Using WRMS

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The support team at OLPC uses the Work Request Management System (WRMS) to track support requests from deployments.

Note: WRMS is being rolled out gradually as of July 2010.


If you are part of the technical team of an OLPC deployment you can use WRMS to request help from OLPC's support team. You will be able to create new requests and edit, add comments and attachments to existing requests.

The central element, when using WRMS, are work requests, or "WR".

It is very easy for you and for OLPC to see what WRs are still open, and which ones need to be handled urgently.

Things to know

The goal of the WRMS system is to help maintain clear communication between you and OLPC. On all sides of the system we you have people wanting to make things work for the best for you and all the deployments.

To help that happen, it is very helpful to follow a few practices

  • Try to create a separate WR for every technical request. Sometimes the OLPC team will help you creating new WRs to handle different topics.
  • Try to provide as much detailed technical information as possible about a problem. We are far away, and cannot see the problem, except through the information you give us. Be prepared to give us more information -- we will probably ask for specific information very often.


Getting access to WRMS

Work with your local technical lead to get access to WRMS. If the local tech lead does not have access to WRMS, get in touch with your point of contact at OLPC and with Reuben Caron and Martin Langhoff.

Received my login details to WRMS, what do I do now?

First -- login to the system! You will want to

  • Change your password (for security reasons).
  • Setup an email filter in your email account to handle messages from WRMS
  • Add your contact details so that OLPC staff can contact you.
  • Setup "saved searches" that show open WRs that are relevant to you. See 'Overview reports' below for more info.
  • If you are the lead technical contact, you must create accounts for your team members.

Setup email filtering

WRMS will send you email updates when a WR is changed in any way. This is good because it keeps you informed, but can also generate a lot of email traffic.

Setting up an effective email rule is very important. Make a rule that matches emails From: OLPC WRMS <> and puts them in a separate folder.

Creating a new request

So you have a technical problem where you need help from OLPC. To create a new WR you start by collecting some background information

  • Can you describe the problem with precision? Have you got enough information about the problem -- so that OLPC technicians can understand what is happening?
  • Have you followed diagnostics and repair procedures outlined in the repair guide?
  • Is the problem perhaps described in this wiki (try the search box on the left)?
  • Is it clearly a software or hardware problem?

Sometimes it is hard to know what information OLPC needs until you start telling us about the problem. In that case, create the WR and we will ask you lots of questions to get a better understanding of what is happening.

Using the WR form

The most important fields in the form are

  • Brief: Put here a very short description of the problem. We might change it later, once we know better what the problem is.
  • Type: the main types to use are 'bug', and 'documentation'
  • Details: Describe here in full the problem. You can write a lot of text in there.
  • Add file: You can add an attachment -- if relevant, include pictures, videos, logs from the affected software.
  • Subscribe: You can make sure that other members of your team, or of OLPC team, are emailed about this WR.

Other important fields

  • Urgency and Importance: we use this to prioritise our work. Be careful using these fields -- we work as fast as we can to solve problems and we know they are all important to you.
  • Status: when you create the request, status will be 'new'. We will normally only use
    • 'New request'
    • 'On hold'
    • 'In progress'
    • 'Provide feedback' / 'Need info' -- note: these mean OLPC is waiting for information from you!
    • 'Finished'

We normally do not use some fields -- WRMS is often used by consulting companies for chargeable work. So WRMS shows these fields in the WR form; we ignore them:

  • Agreed due
  • Invoice to
  • Add quote (and associated fields)

What happens with your request

When you create a new WR, the OLPC support team gets an email about it, and it appears in our list of things to do.

We will be looking at it, and try to answer ASAP. We might ask you questions, and you can add information anytime.

Once it is resolved, OLPC will mark it as 'finished' and it will disappear from the list of pending requests for your team and ours.

Updating your requests

You can update your request from WRMS anytime, adding notes, adding/removing people and updating the description.

How a request is marked 'Finished'

When we consider that we have resolved the problem, or answered your question, we will mark it as 'finished'.

If you think the issue has not been resolved, you can change the "finished" status back to "in progress" -- remember to tell us what aspects you think are still needing clarification or fixing.

Overview Reports

You can get an instant overview by going to 'Home' (top-left link) -> 'Requests' (center screen).

For additional reports, try "Search Requests" (in the top-left navigation links). You can create saved searches for easier access to your reports.

If you create a saved search called 'Home' it will appear in the homepage.

Adding new users, managing users

If you are the lead technical contact, you will have additional options to manage users.

You can create additional users for your team members:

  • Give each user a username -- try to follow username.lastname if possible.
  • Make sure the email address is correct
  • Give them a link to this page!
  • Under "User Roles"
    • If the new user can create new requests, under user roles mark 'Request'
    • If the new user is a manager/team leader who can create new users (like you), mark 'OrgMgr' and 'Manage'

Right after creating the user, you will see additional options at the bottom of the form, under the title of 'Active System Roles'.

  • Set 'View requests' if the user is only an observer
  • Set 'Enter requests' for normal users
  • Set 'Coordinate' if the user is a manager or team leader

Background info on WRMS