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Build a Service Support Strategy

Get service support and the business on the same page.

  • Service desks are evolving to reflect social and technological changes. As organizations become more complex, their service desks are turning into highly skilled business technology service hubs.
  • Increasingly, service desks are measuring the performance of technology services and acting as the dashboard for assessing the success of service operations.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • There is a growing demand for service desks to demonstrate business value. Service desks that cannot deliver and communicate their contribution to the organization are closing or being outsourced.

Impact and Result

  • Articulating a clear service support strategy that aligns with business objectives is the most important activity an infrastructure leader can do for the IT department and the organization.
  • The key is to identify the business capabilities required to execute the corporate strategy. Supporting these business capabilities will drive the service support strategy and focus the service desk’s efforts on achieving the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Ultimately, the success of your service support function will hinge on whether you know your business goals and challenges, connect them to meaningful initiatives, and identify service support process owners accountable for specific roles and responsibilities.

Build a Service Support Strategy Research & Tools

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should build a service support strategy, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you in completing this project.

1. Design target state

Analyze emerging service support trends to understand shifts in the industry and document the IT strategy to define the target state for service support.

2. Assess current state

Identify critical success factors and key performance indicators for service support and review process strengths and challenges.

3. Develop recommendations

Identify target service support initiatives and plan implementation.


Member Testimonials

After each Info-Tech experience, we ask our members to quantify the real-time savings, monetary impact, and project improvements our research helped them achieve. See our top member experiences for this blueprint and what our clients have to say.

9.0/10


Overall Impact

$12,399


Average $ Saved

20


Average Days Saved

Client

Experience

Impact

$ Saved

Days Saved

ABB

Guided Implementation

9/10

$12,399

20


Onsite Workshop: Build a Service Support Strategy

Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Design Target State

The Purpose

  • Review service support trends and document high-level IT strategy.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Understanding of service support trends and identification of strategic goals, objectives, and capabilities

Activities

Outputs

1.1

Review service support trends.

  • Review of service support trends
1.2

Document IT vision, mission, and principles.

  • Documented high-level IT strategy
1.3

Define scope of service support.

  • Documented high-level IT strategy
1.4

Determine goals and capabilities.

  • Documented high-level IT strategy
1.5

Identify CSFs and KPIs.

  • CSFs and KPIs

Module 2: Analyze Current State

The Purpose

  • Identify strategic critical success factors and KPIs and assess process strengths and challenges.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • Current-state assessment of service support

Activities

Outputs

2.1

Perform maturity assessment.

  • Current service support strengths and challenges
2.2

Review diagnostics.

  • Current service support strengths and challenges
2.3

Identify challenges.

  • Current service support strengths and challenges
2.4

Perform SWOT.

  • Current service support strengths and challenges
2.5

Identify areas for improvement.

  • Key areas for improvement
2.6

Document in-flight initiatives and current capabilities.

  • In-flight initiatives and current capabilities

Module 3: Develop Recommendations

The Purpose

  • Identify target initiatives and plan implementation.

Key Benefits Achieved

  • List of key improvement initiatives along with risks, dependencies, and milestones

Activities

Outputs

3.1

Perform a gap analysis.

  • Target service support initiatives
3.2

Identify key initiatives and tie them to capabilities and goals.

  • Target service support initiatives
3.3

Create profiles for each initiative.

  • Target service support initiatives
3.4

Use the Service Support Strategy Roadmap to sequence initiatives.

  • Implementation plan
3.5

Create a Lean Canvas to communicate strategy.

  • High-level project communication plan

Build a Service Support Strategy

Get service support and the business on the same page.

ANALYST PERSPECTIVE

"The so-called demise of IT has caused much hand-wringing lately. Cloud, BYOD, consumerization: all trends point to a shift in the traditional role of internal IT departments. Many are becoming hybrids, focused as much on vendor management as on traditional service provision. Where does that leave service support? As long as technology continues to develop, there will be a need for people to sort out complex, time-consuming issues. These are not necessarily limited to recovering from incidents when things go wrong; they also include getting to the incidents’ root causes, fulfilling requests, and rolling out changes and releases. The strategic direction of your service desk will depend in part on the complexity of your organization, and the convenience and quality of the service it provides."

Michel Hebert, PhD

Director, Infrastructure Operations Practice

Info-Tech Research Group

Executive Summary

Situation

  • Service desks are evolving to reflect social and organizational changes. As organizations become ever more technologically complex, service desks have become highly skilled business technology service hubs.
  • Increasingly, service desks are measuring the performance of technology services and acting as the dashboard for assessing the success of service operations.

Complication

  • There is a growing demand for service desks to demonstrate greater business value. Services desks that cannot deliver and communicate their contribution to the organization are closing or being outsourced.

Resolution

  • Articulating a clear service support strategy that aligns with business objectives is the most important activity an infrastructure leader can do for the IT department and the organization.
  • The key is to identify the business capabilities required to execute the corporate strategy. Supporting these business capabilities will drive the service support strategy and focus the service desk’s efforts on achieving the strategic goals of the organization.
  • Ultimately, the success of your service support strategy will hinge on whether you know your business goals and challenges, connect them to meaningful initiatives, and identify service support process owners accountable for specific roles and responsibilities.

Use this research to formalize your service support strategy

Intended Audience

  • IT departments who are ready to move out of firefighting mode and plan a strategic direction for service support.
  • IT leaders who need a strategic plan to implement a new service desk or improve an existing one.
  • IT departments who need an efficient way to analyze different options, including changes to structures, processes, or outsourcing relationships.
  • Mature IT departments looking to adapt service support to new environments.

This Research Includes

  • Service desk maturity assessment
  • SWOT analysis
  • Goals cascade
  • Implementation and accountability roadmap

Expected Benefits

  • Long-term funding for multiyear initiatives
  • Greater alignment between IT, the service support function, and the business

WALK AWAY FROM THIS BLUEPRINT WITH:

  1. The critical steps and key players in the service support strategic planning process.
  2. A clear understanding of the business expectations for service support.
  3. Effective short-term and long-term service support strategies.

Is this research right for you?

Research Navigation

A service support strategy will ensure the service support function creates value for the business. Use these questions to find the Info-Tech resources that best align with the outcomes you want to achieve.

Do you need to If you answered yes We also recommend

Build a strategy to meet service support requirements

Follow the guidance in this blueprint.

Consider launching Info-Tech's CIO Business Vision diagnostic.

Improve basic service desk processes?

Review Info-Tech’s blueprint Standardize the Service Desk and Build a Continual Improvement Plan for the Service Desk.

Consider launching Info-Tech’s End User Satisfaction Program.

Map requirements and design an RFP to outsource the service desk?

Review Outsource the Service Desk.

Map the dependencies between service management processes to plan an implementation?

Review Create a Service Management Roadmap

Consider launching Info-Tech’s IT Management & Governance Diagnostic.

Define the internal and external factors affecting the business to formalize your IT strategy?

Review Build an IT Strategy for the Small Enterprise or Rapidly Develop a Visual IT Strategy.

Consider launching Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision diagnostic.

Use the project tools and templates to build key deliverables and accelerate your project

  • Service Desk Maturity Assessment
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet
  • Service Support Strategy Examples
  • IT Vision, Mission, Guiding Principles, and Implications
  • Executive Presentation

The project’s key deliverable is a service support strategy

Info-Tech’s Service Support Strategy Worksheet can be customized to reflect your processes and organization and will help you:

  • Document your organization’s support requirements.
  • Outline existing service support structure, process, and performance.
  • Define strategic goals and objectives.
  • Identify the nature, type, and size of the target service desk.
  • Identify implementation items, risks, dependencies, and accountabilities.

The project blueprint includes four sample service support strategies based on past engagements. Use them to inspire your own work.

