Developing a help desk strategy is the first step to formalizing your help desk and implementing ITIL®. The process you need to execute to improve your IT help desk strategy is:
- Develop your strategy. To develop your strategy, you will gather the information you need to write the strategy. Data required includes writing up your services, defining your markets and writing up your offering.
- Map your strategy processes. There are three strategy processes that you will develop. These are your financial management, service portfolio, and demand management processes.
- Write your strategy. With your information to hand and your processes mapped you can then put together a strategy that reflects the reality of your organization.
Developing your Strategy
- Services Listing: Develop a list of services to use throughout your strategy processes. Through the strategy process, the services list will grow with other dimensions that could include, market, value, provider, etc. To do this, it’s helpful to have a format that you can follow. Download this service-catalogue-template that you can use to chart the services of your organization.
- Market Definition: Work with departmental (market) peers to understand their needs and evaluating the current asset / service list to determine what is needed or not needed.
- Offering development: Working with your markets, develop strategies that will satisfy their business needs and align IT with their goals and objectives.
Service Strategy Processes
There are three processes that you need to define in Service Desk Management. These are:
- Financial management for IT services,
- Service portfolio management and
- Request management.
Financial Management Strategy for IT Services
Acquisitions, payroll, and accounts payable deliver much of the financial information the business needs without much interaction from you. You may, however also be asked for:
- Annual budgets
- Resource utilization reports
- Work distribution reports
Your strategy should include how to deliver these and from where the data will come.
You may also require information to manage your team that your finance department does not give. Sound financial strategies will aid you and the team in identifying relevant information and measuring various activities. You may ask yourself:
- How will you manage the assets and resources of the IT department? What ideas do you want others to consider in their management of their assets and resources?
- How will your department account for its assets and resources? Do you have reporting requirements from another department that affects their strategy?
- What type of financial information is required by management to make decisions about the project portfolio, assets, and resources? How can you deliver it to them efficiently, routinely?
Service Management Strategy
Without specifying services, give some thought how you’ll manage services, generically. If someone sends you a request for a new service; how will you approve/disapprove it? How will you maintain the list of services? What data do you want to collect?
What happens when a service comes up for renewal? Most software today renews annually and how you go through the process of renewing can make a big difference to your small company.
How do you deploy services? Do you do it cowboy style or do you have a defined process that you should use? You decide, write it down and use it as your strategy for deployment. You can also apply a similar policy to decommissioning a service.
How will a service be rationalized? Why should you spend money on it? Is there an ROI? Is it a business requirement, the law of the land, nice to have?
What are your service level agreements? (keep it to a minimum (2 or 3))
|Service requests||i.e. Service request intake is through the customer self-service portal and must include all required decision-making documentation.|
|Service level agreements|
How will you address increases in demand with a finite set of resources and services? Demand is variable in its nature and managing it is vital to the success of the organization. Setting SLA’s, vendor expectation, resource expectation and financial buffers are factors to consider when strategizing demand management.
How will you examine your demand to predict future requirement and optimize current resources?
How can you capture/release resources and when can you do it? How severe does the situation need to be to bring in additional, temporary or permanent, resources?
Tips for Developing your SMB Service Desk Strategy
- Start with a plan. It should consider how you are going to gather the information required, how to execute the strategy and monitor and control it.
- Work with other managers and your team to develop real strategies that reflect the practicality of your work culture and are easy to remember and apply.
- Start where you know most of the answers. You will likely be able to put together the services management list quite quickly. Then, migrate into demand management and finally work up through financial management to develop a complete strategy.
- Review the strategy with your peers. Engage peers early in the development of the plan and then keep them working with you as you go through the process. It’ll keep your strategy grounded, and others engaged with you.