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Build a Swarming Pilot Project

Optimize your service support and become more DevOps compatible.

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Contributors

  • Greg Oxton, Executive Director, Consortium Service Innovation
  • James Karioki, Senior Manager Advanced Problem Determination and Technical Support Manager, IBM
  • Jon Hall, Principal Product Manager, BMC Software
  • Koree Mires, Senior Business Operations Manager, Cisco
  • Paul Dooley, Author and Certified ITIL, HDI, and ITSM Instructor
  • Adam Maino, Director of Support, North America APAC at FinancialForce
  • Judith Platz, Vice President, Support Services Research, TSIA
  • Eric Ohnemus, Director of Customer Satisfaction, Genuine Parts Company
  • 7 anonymous company contributors

Your Challenge

  • While the tiered model approach to the service desk may work in some organizations, for many others it results in a severe silo effect, a breakdown in communication, and tickets being bounced back and forth like a game of ping pong.
  • Despite best efforts, IT department managers are left with a dysfunctional system, with ticket backlogs, resistance to share knowledge, elevated costs and frustrated end users.
  • As web portal usage increases, it leads to the majority of tickets escalated to agents being complex tickets that require further escalations. This compounds the ping-pong effect, increasing ticket time to resolve and further alienating end users.
  • Companies wanting to adopt a DevOps approach will encounter process issues with the traditional tiered model of service support due to the silo effect impacting collaboration.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t try and build the process alone. Set objectives and parameters. Then, involve your team and empower them to building the processes and refining them.
  • Embrace the dynamic nature of swarming. Swarming is not one size fits all. Prepare for your processes to change, especially in the initial phase.
  • Culture will trump strategy every time. Do not underestimate the importance of shifting your company culture to a collaboration-based approach. The best processes in the world won’t work if you don’t get everyone onboard.

Impact and Result

  • Info-Tech’s tools and guidance will help you to minimize risk, optimize stakeholder buy-in for your swarming pilot project, and maximize your growth potential and ability to adapt to your maturing service support system.
  • This project will help you:
    • Create and implement a swarming project pilot project.
    • Increase adoption and evaluate the efficacy of the pilot project.
    • Eliminate ping pong support and get your people finally playing catch.
    • Create a consistent customer service experience for service desk patrons.
    • Increase customer satisfaction.
    • Create an environment that fosters collaboration and skill development.
    • Improve capabilities of solving complex tickets.
    • Decrease time and cost to resolve service desk tickets.
    • Create a stronger and more engaged team.
    • Build a solid foundation for future IT service improvement.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

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

1. Assess readiness

Determine the readiness of the organization to adopt swarming support practices by conducting current-state assessments of both ticket handling and collaboration, reviewing swarming best practices, and identifying key benchmarks and metrics.

2. Create a pilot

Develop the building blocks of your swarming pilot project by defining your pilot objectives, creating a high-level view of the project, identifying key stakeholders, and building a contingency plan and a communication strategy.

3. Build a process

Develop the building blocks of your swarming process by defining and documenting group swarming processes, creating your evaluation plan, and reviewing support best practices.

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Each call will focus on explaining the material and helping you to plan your project, interpret and analyze the results of each project step, and setting the direction for your next project step.

Onsite Workshop

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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: Assess Readiness

The Purpose

Conduct a current-state assessment of the existing service desk and assess readiness of the organization to adopt swarming practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

Allows IT directors and managers to assess the process maturity and level of organizational collaboration and create benchmarks and success metrics for the pilot project.

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Administer the Collaboration Assessment Questionnaire.

  • Collaboration Assessment Score
1.2

Run the Collaboration Assessment Tool.

  • Collaboration Assessment Score
1.3

Complete the Service Desk Maturity Assessment.

  • Current State Assessment
1.4

Review service desk and collaboration maturity.

  • Collaboration goals, metrics, and KPIs to track
1.5

Review swarming best practices.

  • Identified target state, project rationale, and framework for swarming processes
1.6

Identify goals.

  • Identified target state and success metrics
1.7

Identify metrics, benchmarks, and reports.

  • Defined how success will be monitored and measured

Module 2: Create a Pilot

The Purpose

Build your pilot project plan, including defining the scope and key milestones for the project.

Key Benefits Achieved

A central repository of all pilot-related details to provide IT directors and managers with an easy way to share their pilot project with key stakeholders to gain buy-in and approval.

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Define pilot objectives, scope, and participants.

  • Pilot project scope and rationale
2.2

Create a high-level project plan.

  • Project plan overview
2.3

Identify key stakeholders.

  • List of key stakeholders
2.4

Identify potential risks and build a contingency plan.

  • A contingency plan
2.5

Review communication best practices.

2.6

Build a communication strategy for the project.

  • Communication strategy

Module 3: Build a Process

The Purpose

Define and build the swarming process for your pilot project, including ticket handling guidelines, collaboration tools to be used to facilitate swarming, and your evaluation plan.

Key Benefits Achieved

Create a clear swarming process that can be communicated to project participants and key stakeholders, along with an evaluation plan to measure your success.

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Review support best practices.

  • Framework for how to build swarming practices
3.2

Review and discuss swarming case studies.

  • Clear understanding about how other heavy-hitters are approaching swarming
3.3

Define swarming processes.

  • Swarming process
3.4

Assess and flag recurring tickets for swarming.

3.5

Document group swarming practices.

3.6

Identify existing collaboration tools that can be used.

  • List of existing tools that can be used to facilitate collaboration
3.7

Create your evaluation plan.

  • An evaluation plan to measure success