Project Map

Phase 1: Design Target State Phase 2: Assess Current State Phase 3: Develop Recommendations

1.1 Review strategy trends

2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

3.1 Identify target initiatives

1.2 Document the IT strategy

2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

3.2 Plan implementation

  • Service Support Goals
  • IT Strategy Review
  • Strategy Trends
  • Governance Metrics
  • Service Desk Maturity Assessment
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Action Plan
  • Target Initiatives
Three circles are displayed. The first circle is labeled: Design Target State. The first circle has an arrow pointing to the second circle. The second circle is labeled: Assess Current State. The second circle has an arrow pointing to the third circle. The third circle is labeled: Develop Recommendations.

What is a service support strategy?

A service support strategy defines a clear path for creating a service support organization with the skills and capabilities the business needs to produce growth, flexibility, and innovation.

A service support strategy will:

  • Organize IT's financial, technical, and human resources around generating business value through service support
  • Provide risk management oversight of service support activities.
  • Identify improvement dependencies.
  • Prioritize service support initiatives.
  • Ensure initiatives help achieve the strategic goals of the organization and yield value over time.
  • Drive lower costs, increased output, and competitive advantage through the alignment of IT activities with drivers of business success.

There’s more than one way to build a business strategy

Consultants, practitioners, and scholars each have different ideas about what strategy is really about based on their emphasis, focus, and scope.

A Venn diagram of three circles is displayed. The first circle is labeled: Customer Driven. The second circle is labeled: Market Driven. The third circle is labeled: Internally Driven. Beside the Venn diagram is a list of seven different ideas about what strategy is really about based on emphasis, focus, and scope of consultants, practitioners, and scholars. The first idea in the list is labeled: Competitive advantage. The second idea in the list is labeled: Process versus content. The third idea in the list is labeled: The 3 Cs approach. The fourth idea in the list is labeled: External versus internal. The fifth idea in the list is labeled: Economic versus organizational. The sixth idea in the list is labeled: Strategic leadership. The seventh idea in the list is labeled: Prescriptive versus descriptive.

This project uses a capabilities approach to service support strategy

An effective service support strategy should be grounded in the organization’s mission, vision, and goals. However, these are too broad to convert into an exhaustive list of projects.

Instead of looking at business goals, narrow your focus to the capability level.

Capabilities are more specific and provide a better foundation from which to derive service support projects. Capabilities are the basic building blocks or “doings” that enable the success of service support and the business. Think of them as organization-level skills embedded in people, processes, and technologies. They represent an organization’s ability to create value.

A diagram of four circles is displayed. The first circle is labeled: Mission. An arrow below the first circle points to the second circle. The second circle is labeled: Vision. An arrow to the right of the second circle points to the third circle. The third circle is labeled: Goals. An arrow above the third circle points to the fourth circle. The fourth circle is labeled: Capabilities.

For better planning outcomes, establish your target state before you identify current capabilities

Base your key initiatives on the strategic requirements of your organization.

  1. Define Your Future State Review your infrastructure roadmap, upcoming initiatives, and business strategy. How will planned initiatives change the way you provide service support? Identify service support risks to execute successfully on the identified initiatives.
  2. Identify Gap in Capabilities Have a close look at your current state. What capabilities do you need to develop or improve? Capabilities should support the delivery of projects and initiatives, enable new or changing operating processes, and mitigate service support risks in your organization.
  3. Define Key Initiatives Take action to address service support gaps, mitigate risks, and deliver projects. Decide whether to build or buy needed capabilities. Identify whether to train, hire, contract, or outsource each capability.

A service support strategy can help you deliver IT innovations that provide a competitive edge

We asked organizations how satisfied they were that IT brought innovative technology to the business to improve its competitive advantage.

53% of end users surveyed were either neutral or dissatisfied with the innovation leadership that IT provided.

A pie graph with three unequal sections is displayed. The pie graph represents how satisfied organizations were that IT brought innovative technology to the business to improve its competitive advantage. The light blue section is labeled: Satisfied. The light blue section is forty-seven percent of the graph. The dark blue section is labeled: Dissatisfied. The dark blue section is thirty-seven percent of the graph. The green section is labeled: Neutral. The green section is sixteen percent of the graph.
“Satisfied” end users gave an average score of 8-10. “Dissatisfied" end users gave an average score of 1-6.
Source: Info-Tech Research Group, 2018. (N=18,900+ respondents from 90 organizations)

A service support strategy can also help you align technology initiatives with your digital strategy

In 2018, Deloitte surveyed 1,437 CIOs and CXOs from 71 countries and 23 industries. Only 10% of CIOs represented vanguard organizations – organizations that had a digital strategy and in which IT is perceived as a market leader.

A diagram of Deloitte's 2018 survey on CIOs is displayed. There are two text boxes above two triangles. The first text box above the first triangle reads: What is the business perception of your IT function's understanding of, readiness for, and responsiveness to digital and emerging tech? The triangle below the first text box is divided into two sections: a dark blue section and a light blue section. The dark blue section reads: Eighty-seven percent perceived IT as fast follower, laggard, or delinquent. The light blue section reads: Thirteen percent perceived IT as market leader. The second text box above the second triangle reads: Does your organization have a clear digital vision and strategy? The triangle below the second text box is divided into two sections: a dark blue section and a light blue section. The dark blue section reads: Forty-two percent said organization has limited or no digital strategy. The light blue section reads: Fifty-eight percent said enterprise or business area digital strategy exists. There is a small green triangle that overlaps the first and second triangles. The green triangle reads: 9.7 percent are Digital Vanguards

An effective service support strategy will improve service desk performance

Embrace Standardization

  • Without standardized processes, organizations become a mass of confusion, redundancies, and cost overruns.
  • Standardized processes are scalable and prevent wasted energy on reinventing solutions to recurring issues.

Increase business satisfaction

  • Improve confidence that the service desk can meet service levels.
  • Create a single point of contact for incidents and requests, and escalate quickly.

Reduce recurring issues

  • Create tickets for every task and categorize them accurately.
  • Generate reliable data to support root-cause analysis.

Increase efficiency and lower operating costs

  • Empower end users and technicians with a targeted knowledgebase (KB).
  • Cross-train to improve service consistency.

Enhance demand planning

  • Analyze trends to forecast and meet shifting business requirements.

End users who are satisfied with the service desk are more likely to be satisfied with all other IT services

On average:

  • End users who were satisfied with service desk effectiveness rated all other IT processes 52% higher than dissatisfied end users did.
  • End users who were satisfied with service desk timeliness rated all other IT processes 41% higher than dissatisfied end users did.

A bar graph of the average satisfaction with IT services is displayed. The y-axis is labeled: Average Satisfaction With IT Services. The y-axis ranges from one to ten. There are two categories on the x-axis. The first category is labeled: Service Desk Effectiveness. The second category is labeled: Service Desk Timeliness. There are two bars of data under each category. One of the bars of data under each category is blue and is labeled: Dissatisfied End Users. The other bar of data under each category is green and is labeled: Satisfied End Users. Under the first category, the data of the blue bar is five and four tenths, and the data of the green bar is eight and two tenths. There is a fifty-two percent increase from the blue bar to the green bar. Under the second category, the data of the blue bar is five and eight tenths, and the data of the green bar is eight and two tenths. There is a forty-one percent increase from the blue bar to the green bar.

“Satisfied” organizations had average scores greater than or equal to eight. “Dissatisfied" organizations had average scores less than six.
Source: Info-Tech Research Group, 2018. (N=18,900+ respondents from 90 organizations)

Project insight map

Only fools rush in. Ensure explicit implementation questions are at the end of the list.

It’s tempting to start with questions about ITIL or the “next-generation” service desk. But these commit you to pursuing frameworks or technologies before you even define challenges. The right question to ask first is “how do we solve the organization’s service support problems, quickly and permanently?”

Phase 1: Analyze service support trends to understand potential shifts in the landscape. They may be beyond the strategy’s scope, but you should have a sense of how they might impact service support.

Phase 2: Don’t rush into an evaluation of technology or the feasibility of a specific option. Start with the overarching business objectives and work your way down.

Phase 3: The best strategies identify opportunities and risks early in the process. Engage stakeholders in a recommendation discussion to improve your strategic peripheral vision and increase buy-in.

