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Testimonial: I have found that the new HDAA Knowledge Base reduces the time it takes me to research industry stats & reliable information for the ITSM sector. It’s easy to use search functionality encompassing KCS principles, helps to filter & tailor my searches more accurately & there are numerous new services now available through the website. Every time I return to the site there is new information published. Very impressive.
Chris Powderly, Support & Services Manager, Allens
supportworld , metrics and measurements , service desk , business of support , business value
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Part of running a service desk is having to ask for more: more resources, more tools, and more time. One of the top challenges our community has is the dreaded doing more with less. It’s amazing how successful support teams and managers have been at accomplishing more with less, as I mentioned in a recent webinar (available on demand). Year after year, a majority of respondents report that the volume of tickets has gone up, but we know—at least in most cases—their budgets have not kept pace. The scope of services offered has broadened and organizations’ dependence on technology has increased. Support centers have become masters of doing more with less.
Unfortunately, sometimes powering through and getting things done means cutting corners. It means being understaffed. It means worrying about meeting metrics targets instead of improving services. It means constantly asking, “How can we deflect contacts? What’s the least expensive option, even if it’s not really the right option? What can we shave off without having our customer satisfaction go down?” We struggle to get by because we struggle to get buy-in.
What we often wind up with is a willingness to settle for the bare minimum in everything we do. We have a minimum workforce. We meet service level agreements (SLAs), but don’t improve on them or raise the bar—even if only a little bit—for next year. We have too little time to think, to plan, to develop our people—and ourselves.
So how can you convince your organization to invest more without sounding like a whiner?
Once you’ve got the right numbers and understand what they mean, you can begin to frame your narrative—and it really should be a story. Consider the difference between these two statements:
Which one has more impact? Which one reflects a clear view of “the whole board,” namely how weather-driven absences drove up hold time. (Maybe there’s an argument for home-based work here.)
Flat or decreasing budgets are a reality for most of us. What we can do is learn to re-prioritize based on the real needs of our organizations. Your metrics can help you understand what those needs are, as well as communicate them to those who can help. Look at the whole board.
Roy Atkinson is one of the top influencers in the service and support industry. His blogs, presentations, research reports, white papers, keynotes, and webinars have gained him an international reputation. In his role as senior writer/analyst, he acts as HDI's in-house subject matter expert, bringing his years of experience to the community. He holds a master’s certificate in advanced management strategy from Tulane University’s Freeman School of Business, and he is a certified HDI Support Center Manager. Follow him on Twitter @RoyAtkinson.
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