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How do I schedule my next activity?

My.. what!?

To truly understand a Rocketship Next Activity, you have to detach yourself from “The Ticket.” That is, understand that although helpdesk software focuses on tickets, those are “nouns” in that each ticket is a database of information on a specific problem. What you actually do, the activities, are verbs. You “work” a ticket. You “solve” a problem.

Helpdesk software has our heads turned all around!

Furthermore, unlike a Fixed Appointment, Next Activities are priority centered. This aligns with how you already work. Most technicians don’t follow a long minute-by-minute set of calendar appointments, but instead they work “the highest priority ticket on my list.” Next Activities dynamically organize your work in order of ticket priority+ticket age, ensuring you always work the most important/oldest ticket next.

Sort Order by Ticket Priority

We have that handled! If you are scheduled a Next Activity on the higher priority ticket, your Workboard will automatically reflect that by placing the associated Next Activity higher on your list.

Next Activities and Work Duration

In aligning with how people already work, the duration of a Next Activity maps to the normal action of a technician of mentally estimating effort on a ticket. Without even intentionally doing it, almost all technicians will review, for example, a ticket for a SQL Server backup error and think “this will require me at least 2 hours to debug before I can even propose a solution.” So the time for this Next Activity? 2 hours!

Aligning Work on Time Boundaries

By default, Rocketship will align work on 5-minute boundaries. That means it will schedule work, for example, for 1:00 PM, 1:05 PM, 1:10 PM, and so on. Your Rocketship Administrator can adjust this to fit different boundaries such as 1 minute, 5 minute, 15 minute, or even 60 minute boundaries, if needed.

Handling Firm Appointments & Outlook Appointments

Rocketship will automatically schedule Next Activities around all other activity types. For example, if it is currently 8:00 AM and you try to schedule a 30 minute Next Activity while also having an Outlook Calendar event from 8:00 AM-9:30 AM and a Rocketship Fixed Appointment from 9:45 AM – 10: 00 AM, the Next Activity will show as starting at 10:00 AM.

Put another way, Rocketship honors other events when scheduling Next Activities and uses them to calculate start time so you don’t have to.

Deferring Work for a Few Days

New users in Rocketship often use a Fixed Appointment instead of a Next Activity to ensure they don’t work on a task same day. For example, let’s say you kick off a backup before debugging the SQL Server error mentioned above. The backup reports it will run overnight, so there is nothing for you to do until tomorrow after you start the backup.

Solve this using Sleeping Next Activities.

A Sleeping Next Activity is just a Next Activity that will “sleep” for N days. In the example, we’re using, when creating the Next Activity just specify “1 day” to sleep. After 1 day, Rocketship will put the Next Activity on your schedule for you based on the priority of the ticket.

Reserve Fixed Appointments for events that can only happen at a certain day and time, e.g., an agreed upon phone call with a customer.

How do I set a Next Activity as Complete?

When setting a Next Activity to Complete in the Rocketship Workboard, we set the associated Autotask Service Call to Complete and log the action in the ticket. This does not close the Ticket. You still need to log your time and then decide if you will close the ticket, set it waiting, schedule more work via Rocketship, or escalate via Rocketship.

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In this webinar, Dustin Puryear, Autotask expert and MSP industry veteran, will show you how to set up Kanban boards in Autotask, integrate them with your workflow rules, and how to get the most out of them.

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