Build a Service Support Strategy – project overview

1. Design Target State 2. Assess Current State 3. Develop Recommendations
Best-Practice Toolkit

1.1 Review strategy trends

1.2 Document the IT strategy

2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

3.1 Identify target initiatives

3.2 Plan implementation

Guided Implementations

Review service support trends.

Document IT strategy; determine goals and capabilities.

Identify CSFs and KPIs.

Perform maturity assessments, identify challenges, and assess existing capabilities.

Perform a gap analysis, identify key initiatives, and map them to capabilities.

Develop key initiatives.

Onsite Workshop

Module 1:

Design Target State

Module 2:

Assess Current State

Module 3:

Develop Recommendations

Phase 1 Outcome:

  • Strategy trends
  • IT strategy review
  • Service support goals and capabilities

Phase 2 Outcome:

  • Maturity assessment
  • SWOT analysis
  • Governance metrics

Phase 3 Outcome:

  • Target initiatives
  • Action plan

For additional support, have our analysts work with you as part of an Info-Tech onsite workshop

Contact your account representative or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

Phases: Conduct Discovery and Follow-Up Design Target State Assess Current State Develop Key Initiatives Build Roadmap
Duration*

1 day offsite

1 day onsite

1 day onsite

1 day onsite

1 day onsite

Activities
  • Interview management team
  • Identify service desk challenges
  • Conduct CIO Business Vision Survey/End-User Satisfaction Survey
  • Review service support trends
  • Document IT vision, mission, and principles
  • Define scope
  • Determine goals and capabilities
  • Identify CSFs and KPIs
  • Perform maturity assessment
  • Review diagnostics
  • Identify challenges
  • Perform SWOT
  • Identify areas for improvement
  • Document in-flight initiatives and current capabilities
  • Perform a gap analysis
  • Identify key initiatives and tie them to capabilities and goals
  • Create profiles for each initiative
  • Use a prioritization matrix to sequence initiatives
  • Create a Lean Canvas to communicate strategy
Outputs
  • Stakeholder feedback
  • Strategic priorities
  • Review service support trends
  • Documented high-level IT strategy
  • CSFs and KPIs
  • Current service support strengths and challenges
  • In-flight initiatives
  • Key areas for improvement
  • Target service support initiatives
  • Implementation plan
  • High-level project communication plan
Deliverables
  • Executive presentation
  • Service desk strategy

Info-Tech’s approach aligns service support strategy to business goals

Our services include DIY toolkits, Guided Implementations, diagnostic surveys, onsite workshops, and management consulting.

Info-Tech's Mission

Help IT leaders and their teams:

  • Improve core processes and functions
  • Implement critical technology projects

Phase 1: Design Target State

Info-Tech’s approach aligns service support strategy to business goals

PHASE 1:PHASE 2:PHASE 3:

1.1 Review strategy trends

2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

3.1 Identify target initiatives

1.2 Document the IT strategy

2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

3.2 Plan implementation

Info-Tech Insight

Analyze emerging technologies to understand shifts in the technical environment. They may be beyond the scope of the strategy, but options should capture how support needs will be satisfied.

STEP 1.1 Review service support trends

Step Activities

1.1.0 Review service support trends and discuss how they may impact the organization.

Inputs

  • Service support trends
  • IT strategy
  • Service support key areas for improvement

Outputs

  • Implications of industry trends on service support strategy

Focus your review of trends in service support on the problem you want to solve

The right question to ask is still the same: how do I apply trends and technologies to solve my organization’s problems quickly, effectively, and permanently?

  1. What challenge or opportunity am I trying to address? Build scalable processes, improve end-user satisfaction, reduce cost to serve, improve time to respond or resolve, improve service availability or continuity, reduce recurring incidents, or eliminate their root cause.
  2. What process transformation will solve my problem? Standardization of ad hoc processes, automation of knowledge work, improvements in reporting and communications, creation of self-service channels.
  3. Has an emerging technology solved similar problems? Is it proven? Is it deployed? Who are the clients? What are they saying? What are the analysts saying?
  4. How do I build a flexible, scalable solution that is responsive and adaptive to change? I don’t want to revisit this again as soon as something changes. I would like to build further, go deeper, go broader, or do things differently. I want to start small and iterate through new use cases at my pace.
  5. Will the solution fit in my technology environment? I need to preserve the investments I have already made.
  6. Can a single technology platform solve my problem end to end? Don’t push the burden of completing incomplete solutions on me. I don’t want to have to choose from an inventory of systems and deal with integration problems. I want everything required to solve my problem – like workflow systems, analytics, natural language processing, and machine learning – in the same platform.
  7. How should I apply new and emerging technologies, like machine learning and natural language processing? Explicit technological and framework questions are at the end of the list.

Info-Tech Best Practice

Service support improvement is an investment. It takes time and resources to plan, execute, and realize the impact of an initiative. Whether you reap benefits will depend on whether the initiative helps you meet organizational goals.

Review trends in service support to identify key initiatives

Adopt shift-left

Improve self-service

Promote knowledge-sharing

Deploy chatbots

Deploy virtual assistants

Introduce incident swarming

Deploy robot process automations

Reassess outsourcing

1. Adopt a shift-left strategy

Shift left is a practice borrowed from DevOps software delivery processes. The idea is to improve quality by moving tasks as early in the lifecycle as possible.

Shift-left service support means addressing requests and incidents earlier in the service support lifecycle. It includes self-service implementation, incident resolution automation, and improved knowledge sharing from specialists to generalists.

Shift left will bring lower service support costs, reduced time to resolve, and improved end-user satisfaction to the service desk of the future.

A table showing how adopting a shift-left service support strategy is beneficial is displayed. The column heading is labeled: Who resolves the incident? There are five column subheadings indicating who resolves the incident. The first column subheading is labeled: Automated. The second is labeled: End User. The third is labeled: Tier 1 Generalist. The fourth is labeled: Tier 2 Specialist. The fifth is labeled: Vendor. The goal of a shift-left service support strategy is to address requests and incidents earlier in the service support lifecycle. By shifting left, away from the Vendor and to automation, the cost per ticket (incident) will decrease, the average time to resolve the incident will go down, and there will be higher end-user satisfaction.

2. Improve self-service

Organizations are exploring technologies that will increase the pace of service delivery without increasing existing resources and cost to serve.

The first step is the implementation of end-user self-service portals with seamless mobile integration. End users want to access services and support any time, any place, on any media interface.

Service support organizations must be capable of provisioning services via web portals, using any browser technology, enabling end users to access the business services they need and empowering them to manage their daily working lives.

Deploying self-service technologies will require organizations to learn to empower end users, design self-service tools that deliver high-quality user experiences, and identify appropriate knowledge-sharing opportunities.

If end users are to benefit from self-service initiatives, service support teams will need to manage organizational changes diligently. Teams must work to improve self-service tool adoption until the web portal becomes the most important ticket channel by volume.

3. Promote knowledge sharing

Traditionally, knowledge sharing in service support ensured knowledge is retained in the workplace, avoided duplication in troubleshooting efforts, and accelerated service delivery.

The service support team of the future will continue to develop targeted knowledgebases focused on the most common incidents and requests to empower generalist technicians and end users.

But it will also need to develop a centralized repository of service support data and answer to end-user and staff questions to contribute to digital transformation and artificial intelligence projects.

Service support teams need to continue to organize their operational data. Some of it will be structured (e.g. knowledgebase articles) and some of it unstructured (e.g. chat and ticket transcripts).

With machine learning, IT can use data sets to train retrieval and generative chatbots and automate IT operations processes that enhance IT service and support productivity.

4. Deploy chatbots

Incident management and request fulfilment are most effective when the right information is provided quickly to the right person for action.

Unfortunately, tickets often sit in queues unassigned, and the information provided is seldom accurate. Most organizations struggle to distinguish between incidents and requests and to categorize, prioritize, and route tickets effectively.

One of the earliest use cases for artificial intelligence (AI) assisted applications, chatbots use natural language processing and machine learning to provide end users with a service support interface.

Retrieval chatbots provide an interface to structured content in the knowledgebase, while generative chatbots use basic machine learning algorithms to submit, categorize, and route requests on the end user’s behalf.

