NY Protocol for Handling UR's

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NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby beachbumli247 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:00 am

The topic of closing UR's seems to come up every once in a while in the GHO group, and about how there is no official guidance for the exact procedure that should be followed when making initial contact, waiting to send a response, and closing out URs. A few of us have been talking about it, and decided it would be best to start a discussion to formalize the rules for UR's statewide, and get it added to the Wiki pages so that we are all on the same page. We need to come up with a minimum timeline for reminders and closures that we all agree on as editors as there seems to be some dissent about what is best at this time.

Note that this discussion is for statewide policy. It has been discussed the possibility of later adding on specific protocol for NYC due to the different nature, and sheer volume of UR's that are encountered there. That is a discussion for a later time.

Based upon discussions with other editors, and my understanding of the general guidelines for NY, I present the following draft guidelines for the Wiki pages:

Update Requests (UR) are our only direct line of communication with the end user. As such, it is important that we not only make every attempt respond to reports as they pop up in a timely fashion, but also provide them with enough time to respond since many users are what are affectionately referred to "weekend warriors".

Protocol for handling UR's in NY is to send an initial response to the user, regardless of the age of the UR. A second reminder response is to be sent a minimum of 4 days later, and the UR is to be closed out no sooner than 7 days from initial attempt at contact. If there is ongoing dialog between the editor and user, the UR may remain open longer at the editors discretion until a resolution is reached. If at any time the user stops responding for 4+ days, the editor is to send out reminder response to the editor, and the report may be closed out no less than 4 days from last contact by the editor


Please let us know if you disagree with any of the timelines I have posted in here, and any other changes/additions you would like to see in the Wiki page regarding handling of UR's

-Warren
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby jdelosa » Thu Mar 10, 2016 1:29 am

I like the idea of this discussion... And I agree with your assessment of what my understanding on the general timeline is currently .
I feel the Reporting Wazer has no idea of what happens then they press the button. I get a lot of responses with very little info because they think we already have enough info to answer the UR. I have also noticed I don't get a response until after the reminder has been sent. So in my humble opinion a slight longer time line is warranted. I am in favor of a minimum of 7 days before the reminder can be sent and an additional 7 days before the close for no further communication.

If I can suggest we keep in the timeline topic until we get some consensus before we tackle other UR related subjects....thanks all John (JD)

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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby johnsninja58 » Thu Mar 10, 2016 11:25 am

So thank you guys for starting this discussion last night in the GHO. This is definitely an issue we have struggled with for a long time. My thoughts:
-long term I would like to have a unified policy for the entire state including NYC, but I do not think we are in a good place at this time to be able to stretch out URs to 2 weeks for NYC. we don't have the necessary number of active editors to handle the URs and struggle depending on your zoom to see them all. I feel at times a little overwhelmed by the sheer volume but this starts a different thread topic so I won't continue.
-it is important to remind people if you do have a response from an editor you should reset the clock on closing it, I sometimes use my own discretion based off their response if that is appropriate but I think that is the exception to the rule
-with many states having the general practice of if a UR is over a week old feel free to pick up where the other editor left off I think it would be good to include some wording to address this. Personally I am quite fine with having other editors pitch in.
-one thing I don't see mentioned that I think is important is an emphasis on the new URs some states have rules that they would like all new URs started within 36 hours. I think the more we can quickly respond to new and fresh URs the better response rate and better resolution rates we will have. As a recent discussion pointed out we should be focusing on on our efforts on improving our solved rate

Overall I think this proposal is great but I like to have a little more time to get the NYC area better controlled before such rules would go into effect. Our efforts have been notable with on average about 2k less URs each time a report has been run for the state but I think with the two map raids recently we may have stunted our progress a little.

Just my 2¥ worth
-John


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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby PhantomSoul » Fri Mar 11, 2016 12:50 pm

4+3=7 is too short IMO. Unless we have a mapraid or statewide issues with the volume of URs impacting the performance of WME (like in NYC), we really need to strive for at least 7+7.
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby russblau » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:28 pm

PhantomSoul wrote:4+3=7 is too short IMO. Unless we have a mapraid or statewide issues with the volume of URs impacting the performance of WME (like in NYC), we really need to strive for at least 7+7.


In other states (Delaware and Virginia come to mind), a 4 + 4 policy has been used for some time without controversy or problems. Specifically, we try to respond to all new URs within 1 day, send a reminder 4 days after initial contact, and close the UR 4 days after the reminder if there has been no response. Waiting longer does not seem to improve the response rate; if the reporter is going to respond at all, most of the time they do so fairly promptly, but 70-75% of the time you get no response.

