Planned vs unplanned work
Resource clarity when combining help desk with project management.

When planning resources for your IT organization there can never be too much resource clarity.  Who’s available and, what skills do they have are two resource-based questions but what about other points of clarification?

  • Do they fit culturally?
  • Are they using the systems operationally that you use to manage the team?
  • Are they working from prioritized lists?
  • Are their external and internal communications in line with corporate minimums?
  • Are customers able to easily access the service they require?
  • Have your customers been trained to utilize service effectively?

You may want to develop a software strategy (see: Help Desk Software Strategy Development)

Seven steps that will help you provide clarity for both your resources and customers.

  1. Set a standard for your organization that all work must be assigned, managed and prioritized using tickets and tasks from a project management and help desk software system.
  2. During the initial stages, have frequent, short one-on-one meetings to review the working list with your IT resources. This stage is very important as it sets the tone for the newly adopted working style and helps with the transition of change.
  3. Conduct frequent, unannounced drop-in visitations with your staff to encourage the new working paradigm and assist your colleagues. Reiterate the fact that their working life will become that much more controlled and simplified when the get out of “The Blur”.
  4. Communicate via writing how all work will be formalized with your staff and their customers. It’s important that everyone in the organization understands how formalizing the work within an automated work management system will improve the quality of work and timeliness.
  5. Provide a simple customer service portal for self-serve help desk and project request submissions. This will provide your customers (internal or external) with an easy way to submit requests and view the status of the work without having to bother your staff.
  6. Kindly return work requests to the customer who makes the request via email, phone messages or “hall tackles” with simple instructions on where and how to place a formal work request using the self-service customer service portal. You will need to train your customers as well as your IT staff.
  7. Change your voicemail to announce, “All work requests must be placed via the customer service portal located at the following URL address”. Make your cell phone number available in case of an extreme emergency only.

In order to track your progress, continue to meet with your IT staff on a regular basis and ask them one simple question: “What are you working on today”? If they are out of “The Blur” then they should have a short working list and feel confident that they can meet their daily objectives. Once you get out of “The Blur” it becomes easy to feel when you are starting to slip back in.

Your natural instinct will have you prioritizing your work on a regular basis to avoid re-entering “The Blur”. Meetings will become more productive and be centred on your work issues, not meeting to discuss what you are going or might do.

Once you have reduced or even eliminated “The Blur” you will notice some interesting changes in your organization resource clarity. See how TeamHeadquarters can get you out of “The Blur”.

  • Your staff will have more control over their work-life and have a much more positive attitude.
  • You will proactively receive positive feedback from your internal and external customers. 
  • The phone calls to your help desk will reduce. 
  • The slip-through-the-crack syndrome will be virtually eliminated.
  • No more deer in the headlights look from your IT staff; no more disgruntled customers. 
  • The calls to upper management by irate customers will be dramatically reduced. 
  • You will find out very quickly who your troubled customers are and proactively work with them. 
  • Your IT staff will be viewed as a more professional group than in the past.

A demonstration of TeamHeadquarters will provide you with a complete understanding of how a combined project management and help desk system can help obtain resource clarity in your organization.