If you’re reading this, chances are that your organization already provides IT Service Management in some form. But without proper processes in place, coping with the scale of a growing business can be difficult. As your team and organization grow, it is inevitable that you lose track of one or two highly critical issues, resulting in productivity loss, inefficiency, and ultimately, customer dissatisfaction. If this seems to be happening on a regular basis of late, it’s the perfect time for you to read this blog.
Are you experiencing any of the following symptoms?
- Inability to prioritize critical issues
- Delayed and unpredictable resolution times
- A lack of motivation among support agents, resulting in frustrated employees
- Lack of a central repository to record past issues, leading to problems with tracking them
Looks like it’s time you got started on implementing a proper ITSM tool. Trust us, you’re going to love it. Here’s a list of five hacks to help you hit the ground running.
Use ITSM to empower your employees
Most people think computers, networks and servers when you say ‘IT’. But the truth is, people are the most crucial resource — traditionally, in ITSM, the mantra is ‘people, process, and technology’, in that order. It’s your people — both employees and customers — that drive true customer success, and therefore, they should always be your first priority. Here are some people-focused tips for when you’re devising your ITSM framework:
- Choose a simple, intuitive IT service desk with good customer support.
- Promote self-service adoption extensively across your organization.
- Maintain an extensive, easy-to-navigate knowledge base to help self-service, train users how to use it, and make it visually appealing via videos and images.
- Regularly collect feedback from employees through customer satisfaction (CSAT) surveys.
- Use the information to proactively identify and address issues affecting productivity.
Be proactive with problem management
We all have different ways of reacting to the regular problems we face in our day-to-day lives. But how often do we take steps to make sure they don’t happen at all? We could save ourselves a lot of time and trouble. Similarly, being proactive at work by assessing trends and the performance of configuration items would help towards preventing service disruptions. Here are some tips to help with effective ITIL problem management:
- Analyse patterns to identify assets that frequently cause trouble, as well as potential threats across the organization, including I&O and security.
- Form a team to focus on Root Cause Analysis (RCA), analysing issues in detail and finding a workaround as soon as possible so that service can be restored to normal.
- Maintain a repository of known issues to act as a quick checkpoint reference.
Change well planned is well executed
Change is inevitable. And no one knows this better than someone handling change management and dealing with the numerous ad hoc change requests that the more agile businesses of today raise in droves. A change could be as simple as a minor bug-fix, or as complex as a business-wide configuration — but a prudent change manager is always prepared. Here are a few tips on how to stay on top of things:
- Carry out a detailed assessment and evaluation of the change before getting started. Record the change type (major, standard, or emergency) and evaluate the impact of the change on other systems (risk management).
- Plan well — make sure you make a realistic schedule for the change, with a set start and end date, and then track progress periodically to see if you’re on schedule. Have a solid roll-out plan, including how the change impacts other entities, and keep Plan B on standby — rolling back the system to its previous state if there are too many issues with the new change.
- Include all relevant stakeholders in your plans from the beginning, to save time. Any change usually requires approval from multiple people in different teams before implementation can go ahead. Make things easier for yourself by keeping people informed at all times and automating the approval process with the help of your IT service desk.
- Go agile. Change management requires continuous review, so include all relevant teams such as IT, DevOps, Engineering, QA and Product Management in your communications for each stage.
Combine work and play through gamification
Making work fun is a well-proven strategy to increase your employees’ productivity and thus, gain more happy end users. Gamification within your service desk can work magic on your service agents’ morale and motivation. Motivation theory shows that different people are motivated by either intrinsic (doing something because you love it) or extrinsic (doing something for an external reward, or to avoid a negative consequence) motivation. Gamification caters to both, making work fun as well as providing recognition and rewards for great performance. IT support is often perceived as a routine, transactional exchange, so gamifying the experience can help bring a sense of excitement about their work back to your support team. Here are some tips to follow while implementing game mechanics:
- Assess current KPIs such as resolution rate, response rate and SLAs, and identify and choose areas that need improvement.
- Define reasonable targets in these areas and create quests and bonus points for achieving them, to incentivize high performance.
- Measure the metrics and display the outcomes to all team members, revisiting the rules if necessary for continuous improvement.
- Use an automated solution such as your IT service desk to implement gamification, to make things easier. It’s best to have a gamification dashboard that provides reporting and notifications, so you can easily track and measure success.
Service desk automation complements human support
You know all that routine, repetitive busywork that makes up such a big part of your day? Well, the future is here, and you can mark it down to just another bad memory from your past. The magic lies in automation, which is key to increasing efficiency and reducing operational costs (not to say giving you more time to, you know, actually get stuff done). Your customers always seem to expect you to provide solutions to their problems almost instantaneously — and now, automation can help you do just that.
Automating mundane tasks is a huge value-add to boost efficiency and let your team focus on customer service and innovation. Here are some tips to get there:
- Identify routine, repetitive tasks that are currently being done manually, for example: assigning an issue to a support agent, sending an approval mail to a manager, allocating tasks to your team, generating periodic reports, sending out notification emails, and onboarding employees.
- Define workflows to automate as many of the processes you’ve identified as possible.
- Constantly measure the metrics to gauge improvement after automation.
- Extend the process to other business units for company-wide benefits.
Now that you’re armed with a whole lot of IT service management know-how gleaned from the combined experience of multiple successful teams, it’s time to choose a good ITSM solution and get started! We hope it’s a resounding success — get in touch to let us know how we helped.