How to Replace an Aging Ticketing System

How to Replace an Aging Ticketing System

How to Avoid Problems and Ensure Success!

So you are looking to replace your aging ticketing system.  I have been the project lead to replace such a system and have successfully carried out the task – and I can tell you it can be a daunting job!

Please note: you want to follow best practices on this project, selecting the best quality system for the lowest price that Meets Your Needs (and that is very important).  Remember that there are probably a thousand ticketing systems out there, from free GNU products, to more expensive systems. The features and functionality all vary, along with the non-functionality aspects (flexibility, ability to scale, ability to integrate, etc.). Some are Saas, others on premise software and technology. Some are feature rich, others less so.

A word to the wise: do not be “tool driven” be strategy, process and ROI driven.  As a consultant I have also helped a major medical care organization select a replacement for their aging ticketing system.  At the time they had a 7-year-old system that had gone through lots of customization, to the extent that it could no longer be updated, or effectively maintained. It could no longer be integrated with other new support systems, due to the lack of interface capability. It was failing regularly, impacting service and support provision, and the organization’s performance as a whole.

There is a step by step process for the selection process described in the ITIL books, but essentially the best-practice steps for going about this sort of project are:

  1. Determine where you want to go
  2. Capture where you are now – do a baseline assessment of your performance with the current system
  3. Document ALL of your “needs” in a Statement of Requirements (SOR) document.
  4. Be sure to prioritize or rank your requirements (use the Moscow approach)
  5. Based on your requirements, research who the top vendors are who can meet most of your requirements
  6. Send out your RFP (Request for Proposal), along with your SOR, to the “short list” of vendors
  7. Manage this as a project. Get their return proposals and evaluate them according to your SOR
  8. Now comes the negotiation stage – to decide on the best solution that meets your needs
  9. After selection, you will enter the implementation stage – this is where “the rubber meets the road”
  10. Aim for and celebrate early successes during your implementation (to build momentum)
  11. Once you have the major features and functionality up and running, after a few months do another baseline assessment to show the returns
  12. Keep the momentum going by putting in place a supporting cross-functional team to monitor, manage, and provide for continual improvement in the system

For the full article and all the details in the steps above, please click over to HDI’s SupportWorld magazine and read all about it:


Paul M. Dooley
Optimal Connections, LLC
HDI Instructor, Auditor and Consultant
ITIL Expert and Instructor

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