Talk:OTRS workshop

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Maximum ?[edit source]

If at the Old Street offices, then a sensible maximum would be 24 people. With the geonotice attracting more attendees, we might have to point that out if we start hitting 20+ sign-ups. -- 17:03, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Quite possibly, though most of the people who are interested will have OTRS access, and I'd be surprised if we could find 24 Brits on OTRS who can be bothered to travel to London for. But you never know. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 17:42, 13 December 2011 (UTC)
Do attendees need to be on OTRS before the event? WereSpielChequers 14:07, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
No, however there should be a realistic expectation that they are suitable to be trusted for future OTRS volunteering. It would be a unfair to give the impression that this is not an issue for someone to spend time coming to the workshop to be rejected when they apply to volunteer to help. I would recommend they apply as a volunteer before the event as the workshop will make far more sense once you have tried out the system. -- 15:02, 17 December 2011 (UTC)

What is OTRS?[edit source]

Last sentence of lede: "New volunteers to help with OTRS would be most welcome!" Nowhere on page: explanation, or even de-initialisation, of OTRS. Way to welcome newbies.....

Fair point. I've linked it. However I would point out that this workshop is for experienced editors - new to OTRS but probably not new to the wiki. It isn't targeted at newbies, though I agree it should be understandable to those who come across it. WereSpielChequers 14:06, 17 December 2011 (UTC)
I've added a section giving some background on OTRS, shamelessly stolen from the Wikimania session proposal page. I hope that makes it clear what OTRS is - please expand it if it doesn't. :-)
On newbies - to a certain extent, it would be good to use this event to train new people if possible. But that should be done in a way that doesn't detract from the other aspects of the event. Thanks. Mike Peel 18:47, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Finances[edit source]

This is kind of confusing: nothing on this page states anything about finances, correlating with what was said through the mailing list. Is OTRS workshop/Budget still operational? (It isn't linked from anywhere and hasn't been edited since November...) Mentifisto 10:52, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

There is budget available. The expense policy will apply and Mike will be ensuring that claims or advances are appropriate and making the call on who can legitimately claim for what. -- 12:10, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
We're not actually using the expense policy directly here, but we are adhering to its general principles. Financial assistance with travel costs and accommodation is available, but you need to give us a rough estimate of the amount and we'll approve it on a case-by-case basis. The budget page is a good indication of how many requests we expect to approve. Thanks. Mike Peel 18:52, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Live virtual link up[edit source]

I don't belong to any chapters because of my location, but I'm a Brit and I've already demonstrated my enthusiasm by meeting members of the UK chapter while I was in the UK in August. I would be happy to take part in any discussions over a Skype video linkup. All you need at the meeting is a laptop with a camera on the table, and a broad WiFi connection. Kudpung 03:46, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I believe the rooms have plug-in broadband available and I have seen a nice projector screen in action, so we should be able to set something up. It might be a good time to try out something like Webex (which the WMF have experience using) as our experience of using Skype for meetings is not that good. -- 10:21, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
If you'd like to use the WMF's webex for this, get me times ASAP and I'll reserve the time. :) Philippe (WMF) 19:38, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Meeting aims[edit source]

Could include:

  • Improving OTRS responses, by sharing experiences and horror stories, and documenting best practices and improving standard ticket responses
  • Inducting new OTRS agents, and figuring out ways to encourage more to assist
  • Optimising workflows to minimize work and ensure speedy response to tickets (including those sent to chapters and foundation?)

