Service Desk or SLA first

An open discussion on issues related directly or primarily to the service or help desk.
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Kip
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Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:09 am

Hi

If we are looking to set up a service desk, is it a good idea to get an idea of the number of potential calls that we are getting first, before crystallising it into an SLA?

For example, if we have a blank canvas, do we really want to be drafting call response times etc into SLA's, without actually seeing what we can handle first?

I suppose what im asking is which people have implemented first - the SLA - to set the targets ( but they may be breached at first), or the Service desk, to gain an understanding of the volumes of calls, and then the SLA is drafted using this info as a baseline?


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dam
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Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:57 am

I really recommend you to first implement the Service Desk, and then work on the SLA.

This is my point of view that I have validated upon my experience, and I tell why I think you should do that.

The service desk is made by people, and they perform an activity that is crucial for the business even if not always glorious. To make them proficient they have to be business oriented, in the sense they have to focus on the fact that they work to make possible to the business process to function properly. Being business oriented motivates the SD staff (and the other actors from IM and PM) and keeps them working with a clear goal in mind.

If you focus from day one on numeric targets, people start to work to reach the targets and this could bring to a heavy side effect that is that they rapidly forget the main goal of their activity that is make the business processes running. At the point that this could generate vicious behaviour like logging the second call of a customer as a new incident to close the previous ticket on time and boost the volume of incidents managed and things like this.
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dam
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Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:14 am

in literature what I mentioned above is called "the Hawthorne effect": when the metrics become the driving factor
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smehdi
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Wed Dec 09, 2009 12:50 pm

Hi ,

I totally agree with Dam .If you are about to set up a new service desk , as per my experience initially you should not bother about the SLA and let the desk get into norming stage.By that time you will also have an idea about the issues offered to you and your team capacity to handle the issues.

Once things are clear feel free to go and get the SLAs in place.
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nisarg
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Wed Dec 09, 2009 3:19 pm

Initially starting a new Service desk, I think the SLA parameters should be free for the first few months and then decide after checking the volume offerd ,the call pattern daily/weekly/monthly , kind of issues reported ( FCR issues or Non FCR issues) , etc etc. The only it is feasable to agree on a SLA.

Otherwise if you already have a good historical data then you can agree on a proposed SLA which again nees to be reviewed after few months.

My personal view is to go live first and then agree on a SLA after you have enough data to make a meaningfull Agreement
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vz-r_Dave
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Thu Dec 10, 2009 9:10 am

You will require a norm in which to determin the SLA's. This cannot really be done without any statistics. The SD should be operational for a good few months first before you can understand the demand. The SLA's can be created at this point. All IMO ofcourse.
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Kip
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Wed Dec 16, 2009 9:39 am

Many thanks for all of your responses on this.
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Diarmid
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Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:11 pm

It is an error to use what you do as the norm. The norm has to be what the business requires. How can you design your service desk process if you do not know what it is required to achieve? how can you know what is required unless you have discussed in depth with your customer what service levels are required. The other approach is IT-centric and has a high risk associated.

However it is too simplistic in practice to develop SLAs and then design your services and can only apply to greenfield sites, since otherwise you are already providing services.

The first steps might be to measure what you do now and to discuss requirements with the customer. Then perhaps you can develop the service desk function hand in hand with the SLAs.

[I thought I wrote something like this a couple of days ago. I must have forgotten to press the button. Never mind I have written it a bit better this time.]
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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vz-r_Dave
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Mon Dec 21, 2009 7:50 am

If the SD has only just been implmented, how does the customer know what the norm is? They can give you their requirements but unless they know what the demand is going to be prior to this surely the norm is determined by the demand? Please correct me if I am way off line here.

Thanks

Dave
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Diarmid
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 6:54 am

The customer requirement must determine the norm. It will be tempered by cost and by increasing understanding of the impact of failures. Yes the customer may also be on a learning curve, but their business requirement is the key. If they cannot afford to be out for four hours, then they need a service that prevents this from happening.

If both sides just wait and see how long things take and then make that the norm, then niether side is doing its job of managing its services and interests.

[from Kirriemuir, but home soon.]
"Method goes far to prevent trouble in business: for it makes the task easy, hinders confusion, saves abundance of time, and instructs those that have business depending, both what to do and what to hope."
William Penn 1644-1718
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vz-r_Dave
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Tue Dec 22, 2009 12:41 pm

Thanks for clarifying
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