Chatbots will enhance self-service, empowering end users to resolve simple incidents and requests, which will reduce the service desk’s total ticket volume. They will also automate basic ticket handling, which will accelerate service delivery.

5. Deploy virtual assistants

Virtual assistants are AI applications that use machine learning algorithms to parse data, learn from it, and make a prediction.

Sometimes called intelligent agents, virtual assistants are deployed on IT operations processes like incident, problem, and change management. The goal is to automate specific activities, identify issues early, and resolve them before they can have an impact on operations.

Core service support processes such as request fulfilment and incident management are the first IT operations processes to benefit from virtual assistants. Working with chatbots, virtual assistants improve incident discovery and logging, as well as ticket routing, categorization, and prioritization, which reduces the number of tickets lost or languishing in the backlog.

Virtual assistants with access to system monitoring tools and machine learning algorithms assist with problem identification and logging, creating a problem ticket for anticipated issues and triggering notifications for review. The results are streamlined IT operations, improved process standardization, and better ITSM process data.

6. Introduce incident swarming

Incident swarming is a new framework for service support organizations that explicitly rejects the tiered system in favor of a model of networked collaboration.

Advocates identify three fundamental problems with tiered service support, which can:

  • Lead to cases bouncing from one team to another until a single team resolves the issue.
  • Reduce opportunities for knowledge dissemination.
  • Lead to queues forming, which increases waste and resolution time.

Swarming has no hierarchy and centers around technician collaboration. A technician owns the case to resolution, and others are encouraged to opt in to provide subject matter expertise.

Swarms are especially helpful to deal with critical incidents, tackle incidents that can be resolved quickly, or deal with a backlog.

As self-service and automation shifts support work to more complex issues, swarming can improve knowledge sharing, improve agility, and reduce training time for new analysts.

7. Deploy robotic process automation

Robotic process automation (RPA) is an unattended robotic method to model and automate back end IT processes so that software can handle them without human actions.

The goal of RPA is to automate manual, routine tasks to allow staff to focus more on high-value tasks and develop core competencies. Unlike macros and traditional scripting, RPA enables governable, scalable process automation across platforms.

IT process automation (ITPA) is a form of RPA that focuses specifically on enterprise infrastructure challenges. IT departments rely on multiple IT systems, processes, and workflows. ITPA can automate complex tasks across a number of platforms to automate multi-factor authorization and password resets, virtual server provisioning and configuration, cybersecurity incidents, etc.

For instance, in the case of a password reset, IT service agents would no longer need to login to an application and manually request a password reset. Instead, the agent could use ITPA to fully automate the login and password reset process on the back end.

8. Reassess outsourcing arrangements

Outsourcing is a good business strategy when it improves efficiency, cuts costs, speeds up product development, and allows companies to focus on their core competencies.

Still, the number of organizations that outsource their service desk has been on a steady decline since the end of the recession. Service desk outsourcing efforts frequently encounter challenges with:

  • a lack of client knowledge on the part of the managed service provider
  • offshore attrition rates in service support roles
  • cultural and communication barriers

This dynamic often leads to a review meeting where a service provider states that all SLAs were met but the customer is less than satisfied with the outcomes being delivered. It’s called the watermelon effect – green on the outside and red inside.

Organizations are reassessing their outsourcing arrangements, drafting get-well plans for their service providers, switching service providers, or insourcing their service desk altogether.

Get to Action

Draw on Info-Tech’s tools and templates to review trends in service support and inform key initiatives

Activity 1.1.0 Review service support trends and discuss how they may impact the organization

Overview

Consider the potential application of strategy trends on key service support challenges.

Instructions

  • Review the position analyzed in the first phase of the project, including the IT strategy and key areas for service support improvement.
  • Discuss the implications of service support trends for your own strategy.
  • Identify potential goals and capabilities you might add to your strategy, but do not commit to specifics until you review your organizational strategy in Step 1.2.
Input
  • Service support trends
  • IT strategy
  • Key areas for service support improvement
Output
  • Implications of trends for service support strategy
Materials
  • Chart paper and markers
  • Pen and paper
Participants
  • Core working group

Document in Section 4.3 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

STEP 1.2 Document the IT strategy

Step Activities

1.2.0 Document IT vision, mission, and guiding principles.

1.2.1 Define the scope of business requirements from the business context and IT implications.

1.2.2 Set the goals and capabilities of your service support organization.

Inputs

Outputs

  • An understanding of IT-business alignment
  • The scope of the service support strategy

Analyze your position to identify a target state and create a roadmap to achieve it

Service support strategies do not exist in isolation. Outlining a strategic direction for service support requires you to analyze:

  • The business context of your organization
  • The IT strategy designed to facilitate business goals
  • The scope of your service support strategy

You will then be in a position to consider the capabilities and goals service support needs to target to do its part.

Info-Tech Best Practice: Don’t rush into an evaluation of technology or the feasibility of a specific option. Start with the overarching business objectives and work your way down.

A graphic of the strategic direction to take for service support is displayed. First, analyze where you are now. Second, identify where you want to be. Third, build a roadmap to get you there.

The first step is to document IT’s vision and mission to derive implications for its service support function

The IT vision statement communicates the desired future state of the IT organization, whereas the IT mission statement portrays the organization’s “reason of being.”

Vision Statements

Characteristics:

  • Describe a desired future
  • Focus on ends, not means
  • Concise
  • Memorable
  • Aspirational

Samples: To be a trusted advisor who enables business growth and innovation through an engaged IT workforce.

Mission Statements

Characteristics:

  • Articulate a reason for existence
  • Describe how to achieve the vision
  • Concise
  • Inspirational
  • Sharply focused
  • Easy to grasp

Samples: IT is a cohesive, proactive, and disciplined team that delivers innovative technology solutions while demonstrating a strong customer-oriented mindset.

Review 10 universal IT principles to determine if your organization wishes to adopt them

IT Principles & IT Principle Statements

  1. Enterprise value focus: We aim to provide maximum long-term benefits to the enterprise as a whole while optimizing total costs of ownership and risks.
  2. Fit for purpose: We maintain capability levels and create solutions that are fit for purpose without over-engineering them.
  3. Simplicity: We choose the simplest solutions and aim to reduce operational complexity of the enterprise.
  4. Reuse - buy - build: We maximize reuse of existing assets. If we can’t reuse, we procure externally. As a last resort, we build custom solutions.
  5. Managed data:We handle data creation, modification, and use enterprise-wide in compliance with our data governance policy.
  6. Controlled technical diversity: We control the variety of technology platforms we use.
  7. Managed security: We manage security enterprise-wide in compliance with our security governance policy.
  8. Regulatory compliance: We operate in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.
  9. Innovation: We innovate ways to use technology for business advantage.
  10. Customer-centricity: Our services deliver the best customer experience.

Activity 1.2.0 Document IT vision, mission, and guiding principles

Overview

Review and interpret the IT vision, mission, and guiding principles to define the service support strategy’s target state.

Instructions

  1. Start with the vision. Answer the following to create a phrase that the team endorses:
    • What does the IT department aspire to be?
    • How does IT want to be seen by those it serves?
    • What does a successful IT department look like?
  2. Formulate the mission. Answer the following to define the purpose and intended achievements of the department:
    • What does the organization do? How does the organization do it?
    • Whom does the organization do it for? What value is the organization bringing?
  3. Create guiding principles by starting with examples in the guide, adding and removing as necessary for the organization. For each principle, document the rationale (reason for the principle and link to the strategy) and the implication (when and how to apply the principle).
Input
Output
  • Vision and mission statements
  • Guiding principles
Materials
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • Senior service support leaders

Document in Section 3.1 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Next, identify the implications of the IT strategy

The implications are the effects or consequences of the IT strategy on service support as a result of the business context. Info-Tech recommends considering the effects and consequences to IT in seven perspectives.

IT Strategy

  • Documented and defined in Activity 1.1.0.

