Service Desk Upgrade Projects Phase In Post-Launch Capabilities

Illustration of people building a wall together with puzzle pieces

There are many instances when end-user support requirements can’t afford to wait until all of the pieces of the technology puzzle are in place. In some cases, Level 1 support goes live while clients are in the process of reviewing alternate ticketing systems. In other cases, clients may choose to add services to the ticketing system already in place at the time of service launch. Understandably, many prioritize the initial scope of services by focusing on the more urgent and reactive ITIL based processes such as incident and problem management in order to maintain stable IT operations. But once that stability has been achieved and there is a break in the action post-launch, it’s the ideal time to implement more ambitious business processes that either prevent future service interruptions or facilitate and automate tasks that previously may have been unstructured or manually driven. Unfortunately, such a fundamental, large-scale shift in how enterprise IT departments operate, how additional workflows are defined and developed, is not accomplished with a flip of a switch. The endeavor requires dedicated resources working directly with the client, preferably on site, to enable uninterrupted collaboration through its completion. Common service desk expansion items that require such intense focus for the duration of the project include the following:

Change Management

Any IT Service Management platform with ITIL verified change management capabilities enables the client to propose, review, approve, implement and verify changes to its IT infrastructure. Branching steps, priority tagging, and integration with the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) allow changes to be enacted according to defined business rules and policies thus ensuring adherence to configuration standards. Implementing a successful change management process means the service desk development team must deliver the following essentials:

  • A standardized workflow with approval branching for normal or emergency change requests including assessment, impact analysis and post-implementation review.
  • A standardized form for the submission and update of change requests.
  • An established Change Advisory Board (CAB) and Emergency CAB membership for designated IT staff members.
  • Integration with the CMDB and Configuration Items (CIs).
  • Access to ad-hoc reports allowing user-defined queries of key change request information.

Asset Management

The service desk development team typically configures Asset Management within the ITSM platform using data provided by the client.  Then it creates a template with field and format requirements established with the client’s approval in preparation of loading the asset data into the platform. The service desk typically conducts the initial import of assets using the appropriate data provided by the client, but once these assets have been successfully stored within the ITSM platform, the client is responsible for all ongoing maintenance within the asset management interface. The reason is that the service desk may monitor service requests for new devices in the ticketing system, but it is not always privy to Procurement of all hardware and other assets. So those updates are best managed by the appropriate internal IT group.

HR Processes for New Hires and Separations

In order to ensure timely and accurate provisioning of all assets, user accounts, and access privileges for new hires or to promptly disable those privileges for recently terminated staff, developing an automated workflow and approval process is vital. Any manual or by rote HR system introduces both data security risks for long-departed employees and potentially leaves new staff lacking in resources on day one. To remedy this, the service desk development team can design forms that submit new hire requests into the ticketing system. The form should allow for fields such as the new employee’s name, freeform notes field for describing any additional hardware, software, accounts, and telephony needs, etc. For terminations, the developer can also create forms to submit basic termination requests including the employee’s name, intended termination date, and a freeform notes field for describing any additional comments or tasks regarding the termination. These requests, upon submission, allow for management approval before being considered authorized. They can subsequently generate multiple notifications of individual tasks to those responsible (i.e. purchasing, desktop team members, and HR staff) once the request has been approved. Reminder prompts can also be set up at regular intervals, emailing owners of pending tasks still assigned to them until each step in the process is executed.

No matter when the service desk solution was launched, all IT organizations must consider the infinite combination of unique workflows, rules, and forms that can be customized making all replicable business process more efficient over the long term. There are no limitations on what projects can be added and when, because it’s never too late to upgrade the capabilities of your service desk.