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NewsCorner May 2014

QualityHelp Newsletter - May 2014


QualityHelp Newsletter - May 2014

Hello folks. 



Ken Darwin (Site Facilitator)


Recent Articles

Get Change Management Right and Downsize the Problem Management Team

Within IT Operations, the two most critical functions for ensuring consistent, stable and quality services and products are Change Management, followed by Project Management.  If you were thinking Quality Management then you've missed the basic concepts of quality.  Neither your company nor your customers (internal and external) want to pay for quality controls and inspections, internal audits, problem management teams or helpdesk staff dedicated to customer complaints and incident management. You can't fool the customer, and delude yourself if you claim that these costs are absorbed internally.

Defective products result from ineffective design, development and projects.  Release Management and Change Control are the gate keepers that are ultimately accountable for the quality of products and services reaching the end user. If you perfect these functions, you will then start to modify your strategies for product design, development and project management.

Do the cost analysis of achieving excellence in design and development versus reactive service management, then reap the rewards with market and customer trust and respect.


Process for Managing Team Documents

In our previous article on Building a Document Catalogue , we gave an overview of both the catalogue, the Drupal components and using control records to integrate the catalogue with a Document Control system model.  Now we might have some fun and describe in more detail, the process for building a team catalogue and adding documents.

For our demonstration, we will use the Quality Team, and create a catalogue for their procedures. Then we will register and add a process document, in that order.  Create a control record to register the document, tag it to add to the required catalogue/s, then link the document source page/file as well as a distribution document.

It seemed most appropriate that the document we register for this example is the DCS Registration Process.

Building a Document Catalogue using Views and Control Records

The two fundamental building blocks for constructing a practical, dynamic and maintainable Document Catalogue in Drupal are Views and Control Records. By Views we mean instances of tables generated by the Drupal View module. The Control Records we refer to are created from a custom content page (appropriately named Record), which acts as a template allowing us to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Meet our organisation's Document and Quality Management standards for document and record control.
  2. Provide a consistent document entity for populating any number of linked Document Catalogues, in a consistent , managable and scaleable format.

There are other clever Drupal modules and methods we employ to make this ongoing project a fascinating exercise.

Desktop Support Fundamentals

When the Desktop Support customer is a small company, a private user, or even a friend or relative, professional support folk and part time techos often provide an adhoc, "time and materials" solution for PC problems and requests.  This is especially true for one-off customers and end users with low budgets (or seeking a freebie). Apart from recording basic customer contact and PC information, no other quality processes are applied.

In many cases there is little incentive or apparent value in maintaining a more structured, systematic approach for support management. However, there is a strong argument, and many benefits for small PC support businesses and stand-alone technicians to think of the bigger picture - think ITIL.

Recent News

update: NewsCorner Catalogue

We've just replaced the (poorly maintained) NewsCorner Index with dedicated catalogue in the DCS Catalogue (under Quality Team Documents).  It is fully up-to-date and will be far easier to maintain in future.  Read more about mult-tier catalogues in our Blog on Web Design.

news: New Catalogue Progress

Since we have formulated the entity naming rules for our Catalogue components (records, views, quicktabs and catalogue containers), and estabished many of the first and second tier catalogues, our progress has accellerated with the advantage of duplication.

update: Master Catalogue added to Documents Menu

We're starting to gain some momentum with building a model for Document Control System and Integrated Catalogue.  In keeping with our open approach to demonstrating the mechanics of our projects, we have added the Master Catalogue to our Documents Menu.

Whilst it is not necessary to to fully populate the Catalogue, we will actively build "live" entries from a combination of new site documents of all types, as well as existing blocks of documents that we will gradually migrate across.

news: Added Desktop Resources Index

Folks, we have finally started building a Desktop Resources Index, starting with PC Tools and Training material targetting self-help end users and small business.  We'll focus on decent quality free tools and apps, especially where they have been widely used, recommend and well supported.

update: Changed Menu header pages

This is a minor change to enhance the Main Menu header pages, to extend our standard navigation blocks,  This should provide both greater consistency across the site, as well as provide greater ease of locating other pages, articles, documents and indexes.

Quality Help Community - Overview

The Quality Help Community is a collaborative network of IT professionals with an interest in Quality Management and Quality Assurance based solutions in the IT industry. With collective participation, we hope to demystify Quality Management and it's effective application within the IT services and support industries.

 Our Vision at QualityHelp is to guide IT support folk in the principles and value of quality management through team involvement and sharing.


Site maintained by the QualityHelp Community