Using Taiga as a service/help desk

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Paul

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Mar 14, 2021, 9:22:21 AMMar 14
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Hi :

I discovered Taiga while looking for possible alternatives to Jira following their announcement to discontinue self-hosted installations. I wanted to suggest something to management and was wondering if anyone is making use of Taiga as a support/help desk in addition to projects? The main features I have in mind are e-mail integration, customized workflows, SLAs, a web portal, integrated self help knowledge base, etc. Alternatively, if using it in combination with some third party dedicated service desk software, which one and what does that integration and/or workflow look like in your organization?

To provide a bit of context, my IT team currently uses a single self hosted Jira instance as our service/help desk, but also to manage our projects (Jira Software, Jira Core). It works well to use a single tool to manage both functions as service desk entries can easily be transitioned to a task/story in another project as needed or linked to one another to keep track of things.

We are a small multitasking team that does all IT related functions from fixing printers to managing Exchange, AD, etc. to integrating and customizing software to handle business requirements. We have also setup an unrelated team within the organization with their own service desk to manage their request and were contemplating rolling out Jira Core to the wider organization until recently.

Any insight would be appreciated.

Many thanks,
Paul

Pablo Ruiz Múzquiz

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Mar 15, 2021, 3:07:14 PMMar 15
to Paul, taigaio
Hi Paul!

We are seeing an increased number of people trying to move away from Jira due to Atlassian's recent move against self-hosted installations. This will only get worse over time, to be honest.
There are three major reasons to take a look at Taiga if you're coming from Jira:

1) I want a Jira clone because I actually kind of like Jira. Is Taiga a worthy equivalent?
2) I don't want a Jira clone as I'm taking this forced migration path as an opportunity to move away from Jira and look at more modern and brighter alternatives. Is Taiga a worthy upgrade?
3) I come from Jira, I don't want Jira but I need a service/help desk/ticketing system. Is Taiga up to the task.

My answers to these scenarios would be: No, Yes, It Depends.

Let's go with It Depends for 3). Taiga can be used as a ticketing system. Its Issues module is fast and flexible and has a very neat flexible filtering system. Combined with KANBAN/Scrum module, you can make use of the "Promote Issue to User Story" for those special tasks you want to treat in a different workflow. But Taiga was not meant to be a ticketing system, but an agile project management platform so it lacks basic stuff you'd normally see on ticketing systems like reply-to-email support. True, it's in our roadmap and most pronbably will be ready by Taiga7 next year, but I'm sure there will be other gaps, like forced paths through a status workflow (Taiga allows status changes from any status to any status). You could very easily build the email integration, but not customised workflows (you'd need webhook/API triggers for that), SLAs is not something built-in although you can define custom fields and we have time-tracking integrations like Toggle. The WIKI module could work as an integrated self help knowledge base combined with a smart use of tags, perhaps.

So, I'll be quite honest here. A lot of people are using Taiga for a service desk task but I'm unsure whether it's like "obviously" a good fit. Other more specialized tools might be worth looking into. I tend to see service desk workflows as very control-oriented and Taiga is all about consenting adults with rules that are partly enforced OUTSIDE the platform itself.
Now, Taiga has live CSV exports so you could match Taiga with your favourite reporting tool (it could be a google doc sheet).

Here you should be able to spend 3-4 min and decide for yourself. https://resources.taiga.io/

Thanks for asking!!

Pablo

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Paul

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Mar 28, 2021, 11:45:21 AMMar 28
to taigaio
Hi Pablo : Sorry I took so long in responding. I really wanted to thank you for the detailed response. It is roughly what I had expected and I certainly appreciate the candour.

We are probably more in your camps 2) and 3) with perhaps a big toe in 1). I like-ish Jira, but I can't say I am in love with it.

I expect the transition to be over the next year+ so it gives me some time. Based on what I've read and your feedback, it appears to be worth investing a little time to have a proper play with Taiga. Using Taiga for project management and some other dedicated help desk solution is not out the question. It would simply be nicer to continue to live in a single system.

Regarding your comment about workflows, I understand the philosophy. However, I rather see them as a way of helping people remember and follow a process. Yes, they sometimes get in the way, but there is no perfect solution. One follow-up question : Are Taiga's current Webhooks capable of enforcing a workflow? Or did you mean that the functionality is not yet present in Taiga? In short, can the invoked web service block a Taiga transition through the code it returns... currently? Or is that planned at some point?

Thanks again,
Paul

Pablo Ruiz Múzquiz

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Apr 5, 2021, 4:51:41 AM (6 days ago) Apr 5
to Paul, taigaio
Hi Paul

Easter is to blame here for my late response :D

Yes, Taiga webhooks can enforce workflow management. We know some teams do this to apply specific policies that Taiga doesn't have as built-in. Webhooks are the quickest way to monitor&change some aspects of Taiga functionality and I'd say workflows are #1 use case here.
So, you could have a certain workflow chain and monitor if a particular transition is legit. If not, you move it back and add a comment. The owner/assigned/watchers will get notified and everything will get logged in the Activity tab for the Taiga item.

Pablo

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