Hiring Techs Without Hiring a Tech

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IT Service Managers | IT Service Delivery | IT Project Manager

One of the Service Managers at Systems Engineering commented that call volume into the Help Desk is significantly higher this year over last year. Conversations in last month’s MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Group conference call also included ticket counts being up as much as 20%. In both cases, the volume of service requests is significantly higher than the expansion of the Customer base.

Hiring Techs Not An Option? Here Are Some Alternatives.

In addition to volume, the average remediation time per service request has also significantly increased year over year. The prevailing thought on what is driving this phenomenon is the Shift-Left  initiatives.

Shift-Left initiatives take easy-to-fix, short duration requests and push them to less skilled Resources or Self-Help portals, as in the case of the password resets.

Based on the articles posted over the last four weeks, hiring our way out of the situation is not an option. So what do we do?

Reduce Time to Completion and Volume of Open Tickets

Two main initiatives discussed on various blog sites seem to be gaining traction:

* Reducing the Time to Completion by identifying and eradicating slack time

* Reducing the volume of Open Tickets through Root Cause Analysis, Ticket close-out checklists, and proactive advanced Network Administration visits.

More on Reducing Time to Completion

Have you ever wondered why Time to Completion is measured in days and Remediation Effort (billable time) is measured in hours? In the January MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Group  face-to-face meeting, Roy Atkinson from HDI “The Association of IT Support Professionals”  spoke about the importance of providing a great Customer Experience. He introduced the group to “journey mapping” and working with Customers to find where their frustrations are in the service request “cradle-to-grave” process.

Further discussion was heard at the New England Chapter of HDI,. In the March 29th local chapter meeting, Chris Gallacher, from Forester, presented CX4IT – Customer Experience for IT. The discussion was a deep-dive into journey mapping and how to use it to determine the slack time in the service delivery process. I attended both presentations, and after mentally processing the impact on service delivery operations, journey mapping seems to have merit.

Not All Open Tickets Are Created Equal

Managing the volume of Open Tickets by widget or report does not tell the whole story or give Service Managers the information needed to empower them to meet Customers’ needs. Not all tickets are created equal. Tickets for projects or installations are a good thing, and one we warmly embrace.

A method of tracking the average volume of open tickets per Customer or issue type, compared to current volume, would be more useful. Another method of identifying where the volume of open tickets is worthy of a Service Manager’s time and effort is with monthly incident-hours per end-point/end-user metrics.

After the IT Service Manager Has Identified Customer or Issue Type,

Once a Customer or issue type has been identified, the Service Manager has several techniques in his tool belt to address the spikes and to reduce the volume of open tickets. Service Managers have three proactive techniques that are very effective in driving down the volume of open tickets:

* Root Cause Analysis

* Technicians answering the question “What can we do to prevent this issue from reoccurring?” at the time of completion

* Proactive advanced Network Administration visits

For more Information on HDI

For more information on MSP-Ignite Service Manager Peer Groups

For more information about Stephen Buyze

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