Customers often don’t understand all that goes into incident and request management. On their end, they submit a problem and wait for it to be resolved. However, in the IT department, processes that are either complex or simple, automated or manual, get triggered and the incident management processes start, with or without customer communication.
The customer may have a perspective that IT Management is complex, inefficient, disorganized, fraught with error, unaccountable and uncommunicative. Hopefully, this doesn’t apply 100% to your IT team but these conditions may apply to you to one degree or another.What steps can IT Management take to improve Incident Management and gain some respect in the organization?
Five Steps to Take to Improve Incident Management
- Streamline: A direct line of sight from the customer to support is critical to creating an effective and efficient business system. As organizations grow, they become complex; you must revolutionize your IT Organization by simplifying it first.
- Organize Processes: Grouping processes together into supporting systems help achieve our first goal of streamlining. This is an excellent opportunity to implement a tool like TeamHeadquarters from Entry Software which groups together IT Help Desk, incident management, project management and project tasks into a single support system. See how this is possible.
- Reduce Human Error: Reducing error can be done in many ways, (refer to my blog post on Six Ways to Strengthen your IT Organization). Additionally adopting traditional tried and true administrative hacks like the “touch it once” concept can dramatically improve effectiveness and efficiency. Critically, adding additional complication is not the answer. Simplifying, streamlining and organizing is the way to reduce human error.
- Measure: You get what you measure so measure what you expect. A simple concept and entirely unpopular. Measurement of the right metric can bring your team alive, not cow them. Find the right key measurement for each person, tie it into the streamlining and organizing phase and watch your productivity and quality rise.
- Communicate: Tying the customer into the communication process is critical to solving their problem. Small issues are easy to deal with quickly but larger ones that take some time to complete need regular updates to the stakeholders. Don’t forget to communicate!
The benefits of streamlining, organizing, reducing error, measuring and communicating may be lost on organizations with a higher level of IT maturity. These benefits and the concepts may even be lost on those that have low levels of IT maturity. However; these five concepts apply to any organization, at any size and maturity. This can be said with great certainty since the concept of Hitting the Ceiling, (where the limits of the organization are met), and the associated studies tell us that you are going to hit the ceiling sometime within the next five years.
Therefore, in an effort to continually improve, you should always be considering these five concepts and developing some of your own too.