dslreports logo
site
 
    All Forums Hot Topics Gallery
spc

spacer




how-to block ads


Search Topic:
uniqs
1303
share rss forum feed


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS

New On-Call Ideas

Currently myself & the IT Director go on-call every 8 weeks while all the other guys fill in the gaps. We are a 24/7 operation so when something goes wrong and it prevents someone from doing their job they call the on-call person. After so many attempts to reach the on call person they could call any of us to see if we can assist.

I hope all that made sense i'm just wondering what other on-call procedures exist that we could adopt
--
Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
How many people could possibly be on call? You mention the two of you share the duties, are there more people that may be able to be put on call?

Personally I think two months at a time is a bit much. I supported a 24/7 operation for five months by myself, not at all enjoyable for an extended period of time. Part of the issue may be getting your users to understand what a reason to call someone out is. I supported a label print room with eight printers, if one printer is down no big deal, if half are down, call.

You don't mention how often you get after hours calls. That has a lot to do with it. Currently I am on call for two different sites. They are both 7:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. so the only time I get an after hours call about them is for network and power issues and both are rare. However when I was doing the 24/7 support initially I was getting calls if one printer was having issues, I don't think I got a full night's sleep in the first two weeks.

Addtionally, employees need to be compensated when they do get called out, either financially or with time off. Failure to compensate them can result in resentment and/or fatigue.

Normally I've worked a by week call out, but many things affect how you run things. For example one of the guys was 15 minutes away and the rest of us were an hour. The 15 minute guy was the always on call guy, but call outs were rare.
--
“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ¯ Robert A. Heinlein


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
Sorry for the lack of details. 5 people total (myself & the director included) are on the on-call rotation, myself & the director serve as a tier 2 when we are not the primary contact on-call that week. We don't keep track of what type of calls we get(even though we should) but the calls vary (call types & amount of calls) since i got pulled into the rotation 2 years ago i have always gotten slammed 10-13 calls in one week while others may get 4 or 5. A lot of the calls get handled remotely via vpn and the only compensation we get is maybe to work a half day. Extra pay is not possible because of our exempt status.

We don't have more man power to throw at this & no one wants to be attached to a phone if they don't have to. Someone had the idea of instead of a user calling the on-call person via phone they could put in a work order but that would require monitoring your email constantly which is not a good solution.
--
Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
You need to work out better compensation. If the situation is that you will get called, you really need to be compensated to just be on call, and compensated for when you do get called.

Log the calls. You have to get a pattern of what you are called about. You also need clear expectation of what constitutes a situation for calling someone. Unless the company is coming to a screeching halt, you don't call someone at 0300.

And being exempt does not preclude being compensated with $$$.


Kilroy
Premium,MVM
join:2002-11-21
Saint Paul, MN
reply to Modus
I don't know what your positioin is, and if we're going to be realistic, it matters. Assuming you are equal to the other three I'd recommend one week a month for the four of you with the director as tier 2 support, hoping that tier 2 support isn't required very often. If you're a manager of the other three I'd say one week at a time and you and the director swapping tier 2 support every one or two weeks.

Also wanted to make sure that you were not burning people out. Even if they are exempt they need something if they are working more than their normal day and some time off is better than nothing.

Without knowing the number and type of problems you have it is really hard to tell you what may work best for you. Is having staggered start times an option, maybe actually cover every shift with a body?
--
“Progress isn't made by early risers. It's made by lazy men trying to find easier ways to do something.” ¯ Robert A. Heinlein


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to AsherN
said by AsherN:

You need to work out better compensation. If the situation is that you will get called, you really need to be compensated to just be on call, and compensated for when you do get called.

Log the calls. You have to get a pattern of what you are called about. You also need clear expectation of what constitutes a situation for calling someone. Unless the company is coming to a screeching halt, you don't call someone at 0300.

And being exempt does not preclude being compensated with $$$.

