How to become a proactive Service Desk

An open discussion on issues related directly or primarily to the service or help desk.
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DJLong
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Mon Jun 14, 2010 10:03 am

I am looking at ways for my Service Desk to become more proactive rather than reactive. Do you have any suggestions?

Also, if anyone has experienced how did you move your support team forward? (was it by taking on additional tasks, introducing a buddle system with other support teams?)

Thanks
D


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Timo
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Mon Jun 14, 2010 11:38 am

Yes. Hire a consultant. Your question is impossible to answer with the information provided.

(btw, do I begin to sound like John, or is just a case of Mondays)
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UKVIKING
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Tue Jun 15, 2010 3:38 am

Timo

You have to speak louder before I can tell whether you sound like me

And it was a monday

DJ Long

I have a question for you ?

How is the SD going to be Pro-active as the SD is a re-active function ?

Are you going to have them create incidents for things that have yet to happen and then cause them to happen ?

As the SD is the focal point when things go wrong IT wise, it is very difficult for the SD staff to be proactive as the role that they play is a reactive role

Pro-active work belongs in the Problem mgmt process - ie searching for SPOFs, trends etc

This does not mean a member of the SD cant do that .. but they are not doing the function of SD by doing so
John Hardesty
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nisarg
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Mon Jun 21, 2010 11:38 am

Hi Dj Long

1> Having a daily morning system Healthcheck with different Site IT coordinator and IT teams is a good way to proactively manage Incidents
This way you may not stop the Incident from occuring but can definately reduce the Impact to end users and number of calls to Service Desk.

2> If you have a very strong Incident Tracking Tool. It is also possible to analyze trends and reduce reoccurance of incidents ( Though this is part of Proactive Problem Management)

3> Servicedesk Participation into CAB can also help identify changes that can lead to increased calls in Service Desk. A SD representation is always desired

These methods have been helpful in lot of Service Desk environment I have worked with. You can give it a try
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vimprash
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Wed Jul 14, 2010 7:32 am

Since SD is a reactive function, you can try to enhance the team's response time rather than trying to be proactive.

You can improve the SD team by providing them with training on most repeated incidents by collecting the trend of Incidents...

Proactiveness in approaching the calls/tickets can be developed after analyzing the gap you have in you SD.
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SwissTony
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Thu Jul 15, 2010 2:39 am

You could always send bugs to users machines....then pro-actively phone the user, fix the problem then and there.

Benefits:
Increased first call fix.
More tickets logged, & flogged, meaning more cash in the bank.
& users satisfaction goes up.

Do it DJ....it's the future.
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thechosenone69
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Thu Jul 15, 2010 4:27 am

As others said SD is a reactive function, were the service provider comes into the closest and most frequent contact with the users of the IT service, its where the value of service is seen by customers.

DJ, Sometimes being too proactive is not healthy as customers would say "why am I paying that much money for that service, as those monkeys are not doing anything(Those monkeys being the IT support)" because they are being proactive, then the customers will start thinking to move to a different provider to save some money since their IT infrastructure is perfect and does not need that much support.
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paulfixter
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Mon Jul 19, 2010 4:43 am

1) Ensure all calls are logged that come to the Service Desk. If only 50% of calls are logged then you are not going to identify any worthwhile patterns.

2) Run reports off every week and look for patterns.... determine how many are faults, how many are help etc, then for which systems

3) If a large number of calls are logged under the same category then there could be an issue. Dodgy build, lack of training etc.

4) Only when you discvoer these patterns can you start investigating the root cause.

5) Once the root cause is established and fixes are in place will the incidents reduce. ie, you are preventing the incident occuring in the first place (being proactive).

Another thing to bear in mind is that your call profiles in your incident management tool/CMS must be correct. That is a large piece of work in itself but in my experience you can only start sorting incidents out by their category in the first instance, before you drill down even further.

Hope this helps
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gnome
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Tue Jul 27, 2010 6:54 am

how are events handled? what do everyone think about having event monitoring duties shared with service desk?
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UKVIKING
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Tue Jul 27, 2010 8:51 am

What is an event ?

Are you talking about things like
The Final Four ?
World Series /
Super Bowl ?
Ryder Cup ?
The World Cup
Grand National ?
Kentucky Derby ?

or

Are you talking about an event in an IT Environment ?

usually, the SD team manages / monitors the various tools - NMS, etc and deals with things that happen by using their tool to create incident tickets. and then these get dealt with

or if there is a dedicated team, they will deal with the event as required
John Hardesty
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gnome
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Tue Jul 27, 2010 7:33 pm

I'm referring to event mgmt. SD can be proactive by looking out for events from those tools predominantly utilised by ops team.
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thechosenone69
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Wed Jul 28, 2010 4:26 am

Gnome,

An event is a change of state that has significance for the management of a configuration item or IT service.

There are 3 types of events: exception, warning and information.

To be able to monitor those, you need to have the right toolset in place. However, I think what you are trying to refer to is warning events, those events are generated when a service or device are approaching a threshold. In that case you take actions before it becomes an exception(service or device is currently operating abnormally).
Ali Makahleh
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“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." W. Edwards Deming.
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gnome
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Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:34 am

Hey Chosenone, Yep sorry for not being very specific. Monitoring Warning could be something proactive SD can take up on. This should be ideally done by someone in SD with many years of experience with the CI's in use.
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UKVIKING
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Wed Jul 28, 2010 8:43 am

Gnome

If the Monitoring tool produces a warning alert, then the SD should raise the appropriate ticket at the appropriate level and hand it off to the appropriate team.

if the appropriate team does nothing and it is appropriate, then both the SD and the appropriate team has done their work

There is really no way the SD can be pro-active as the SD is there to be reactive

What you are trying to do by having the SD be pro-active is change the rules / responsibilities of the SD to do something other than deal with Incidents and the customer communication about the incidents.

This would be - to me - an attempt to make-work for the SD as the team that should be doing this either isnt or has been deleted and the role / responsibility / work is being fluffed off on some poor team.

this all depends of course on the purpose of the SD and the services that are being provided.

If the SD is a NOC structure, then the NMS tool will be generating a lot of net work traffic alerts - some outage related some not - and the SD would deal with them.

Alerts and Event monitoring are - part of the re-active activities that the SD should be doing.
John Hardesty
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Change Management is POWER & CONTROL. /....evil laughter
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thechosenone69
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Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:46 am

This should be ideally done by someone in SD with many years of experience with the CI's in use.

"Someone" with that experience should become a Configuration Manager, soon to become a Director.
Ali Makahleh
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ITILV2 Service Manager(Red Badge),
ITILV3 Expert(Lilac Badge) Certified.

“If you can't describe what you are doing as a process, you don't know what you're doing." W. Edwards Deming.
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