Implications of IT Strategy

  • Consider seven perspectives:
    • People
    • Process
    • Technology
    • Data
    • Timing
    • Location
    • Sourcing

Assess the implications of the IT strategy for service support by evaluating these seven perspectives

People What are the possible effects from a roles and capacity perspective?
Process How will the IT strategy affect processes, their complexity, documentation, etc.
Technology What changes to applications and infrastructure need to happen to facilitate the directions set out in the IT strategy?
Data What changes need to occur from a data and information perspective?
Sourcing What sourcing changes and decisions need to be made to facilitate the IT strategy?
Location What additional locations or changes to locations might affect service support?
Timing What changes in cycle time need to occur to enable the IT strategy? Which dependencies must we consider to prioritize service support projects?

Review the IT Implications Checklist if you need assistance with this discussion.

Example: Customer-centricity is a common principle espoused by service support groups

Our service support organization delivers the best customer experience.

Rationale

  • We support the customer-centricity theme from our business strategy by providing best experiences to our end users.

Implications

  • Measure and improve customer satisfaction with our services and products.
  • Define service levels for services provided to our customers; measure and improve our performance.
  • Engineer products with best-in-class usability.
    • Manage usability requirements (accessibility, localization, user interface aesthetics, and consistency) and test solutions against them.
    • Listen to customers by involving them in product design.
  • Manage customer relationships.

Define scope of business requirements for the service support strategy

The scope of business requirements constrains what the service support strategy will cover by taking into account factors across four dimensions. Setting the scope sets expectations around the areas that will be addressed by the service support strategy.

Scope of Business Requirements: Components

  • Breadth of the service support strategy can span across the seven perspectives: people, process, technology, data, process, sourcing, location, and timing. Defining which is in scope is crucial to ensuring that the IT strategy will be comprehensive, relevant, and actionable.
  • The depth of coverage refers to the level of detail the strategy will review for each perspective. Info-Tech recommends that depth should go to the initiative level (i.e. individual projects).
  • The organizational coverage will determine which part of the organization the service support strategy will cover.
  • The planning horizon of the service support strategy will dictate when the target state should be reached and the length of the roadmap.

Example: Determine the scope of the service support strategy

Business Context and IT Implications Scope Implications
Business Context: The organization operates in North America with no plans for expansion. Constrain the organizational coverage of scope to the North American offices.
Business Context: The business strategy is built in two-year cycles. Constrain the time horizon of the service support strategy to two years.
IT Implication: Consider outsourcing to assist the organization with cutting costs. The sourcing component of breadth needs to be considered as part of the strategy.
IT Implication: IT must show increased alignment to the business to enable the organization. Depth should be high level so it will not be too granular. This enables business stakeholders to see how IT initiatives align to the business context.

Activity 1.2.1 Define the scope of business requirements from the business context and IT implications

Overview

Define the scope of business requirements to set expectations around the areas that will be addressed by the service support strategy.

Instructions

  1. Review the business context and IT implications to determine which component of breadth should be included in the scope. Breadth often includes business capabilities and services, sourcing, technology landscape, and IT operating model.
  2. Next, review the business context and IT implications to determine what level of depth the service support strategy will reach. Info-Tech recommends going to the initiative level (i.e. define the major programs/projects and high-level details only).
  3. Afterwards, examine the business context and IT implications to determine the organizational coverage of the service support strategy. Consider the geographical span, functional span, etc.
  4. Lastly, determine the planning time horizon for the IT strategy based on the business context and IT implications.
Input
Output
  • Defined scope for the service support strategy
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • Senior service support managers

Document in Section 3.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

The final step to defining the target state is to set goals for service support

Goals are high-level objectives that the service support organization needs to achieve in order to reach the target state. Capabilities are the activities that the service support organization does.

Vision and Mission Statement

  • Vision and mission statements describe what the IT organization aspires to be and its purpose. Ensure your IT goals reflect these statements to generate alignment.

Implications

  • Implications are derived from the business context and inform goals by aligning them with the business context.

Goals

  • High-level, specific objectives that the IT organization needs to achieve to reach the target state.
  • Frame what a service support organization needs to be able to accomplish in the target state.
  • Tied to the initiatives that will need to be implemented to accomplish the mission.

Capabilities

  • Basic building blocks of operations. Key enablers of mission success.
  • “What” the IT organization does. Consist of descriptive nouns such as “Service Desk Management” or “Enterprise Architecture Management.”

Review common service support capabilities to identify target state capabilities

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Request Fulfilment & Service Catalog
  • Self-Service Portal
  • Asset Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Knowledge Management

Example: Goals and capabilities are derived from vision and mission statements and implications

An infographic showing how goals and capabilities are derived from vision and mission statements and implications is displayed.

Activity 1.2.2 Set the goals and capabilities of your service support organization

Instructions

  1. Read the previous two slides to understand the characteristics of a goal and capability and see some examples.
  2. Begin the process by taking similar implications and grouping them into themes.
  3. Using the themes, create a goal that encompasses each of these implications and achieves the vision and mission statements.
  4. Continue the process until you are satisfied that the themes of IT implications and vision and mission statements are covered by the goals.
  5. Articulate capabilities from the goals you identified.
Input
  • IT implications
  • IT vision and mission statements
Output
  • A list of goals and capabilities for service support
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT and business management

Document in Section 3.3 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Phase 1 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 1: Design Target State

Proposed Time to Completion: 2 weeks

Step 1.1: Review Strategy Trends

Start with an analyst kick-off call:

  • Review service support strategy trends.

Then complete these activities…

  • Define implications of service support trends.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet

Step 1.2: Document the IT strategy

Review findings with analyst:

  • Document IT strategy.
  • Discuss target goals and capabilities.

Then complete these activities…

  • Determine IT vision, mission, and principles.
  • Determine scope of business requirements.
  • Determine goals and capabilities.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet
  • IT Vision, Mission, and Guiding Principles Guide
  • IT Implications Checklist

Phase 1 Results:

  • Defined target state that will characterize the service support strategy

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

1.1.0 Review Service Support Strategy Trends

The analyst will facilitate an exercise to help you identify the implications of service support strategy trends for your organization.

1.2.0 Document IT Mission, Vision, and Guiding Principles

Review and interpret the IT vision, mission, and guiding principles to define the service support strategy’s target state.

Phase 2: Assess Current State

Info-Tech’s approach aligns service support strategy to business goals

PHASE 1:PHASE 2:PHASE 3:

1.1 Review strategy trends

2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

3.1 Identify target initiatives

1.2 Document the IT strategy

2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

3.2 Plan implementation

Info-Tech Insight

Don’t begin your strategy with an evaluation of technology or the feasibility of a specific technology or process. Start with the overarching business objectives and work your way down.

STEP 2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

Step Activities

2.1.0 Identify critical success factors for service support.

2.1.1 Identify metrics to track progress on CSFs.

Inputs

  • Strategic goals for service support
  • Existing metrics and reports

Outputs

  • Metrics to assess the effectiveness of the service support strategy and plan next steps

Critical success factors and key performance indicators demonstrate your progress toward your goals

Strategic goal

What you are trying to accomplish. Derived from the IT mission, vision, and principles.

Our service support organization delivers the best customer experience.

Critical Success Factors (CSFs)

Things that must go well to ensure the success of service support.

CSFs include a verb and an object.

Improve customer service Adopt a shift-left strategy Promote cross-IT pledge to service support Enable knowledge sharing

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)

Things that demonstrate your progress on CSFs.

KPIs include a metric and an adjective that describes the intended outcome.

Increased average end-user satisfaction Increased % tickets resolved within SLO Increased tier 1 resolution rate Increased # of tickets submitted via self-service Reduced backlog for T2 and T3 tickets Increased # tickets submitted via self-service Increased tier 1 resolution rate

Example: Draw on the IT strategy to identify CSFs that capture essential service support activities

Critical success factors are those few things that must go well to ensure the success of service support. They represent areas that must be given special and continual attention to bring about high performance.

A deep understanding of CSFs enables an organization to assess its threats, opportunities, weaknesses, and strengths in these dimensions, which is imperative in developing a sound strategy and achieving target outcomes.

