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We are starting to work on defining an ITIL-based problem management process. I'm looking for information to help us accomplish this. Our help desk actually has defined an incident management process. Can you help?
There is no better time then now to define your Problem Management process because there are so many resources available. I recommend the following from HDI to get you started: 1. "Implementing Service & Support Management Processes: A Practical Guide." This is an HDI book that every support operation should have in its library. Chapter 9-Capacity & Workforce Management, is an excllent resource for implementing PM. It has a step-by-step guide, checklists and diagrams that will tell you almost everything you need to know. 2. HDI has also just released a DVD by the support center consultant, Malcom Fry, called "Speaker Series: ITIL Processes by Malcom Fry." It covers Incident Mgmt & Problem Mgmt., among other ITIL standards. 3. I also recommend a non-HDI paper from Pink Elephant. You have to ask for it specifically, but it's called "IT Service Desk Health Check & Action Plan." They'll sendit to you via email
   
We are trying to establish defiinitions for job skill levels. We thought that using year of IT experience was the best way to go however, the application of this approach is difficult. The concern over using years of experience was, as an example, if a new hire had 7 years previous experience, this would typically put them in a Level 3 status with the expectation of that skillset level. That may not be realistic given much of the requirements to have that skill level are based upon specific knowledge and experience in our organization. So do you see my situation?
not knowing any specifics about your organization, all I can do is generalize, so here goes: 1. Discuss this problem with your HR folks before you do anything else; these types of problems have been around for decades and you'll need their input if for no other reason that you need to be in compliance with the latest changes to regulations implementing the Fair Labor Standards Act; 2. Every organization has a degree of knowledge that is unique, but you should be hiring for specific skills, attitude and learning ability. All you can do is interview the best people you can afford and ask a lot of questions, and hope for the best. It's always a risk; 3. Speaking as an outsider, I would question what is so unique about your organization? IT is IT; Support is support. I would argue that it is always a mistake to think there is anything unique about your organization, it tends to cloud perspective; 4. As to the mechanics of writing definitions for the skills levels, again, check with HR first and include both the skills you are looking for and the desired years of experience. With the proliferation of certification programs in the last 10 years, you'll want to see as much practical experience as possible. Hope this helps.
   
We currently have our customer facing support center and our employee facing support centers seperate and under seperate leadership. There is an initiative to possibly bring both groups under one leadership. What are the pros & cons of doing this? What should we be considering with a move like this? My first thought is "why not" but thought I would get your opinion on this topic. There must be something I am not considering.
the pros and cons depend on the nature of your business and what is best for your customers. In general. the trends we've seen have been towards consolidation and cost savings whenever possible. *I have some good material that discusses the various aspects of consolidation. If you'd like this material, send me a request via Email with -HD Consolidation- in the Subject Line to info@marex-na.org and I'll send the material to you.
   
We currently have our Help Desk staffed in our IT Data Operations Center. They all sit at workstations and share a single large curved desk where they are able to view some system monitoring displays. They sit very close together and the area can get very noisy at times with system admin traffic. Are there any recommendations or best practices for where Help Desks normally reside within companies, and what the typical physical layout for a corporate Help Desks would be?
my recommendation is and it is also a best practice, to get the help desk staff a place of its own to work in just as quickly as possible!! Having the HD staff mixed in with the Ops people is just a bad working environment for everyone. HD staff have to think, and react quickly to the varying emotions of customers and that is hard to do with 6 other conversations going on around you. All the current situation is doing is adding to the stress of an already stressful job. Imagine how awful the background noise must be for the customer, as well. I'm sure there are customers that don't call at all just because they don't want to have to hear the background noise--that's a serious problem for the reputation of the HD and the IT department. It is just crazy to have the two groups so close together; that's 1980's thinking. The HDI eStore has a book called, "The Help Desk Handbook," by Ron Muns that discusses workspace and the value of it for employees. It has some excellent pictures as well. If I can help further, please contact me directly at info@marex-na.org
   
We currently send customer satisfaction surveys to the end user after a ticket has been closed. Last month, of the 2371 tickets closed, only 230 people filled out the survey. This is about 9.7% response rate. We are in healthcare. Is 9.7% a good return rate for healthcare? Are there industry standars for customer survey return rates?
we don't have any stats on survey rates of return in the healthcare sector, but my guess is that they would be low because of the stress & high workload involved in the sector. Return rates are influenced by several factors such as: *There were too many questions on the survey *There had been another survey recently *The respondents do not recognize your services *Sometimes a low rate of return correlates with a low level of satisfaction Try to identify what customers are receiving surveys repeated basis & ask them to honor your request. You may also want to consider focus group feedback sessions *I recommend that you look at your surveying program from the customer's perspective-what's in it for them to complete a survey, especially if they just completed one a few days or hours before. If you have any questions, let me know at info@marex-na.org
   
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