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In the United States, 311 is a non-emergency phone number that people can call in many cities to find information about services, make complaints, or report problems like graffiti or road damage. Even in cities where a different phone number is used, 311 is the generally-recognized moniker for non-emergency phone systems. In our own hometown, Tempe, AZ, 311 is referred to as "One Call to City Hall."

The essence of 311 is Enterprise Service Management, one of my favorite topics. The basic flow is:

  1. Allow any citizen to create a request, log a complaint, or just provide some relevant neighborhood information
  2. Triage the request to ensure it is routed to the correct department and team
  3. Prioritize the request against all of the open work to be done
  4. Eventually work the task and complete it

All the while, keep the citizen and community updated about the work, as transparency is the expectation of today's government. The other expectation is to be able to easily report on all of the work and progress, especially work that comes in through citizen channels.

Did I mention that this is exactly what Jira Service Management (JSM) is for? Let's walk through each priority and look how JSM addresses each...


Citizen Requests

It's important to note that JSM can be used by an unlimited number of citizens/customers. It is licensed by the agent, not by the end user. With that said, there are three main ways to create tickets in JSM:

  1. A very user-friendly customer portal with advanced searching over the built-in knowledge base (KB—more on that later)
  2. An agent/rep can log a ticket on behalf of a citizen, for example if they have answered the 311 call
  3. API/Automation - This is a blog topic of its own, but imagine events and devices triggering their own service requests

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 3.09.30 PM


Triage Requests

Triaging tickets is at the core of any modern service management solution, and it's something that JSM does exceptionally well. JSM allows for any team to configure—without writing code—how they want to triage their issues. The common tools used are:

  1. Creating various queues, based on information provided in the ticket. For example, if the issue is related to Parks & Recreation, have the issue show up in a queue worked by that team. All of this is done through the underlying, very powerful Jira Query Language.
  2. Create queues based on the service level agreement your team defines. For example, create a queue that shows all of the tickets where the SLA is about to be breached, so that your team can ensure a high level of service.
  3. And my favorite...automation-based triaging. JSM has a very powerful, visual automation rule builder. Automatically move issues, update issues, and even comment on issues based on rules defined by your team!

Screen Shot 2020-12-05 at 3.15.05 PM


Now that the tickets are grouped in a logical order that helps the frontline team cut through the noise, the next question to answer is, "Can I solve this issue or do I need to bring another team in to own this issue?" If the answer is that another team needs to own the issue, this is extremely easy to do in JSM. In fact, there are many ways to do this, including:

  • Simply reassigning the issue to the known team member, who will automatically be notified
  • Creating a linked issue for another team that might not have direct access to interact with citizens. For example, IT or Development resources that are supporting systems
  • Moving the issue to another team's JSM Support Project. 


That's all the ground we are covering in Part 1, stay tuned for the exciting conclusion in Part 2!


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