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Practices for Flow Management

Explained more fully in the Focus Framework catalogue, practices for Flow Management form a modern service system that is necessary for support to be managed and delivered well.

1. Activity Prioritisation (AP): "Always the right activity at the right time"
Usually the starting point, AP comes in four forms:

Basic: Progression Point Prioritisation (PPP). A Progression Dashboard approach that supports three types of teamwork - "swarmed" activity -mobilised by presenting "standard practice" ticket information that is available in all ITSM tools.

Standard (sAP)Status-based full scope activity sequencing using "progression thresholds".

AdvancedTeams move from sAP ticket lists to Progression Dashboards that present up to six types of high priority activity surfaced by dependent Flow Management practices*.

Perfect Prioritisation (PP). Extends Advanced AP with team roles, each having responsibility for a set of status queues. Vulnerable ticket ownership silos are replaced with multiplied ticket cover.


PP is suited mainly to the Digital Channel Service Desk - a modernisation enabled by the Focus Framework. To understand PP, read our feature article written for itSMF.

2. Contribution Recognition

For teammates who cover support all day long, flow metrics accurately represent total work contribution. When any of six types of teamwork in covering high priority activity are added in Advanced AP, cross-queue-cover is procedurally embedded, motivated from those who have no immediate progression breach. Performance reviews become objective, aligned to better service that stems from more activity, and to working effectively as a team.

3. Pinpoint Expectations Management

Teams who reach reliability may then have sAP time frame information presented to requesters, dynamically communicating expectations.

4. User Escalation Management *

Accurate knowledge of chased ticket occurrence is perhaps the best barometer of service health.


In standard AP, and even more so in advanced AP, supported by expectations management, the need to chase falls away. A service portal can be provisioned to channel all those that still arise, closely rationalised and managed through this practice with two KPI’s that reflect your true ability in meeting needs and expectations.

5. SLA Breach Prevention *

In AP, timely flow of activity ensures service target warnings are minimal. When they do occur, breach prevention can be achieved through status elevation (for SAP) and progression dashboard placement (in basic and advanced AP).

6. Coordinated Customer Contact

Many supported staff are often away from their desk. This practice integrates with SAP and advanced AP, and optionally, with your service portal, to ensure that appointment requests, and those that have been arranged, are closely coordinated and met which is ordinarily impossible to achieve.

Yet another way to reliably meet needs and expectations rather than leaving service customers ignored.

7. Continual Procedural Improvement (CPI)

In a team's use of Progression Notes to explain tasks that go beyond your governed maximum work time, and through an integrated Knowledge and Procedural Improvement Register, this ITSM tool app enables six types of “Operational Problem” to be identified and captured, and their removal coordinated, for the path to comprehensively lean ops.

8. Team Together *

By working on tasks together, harmful reassignment is minimised with this specialised asynchronous collaboration app that has several other unique advantages including being whole team based, plus integration with service tickets, Contribution Recognition and your Procedural Improvement Register.

9. Quality & Security Protection

New service team members need close supervision to ensure procedural mistakes are spotted and abridged. This practice enables a team’s designated Inductee Manager to review all inductee activity, with interventions measured so it is known when an inductee is ready to pass probation. This practice also integrates with your Procedural Improvement Register.

10. Service Desk Re-involvement & Learning *

New Service Desk team members often make ticket assignment mistakes where either the wrong team is selected, or ticket information is missing. A KPI of Service Desk ability, this practice enables other teams to work seamlessly with a Service Desk who swarm "rejected" tickets for minimal delay, and are informed of the reason to prevent re-occurrence.

11. Progression Automation

By ensuring reminders are promptly sent, eliminate ticket abandonment service failure that otherwise frequently occurs when a requester is asked for additional information.

12. "Urgent" ticket swarming *

This practice includes service catalogue and portal integration for organisations wishing to become a Digital Channel Service Desk in which call centre traffic is minimised.

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