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ITIL :: View topic - Service Desk structure and incident handling questions
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Service Desk structure and incident handling questions

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Joined: Jul 29, 2007
Posts: 1

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 6:15 pm    Post subject: Service Desk structure and incident handling questions Reply with quote

I work for a military installation that is in the processor of designing an ITIL implementation. Our structure is as follows:
We have a group that answers the phone for users/customers to report incidents, service requests and change requests. This group has a set of service requests that they are tasked with handling and for most incidents, they assign the ticket to other groups. Due to regulations, they will never be able to resolve more than a handful of incidents. Incidents are assigned by them to other groups based on the application or system affected. Each application/system has staff that is delegated to handling their incidents.

I have a few questions:
1. Does anyone have any suggestions on how can we implement a single point of contact service desk in this environment and still follow ITIL? Would an automated system that routes calls to each individual group follow ITIL?
2. Assuming our structure does not change, after the initial call is taken and the incident is assigned to the appropriate group, does the group that took the call have to handle all communication with the customer? Should the group assigned the ticket close the ticket after it is resolved or resolve it and have the initial group close it?
3. In our setup, would the staff taking the calls and the individual groups all be considered level one service desk staff?
4. In a normal service desk implementation, ,when incidents are escalated to L2 staff from L1, does the assignment of the ticket change or does the L1 person simply coordinate with L2 or task L2? Which group should handle communication with the customer? Which group should close the ticket?

Thank you in advance.
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Joined: Jan 03, 2007
Posts: 189
Location: Redmond, WA

PostPosted: Sun Jul 29, 2007 11:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Service Desk structure and incident handling questions Reply with quote

1. If you have all the calls routed to the call center for ticketing and then dispatch the tickets to the 2nd level groups for resolution, you are following an ITIL Service Desk model. This is considered a Unskilled Service Desk.

But yes, you can have the phone system route calls to the appropriate group based on a phone menu system. But the group that answers the call have just become part of a Virtual Service Desk. They need to follow all the same processes and procedures that your call center follows. Anyone who is the first point of contact for users requesting help are considered Level 1 support. In ITIL, Level 1 support is equivalent to the Service Desk.

2. ITIL has a two phase approach to ticket closure. The first phase is called Resolution. This is what the 2nd Level group (or whoever actually fixes the Incident) performs. Once the issues is fixed, the ticket is put in a Resolved status.

This typically generates an automated notification that the issue is resolved and requests the user to contact the Service Desk if it isn't resolved to their satisfaction. This automated email needs to originate from the Service Desk. Or maybe you have a staff member on the Service Desk dedicated to follow-up on all Resolved issues. They would call each user to ensure that it was resolved to their satisfaction. After the Service Desk has followed up with the user, the ticket can be put in a Closed state.

As far as other communications with the user, ITIL doesn't forbid other IT staff from communicating with users. In efforts to resolve an Incident, the 2nd Level IT staff may call the user to discuss the details of the issue (and they may even ask the user to call them directly if your policy allows it). But the initial contact from the user to IT to report an incident must be to the single point of contact of the Service Desk.

3. See answer #1

4. Incidents escalated to 2nd Level should involve reassigning the ticket to the appropriate group. This is considered a Functional (or Competency based) escalation of the ticket. From that point through Resolution, communication can occur directly between the 2nd Level group and the user. See answer #2 regarding resolution and closure of tickets.

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