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Build a Right-Sized Service Desk for Small Enterprise

Invest in light tools and processes that you can sustain.


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  • Don Gregersen, IT Director, Thorpe Specialty Services Corporation
  • Dave Smith, Accredited ITIL Trainer, Quanta Training Ltd.
  • David Colborne, IT Manager, Career College of Northern Nevada
  • Anthony Trask, ITSM Director, Ubisoft

Your Challenge

  • Service Managers in small enterprise (SE) IT shops are generalists who provide a full suite of IT services with limited resources.
  • They know that service desk effectiveness is one of the most important contributors to end-user satisfaction, and they work hard to provide service that empowers the organization to achieve its strategic goals.
  • However, they lack the staff, tools, and budget to deliver the quality service that end users expect. They often rely on email, spreadsheets, and homegrown solutions to manage IT requests and resolve device and system issues.
  • They struggle to get out of firefighter mode, provide effective service support, and retain talented staff.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Adapt service desk processes that match the organization’s maturity. Unless IT has the discipline to implement ITIL, you may be better off with light processes that the department can sustain.

Impact and Result

  • Put light processes in place to improve the effectiveness of the service desk without eating up the department’s limited financial resources.
  • Empower users to address issues on their own, address requests and incidents effectively, and generate reports quickly to track performance and demonstrate the value of IT to business leaders.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should build a right-sized service desk, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Plan a strategy to align service desk improvements to organizational goals

Communicate the value of improving the service desk, and align high priority efforts for service desk improvement with organizational goals.

2. Design an action plan to guide next steps

Resist the temptation to select a service desk solution before you design processes. The initial work will help set the requirements for the right tool you need to support the processes you plan to put in place.

3. Execute the service desk action plan

Finalize the project action and executive presentation. Ensure you deliver the right message to the right audience.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a six call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Plan a strategy

Call #1 - Review the results of the service desk diagnostics
Call #2 - Develop a service desk strategy

Guided Implementation #2 - Design an action plan

Call #1 - Discuss service desk staffing and skills gaps; define service desk roles, responsibilities, and decision rights
Call #2 - Develop sustainable incident, request, and knowledge management processes

Guided Implementation #3 - Execute the action plan

Call #1 - Define requirements for an affordable service desk solution
Call #2 - Review the standard operating procedure document and service desk roadmap

Onsite Workshop

Discuss This Workshop

Book Your Workshop

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Plan a Quick Service Desk Strategy

The Purpose

  • Make the case to build a better small enterprise (SE) service desk.
  • Develop a service desk strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Garner support for the service desk initiative.
  • Identify high priority efforts.




Brainstorm service desk challenges

  • List of potential improvements

Draft an executive presentation

  • Executive support for the initiative

Module 2: Design an Action Plan to Guide Next Steps

The Purpose

  • Review the service desk structure and reporting requirements.
  • Standardize best practice incident management processes.
  • Design a knowledgebase.
  • Standardize best practice service request management processes.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Rationalize service desk roles and increase efficiency.
  • Foreground critical issues.
  • Document known-errors and workarounds, and provide end users with a self-serve option.
  • Develop a consistent service offering and prepare for a future service catalog.




List IT roles related to service desk

  • List of roles and responsibilities

Review ticket categorization scheme

  • Validated ticket categorization scheme

Identify reports that management requires

  • List of required reports

Create a decision rights matrix

  • Decision rights

Build ticket prioritization rules

  • List of ticket prioritization rules

Define escalation rules

  • List of escalation rules

Define incident management workflow

  • Incident management workflow

Define service management workflow

  • Service management workflow

Identify potential knowledgebase articles

  • Five high-impact knowledgebase articles

Module 3: Execute the Service Desk Action Plan

The Purpose

  • Review service desk tool requirements.
  • Review standard operating procedures.
  • Review the action plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Ensure the tool meets requirements.
  • Capture the new service desk processes.
  • Plan next steps.




Organize your tool procurement

  • List of requirements and demo script

Review project timelines

  • Service desk action plan