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Chris Powderly, Support & Services Manager, Allens
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So, you are looking to replace your aging ticketing system. I have been the project lead to replace such a system and have successfully carried out the task, and I can tell you it can be a daunting job!
You want to follow best practices on this project, selecting the best quality system for the lowest price that meets your needs (and that is very important). Remember that there are probably a thousand ticketing systems out there, from free GNU products to more expensive systems. The features and functionality all vary, along with the non-functionality aspects (flexibility, ability to scale, ability to integrate, etc.). Some are SaaS, others are on-premises software and technology. Some are feature rich, others less so.
A word to the wise: do not be "tool driven." Be strategy, process, and ROI driven. As a consultant, I have also helped a major medical care organization select a replacement for their aging ticketing system. At the time, they had a seven-year-old system that had gone through lots of customization, to the extent that it could no longer be updated or effectively maintained. It could no longer be integrated with other new support systems, due to the lack of interface capability. It was failing regularly, impacting service and support provision and the organization’s performance as a whole.
There is a step-by-step process for the selection process described in the ITIL books, but essentially the best-practice steps for going about this sort of project include the following:
Realize going in that implementing a new ticketing system involves not just changing a system, but also the people and processes connected to that system. Thus, it should be handled as a significant organizational change in your support center—one that must be managed and executed carefully. A step-by-step process approach as outlined above will minimize risk of failure and maximize the likelihood of success.
Once the major capabilities of the new system are up and running, celebrate your success and congratulate your team and all those who were supportive during the roll-out. Business and technology change is a fact of life today, so keep the momentum going by ensuring you have a small cross-functional team to monitor and ensure ongoing maintenance and continual improvement of the system, process, and people involved.
Paul is the president and principal consultant of Optimal Connections LLC. With more than 30 years of experience in planning and managing technology services, Paul has held numerous positions in both support and management for companies such as Motorola, FileNet, and QAD. He is also experienced in service desk infrastructure development, support center consolidation, deployment of web portals and knowledge management systems, as well as service marketing strategy and activities. Currently Paul delivers a variety of services to IT organizations, including Support Center Analyst and Manager training, ITIL Foundation and Intermediate level training, Best-Practice Assessments, Support Center Audits, and general IT consulting. His degrees include a BA and an MBA. Paul is certified in most ITIL Intermediate levels and is a certified ITIL Expert. He is also on the HDI Faculty and trains for ITpreneurs, Global Knowledge, Phoenix TS, and other training organizations. For more about Paul, please visit www.optimalconnections.com.
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