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Staff the Service Desk to Meet Demand

There is no one-size-fits-all ratio of service desk staff to users; base your resourcing on your demand.

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Ten anonymous contributors

  • With increasing complexity of support and demand on service desks, staff are often left feeling overwhelmed and struggling to keep up with ticket volume, resulting in long resolution times and frustrated end users.
  • However, it’s not as simple as hiring more staff to keep up with ticket volume. IT managers must have the data to support their case for increasing resources or even maintaining their current resources in an environment where many executives are looking to reduce headcount.
  • Without changing resources to match demand, IT managers will need to determine how to maximize the use of their resources to deliver better service.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • IT managers are stuck with the difficult task of determining the right number of service desk resources to meet demand to executives who perceive the service desk to be already effective.
  • Service desk managers often don’t have accurate historical data and metrics to justify their headcount, or don’t know where to start to find the data they need.
  • They often then fall prey to the common misperception that there is an industry standard ratio of the ideal number of service desk analysts to users. IT leaders who rely on staffing ratios or industry benchmarks fail to take into account the complexity of their own organization and may make inaccurate resourcing decisions.

Impact and Result

  • There’s no magic, one-size-fits-all ratio to tell you how many service desk staff you need based on your user base alone. There are many factors that come into play, including the complexity of your environment, user profiles, ticket volume and trends, and maturity and efficiency of your processes.
  • If you don’t have historical data to help inform resourcing needs, start tracking ticket volume trends now so that you can forecast future needs.
  • If your data suggests you don’t need more staff, look to other ways to maximize your time and resources to deliver more efficient service.

Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

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

1. Determine environment and operating model

Define your business and IT environment, service desk operating model, and existing challenges to inform objectives.

2. Determine staffing needs

Understand why service desk staffing estimates should be based on your unique workload, then complete the Staffing Calculator to estimate your needs.

3. Interpret data to plan approach

Review workload over time to analyze trends and better inform your overall resourcing needs, then plan your next steps to optimize staffing.

Guided Implementations

This guided implementation is a three call advisory process.

Guided Implementation #1 - Define environment and operating model

Call #1 - Discuss challenges, objectives, and current operating model.

Guided Implementation #2 - Complete the staffing calculator

Call #1 - Understand Info-Tech’s approach to service desk staffing and walk through how to use the Staffing Calculator.

Guided Implementation #3 - Interpret data to plan approach

Call #1 - Once you’ve gathered enough data, discuss how to interpret the results to determine the best approach to optimize your resources.
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