One of the challenges with operating a service desk is perception.
From a customer perspective it can be a bit of a black hole, requests go in and
some service is provided. During my tenure on a service desk I was at a
corporate function where I was sat next to someone from the business. I
introduced myself and when they asked what I did I told them that I worked on
the service desk. Their eyes widened, and they said, “I always wanted to know
how you managed all the work that came in, does it depend on job title or what?”
I felt a bit like a magician not wanting to give up all the secrets to the
apparent ITSM magic while still explaining them that there was some method to
the madness. It was when I was formulating my response that I thought to myself
do we do this the best way possible? It was at that time a waiter came along
with beverages and my curious business person moved on to other topics with
The next day at work I had that question still in my
mind. I asked the same question to the service desk team I was working with. The
answer for our organization was that we worked requests first in first out
(FIFO), unless there was a major incident. But was this the best method? The
challenge to this was that in some cases people would change their email
subject lines to read “CRITICAL” or have a heap of asterisks or exclamation
marks. We know that the answer is yes
However if we were in a position to manage the queue by
order of operations based on service perhaps the more time constrained requests
would get done in a more timely manner and ones that could wait would.
To do this however you have to have a good understanding
of the service. You also have to have a good grasp on the impact that requests
or incidents have on the service. For example if our ticketing system for
requests was geared to have a default priority of ‘medium’ and no one altered
it the queue, all requests would all be equal priority in essence, thus FIFO .
But if we based our triage on service we may be better able to filter items
based on services and business requirements.
Of course there is always a risk here. In this case we
not only have to know what the service does and how it impacts the ability for
your business to function, but we have to need a process to review that the
service is current, that its status reflects business need and that how we
provide service is meeting the expectations of those we provide it to. Keeping
current is as much heavy lifting as implementing.
This is where we need to ensure that we as a service
provider review how well we are doing. While the service desk is the first
point of contact, the rest of the support functions also have a vested interest
in the way we provide service.
The benefits of really understanding the service will better
position IT to quantify what it costs to provide that service. This valuable
metric will allow us to work with the business to ensure we have the right
resources, whether people or otherwise to continue to provide excellent service
delivery and improve on that over the course of time.
me on Twitter
@ryanrogilvie or connect with me on LinkedIn
Labels: CSI, ITSM, Service Delivery, service desk, Service Management