What else? Mike Peel 21:27, 8 August 2011 (UTC)

    • Provide for feature requests, which I can carry to OTRS or the Foundation's developers. Philippe (WMF) 23:48, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
      • Thanks Philippe - that sounds really useful. Note that WMUK may also be able to provide development support for adding/improving features for OTRS if it is clearly indicated that such development is needed. Thanks. Mike Peel 00:02, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

Other possible topics:

  • How best to interact with other language Wiki's (i.e. be aware of differing policies to your home wiki..)
  • Discuss templates vs. real messages

--ErrantX 13:40, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

Duration[edit source]

I would suggest that a two-day event would be most optimal here, since that would provide enough time to discuss all of the relevant issues, and that it should occupy a weekend (Saturday and Sunday) since this event would only involve volunteer Wikimedians rather than anyone providing such support on a paid basis by an external organisation (unless there are speakers from external organisations that we should invite to this event?) Mike Peel 00:10, 29 October 2011 (UTC)

I tend to agree, especially if some of the attendees are new to OTRS (or don't have access at all)—we could spend one day familiarising everyone with OTRS, swapping anecdotes, and discussing OTRS in general, and the other on actually responding to tickets (plus it gives us time to go out for drinks without worrying about getting home on Saturday night; always a plus when beer can be worked into these things!). HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts?
For dates we might try a doodle vote closer to the time see above. Some might prefer a Saturday followed by another Saturday, plus not everyone may want to come along to both days as there might be a split between those interested in an intro & case study day versus an experienced user knowledge sharing and system improvement day. -- 10:17, 29 October 2011 (UTC)
We've got the room booked for 2 days, but I don't think that we need to expect everyone to be around on both of those days. A day of discussions followed by a day of doing sounds good - and we can always expand the 'doing' bit to multiple days if we run out of things to discuss (as a challenge - could we completely clear the OTRS backlog?) Mike Peel 00:56, 13 December 2011 (UTC)

Preferred dates poll, vote now![edit source]

To help decide on dates, I have set up a poll at Doodle: OTRS workshop (London), please tick dates you prefer. Click on the concertina bit of the table to open up all dates if hidden. I have avoided the dates for GLAMcamp and weekends getting too close to Christmas. -- 09:52, 1 November 2011 (UTC)

As of 3-Nov the most popular weekend was 7th January 2012. Add your vote to influence the outcome either way. -- 13:43, 3 November 2011 (UTC)
7/8 January is also the only weekend for which nobody (so far, touch wood) has said they're unavailable. I'd suggest that's a nice date as it gives plenty of time to book things in advance and thus get a better deal (especially if we're block-booking a hotel), and solicit more ideas for talks. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 02:00, 4 November 2011 (UTC)

Location[edit source]

Would a meeting room somewhere in London be optimal, or would somewhere else be best? Beyond space, caffeine (or other refreshments) and wireless internet access, what else would the workshop need? How long should the meeting last? Mike Peel 19:09, 6 August 2011 (UTC)

I'd imagine that London would the least-bad location. In terms of venue, not sure - perhaps somewhere like ULU? Or the place the WMUK Board rented for a day next to King's Cross?
Jdforrester 21:27, 6 August 2011 (UTC)
  • The new Old Street meeting rooms will be ideal and free. There is room for up to 12 (could host a max of 24), it has a casual sitting area next to the rooms, wifi access and is rarely booked at weekends. Should be available by late November. Would need a bit of coordination to let people in/out. -- 11:42, 28 October 2011 (UTC)
This sounds ideal - although I expect that 12 would be too few for this event, I doubt that we would exceed 24. If we could pin down a date for an event on this topic in late November-December-January sooner rather than later, then that would be fantastic. Caveat that this event will depend on robust wifi access to OTRS. I would be happy to provide access coordination throughout the event. Mike Peel 23:38, 28 October 2011 (UTC)

Sign up for OTRS[edit source]

I'm not OTRS registered yet - I did apply before but got turned down. Should I try to get on OTRS now so I can check out the interface before the workshop or should I wait till after the workshop? --Filceolaire 20:05, 18 December 2011 (UTC)

Please apply for access prior to the workshop, as it would be best for you to have access from the start of the workshop. It may help your application if you explain that you will be participating in this workshop prior to responding to OTRS tickets. Thanks. Mike Peel 20:21, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Done --Filceolaire 22:40, 18 December 2011 (UTC)
Well I applied and sent off the letter but I've had no response. Is there anything we need to do before Saturday so I can take part? --Filceolaire 22:56, 4 January 2012 (UTC)
It can take a while, especially if the OTRS admins aren't familiar with you. You're kind of at the mercy of the OTRS admins, though Mike might be able to have a word with one of them or with Philippe. HJ Mitchell | Penny for your thoughts? 00:29, 5 January 2012 (UTC)