The explanation everyone got was that the extra compensation has always been included into each of our salaries which is not the best. No one has really challenged this, and being exempt around here mean no extra $$$.
--
Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to Kilroy
My title is Network Manager which is the same as a Network Administrator to me, i'm not equal to the others. I know i would prefer the time off than $$$ because when i leave for the day & come back the next day i feel like i never left. It would be ideal if someone was willing to adjust their work schedule maybe Wednesday - Sunday over after normal business hours, then that would leave 2 nights that would need coverage. It would need to be some incentive for someone to do that though...

The only thing that triggers a phone call is if someone is at a work stoppage and they need technical assistance to resume activity. Those issues could be someone out in the field with a laptop and they lose connectivity or a mission critical application that is experiencing some sort of issue.
--
Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!

AsherN
Premium
join:2010-08-23
Thornhill, ON
reply to Modus
said by Modus:

said by AsherN:

You need to work out better compensation. If the situation is that you will get called, you really need to be compensated to just be on call, and compensated for when you do get called.

Log the calls. You have to get a pattern of what you are called about. You also need clear expectation of what constitutes a situation for calling someone. Unless the company is coming to a screeching halt, you don't call someone at 0300.

And being exempt does not preclude being compensated with $$$.

The explanation everyone got was that the extra compensation has always been included into each of our salaries which is not the best. No one has really challenged this, and being exempt around here mean no extra $$$.

Unless you are being paid more than average in your area, that does not wash. If there are a lot of time spent on calls, you may want to check local Employment standards. Exempt never means you can be forced to work 100 hours a week.

Your current rotation is sound, given that you and your boss also field level 2 calls. Just make sure there is proper time off compensation in place for when calls come in. Again, you may want to check local ESA. Most have a minimum time to be compensated when called in to work. Usually is 3 hours.


izy
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
endless loop
kudos:2
reply to Kilroy
said by Kilroy:

Also wanted to make sure that you were not burning people out. Even if they are exempt they need something if they are working more than their normal day and some time off is better than nothing.

Wish my boss would read this comment. Our on-call rotation is 7 days on every 8 weeks. We have to make daily checks of our MSP monitoring software (mandatory) and address issues as needed 3 times per day on weekends and twice per day weekdays. Set times weekends 8am, 2pm and 8pm then weekdays 6:30am and 8pm. No compensation whatsoever...UNLESS it's billable which is rare.

We basically have no life during this on-call week....not to mention our regular working weeks require after hours reboots of client systems (compensated but required) 3, 4 and sometimes 5 evenings per week.

...talk about burnout...
--
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them." Einstein


Badger3k
We Don't Need No Stinkin Badgers
Premium
join:2001-09-27
Franklin, OH
Wow, I work for an MSP but sounds like your clients have terrible stuff. I'm on call every 3rd week and outside of the rare bad week it's not that bad at all.
--
Team Discovery: Project Hope


izy
Premium,MVM
join:2000-09-21
endless loop
kudos:2
No, clients mainly have Dell equipment and we keep them under warranty. The required MSP checks at set times is what irks me especially when 90% of the crap in there are backup job completed with exceptions, database backed up, WSUS and % free space alerts. I can spend 30+ minutes a pop clearing meaningless alerts....
--
"Intellectuals solve problems, geniuses prevent them." Einstein

amungus
Premium
join:2004-11-26
America
Reviews:
·Cox HSI
·KCH Cable
reply to Modus
"...i feel like i never left..."

So it goes

We have 3 people, rotated weekly. I'm the only one who can really do much on 99% of such calls. They're rare. They're meant for actual emergencies. That being said, I'm here more than I should be, and desperately need at least one more "me" here just to keep up, let alone get any sanity.

Write up a policy. I wrote a basic outline with one other person when they were still around and stated exactly what it was for, for just such reasons.

Keep it simple, but include a few specifics of things that it's NOT to be used for, such as single computer/printer/peripheral failures, anything non I.T. related (yes, really). Include info on what it IS to be used for, such as failures on larger scales, or situations where "x" amount of production is affected. Ours ended up at about 2 pages, and was fairly well received by folks.


Modus
I hate smartassery on forums
Premium
join:2005-05-02
us
reply to AsherN
someone would have to challenge what they are doing to us, which i dont see happening because it's so much easier to bail & go find a job some place else
--
Think Ahead. Learn More. Solve Now!