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Signs your Service Desk needs fixing

If your Service Desk is broken, what are the signs? Beyond the signs, do you have actual indicators?

Signs are the day-to-day occurrences such as escalations, complaints and a feeling of disorganisation that inevitably means your staff aren't very settled or happy in their work.

Indicators are quantitative evidence. Even when your statistical performance is poor, it's essential that it's known. Only once known will it be possible to coherently work towards improvement - but only as long as the metrics you're collecting are actually useful.

If you only know how many tickets are being opened and closed, perhaps with a percentage fixed by 1st line "on first contact" by phone, you know very little. This just isn't useful at all.

If your metrics serve little purpose, they need more focus. With more focus, you're able to see what your Service Desk, your other support teams and your processes are actually doing and make adjustments accordingly with a view to improve their performance.

It might be said therefore that a fundamental indicator for a Service Desk that isn't performing well is in whether only general, high level statistics are produced, or none at all. In other words, it's in whether there aren't useful indicators available in the first place.

It sounds so obvious to say that statistics need to have a use. The reality though is that the majority of organisations still haven't started to follow the initiative, probably because managers don't realise the benefits and don't identify what will be really useful. Good metrics guide decisions and service improvement initiatives. Focused, low level statistics that tell a story are therefore strategically essential.

So, the challenge is to start producing useful statistics. There's a real science behind this and it needs to involve developing your service management tool for better use.

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