Action: Governance for OTRS admin processes[edit source]

This question came up during the workshop and I promised Lyzzy to pen a brief note about it. Please add to this thread if you think something was left out from the discussions we had. In all cases we agree that any solutions should remain light-weight, i.e. no more than a paragraph or two of an easy to understand plain English statement of policy. -- 14:30, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

  1. Accountability of decisions for who is accepted as an OTRS volunteer.
    • There is a working practice of discussing new applications and the current OTRS admin group having a week or two to look into the contributions and background of any application. Generally it is felt this is effective, however it is recognized that it is not transparent or formally accountable. Informally issues may be raised and discussed and feedback gained from other groups as thought necessary. It was proposed that the admin group consider the following recommendations for improvement:
      1. A documented standard feedback process for applicants. Any rejected applicants should be able to ask for a summary of the rationale for rejection. Where there are issues of confidentially, these may remain in-camera but the reasons for restricting such feedback should be limited and defined.
      2. A documented appeals process for applicants. Such appeals would in preference be assessed by someone who is not an OTRS admin but trusted with the associated confidential discussions, such as a widely trusted current member of Oversight.
      3. Openly published third party review of the effectiveness and sufficiency of these processes. I suggest this is considered on an at least annual basis and be conducted by a widely trusted member of the Wikimedia community such as an ex-chapter chairperson or a previous WMF board member in good standing without any current relationship to the OTRS community.
  2. Policy for OTRS volunteer account changes or closure.
    • There are current working practices for closing long term unused accounts and for changing queue access for current volunteers. There is no public policy and at a minimum current practices should be documented on :meta so that possible improvements can be discussed with the wider community. Some queues have unusually confidential or material that represents a perceived risk to involved parties, it is recognized that excessive detail cannot be expected to be released and may not be to the benefit of the movement or personal security to reveal, however a high level summary should be achievable.
  3. Process for OTRS admin acceptance.
    • How people become OTRS administrators, and on what basis, should be documented.

Note, I have emailed a link to this thread to the English OTRS discussion list (otrs-en-l). -- 15:02, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

etherpad-link[edit source]

Hi, could someone please provide the link to our etherpad documentation? I'm preparing a blog post and would likje to have a look at it before publishing. --Lyzzy 22:07, 9 January 2012 (UTC)

Hi Lyzzy. James has been busy turning it into a wiki page - it's now at otrswiki:UK_workshop_January_2012. I'm looking forward to seeing your blog post. :-) Thanks. Mike Peel 22:14, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
Great! You have to wait until tomorrow ;)
... And in case I haven't said it: Wow, what a meeting. On topic, respectful, output-oriented. Absolutely worth travelling. Thanks to all of you. --Lyzzy 22:18, 9 January 2012 (UTC)
It was, but apparently I wasn't there. Why is the list of attendees so short? Dougweller 05:45, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Because not everyone added their name to it. ;-) I've expanded it a bit - if anyone's still missing then please click that 'edit' button. Thanks. Mike Peel 09:56, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
Ah, I see. Should there be a discussion page? For instance, minor point, I thought there was general agreement that names shouldn't be obviously fictional, and I'd like to see that there. Dougweller 15:25, 10 January 2012 (UTC)
There should always be a discussion page. :-) I think that the argument about names not being obviously fictional was recorded (see the "Round-table discussion" section), but please raise this at otrswiki:Talk:UK_workshop_January_2012 if not, or - even better - directly edit the notes from the meeting. Thanks. Mike Peel 23:35, 10 January 2012 (UTC)

OTRS[edit source]

For some reflections on the OTRS workshop, please see Equilibrium is soon established by a stream of volunteers. Leutha 00:40, 14 January 2012 (UTC)