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We currently have about 150 seats and growing. Our IT staff is very small so we need an efficient and accurate way to handle the provisioning of new-hires with equipment, software, credentials, etc. We have several different businesses and departments each with their own software/hardware needs.

The way it works now: When a person is hired, we end up sometimes with several work orders in our Help Desk system requesting various resources. HR manager requests security badge and phone extension. Hiring manager requests phone extension and computer setup. And on and on. Invariably, the hiring manager forgets an app or printer that the new user will require and we are constantly going redoing work.

I'd like a way for the HR manager to start the process and pass buck along to each manager in the chain to check off what the new-hire needs. This would then be submitted to IT. That way there is both a record of what was requested and a checklist for what we need to do. It would also be nice for this same form or software to store what that user was setup with for future reference.

Does anyone have the same problem we do in this regard? How have you solved it? What technology-based solutions have you used?

NOTE: We would be willing to purchase software if its out there but a plug-in for SharePoint or something similar would work too.

Thanks in advance.

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2 Answers

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I would start low tech. Once it is working smoothly you can automate it. We are in a similar situation, and are moving this direction (slowly).

1- Build a "new user" checklist. Make it comprehensive, including everything all the apps, options and equipment permutations. Put one person in charge of it, including keeping it current.

2- Only accept these requests from HR. Until HR tells you someone is coming, it is just gossip. Tell everyone that this is the deal.

3- When the request comes from HR, the support person starts a fresh version of the checklist. Then s/he calls the hiring manager, and goes through checklist.

4- The support analyst obtains any approvals necessary.

5- The checklist is then routed internally (in IS) down the line, and as each item is done it is initialed by whoever does it.

6- When complete, it goes back to the support analyst, who delivers the results and files the paper.

The support analyst is responsible for adjusting the checklist as necessary, and for following each instance through the process.

Note #1: I would do the same thing for user terminations. Nothing done without HR or senior exec direction, then follow the checklist. Having one filed for the user is a great place to start at that point!

Note #2: this kind of system is called "workflow", and lots of software will do it (some free, some not). Some issue-tracking software will even do routing through more than one task. But I would get the process dialed in on paper first.

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I like your idea of getting it done on paper first. Of course, by paper you mean an infopath form or something. ;) The routing can come later. We use WSS 3.0 which doesn't have built-in support for workflows unless you do it programmatically. Maybe its time to upgrade though. Thanks. –  Daniel Lucas May 19 '09 at 18:27
    
Actually, I would put the checklist in a word doc (or a page in a sharepoint wiki), and print it out when it needs to be used. Only once the precess is settled would I automate it. –  tomjedrz May 19 '09 at 20:59
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I built something like this as a simple workflow system for someone.

It is part asset management (Tracking resources handed out/created) and part notification/workflow so you can assign particular tasks to particular queues so you can answer the one magical question everyone gets... Where is everything at?.

What I did was create a list of all the resources there could possibly be and categorize them by type (network access, security codes, etc). Next I made profiles for departments or positions so one could be picked and applied to a new hire.

The key item in this kind of a system is making one that is easily extensible. This means, every time you want ot store a new type of data.. you have to create fields in a database which leads to a mess everywhere.

What I built has document templates that allow you to create new fields on the go and store them at any time for all users moving forward. So if you decide to start tracking photocopier codes, you can add that field and initialize the value for everyone. We are getting to the point where we can even send out email notifications for it.

If you'd like to know more, feel free to contact me offline.

If not, good luck, share what you end up doing here!

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