Incidentally, working towards making the initial contact within one day would do much more to improve the response rate than waiting longer for responses to old, old URs.
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby jdelosa » Mon Mar 14, 2016 5:36 pm

I want to thank everyone who added to this thread so far. My only reservation to closing to quickly is my personal conversations with friends on how they as wazers use the app.
They do not have email notifications on and they only get them in the app. Which is why we get such poor resopnces. The user has to look at the notification to see our reply and if they only use the app for longer destinations they might not turn on the app for over a week.

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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby KTCAOP » Mon Mar 14, 2016 6:15 pm

From my experience, the initial contact being made as quickly as possible is in my opinion one of the most important pieces. Waiting too long for a reporter to respond will be more difficult as the reporter may have forgotten exactly the reason/cause for their report in the first place. Also, they were at least motivated enough to go through and press the buttons needed to get to the report, the closer we are to that "motivational high" may also help as they would hopefully carry that motivation into giving details into their report. Having a relatively short follow up post is also important for the same reason.

Also, I personally feel that once a user reports then to help in the process of doing UR's - a UR is free game for anyone to tackle until after the reporter responds or if there was sufficient information to being taking action in the initial report. This means that just because I put in the initial request, anyone can post the follow up reminder, if the initial contact was just to gain more information. Once more information is provided, then if someone wants to take responsibility for it, they can. Of course, that is my own personal feeling, though some users such as DwarfLorddo have some nice UR responses if you wanted to "butt-in" to another report - though if I was concerned, I would probably just send the person a PM asking them if there was anything else needed to be done.

If it is felt that +4+4 is too short, then to accommodate that there may be users that do not use the app as frequently, I would recommend having a *second reminder* (1+4+4+4) be sent out then before closing the report if it is the initial request for more information. After the initial reporter responds back, again that is when a person can take responsibility for that report and then another +4 reminder or +4+4 set of reminders can be given again.
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby beachbumli247 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 2:47 am

Also, I personally feel that once a user reports then to help in the process of doing UR's - a UR is free game for anyone to tackle until after the reporter responds or if there was sufficient information to being taking action in the initial report.


I agree 100%, and I know most of those editing in my area at least feel the same way. A lot of times an editor will comment on a handful of UR's, then may get busy for a week or 2, and I don't feel the user should suffer as a result of an editors busy schedule. If anyone has any argument to the contrary I'd be interested in hearing it just to hear both sides of the argument.

Seems most people agree we should also have a longer lead time between responses to allow for more users to have time in responding. Any downsides to doing so, other than more UR's staying on map longer, which is not necessarily a bad thing once we get the backlog under control.
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby qwaletee » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:24 am

I would advise everyone here to read the existing pinned topic about handling URs in NY. That policy, while vague in some areas, has never been superseded. I'm not saying it is set in stone, this discussion is good and can contribute toward changing it. But it behooves us to know what the baseline is before we propose changes. Yes, it should have carried into the wiki long ago, but that's the way it is, and nobody ever fixed that until now.

I agree that it is vital to bring initial editor response up. That said, I'm sorry, russ, but 4+4 doesn't cut it here. I don't know if it is the mentality of our driers or something else, but many editors have found responses to work on long-dormant URs, even where there was an initial editor response that was ignored. Perhaps we have a lot of drivers who only use Waze infrequently. In rural areas where you may have an actual problem but not enough driver density to get multiple reports for it, we need to give them a chance.

OTOH, we know that we can't leave every UR open long-term. I saw suggestions of a potential NYC versus rest of state standard, but it is deeper than that.

KTCAOP, I understand what you are trying to propose with 4+4 vs 4+4+4. Bu I don't really see any need for 3 follow-ups just to bring the reminder down to 4 days, with one particular exception (see below). Honestly, I just see the 4 day versus 7 day debate as one of "how fast can we close this" versus "how long is safe to assume the user should have opened the app and seen a notification since initial response." Also, as far as "butting in," there's something to be said for allowing the initial responder a chance to retain ownership, especially for newer editors who are still in the honeymoon stage.

Here's how I deal with it personally (and not always in compliance with standards). I look at UR density. If I have very few URs in a large area, then there's no harm in leaving them open long-term. If there are a great many URs in a small area, then getting them closed out is very important for several reasons: 1) It may indicate a problem, we need to attack the URs aggresively. 2) WME will slow down if there are too many URs. 3) WME will not display all URs if there are too many in a certain area. 4) It is hard to manage overlapping URs. 5) It is hard to read the map overall when there are so many URs.

So we really need three rules, nothing to do with NYC. Low density, normal density, and high density (which will naturally cover much but not all of NYC and other high-traffic areas). We'll have to define what Low/normal/high mean, and we'll have to develop a policy for each.

