The Do’s and Don’ts of Service Desk Implementation
Have you ever been excited about a project or under a tight deadline and jumped right in rather than taking pause to plan? Without proper planning, one is not likely to achieve the outcome one desires. Planning and due diligence enable teams to identify timelines, set expectations, and identify potential obstacles along the way. When planning a major IT environment change, such as adding an outsourced service desk to your organization, thorough planning is critical.
A successful service desk implementation is an intensive, full-time job that requires several weeks to correctly establish systems, processes, and communication pathways for a new service desk. Many components need to be addressed in order to deliver a successful implementation, starting with the kick-off meeting followed by discovery, documentation review, access, and messaging to the end-users. Without fully addressing these components, Day One of the new service desk will be challenging and less effective. The do’s and don’ts of implementation are laid out below in the order in which they tend to occur.
Don’t – Let others relay messages and timelines to stakeholders
- Without all the key stakeholders together in the first meeting, information may not be relayed or explained correctly. If you have ever played “Whisper Down the Alley” or “The Telephone Game,” you understand how messages get unintentionally distorted when they pass through multiple people. Miscommunication delays progress and potentially, the start of services. Without a proper first meeting with everyone involved, the teams cannot set expectations with each other, which could lead to further disruptions and frustration.
Do – Hold a kickoff meeting with ALL stakeholders
- The primary goal of the kickoff meeting is to pull together the client and provider teams and clarify what is being implemented for services, understand who the key players are for the exchange of information, client and provider expectations, and when the target go-live date is for the start of services.
Don’t – Provide only some environment or process information
- Less effective, or lack of meetings, and superficial document review lead to missed or confused critical information and flawed processes. This affects not only the go-live date, but ongoing end-user support as well. If the Level 1 service desk is less effective, those unnecessarily escalated support requests will affect the high-tiered IT teams, possibly derailing strategic IT projects.
Do – Have a robust Discovery process that includes documentation review
- The Discovery Process is the most critical component in an implementation. Internal support groups work directly with the provider to share important information about the environment. The exchange of information includes reviewing existing documentation and making recommendations for improving or changing to new processes. This transfer of knowledge enables the provider’s team to be more effective on Day One and diminishes the impact on user support as the new provider learns the environment.
Don’t – Lock access because they are an outside provider
- A quality service desk provider should act as an extension of their client’s IT team. Without access, the service desk agents have limited ability to resolve the end-user’s issues, impacting user perception. That means your organization instituted a major change, dealt with disruptions, and paid for a call center to pass messages to the internal teams.
Do – Provide as much access as possible to the service desk team
- Agents with more access, and the correct documentation, resolve more tickets. Delivering a positive user experience requires giving as much access as possible to the Level 1 agents. This includes access to the client’s environment via a site-to-site VPN, access to a jump box within the client environment, and access to the client ticketing system and support tools. This not only enables the service desk to resolve more issues, but keeps other support teams focused on their own responsibilities.
Don’t – Keep users in the dark
- Not providing information and context to users before launching the new services creates confusion, negativity, and complaints from the end-users. Changes to procedures often create anxiety or frustrations for most people.
Do – Send out messages to the end-users
- With any new service, there needs to be clear communication to the users about the new processes. How do they access this new service? What is the benefit of the new service? When does this service begin? Even something as simple as an email with contact methods and a positive message can put users at ease. Sending out information with clear steps and a reassuring message will mitigate user confusion.
- Whether you are exploring adding an outsourced service desk or looking for a change, a smooth implementation leads to a service desk that is up and running faster and is more effective from day one.