Critical Success Factors

  • Improve customer service
  • Adopt a shift-left strategy
  • Promote a cross-IT commitment to service support
  • Enable knowledge sharing

Activity 2.1.0 Identify critical success factors for service support

Overview

Determine which factors are key in achieving your service support strategy.

Instructions

  • Based on the position analyzed in the first step of the project, identify high-level goals that are imperatives for the team.
  • They are best stated as action phrases and include the action and the desired result.
  • If you are looking for ideas, use the previous two slides as inspiration.

Document in Section 3.4 of the Worksheet.

Sample Areas for Improvement:

  1. Remove process complexity to improve adherence.
  2. Adopt a shift-left strategy to reduce average time to resolve.
  3. Enable knowledge sharing to improve resilience.
  4. Promote a cross-IT commitment to service support.

Next, select key performance indicators to track progress

Info-Tech Best Practice: Select KPIs that are tied to CSFs, show how well service support is meeting them, and inform next steps. KPIs include a metric and a direction (e.g. increased end-user satisfaction).

  • Tailor metrics to specific purposes. A service support strategy requires summary information that supports organizational goals and shows how the organization is meeting its CSFs. Examine executive goals and CSFs and identify the tactical data that will meet your needs.
  • Don’t put too much emphasis on a single metric. At best, it will give you a distorted picture of your service desk performance. At worst, it will distort the behavior of your agents, as they may adopt poor practices to meet the metric.
  • The solution is to use tension metrics: metrics that work together to give you a better sense of the state of operations. Tension metrics ensure a balanced focus toward shared goals.

When communicating with stakeholders, select a few meaningful metrics that tell the story of IT

The right metrics can tell the business how hard IT works and how many resources it needs to perform. If you’re new to service desk metrics, focus on tension metrics that capture the triad of resources, time, and quality.

A Venn diagram of three tension metrics that focus on time, resources, and quality is displayed. The first metric, time, is defined as the Average Time to Resolve (incidents) or Fulfill (service requests). The second metric, resources, is defined as the Ticket Volume and Cost per Ticket. The third metric, quality, is defined as the End-User Satisfaction. The middle of the Venn diagram, the part that overlaps every metric, is defined as the First-Contact (FCR) Rate.

Example: Align key performance indicators to critical success factors to measure what matters

Strategic CSFs

Demonstrate value to the business
Ticket trends by category by month # tickets by business department % SLAs met by IT teams
Improve customer service
Average customer satisfaction rating % incident tickets closed in one day Service request SLAs met by % Annual IT satisfaction survey result

Tactical CSFs

Improve service desk operations
Incident tickets assigned, sorted by age and priority Scheduled requests for today and tomorrow Knowledgebase articles due for renewal this month Top 5-10 tickets for the quarter
Manage service desk operations
Unassigned tickets by age # incident tickets assigned by tech Open tickets by category Backlog – summary by age

Operational CSFs

Reduce the number of recurring tickets
# incidents by category and resolution code # problem tickets opened and resolved Correlation of ticket volume trends to events Reduction of volume of recurring tickets
Improve access to service
Use of knowledgebase by users Use of self-service for ticket creation Use of service catalog Use of automated features (e.g. password resets)
Improved response times
Average call hold time % calls abandoned Average resolution time # tickets reopened

Activity 2.1.1 Identify metrics to track progress on CSFs

Overview

Identify metrics to track progress on each CSF.

Instructions

  1. Answer the following questions to determine the KPIs your CSFs require:
    • What strategic initiatives do you need to track?
      • Examples: reducing mean time to resolve, meeting SLAs
    • What operational areas need attention?
      • Example: recurring issues that need a permanent resolution
    • What issues do you want to solve?
      • Example: automate tasks such as password reset and software distribution
    • What decisions or processes are held up due to lack of information?
      • Example: need to build a business case to justify infrastructure upgrades
    • How can the data be used to improve services to the business?
      • Example: recurring issues by department
  2. Select two or three KPIs for each CSF. Refer to the previous slide for inspiration.
Participants
  • IT managers
  • Service desk manager
  • Service desk agents
What You’ll Need
  • Flip chart
  • Whiteboard

Document in Section 3.4 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Rely on internal metrics to measure and improve performance

External Metrics Internal Metrics

Take external metrics with a grain of salt.

  • Most benchmarks represent what service desks actually do across different industries, not what they should do.
  • There might be significant differences between different industries in terms of the kinds of tickets they deal with, which obscures the overall average.
  • Use external metrics as a starting point and then establish relevant internal metrics and track historical trends.

Internal metrics provide you with information about your actual performance.

Whether a metric is the right one for your service desk will depend on a number of different factors, such as:

  • The maturity of your service desk processes
  • Your ticket volume
  • The complexity of your tickets
  • The degree to which your end users are comfortable with self-service

Compare service support performance to external benchmarks, but rely on internal metrics for goal setting

Average annual satisfaction with service desk effectiveness Average annual satisfaction with service desk timeliness Average ticket end-user satisfaction rating Average time to resolution (business hours) Average first-tier resolution rate % incidents resolved in 1 business day % service requests fulfilled in 3 business days
External Benchmark 78% 77% 85.1% 9.6 hours 60% 35.7% 26.2%
Metric Type Quality Quality Quality Service Level Service Level Service Level Service Level
Average time to fulfil service requests (business days) Cost per incident Cost per service request Cost per ticket Tickets per technician per month Incidents per technician per month Service requests per technician per month
External Benchmark 5.1 days $112 $159 $125 88.1 56.1 22.9
Metric Type Service Level Cost Cost Cost Productivity Productivity Productivity

STEP 2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

Step Activities

2.2.0 Analyze the place of service support in your organization.

2.2.1 Define the structure of the service desk.

2.2.2 Document in-flight service support initiatives and measure their strategic alignment.

2.2.3 Document current service support capabilities.

2.2.4 Perform a service desk process maturity assessment.

2.2.5 Assess the results of the diagnostics to inform your current-state assessment.

2.2.6 Identify service support challenges.

2.2.7 Perform a SWOT analysis for IT with a focus on service support.

2.2.8 Identity key areas for improvement.

Inputs

Outputs

  • Internal/external factors impacting service support strategy
  • Key areas for improvement

Assess the current state of service support to establish a baseline

A current-state assessment will help you build a foundation for options analysis and process improvements.

Current-state assessments follow a basic formula:

  1. Determine the current state of the service support organization.
  2. Determine the desired state of the service desk.
  3. Build a practical path from the current to the desired state.

Ideally, the assessment should align the delivery of IT services with organizational needs.

Activity 2.2.0 Analyze the place of service support in your organization

Instructions

  1. Discuss the operation of service support in the larger IT department to identify and address inefficiencies.
  2. Define the structure as it exists now.

Think about the following:

  • How is the team divided up?
  • How do escalations to other teams work?
  • How do different teams communicate with one another?

An image showing the organizational structure of the operation of service support within the larger IT department is displayed. Mapping out an organization's structure of service support will help identify and address inefficiencies, it will help provide context for how teams communicate with one another, and it will help to understand the context in which service support processes operate.

Activity 2.2.1 Define the structure of the service desk

Overview

Map out the current structure of the service desk.

Instructions

  1. Examine the model from the previous slide and discuss how closely it matches your current service desk structure.
  2. Map out a similar diagram of your existing service desk structure, intake channels, and escalation paths.

Document in Section 4 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

A diagram defining the structure of the service desk, including the intake channels and the escalation points, is displayed.

In-flight service support initiatives will further define the current state

Service support initiatives are projects for which the IT organization is held accountable. They have definite start and end dates.

Service support capabilities are enhanced, created, maintained, or removed by the completion of one or more service support initiatives.

Assess in-flight service support initiatives to understand what capabilities are currently being enhanced.

Activity 2.2.2 Document in-flight service support initiatives and measure their strategic alignment

Overview

Identifying in-flight service support initiatives will help further define the current state.

