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ITIL :: View topic - Users as part of 2nd line support network - Advice Please
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Users as part of 2nd line support network - Advice Please

 
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Guest1
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:09 am    Post subject: Users as part of 2nd line support network - Advice Please Reply with quote

A number of users who are specialists in business policy and procedure are included as 2nd-line support within the support service. They have as much responsibility to the end-users of the system as the 1st-line support staff and need to work to the same OLAs as other 2nd-line support teams.
These process owners are often busy managers in user departments. Any suggestions as to how educate and encourage these users, unfamiliar as they are with IT Service Support, to understand and keep to their service responsibilites gratefully received.
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Shane_Carlson
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Joined: Oct 12, 2005
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 4:29 am    Post subject: Peer Support - A hidden cost in the IT Support Chain Reply with quote

Peer Support is a tricky thing to balance within a Service management framework. You will never be able to totally eliminate peer support, nor in most cases should you. Educated users routinely transfer knowledge to less savvy users and can provide a cost effect means by which you increase end user knowledge and decrease support costs for low value issues. On the other hand, I would reccomend against using peer support as a part of your formal escalation path for Incident Management.

When you make someone who is not dedicated fulltime to supporting IT services a part of the support plan, you will not be able to fully control the quality of delivery of that service. Also the hidden costs of this type of support can be staggering.

Say you have 10 departments with "Super Users" and each of these "Super Users" spends just 5% of their time supporting this service (2 hours per week. ) And assume that the average fully burdened rate of pay for these "Super Users" is $50 per hour.

The direct costs of peer support for that service is (2hrs * 52week *10users) = $52,000 per year (About enough to hire a good level 2 person in most markets.)

But the hidden costs are the costs involved on the business side, what other work could that person be doing during those 2 hrs per week? In most cases either someone else is hired to take up the slack, or the "Super User" works overtime or extra hours to accomplish the work that is primary to their job functions.

IT Service management is all about running IT as though it were it's own business entity and freeing up the businesses they support to focus on the Vital Business Functions they perform in the course of sustaining and growing the Business.

Bottom line, Peer Support should be used sparingly and almost never in the course of supporting IT Services that in turn support Vital Business Functions.

Shane[/i]
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Leif
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Joined: Mar 09, 2005
Posts: 12
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 3:44 pm    Post subject: Re: Users as part of 2nd line support network - Advice Pleas Reply with quote

Guest1 wrote:
A number of users who are specialists in business policy and procedure are included as 2nd-line support within the support service. They have as much responsibility to the end-users of the system as the 1st-line support staff and need to work to the same OLAs as other 2nd-line support teams.
These process owners are often busy managers in user departments. Any suggestions as to how educate and encourage these users, unfamiliar as they are with IT Service Support, to understand and keep to their service responsibilites gratefully received.


It's tricky if they have other priorities that are more important than the support, is that the situation here? If not, education is key, make them aware of their contribution to the overall success of the support organisation and the company. Are your concerns known, perhaps they believe they are doing a good job? Do you provide them with statistics/reports? Include them in proactive work "We have theses issues, do you have any suggestions how to solve them?"

Lastly, if you cant manage to get their support, seek management aid to resolve the problem and perhaps hire other resources?

Hope this helps,

Leif
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