A strawman for discussion:
* low density: less than 5 URs at zoom 2. Response+7 reminder+6 months to close. Must have one final reminder within 7 days of closing unless there have been >3 reminders already and at least one in the last 30 days. Stretch goal of response in 2 days, but in rural areas, we know that response within 2 weeks is more likely, and many will not even meet that due to coverage issues.

* high density: more than 5 URs at zoom 6 or more than 10 at zoom 5. Response+4 to remind+4 to close. Goal is first response within 1 day, and to try to hit the 4+4 as consistently as possible (i.e., close within 9 days of report).

* normal density: anything else. Response+7 to remind+minimum 7 to close, but no need to be overly strict about getting it closed. Stretch goal of response within 1 day, but 2 days is fine, and 3 within reason.

Some secondary policies within this strawman to modify the above: 1) If there is a tight cluster of URs sent over a period of 3 days or more, then there is a potential unaddressed problem. Aggressively visit the site (daily) and respond to every UR as quickly as possible. Until the problem is clarified: Reminders every 4 days even in normal/low density areas, and allow up to 30 days before closing even in high/normal density areas. 2) If a UR is due for a reminder or closure but was initially responded to by someone else then 2a) if the action is less than 4 days overdue, PM the initial responder, 2b) if the reminder is 5-7 days overdue then post a friendly reminder that acknowledges the original responder (even if it was due for closure), 2c) if action >7 days past due, don't worry about the initial responder. 3) If you see a UR responded to by someone else that you think you have an approach to solving that the original responder does not seem to recognize, then 3a) if there was already a reminder sent, and there is a risk that the initial responder may close the UR before you can work on it, respond nicely that you may have a solution that you will work with {original responder} on to fix the problem, then PM the original responder with your suggestion and/or with a request to take over; if no response to PM within 4 days, you may take over at will. 3b) If there is no initial reminder, same applies, but initially only send the PM, without posting a response in the UR.

All the above may seem complex, but I don't think there's a one-size-fits-all approach that works well. And this is just a strawman to get the discussion going. You may all hate the whole thing. Or you may like it but come to a consensus that it needs tweaking. In case you haven't guessed it, the aboe is close to my own practices, but that doesn't mean it is necessarily the best overall solution.
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Re: NY Protocol for Handling UR's

Postby johnsninja58 » Tue Mar 15, 2016 3:21 pm

qwaletee wrote:So we really need three rules, nothing to do with NYC. Low density, normal density, and high density (which will naturally cover much but not all of NYC and other high-traffic areas). We'll have to define what Low/normal/high mean, and we'll have to develop a policy for each.


Ok I will take the bait for the strawman

I think more than two options will be too complicated and we can just simplify things by defining in advance these high and normal zones (county, region or current stats on UR count - but have State Managers Define) to add other criteria to define these areas i think will be unnecessary for state guidelines, but acceptable for individual users if they choose (Since UR count at a zoom could fluctuate based off closings, screen size/resolution, or just where you centered on the map). I would like to see these areas be fluid to be able to respond to shifts in the waze landscape and change our criteria.

Low/Normal Density 7 + 7 seams fine close day 15
High Density Density 4 + 4 also seams fine close day 9, with editors discretion for longer

I think clusters are important tool to look at but also currently some of the clusters we have are because of volume of traffic and gps issues on ramps and service roads which do not necessarily benefit from longer collecting. So editors discretion. I like other editors may not have the free time to visit hot spots daily, which is part an issue of needing overlapping coverage, but also not practical guidance. I think every 4 days reminders for these hot spots is a little obsessive, but additional inquiries may be warranted.

If we can get the backlog down in these high density areas we should be able to spend longer and closer examine them all. I think we all seen occasions where things may have been overlooked.

in terms of other users jumping in i have seen a variety of practices across the country on that, I think if you have exceeded the closing time (14 days low density, 8 days high density) send a friendly reminder or close if appropriate. Jumping in if you know the solution is an etiquette issue too complicated for explicit guidelines other than to be respectful in your actions.

Overall part of it is everyone has there own style. We have our own responses we use and as long as the editors meet our guidelines I really dont care how they tackle the URs as long as we are improving the map. We also see plenty of different levels of editors tackling URs which translates to different skill sets to analyze the data. Our priority to should be solve issues and not close the URs but recognizing that currently there does exist areas that the volume of URs are impacting the performance of WME.


Thank you qwaletee for summarizing some thoughts with your strawman, hopefully this helps build upon that.

and for the older pinned topic for those who may not have seen it
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