Ranger4 DevOps Blog

DevOps and Your Service Desk

Posted by Daniel Breston on Wed, Jan 13, 2016 @ 15:01 PM

Let me ask you a question: why do you have an IT Service Desk?

service-desk.jpgAfter all no one gets paid to call a Service Desk, or hang on the line or wait for service. No one likes to call a Service Desk. So why do you have a team of people waiting to get called? What value do they add?

Ah you say! Things break or we get asked questions or make requests. Well, why do they break? How involved is your Service Desk in fixing things or at least getting ready to fix things? What do people need to know that they cannot find on the company wiki or using the internet? As for requests, how many of us order things by calling someone or instead hit a few buttons and order completed?

So back to my question why have a Service Desk? Now between you and me, I frankly like having one. I like the comfort they give me. I also like how they make people happy with what we are doing.

Service Desks provide:

  • Knowledge
  • Collaboration
  • Communication
  • Resolution
  • Request to order processing
  • Advice
  • Tracking of issues
  • Escalation
  • And more

How do we treat the Service Desk?

Is the Service Desk an entry-level role? Let me restate: is the person that makes us look good, can help us see what is really happening, is the first person customers talk to and usually the last; also the person we pay and train the least and make it difficult to move into other roles. People don't trust IT because things break so let’s make sure we support their image by creating a Service Desk of low cost, under-trained or informed, always changing staff is the current methodology of many organisations.

The Service Desk is the heart and soul of any technology organisation. Who knows more about what is really good, great or bad? Who knows which applications or services are troublesome and which contribute? Who knows who answers their phone to help or who says yes we are aware and then the event simply continues?

Change your feedback loop and thinking

What if:

  • You place the Service Desk at the top of your organisation
  • You gave them the power to own a major incident or problem
  • You gave them business knowledge
  • You moved them into the service or application value stream as fully engaged team members?
  • You had them involved in the earliest possible stages of business case creation or design
  • You moved them into the business as IT Customer/Business Relationship Managers
  • You made them a mandatory part of every Change approval meeting

What would happen to what you do now?  How would this thinking impact your work, service, governance and culture?

DevOps your Service Desk

DevOps encourages learning so I became the Service Desk mentor and everyday we walked together through the business or talked to a supplier so they could learn to see what the customer was truly feeling. What was the impact to the desk team or the people I met? We solved problems while introducing and listening to the Face-of-IT. This was the heart of our DevOps model: serving customers, letting all get involved to solve issues and create great countermeasures.

Having problems getting your PMO and Development teams talk to the rest of IT? Let the Service Desk facilitate and mediate. Having issues in your applications or services? Train your Service Desk in problem management root-cause analysis techniques. Not sure just how good you really are? Let your Service Desk report on KPIs, service availability or capacity.

Challenge your desk and they will help train the rest of the organisation. Train your desk so they do this daily. Let them have fun. What do you think?

Topics: DevOps, ITSM, Service Desk