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Standardize the Service Desk

Strengthen your service desk to build a strong ITSM foundation.

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Contributors

  • Jason Aqui, IT Director, Bellevue College
  • Kevin Sigil, IT Director, Southwest Care Centre
  • Lucas Gutierrez, Service Desk Manager, City of Santa Fe
  • Rama Dhuwaraha, CIO, University of North Texas System
  • Annelie Rugg, CIO, UCLA Humanities
  • Owen McKeith, Manager IT Infrastructure, Canpotex
  • Rod Gula, IT Director, American Realty Association
  • Rosalba Trujillo, Service Desk Manager, Northgate Markets
  • Jason Metcalfe, IT Manager, Mesalabs
  • Bradley Rodgers, IT Manager, SecureTek
  • Daun Costa, IT Manager, Pita Pit
  • Kari Petty, Service Desk Manager, Mansfield Oil
  • Denis Borka, Service Desk Manager, PennTex Midstream
  • Lateef Ashekun, IT Manager, City of Atlanta
  • Ted Zeisner, IT Manager, University of Ottawa Institut de Cardiologie

Your Challenge

Service desk managers with immature service desk processes struggle with:

  • Low business satisfaction.
  • High cost to resolve incidents and implement requests.
  • Confused and unhappy end users.
  • High ticket volumes and a lack of root-cause analysis to reduce recurring issues.
  • Wasted IT time and wages resolving the same issues time and again.
  • Ineffective demand planning.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t be fooled by a tool that’s new. A new service desk tool alone won’t solve the problem. Service desk maturity improvements depend on putting in place the right people and processes to support the technology.
  • Service desk improvement is an exercise in organizational change. Engage specialists across the IT organization in building the solution, and emphasize how everyone stands to benefit from the initiative.
  • Organizations are sometimes tempted to track their work under a single ticket type. Unfortunately, the practice obscures the fact that incidents, requests, and projects require radically different amounts of time and resources, and can create the impression that IT is underperforming. Distinguish between incidents, requests, and projects, and design specific processes to support and track the performance of each activity.
  • Remember, the value of any IT service management (ITSM) tool is a function of the processes it supports and the adoption of those processes. The ITSM tool with the best functionality is worth little if you do not build the right processes, configure the tool to support them, and work to improve tool adoption in your organization.

Impact and Result

  • Increase business satisfaction.
  • Reduce recurring issues and ticket volumes.
  • Reduce average incident resolution time and average request implementation time.
  • Increase efficiency and lower operating costs.
  • Enhance demand planning.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should standardize the service desk, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you as you complete the project.

2. Design incident management processes

Develop the building blocks of the incident management process, including workflows, ticket handling guidelines, and ticket categorization, prioritization, and escalation guidelines.

3. Design request fulfilment processes

Develop the building blocks of a modern request fulfilment process, including service request workflows, the high-level planning for a service catalog, and a web portal for the service desk software.

4. Plan the implementation of the service desk

Now that basic service desk processes are built, review the performance of your existing ITSM tool and plan for a replacement if necessary.

5. Support your project

Hand over projects to the service desk and develop service desk customer service skills.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a nine call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Lay the foundations of the service desk

Call #1 - Conduct current-state assessment and agent skills gap analysis.
Call #2 - Review service desk structure and identify agent skills, roles, and responsibilities.
Call #3 - Identify operations metrics, benchmarks, and reports.

Guided Implementation #2 - Design incident management processes

Call #1 - Design categorization, identify ticket channels, and build ticket templates.
Call #2 - Design escalation and prioritization guidelines, and review incident management workflows.

Guided Implementation #3 - Design request fulfilment processes

Call #1 - Differentiate between requests and projects; build request workflows.
Call #2 - Design processes and workflows to produce a targeted knowledgebase and self-help tools.

Guided Implementation #4 - Plan the implementation of the service desk

Call #1 - Review ITSM tool requirements and produce a vendor shortlist.
Call #2 - Build a communication plan and implementation roadmap.

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Service Desk Course

Strengthen your service desk to build a strong foundation for ITSM maturity.
This course makes up part of the Infrastructure & Operations Certificate.

Course information:

  • Title: Service Desk Course
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured:
  • Michel Hebert, Research Director, Infrastructure Practice
  • Mark Tauschek, Vice-President of Research, Infrastructure & Operations Practice
  • Now Playing: Executive Brief

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: Lay Service Desk Foundations

The Purpose

Conduct a current state assessment of the existing service desk.

Key Benefits Achieved

Assess the process maturity, structure, staffing, and key metrics of the existing service desk, and determine your target state.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Outline service desk challenges.

  • Service desk challenges
1.2

Review diagnostics results.

  • Diagnostics results
1.3

Review current state assessment.

  • Current state assessment
1.4

Review service desk structure and staffing.

  • Service desk structure and staffing
1.5

Create a RACI chart to review accountabilities.

  • RACI chart and skills gap analysis
1.6

List IT service support roles.

  • Service desk roles
1.7

Review current task allocations.

  • Service desk responsibilities
1.8

Create a list of required reports and metrics.

  • Service desk metrics and reports, and balanced scorecard

Module 2: Design Incident Management

The Purpose

Conduct a health check on incident management processes, improve the key elements, and align them to best practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

Develop workflows for incident and critical incident management processes, and develop guidelines for ticket handling, categorization, prioritization, and escalation.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Review incident management challenges.

  • Incident management challenges
2.2

Define incident management workflows.

  • Incident management workflow
2.3

Define critical incident management workflow.

  • Critical incident management workflow
2.4

Design critical incident communication plan.

