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ITIL :: View topic - Service Desk - Common Causes for Failure
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Service Desk - Common Causes for Failure

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Joined: Oct 26, 2004
Posts: 40

PostPosted: Thu Feb 03, 2005 1:53 pm    Post subject: Service Desk - Common Causes for Failure Reply with quote

Hello everyone,

Could anyone could share any Service Desk Implementation pitfals that occur often, or that you have experienced? Creating an FMEA and looking for more ideas.
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2005 8:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One we are struggling with currently is the ServiceDesk staff do not fully appreciate the role of the ServiceDesk under ITIL (being a single point of contact) and are actively resisting change or just being complaicant etc Very Happy

Time to crack out the whip !!! Twisted Evil


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Joined: Mar 12, 2005
Posts: 255
Location: Melbourne, Australia

PostPosted: Wed Mar 23, 2005 6:45 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

To summarize:

Inadequate people skills.
Insufficient knowledge of the end-users' situations.
Insufficient staff to handle call loads.
Back-door access to technical specialists.
Poor access to real-time status of key systems.
Insufficient authority to 'advocate' for the end-user during incident handling.
Poorly informed about changes.
Poor definition of Services by Service Level Management. (No, or poorly built Catalogue)
Poor demand management.
Inadequate, or no, information about known resolutions or work-arounds.

I might also add - Seeing your Service Desk staff as unskilled call-centre cattle with no role to play beyond parroting diagnostic and service request scripts.

This is a question where it is important to be clear about the Service Desk as a function and not a process.

The success of the Service Desk per se, should not be measured in terms of the processes it is involved in: Eg, poor change management, resulting in disruptions will be felt at the Service Desk, and end-users may direct their dissatisfaction at the Service Desk, but that is not an example of the Service Desk functioning poorly. And the same could be said of poorly managed incidents.

One of the most important aspects of the Service Desk is to be a single point of contact: So, if you have back-doors to specialist staff, that allows end-users to bypass the Service Desk you have a problem, and the Service Desk won't be functioning correctly.

Assessing Service Desk functionality needs to focus on client interaction. For example, are the phone calls piling up in the queueing system, or is the line at the counter too long. (Could mean you are understaffed). Are there insufficient resources to follow up resolved incidents with clients.

Are Service Desk staff versed in the business - if they don't really understand the people they are dealing with customer satisfaction levels are likely to fall.

So the client-handling side is critical.

So is process integration. The Service Desk can't function well if there aren't processes backing them up.

Is the Service Desk well informed about upcoming changes, and are they given what they need to communicate these with the user community?

Is there good Service Level Management in place - so that it is clear at the desk what clients are entitled to, and do expectations they will bring to the Service Desk match those entitlements?

Does Incident and Problem management work with the Service Desk staff to provide an up to date list of known errors and the workarounds or resolutions that they need to respond with when clients contact them : IE, how well resourced are they to resolve incidents on the first call?

Have you provided the Service Desk staff with well configured systems monitoring tools that can alert them immediately there is an outage of a critical system, or a significant degradation of capacity in the infrastructure.
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