This idea of diagnosing and solving problems at the front-end of the process rather than waiting for a major incident to occur mimics the findings that led to the “Shift left” revolution in software development. The goal of optimizing the service desk incident management process by applying the “Shift left” practice is to enable and empower less technically experienced resources to solve more issues earlier in the incident life-cycle and generally moving interaction points closer to your customer to reduce escalations, improve first-time fix rate, reduce cost of service, and improve customer experience.
An example of the “Shift left” practice applied to improving the service desk is to build some core diagnostic questions into your user self-help portal.
This goes even further then just enabling your technical service desk personnel to do more, but it pushes it to the users to apply fixes themselves. When embarking on a “Shift left” program, you must ensure that you align workflows, roles and responsibilities, as well as your performance system for how these support resources are being supported and rewarded, including having proper metrics.
Here are some basic best practices that is recommended to initiate your thinking process for improving your service desk using the “Shift left” practice. You should consider the steps described below if you want to be successful. Some of the listed steps can be delegated to the service desk but not all should. There are specific cases such as security, privacy or other restrictions that may prevent an organization from delegating tasks that are currently performed by other support groups to the service desk, these tasks must be assessed carefully before it is delegated.
1. Know what to measure, gather and analyze the data
2. Select high value targets where improvement can be gained first
3. Empower the service desk employees with proper policies, training and tools
4. Establish the required escalation triggers
5. Test your new operational model before making it operational
6. Keep measuring performance
7. Scale your improvements based on the performance results
At Fifalde, this is what we do every day. We have experienced specialists that help organizations to go through these optimization processes of discovering, assessing, analyzing and defining what could be done in better ways, plan the improvements, implement and validate success. We do this for service
organizations with respect to any part of their service offering.
We also believe that we can help but that any organization should have the means to help itself, that means having proper resources, processes, tools, and partnerships. For this reason, we also train our clients on how to do it by themselves, making the whole improvement process more sustainable for the clients.