In my previous blog, I offered up eight tips for getting started with self-service. Here I offer another seven.
9. Plan Ahead for Future Non-IT Use
If the new self-service capability works for IT, then end users will expect something similar for other corporate service providers such HR and facilities. Or non-IT use case scenarios might be business function driven, with HR, say, wishing to offer their services via a similar (or the same) portal. And in an ideal world, the IT department will extend what they already use rather than reinventing the wheel for these non-IT use case scenarios.
Self-service for IT is one of those things that’s relatively easy to “do” but not so easy to get right, i.e. to deliver a capability that end users want to, and do, use. And sadly, many corporate IT departments have struggled with self-service; or, more specifically, with adoption by end users.
It’s important for corporate IT organizations to understand that just because end users are using self-service in their personal lives, it doesn’t automatically mean that they will be amenable to corporate capabilities, IT or otherwise, if the capabilities don’t meet their expectations of ease-of-use and, ultimately, value. After all, if self-service is more difficult than picking up the phone to call the service desk, why would anyone prefer to use it?
Probably the most famous IT service desk in the world is the fictional one in The IT Crowd. The business doesn’t understand it, the employees don’t like using it, and the service desk staff hate doing it.
Unlike the two-person service desk in the IT Crowd, in your average enterprise the size, cost, and temperature of your service desk is a likely indicator of the size and cost of the big ball of mud that is your IT infrastructure (and perhaps even your IT organization).
Thankfully, much of the service desk “challenge” is being alleviated for some by learning from, and using, software-as-a-service (SaaS) models to make the service desk smaller, cheaper and, sometimes, invisible. This is surely the direction that many organizations want to go, regulatory compliance permitting.
Whether you ask for your pizza with extra “tom-mah-toe” or “toe-may-toe,” the end result is going to be the same – extra tomatoes on your freshly baked Italian cuisine. But, in the IT service management (ITSM) world, we need to be careful when discussing help desks and/or service desks.
In the past, organizations were relaxed about discussing their IT-cuisine and freely dropped in both ingredients without much thought as to the specific meanings of each. But they are not the same, so you need to put the trans-Atlantic accent differences aside and lock in your understanding of both.
So here’s how they differ and why you need to care – buon appetito!
It’s that time of the week, month, year; your service desk report is due and you’re drowning in spreadsheets and graphs. Yes, you could be out on deck helping to field the sea of incident and service request tickets coming in but you know that your service desk performance report will help to optimize the operation of your desk in the long run. That’s if people actually read it and take appropriate actions of course.
I bet you wonder about this – is anyone actually doing anything with the outputs of your 2-5 days of effort? It opens up a can of worm and raises a number of additional questions. Do you start to wonder what you should be including? Why? And with whom you should be sharing the information? Are you caught up in the numbers – too focused on the inputs and process while ignoring the outputs of your work?