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A Guide to Working with Your Drupal Support Team

There’s a familiar refrain to many group discussions. The speaker will encourage participation from all peers but gets no response, then reminds everyone that “there’s no such thing as a stupid question.” All questions are good. They bring us knowledge, and knowledge is power.

But what do you do when framing the question is a difficult task by itself? For example, what do you do when you receive an error message on your Drupal site that completely befuddles you? Even if you do ask what it’s all about, how do you formulate the question so that it garners the best results? Perhaps more important, how do you frame the questions to yield the quickest possible results? 

Promet’s Drupal Support team wholeheartedly believes that asking questions is the best starting point, but in order to bring you the best possible service, they also want to make sure you’re asking questions in a conscientious manner. In other words, Promet’s Support team wants to arm you with the toolset that gives you the best possible results for your Drupal site. Use this guide to bring the best questions to Drupal Support managers.

NOTE: The majority of communication that Promet’s Drupal Support team comes via email. But don’t forget about tickets! In Promet’s case, the ticketing software JIRA allows for structured back-and-forth between project managers, developers, SysAdmins, QA teams and site owners. Just like email, these tickets can have a much quicker outcome if they follow some guidelines for clarity, context, and style.

example of a lackluster JIRA ticket

Context is Key

Just like you prime a friend with context before telling them a good story or a funny anecdote, you want to give your Drupal Support manager as much background as needed to get them on the right track. Without the whole scope of the problem, there’s no hope to get a quick solution.

Make sure your communication involves the following items for context:
- Exact error message or screenshot of error message if applicable
- Screenshot of incorrect appearance or detailed description of a broken functionality
- URL of relevant page or screenshot that includes URL
- Expected correct behavior or appearance

Style Points

Tickets about security issues or broken modules don’t need to be worthy of the Nobel Prize for Literature. But they should be readable and they should convey the point in an efficient manner.

To do that:
- Craft subject lines that are concise and to the point
- Leave detailed descriptions in the appropriate fields
- Email chains can be overwhelming once the thread goes into double digits, yet splintering messages on the same topic into separate emails can slow response times. Keep all related messages under the same thread with the same subject line.

an outstanding JIRA ticket including steps to replicate

Timing is Everything

Good Sys Admins will recommend upgrades as they become available. Promet Source’s SysAdmin team also looks out for proactive configuration changes that can help maintain a site. 

Don’t wait until it’s too late to apply these recommended upgrades to your site! Playing catch up after site outages or security breaches is a pretty bad spot to find yourself in. Apply updates as soon as they’re available to stay out of trouble.

Use these tips to get your tickets fast-tracked through Drupal Support workflows and keep your Drupal site in the best working order. 

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