Instructions

  1. Gather the IT strategy creation team along with any documentation for service support initiatives in the organization.
  2. Work with the team to review the pieces of documentation to ensure that the information included is correct. If the initiatives are recorded in separate documents, consolidate them into a single document.
  3. Look through the consolidated list of current initiatives with the gathered team. Ask the team members if there are any in-flight initiatives that are not on the list. If there are, add those initiatives to the list.
  4. Map the connection between initiatives, capabilities, and goals.
INPUT
  • List of current service support initiatives
OUTPUT
  • Existing capabilities that need to be considered in the target state
  • Visualization of alignment between goals, capabilities, and initiatives
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT personnel

Document in Section 4.2.3 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Review existing service support capabilities

  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Change Management
  • Request Fulfilment & Service Catalog
  • Self-Service Portal
  • Asset Management
  • Configuration Management
  • Knowledge Management

Activity 2.2.3 Document current service support capabilities

Overview

Identify a list of current service support capabilities.

Instructions

  • Work with the team to examine the existing documents and identify current service support capabilities. Refer to the previous activities for capabilities to include in your assessment.
  • The IT Management & Governance Diagnostic can be a powerful input for this activity. Speak with your account rep to conduct the diagnostic, and use the results to inform current service support capabilities.
  • Discuss this resulting list with the team and identify any missing capabilities.
INPUT
  • Strategic documentation from Phase 1
OUTPUT
  • Current IT capabilities that support the business and IT
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT personnel

Document current capabilities in Section 5.1 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Perform a service desk process maturity assessment to identify areas for improvement

Measure which process improvements will have the greatest impact on your practice

Info-Tech’s Service Desk Maturity Assessment helps organizations assess their service desk process maturity and focus the project on the activities that matter most.

The tool will help guide process improvement efforts and measure your progress.

  • Tab 2 of the tool walks is a qualitative assessment of your service desk processes. The assessment is organized into typical process areas. Questions will prompt you to rate the extent to which you are executing key activities. Select the answers from the drop-down menus that reflect the degree to which you agree with each statement.
  • Tab 3 displays your rate of process completeness and maturity. You will receive a score for each phase, an overall score, and advice based on your performance.

The tool is intended for periodic use. Review your answers each year and devise initiatives to improve the process performance where you need it most.

Where do I find the data?

Consult:

  • Service manager
  • Service desk tools

Activity 2.2.4 Perform a service desk process maturity assessment

The Service Desk Maturity Assessment identifies gaps in your service desk processes.

  1. As a group, complete the survey on Tab 2 and then review the maturity results on Tab 3.
  2. Add to your list of challenges, strengths, or areas for improvement, if needed, based on the results of the assessment.

Document in Section 4.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Next, gather reliable data to assess the current state of service support

Don’t base your service support strategy on a hunch.

The CIO Business Vision and the End User Satisfaction diagnostic programs mine direct feedback from the organization to provide critical insights.

Meanwhile, the IT Management & Governance Diagnostic assesses the health of existing IT capabilities from IT’s perspective.

We recommend completing this step before building the service support strategy.

To book a diagnostic, visit our online resources, or contact your account manager for further details.

Activity 2.2.5 Assess the results of the diagnostics to inform your current-state assessment

Overview

Review and interpret the results of the End User Satisfaction, CIO Business Vision, or IT Management & Governance diagnostic programs to inform your current-state assessment.

Instructions

  1. Set up an analyst call through your account manager to review the results of your diagnostic. Whichever survey you choose, ask the analyst to review the data and comments concerning:
    • Assessments of service desk timeliness and effectiveness
    • Satisfaction with IT services
  2. Book a meeting with relevant participants. Go over the results of your diagnostic survey.
  3. Facilitate a discussion of the results. Focus on the first few summary slides and the overall department results slide.
    • What is the level of IT support?
    • How satisfied are stakeholders with IT services? Does the department understand and act on business needs?
    • How do scores compare to external benchmarks?
    • What are the business priorities and how well are you meeting them?
    • How can the standardization project help achieve business goals and improve end-user satisfaction?

Document in Section 4.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Brainstorm common service support challenges the service support strategy might address

Unresolved issues

  • Tickets are not created for all incidents.
  • Tickets are lost or escalated to the wrong technicians.
  • Poor data impedes root-cause analysis of incidents.

High cost to resolve

  • Tier 2/3 resolve issues that should be resolved at tier 1.
  • Tier 2/3 often interrupt projects to focus on service support.

Poor planning

  • Lack of data for effective trend analysis leads to poor demand planning.
  • Lack of data leads to lost opportunities for templating and automation.

Low business satisfaction

  • Users are unable to get assistance with IT services quickly.
  • Users go to their favorite technician instead of using the service desk.

Lost resources/accountability

  • Lack of cross-training and knowledge sharing.
  • Lack of skills coverage for critical applications and services.
  • Time wasted troubleshooting recurring issues.
  • Reports unavailable due to lack of data and poor categorization.

Activity 2.2.6 Identify service support challenges

Overview

Brainstorm areas where service support is not performing strongly.

Instructions

As an IT group, outline the service support challenges facing the organization. Use a word cloud to identify the presence of specific issues as they relate to:

  • Business satisfaction with IT
  • Cost to solve
  • Time to resolution
  • Resource allocation
  • Distribution of tickets between tiers and/or team members
  • The service desk’s ability to:
    • Conduct root-cause analysis
    • Assess an issue’s rate of recurrence
    • Conduct technician cross-training
    • Conduct demand planning

Document in Section 4.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Conduct a SWOT analysis to identify what could impact the success of service support

EXAMPLE Helpful to achieving the objective Harmful to achieving the objective
Internal origin attributes of the organization

Strengths

  • Smart, committed analysts
  • Good knowledge-sharing team dynamic
  • ~70% first call resolution
  • Ticket backlog recently cleaned

Weaknesses

  • Resource issues (staffing)
  • High staff attrition rate
  • Long wait times (20-30mins, ~40mins during peak times)
  • ~17% call abandonment rate
External origin attributes of the environment

Opportunities

  • Renew SLAs with a key focus on response and resolution times
  • Improve queue management
  • Automate operational processes and improve adoption
  • Create a single point of contact for self-service

Threats

  • Chat allows end users to bypass incident prioritization
  • Documentation is not consolidated in one place
  • Lack of end-user adoption could jeopardize self-service portal investment

Activity 2.2.7 Perform a SWOT analysis for IT with a focus on service support

Overview

A SWOT analysis identifies the organization’s current IT capabilities and classifies potential disruptive technologies as the first step toward preparing for them. An analysis will provide:

  1. A summary of current capabilities
  2. A process for identifying opportunities for growth
  3. A structured decision-making method

Instructions

  1. Open the IT SWOT Analysis Template.
  2. Break the group into two teams.
  3. Assign Team A internal strengths and weaknesses that extend beyond IT to business capabilities.
  4. Assign Team B external opportunities and threats that extend beyond IT to incumbent industry factors.
  5. Have the teams brainstorm items that fit in their assigned grids. Use the prompt questions on the next few slides to help you with your SWOT analysis.
  6. Pick someone from each group to fill in the grids on the whiteboard.
  7. Conduct a group discussion about the items on the list – identify implications for the organization as a whole and opportunities to innovate as you did for the other business and external drivers.

Document in Section 4.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Activity 2.2.8 Identify key areas for improvement

Overview

Brainstorm a list of the key areas for improvement or objectives of the service desk improvement project.

Instructions

  • Based on the strengths and weaknesses identified previously, discuss as a group where improvement is most needed.
  • Brainstorm a list of at least three to five key areas for service desk improvement.

Sample Areas for Improvement:

  1. Improve end-user satisfaction.
  2. Improve process standardization and documentation across IT.
  3. Improve knowledge sharing through a standardized knowledgebase and documented knowledge management process.

Document in Section 4 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Phase 2 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 2: Analyze Current State

Proposed Time to Completion: 8 weeks

Step 2.1: Identify CSFs and KPIs

Start with an analyst kick-off call:

  • Discuss critical success factors and key performance indicators.
  • Align them to the goals and capabilities you are trying to achieve.

