Build a Continual Improvement Plan for the Service Desk

Teach your old service desk new tricks.

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Your Challenge

  • Even service desks with a high degree of process maturity must contend with business priorities that change over time to sustain operational excellence.
  • Without the right leadership, commitment, and processes, improvements in service quality can be difficult to sustain.
  • Resistance to change from the business, end users, and service desk staff can create a major barrier to success.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Lean into disruptive trends. Mature service desks are ideally situated to make the most of disruptive trends to meet changing business priorities.
  • It’s easier to climb Mount Everest than to stay there. Without continual service improvement, sustained service desk quality will be temporary. Organizations need to put in place an ongoing process to audit, enhance, and sustain the performance of the service desk whatever their process maturity.

Impact and Result

  • Continual service improvement is not only a development plan, but also an organizational culture. The goal is to embed a process of continual improvement in target service desk processes that enhances capabilities and improves service quality over time.
  • Build a continual improvement plan for the service desk to review and evaluate key processes and services, and manage the progress of improvement initiatives. The plan should develop a vision for the service desk, review its architecture, set measurable targets for improvement initiatives, identify relevant initiatives, and implement and manage its progress.
  • The service desk continuous improvement plan is an ongoing process. As one improvement cycle ends, the next cycle begins, which allows the service desk to keep pace with changing business requirements.

Contributors

  • Marko Jantti, Head of Research, University of Eastern Finland
  • Dave Smith, IT Trainer, Quanta Training Ltd.
  • Vince Jennings, Technical Project Manager, Alcatel-Lucent New Zealand
  • Brian McKenna, ITSM Consultant & Trainer, Self-Employed
  • Joseph Philpott, Acting Director Service of Assurance, Australian Dept. of Defence
  • Attila Revfalvi, Senior Associate ISTA, Amgen
  • James Monroe, Computer Support Specialist
  • Dave O’Reardon, Founder & CEO, Silversix
  • Ravi Prakash Singh, MS IS Student, Stevens Institute of Technology
  • Gautam Bangalore, Business Analyst, Sydney, Australia
  • Karen Clark, CIO, OrthoTennessee
  • Kathy Campbell, Technology Support Services Director, Anne Arundel Community College
  • Rangesh Prasanna, Infrastructure Process Consultant, Nextera Energy
  • Rick Hamilton, Support Services Manager, Soaring Eagle Casino & Resort
  • Jay Lentz, ITSM Manager CSI & SLM, Southwest Airlines
  • Marc Fransen, Service Desk Technician, Gemeente-Eindhoven

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Get to Action

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to understand the value of a continual improvement plan for the service desk, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

  1. Focus the continual improvement plan

    Design a service desk strategy, identify the key CSFs, KPIs, and metrics for success, and conduct a full assessment of the service desk to identify needs.

  2. Build the continual improvement plan

    Identify and prioritize improvement initiatives and construct a continual improvement action plan.

  3. Run the continual improvement plan

    Implement the continual improvement plan, monitor and communicate progress, and measure results.

Guided Implementation icon Guided Implementation

This guided implementation is a five call advisory process.

    Guided Implementation #1 - Focus

  • Call #1: Determine the goals of the continual improvement plan, and align them to organizational goals and strategy.

  • Call #2: Identify critical success factors for the project, conduct a service desk audit, and review the results.

  • Guided Implementation #2 - Build

  • Call #1: Brainstorm and prioritize continual improvement initiatives for the service desk.

  • Call #2: Draw on the prioritized list of service desk initiatives to build a continual improvement plan and strategic roadmap.

  • Guided Implementation #3 - Run

  • Call #1: Build a plan to communicate progress, promote the benefits of the projects, and reflect on lessons learned.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1: Focus the Continual Improvement Plan

The Purpose

Outline the key objectives of your continual improvement plan and align them to organizational goals.

Key Benefits Achieved

Clear identification of continual improvement goals, direction, and metrics to be measured and reported on.

Activities: Outputs:
1.1 Determine organizational goals and objective of continual service improvement plan.
  • List of organizational goals and related IT goals
1.2 Identify critical success factors.
  • List of critical success factors, key performance indicators, and metrics

Module 2: Assess the Service Desk; Identify and Prioritize Service Improvement Initiatives

The Purpose

  • Conduct a full assessment of service desk performance.
  • Create a list of improvement initiatives that align with organizational goals.
  • Determine the timeline and priority of goal completion. 

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understand the improvement needs of the Service Desk from both metrics and the perspectives of key stakeholders.
  • High value initiatives identified.
  • Initiatives that are “quick wins” are prioritized first to demonstrate immediate benefit to the business. 

Activities: Outputs:
2.1 Conduct a service desk assessment.
  • Service desk assessment
2.2 Prioritize service desk improvement initiatives.
  • Continual service improvement register

Module 3: Build the Continual Improvement Plan

The Purpose

Use items from the previous day’s activities to complete a continual improvement plan and action plan roadmap.

Key Benefits Achieved

All information necessary for the implementation of a continual improvement plan will be arranged in a concise document with a supporting roadmap to break down each improvement initiative into specific tasks with clear responsibility and timelines.

Activities: Outputs:
3.1 Build the service desk continual improvement plan.
  • Continual service desk improvement plan
  • Continual service desk improvement roadmap

Module 4: Implement and Monitor the Continual Improvement Plan

The Purpose

Now that the continual improvement plan (CIP) is complete, it is critical to establish an effective monitoring and reporting strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • A monitoring strategy will ensure the success and sustainability of the CIP through regular communication and the involvement of key stakeholders.
  • Reporting and reflecting on lessons learned will keep the momentum going and improve the process for the next improvement cycle.

Activities: Outputs:
4.1 Build a process to monitor progress and measure outcomes.
  • Communication plan
4.2 Reflect on lessons learned.
  • List of lessons learned to implement in future projects

Workshop Icon 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 road map in place to complete your project successfully.

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