  • Critical incident management communication plan
2.5

Identify opportunities to automate ticket creation.

  • List of ticket templates
2.6

Identify opportunities to reduce recurring tickets.

  • List of recurring tickets
2.7

Assess ticket categorization.

  • Enhanced ticket categorization scheme
2.8

Enhance ticket classifications with resolution codes.

  • Ticket resolution and status codes
2.9

Build a small number of rules to facilitate prioritization.

  • Enhanced ticket prioritization scheme
2.10

Define escalation rules.

  • Escalation guidelines
2.11

Define automated escalations.

  • List of automatic escalations

Module 3: Design Request Fulfilment

The Purpose

Conduct a health check on service request fulfilment, improve its key elements, and align them to best practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

Develop workflows for service request fulfilment, prepare for a service catalog project, and put in place a process to build and maintain a knowledgebase targeted on your most important tickets.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Define service requests with SLAs.

  • List of service requests
3.2

Build and critique request workflows.

  • Service request workflows and estimated SLAs
3.3

Distinguish between requests and small projects.

  • Criteria to distinguish between requests and projects
3.4

Review service definition checklist for standardized request models.

  • Service request models for the service catalog
3.5

Develop self-help tools for end users.

  • List of self-help tools for end users
3.6

Design knowledge management processes.

  • Knowledge management policy and process
3.7

Create actionable knowledgebase articles.

  • Article template; knowledgebase writing strategies and exercises

Module 4: Plan the Implementation of the Service Desk

The Purpose

Prepare to implement the service desk processes built in previous modules.

Key Benefits Achieved

Compile requirements for service desk software, build a communication plan, and develop an implementation roadmap.

Activities

Outputs

4.1

Create a requirements list for the service desk tool.

  • ITSM tool requirements
4.2

Investigate which tool best meets your needs.

  • Vendor shortlist and vendor briefing script
4.3

Create the communication plan.

  • Comunication plan, executive presentation, and service desk SOP
4.4

Build an implementation roadmap.

  • Service desk implementation roadmap

Member Testimonials

Schedule Analyst Call

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this Blueprint, and what our clients have to say.

Client

$ Saved

Days Saved

Testimonial

Cadillac Fairview

N/A

N/A

Best: structured discussion. Worst: resource availability.

City of Santa Fe

$13,123

30

No downside. Best aspect was tailored training for our environment.

College of Charleston

N/A

15

This was an excellent overview of the Service Desk project and reinforced the need for strong policy and process foundation on which our ITSM will be based.

Portland Community College

N/A

N/A

Best: the facilitated work that we did as a group. Worst: at times, we strayed a bit from the core focus of helpdesk and some of the material in the first few days seemed a bit canned.

Workers' Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau

$26,247

15

Sandi and Natalie were very knowledgeable, professional, and efficient. Thanks!

WorkSafeNB

N/A

N/A

It is still early for us to determine the value that the workshop will bring in the end. It was a positive experience with the facilitators.

Client

Facilitator(s) effectiveness

INFO & materials effectiveness

Overall experience

Understanding of next steps

Testimonial

Centrastate Healthcare Systems

10.0

10.0

10.0

9.0

Kansas City Power & Light - IT Division

10.0

8.0

10.0

9.0

University of North Texas System

10.0

9.5

10.0

9.0

Braun Intertec Corporation

9.0

10.0

10.0

8.0

T Decu Investments

8.5

9.0

9.0

9.0

Yakima Valley Farm Workers Clinic

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

8.0

8.0

8.0

6.0

Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

When we come around to phase two, which is buy-in and get the work done, we'll already be a long way down the track. I really appreciate what Info-Tech did in that regard. The deliverables we got were very good. We have a service team supervisor coming in, I'm basically going to drop the stuff on his desk and get him to implement it all. It's ready to go to him. The workshop was extremely helpful. It just really hit the mark for us. Everything we talked about is stuff we need. Part of the core team in the workshop was my boss, who is my biggest helper here. I had a whole week in the room with him to pound a vision into everybody's heads. I think we got a lot of progress that way. Part of it was that we're not doing a good job reporting back to our users, telling them what's happening in their business, telling them what we're doing for them, and telling them how to use stuff in self-service. I think the material did a really good job in pointing to our deficiency in communication.

Le Groupe De Sécurité Garda Inc

8.0

8.5

8.0

9.0

Hitt Contracting, Inc.

9.0

8.0

9.0

8.0

College Boreal

9.0

9.0

10.0

9.0

Takasago International Corporation (U.S.A)

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

Teva Pharmaceuticals

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

Butler University

8.0

8.0

8.0

8.0

City of Lethbridge

8.0

9.0

9.0

10.0

Choctaw Nation Of Oklahoma

9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0

William Osler Health System

8.5

8.0

8.0

7.0

CA Dept of Toxic Substances Control

10.0

10.0

10.0

10.0

Vince was brilliant. He is a true professional and delivered his content with confidence and expertise. I have heard nothing but positive compliments on his performance.

McLane Foodservice

10.0

9.5

10.0

7.0

Seattle University

9.0

10.0

9.0

8.0

TenCate

10.0

10.0

10.0

8.0

Suny College At Oneonta

10.0

10.0

10.0

Generac Power Systems, Inc

8.0

7.0

7.0

Apple Federal Credit Union

9.0

9.0

9.0

10.0

Highlights for Children Inc.

7.5

8.0

9.0

8.0

Association of American Medical Colleges

8.0

10.0

9.0

10.0

City of Greensboro

1.0

9.0

9.0

8.0

Brazosport College

9.0

9.0

9.0

9.0