle (such as: @bwabuti)

List-Serves • OpenMRS Developers: developers■■■■■■■■■■■■ • OpenMRS Implementers: implementers■■■■■■■■■■■■

Calls • OpenMRS University Call: https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/RES/OpenMRS+University • OpenMRS Developer’s Forum: https://wiki.openmrs.org/display/RES/Developers+Forum • Ampath Informatics Calls

Ticketing Systems • OpenMRS Jira: https://tickets.openmrs.org

Simple Reminders on Filing Tickers • Provide as much information as you can. • If you experienced an error, include the steps you took before receiving the error. • Provide the stack trace, images/screen shots, error message, etc. • Be an active communicator • The quicker we can reply to developers’ questions and the more we can keep the developers engaged, the more likely we are to have our ticket quickly moved to completion • Don’t be afraid to make a mistake! If a ticket is filed incorrectly, we simply edit it to reflect the proper information. It’s OK  • Share your tickets with others, and encourage them to vote!

1 Like

Good discussion. In addition to the OpenMRS resources, we also have PIH JIRA and Confluence (wiki) for things that are specific for our own implementations. PIH JIRA tracks our agile development and time tracking. Building specific OpenMRS systems, customizing, testing, internal documentation, team roles, system administration are beyond the range of OpenMRS JIRA and wiki. We do use the OpenMRS tools when appropriate – JIRA for all OpenMRS core and modules and wiki for shareable docs.

Ellen Ball Partners In Health

2 Likes

Hi @ball. I was curious, how does PIH handle things like technical support within a specific site for people who have problems using the system (or other IT problems)? Does that person/group/team use any tools or techniques for tracking support issues?

1 Like

JIRA is configured to create tickets with emails and attachments. Not all those users use the JIRA website directly. But they email / open ticket with system problems.

Ellen

2 Likes

Hi all, At AMPATH we are at the initial stages of engaging our efforts through sharing how useful JIRA ticketing system is through use of developed team specific dashboards. This dashboards give quick statistics on active, closed tickets and assignee. We hope that teams will be positively motivated through reviewing progress on logged issues.

At AMPATH we use two systems to manage our ticketing. These are: AMPATH Request Tracker(RT) and AMPATH JIRA.

RT system has been customized for AMPATH use and allows requester to log issues via email to support and get feedback with a ticket number. Through the ticket, one can communicate on progress and resolution. There are no limitations to include requester account within the RT system. All you need is send an e-mail and get ticket number on the filed issue. The project Manager helps to assign logged issues to the right teams based on features established in the system. This system has been adopted to help in break fix(issues that need to be solved at most within 5 days). Any issue that is expected or takes more than 5 days becomes a project that needs support from AMPATH JIRA.

This classification and triaging has helped us avoid instances where tickets reside in the AMPATH Request Tracker System for long when they actually need for example developer support within AMPATH JIRA.

For meeting TODOs we mostly use JIRA and track progress through providing macro on wiki pages hosting the minutes.

Thanks.

2 Likes

Thanks @bwabuti for starting this nice discussion!

Here at the Haitian Health Foundation, we use Spiceworks. It allows us to track user (and internal) tickets. It’s free and very easy to setup and use. It has a user web portal where users can create and follow their tickets. It runs network scans to identify and inventory hardware, or you can add hardware manually. It also includes purchases, where you can tie repair parts to a specific ticket and specific hardware. You can track your needed hardware items, marking them as approved for purchase, purchased or received. It integrates with Active Directory. Unfortunately, it requires a Windows server and has advertisements.

2 Likes