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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.
  • If they build it, they will come. 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.
  • Use metrics data to tell the story of IT. 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.
  • Purchasing an ITSM tool is an expensive proposition. Remember, the value of any 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

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
  • Number of Course Modules: 5
  • Estimated Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours
  • Featured Analysts:
  • Michel Hebert, Research Director, Infrastructure Practice
  • Natalie Sansone, Research Manager, Infrastructure Practice
  • Now Playing: Academy: Service Desk | 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: Conduct Gap Analysis

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 strengths.

1.2

Outline service desk challenges.

1.3

Complete current state assessment.

  • Current State Assessment
1.4

Identify key areas for improvement.

  • End-User Satisfaction Diagnostic Survey
1.5

Analyze service desk organization.

1.6

Define service desk structure.

  • Optimal service desk structure
1.7

Review implications of shift-left strategy.

  • Shift-left service support strategy
1.8

Identify stakeholders and goals to inform metrics.

1.9

Identify metrics to track based on goals.

1.10

Create a list of required reports and dashboards.

  • Service desk metrics and reports
1.11

Rationalize ticket channels.

1.12

Discuss ticket handling challenges.

  • Shift-Handover Template
1.13

Define a QA process for improving ticket and call quality.

  • QA ticket and call testing checklist
1.14

Use the ticket and call quality assessment tool.

1.15

Identify ticket template candidates.

  • List of ticket templates
  • List of recurring tickets

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.

2.2

Define incident management workflows.

  • Incident management workflows
2.3

Build end-user satisfaction survey.

  • End-user satisfaction survey
2.4

Define critical incident management workflow.

  • Critical incident management workflow
2.5

Design critical incident communication plan.

  • Critical incident management communication plan
2.6

Assess ticket categorization.

  • Enhanced ticket categorization scheme
2.7

Enhance ticket categories with resolution codes.

  • Ticket resolution and status codes
2.8

Build a prioritization matrix.

  • Optimized ticket prioritization scheme
2.9

Define response and resolution times.

2.10

Build escalation decision rights.

  • Guidelines for ticket escalations
2.11

Build out escalation rules and guidelines.

  • List of automatic escalations
2.12

Create a list of application specialists.

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.

  • An estimated service level for each service request
3.2

Review general service request fulfillment process.

3.3

Document and analyze service request workflows.

  • Workflows for the most common service requests
3.4

Distinguish between requests and small projects.

  • Request vs. project criteria
3.5

Evaluate existing or desired features of your service portal.

3.6

Evaluate service portals.

3.7

Brainstorm ideas to optimize portal UX.

  • Features and UX design ideas for current or future portal
3.8

Design the portal’s ticket intake form.

3.9

Draft a high-level project plan for a self-service portal project.

  • High-level plan to implement a portal
3.10

Discuss the benefits or objections to implementing a knowledgebase.

  • List of potential knowledgebase articles
3.11

Create actionable knowledgebase articles.

3.12

Design knowledgebase management processes.

  • Knowledgebase article template
3.13

Build a knowledge management process workflow.

  • Knowledgebase process and workflow
  • Role Description: Knowledge Manager

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

Build implementation roadmap.

  • Service desk implementation roadmap
4.2

Review project task list to assess timelines and accountabilities.

4.3

Create the communication plan.

  • Communication plan
4.4

Discuss strategies to increase adoption.

  • Adoption strategies

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

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agencies

Guided Implementation

10/10

$50,000

10

PRA Group Canada, Inc.

Guided Implementation

10/10

$10,000

5

Alabama Department of Corrections

Workshop

9/10

$33,091

44

Purplebricks

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

5

Auditor General IT Services

Workshop

9/10

N/A

N/A

Morehouse College

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Sierra College

Guided Implementation

7/10

N/A

N/A

Rim Architects

Guided Implementation

10/10

$7,941

5

Grinnell College

Workshop

10/10

N/A

N/A

JMMB

Workshop

9/10

$13,236

20

Statistics Canada

Workshop

10/10

N/A

N/A

Ravensdown Fertiliser

Workshop

8/10

$66,183

50

Michigan Court of Appeals

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

Compass Health

Guided Implementation

1/10

N/A

N/A

Worthington Industries

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

City Of Bakersfield

Guided Implementation

10/10

$21,178

18

Northeastern Reg Info Ctr

Workshop

9/10

N/A

N/A

The University of Texas at San Antonio

Guided Implementation

9/10

$132K

50

VCU Health System Authority

Workshop

9/10

$33,091

23

Parker Hannifin Manufacturing UK

Guided Implementation

10/10

$16,278

7

Arkansas Department of Transportation

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

N/A

New Mexico Department Of Health

Guided Implementation

8/10

N/A

2

AAA Club Alliance, Inc

Guided Implementation

10/10

$9,265

8

Colorado Judicial ITS

Guided Implementation

10/10

$19,193

60

Westoba Credit Union Limited

Guided Implementation

10/10

$6,000

10

City of Colorado Springs

Guided Implementation

4/10

N/A

N/A

Arizona Western College

Guided Implementation

10/10

$33,091

20

CF Industries Enterprises Inc

Guided Implementation

9/10

$3,970

5

Modesto Irrigation District

Guided Implementation

10/10

N/A

90

Aerovironment, Inc.

Workshop

9/10

$132K

50