Then complete these activities…

  • Identify CSFs and KPIs.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet

Step 2.2: Identify Strengths and Challenges

Review findings with analyst:

  • Service Desk Maturity Assessment
  • CIO Business Vision and End User Satisfaction Program diagnostics

Then complete these activities…

  • Define service support structure.
  • Perform SWOT analysis.
  • Identify key areas and capabilities for improvement.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet.
  • IT SWOT Analysis Template
  • Service Desk Maturity Assessment

Phase 2 Results:

  • Define the current state of service support.

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

2.2.5 Assess the results of your diagnostics

Review and interpret the results of the End User Satisfaction Program, CIO Business Vision, or IT Management & Governance diagnostics to inform your current-state assessment.

2.2.6 Identify service support challenges

The analyst will help you brainstorm areas where service support is not performing strongly.

Phase 3: Develop Recommendations

Info-Tech’s approach aligns service support strategy to business goals

PHASE 1:PHASE 2:PHASE 3:

1.1 Review strategy trends

2.1 Identify CSFs and KPIs

3.1 Identify target initiatives

1.2 Document the IT strategy

2.2 Identify strengths and challenges

3.2 Plan implementation

Info-Tech Insight

The best strategies identify opportunities and risks early in the process. Engage stakeholders in a recommendation discussion to improve your strategic peripheral vision and increase buy-in.

STEP 3.1 Identify target initiatives

Step Activities

3.1.0 Perform a gap analysis for service support capabilities.

3.1.1 Identify initiatives to bridge the service support capability gap.

3.1.2 Connect initiatives to the capabilities and goals they support.

3.1.3 Create profiles for each defined initiative.

Inputs

  • Current state and target state of service support
  • IT implications checklist

Outputs

  • Key initiatives that align to service support goals and capabilities

Close the gap between current and target capabilities to move toward the target state

Gap Analysis

Understand what service support capabilities need to change to reach the target state.

Define Initiatives

Define the initiatives you need to improve service support capabilities. Consider people, process, technology, data, sourcing, location, and timing perspectives.

Secure approval

Plan an approval path for the service support strategy with basic roadmapping and risk analysis.

Communicate Strategy

Define key messages to communicate the strategy.

Activity 3.1.0 Perform a gap analysis for service support capabilities

Overview

Identify a list of service support capabilities that need to be changed, maintained, created, or retired from the current state.

Instructions

  1. Review the list of target-state service support capabilities identified in Phase 1 (Activity 1.1.2) and compare it to the list of current capabilities (Activity 2.2.3).
  2. Identify target-state capabilities in Section 5 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet:
    • List capabilities in both the current state and in the target state as ones to “Maintain.”
    • List capabilities that exist in the target-state list but do not exist the current-state list as ones to “Create.”
    • List capabilities that that exist in the current state but need to be improved or will not be used in the target state as ones to “Change” or “Remove.”
INPUT
  • List of target-state IT capabilities
  • List of current-state IT capabilities
OUTPUT
  • Target-state vision: What adjustments need to be made from a capabilities perspective to reach the target state?
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT personnel

Document in Section 5.1 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Identify initiatives to bridge the service support capability gap

IT initiatives are projects that the IT organization is held accountable for. They have definite start and end dates.

IT capabilities are enhanced, created, maintained, or removed by the completion of one or more IT initiatives.

A diagram is displayed showing the transition from the capability gap analysis to the identification of key initiatives.

Activity 3.1.1 Identify initiatives to bridge the service support capability gap

Overview

Define a list of supporting initiatives for each capability.

Instructions

  1. Review the capabilities that were grouped as “Change,” “Create,” and Remove” in the previous activity.
  2. Select one service support capability and identify what needs to be “Changed,” “Maintained,” “Created,” and “Removed” to enable the capability from seven perspectives.
  3. Use the questions in the IT Implications Checklist to help your team identify adjustments.
  4. Document the adjustments in the service support strategy worksheet.
  5. Move to the next service support capability and repeat steps 2 and 3.
INPUT
  • List of target-state capabilities and their adjustments
OUTPUT
  • List of initiatives from the seven perspectives based on the adjustments to the capabilities
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT personnel

Document in Section 5.2 of the Strategy Worksheet.

Example: The relationship between initiatives, capabilities, and goals shows the business value of each initiative

A diagram showing the relationship between service support initiatives, service support capabilities, service support goals, and IT goals is displayed.

Activity 3.1.2 Connect initiatives to the capabilities and goals they support

Overview

Align supporting initiatives with their relevant capabilities and goals.

Instructions

  1. Map the IT initiatives developed in the previous activity to their respective capabilities and goals.
  2. Identify initiatives that do not contribute to capabilities or goals.
  3. Document the adjustments in the service support strategy worksheet.
INPUT
  • List of target-state capabilities and their adjustments
OUTPUT
  • List of initiatives from the seven perspectives based on the adjustments to the capabilities
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • Senior service support personnel

Document in Section 5.2 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

Create an initiative profile for each of the initiatives to develop next steps

An initiative profile provides two major benefits:

Alignment framing

Groups a list of initiatives together. Provides a depiction of how the initiatives contribute to an IT capability and how a set of IT capabilities support an IT goal.

Additional detail

The profile describes the advantages and disadvantages of those grouped initiatives

  • Business Benefits What advantages will business stakeholders capture if the set of initiatives is completed?
  • Risks & Dependencies What are some negative outcomes that would occur if the initiatives were executed? What do the initiatives depend on to be completed?
  • Cost & Timing What will it cost to execute this set of initiatives? How long will it take to complete the set of initiatives?

Example: Initiative profile – service support goal #1: Implement end-user self-service

IT Goal achieved

  • Empower stakeholders
  • Optimize business processes

Service Support Capabilities Enhanced

  • Incident management
  • Request fulfilment
  • Customer service management

Required Initiatives

  • Select a new ITSM tool
  • Build a new self-service portal
  • Build a targeted end-user knowledgebase
  • Implement a user-facing chatbot application
  • Implement a chat channel for new tickets

Business Benefits

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved service access
  • Improved service continuity and availability

Risks & Dependencies

  • Chat channel may allow end users to bypass incident prioritization.
  • Lack of end-user adoption could jeopardize the self-service portal and chatbot investment.

Activity 3.1.3 Create profiles for each defined initiative

Overview

Align supporting initiatives with their relevant capabilities and goals.

Instructions

  1. Open the Service Support Strategy Worksheet. Find the section with title IT Goal #1.
  2. Customize the content for each goal:
    • Adjust the title goal and input related capabilities.
    • Outline the initiatives in terms of time and dollars, and the projects each includes.
    • Articulate the business benefits of the programs.
    • Detail the risks and dependencies.
INPUT
  • Initiatives identified in the previous activity
OUTPUT
  • Initiative profiles for each of the initiatives identified in the previous activity
Materials
  • Computer
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • Senior service support personnel

Document in Section 5 of the Service Support Strategy Worksheet.

STEP 3.2 Plan implementation

Step Activities

3.2.0 Use a prioritization matrix to sequence strategic initiatives.

3.2.1 Create a Lean Canvas for the service support strategy.

Inputs

  • Key initiatives from the previous step
  • Prioritization matrix template

Outputs

  • High-level communication plan
  • High-level roadmaps

Gain approval for the service support strategy

Alignment

Show how each initiative enhances a capability and supports IT and business goals. The initiative profiles demonstrate the benefit of each initiative and identify key risks.

Execution

Create a high-level roadmap to prioritize action items and identify dependencies.

Communications

Build a Lean Canvas for the strategy to communicate the problem you are trying to solve, the solutions to the problem, and the benefits you expect.

Link initiatives to an execution schedule to prioritize action items and identify dependencies

The initiative profiles from Step 3.1 help visualize each initiative along with the capabilities and goals it supports. The next step involves creating a roadmap for execution. Prioritize the roadmap based on a variety of factors to achieve the target state efficiently.

A table showing the execution schedule of initiatives is displayed. The roadmap for the execution of initiatives is based on a variety of factors, including why the initiative is important, what the factors are that affect the order of execution, what the key risks are, and what would happen if the roadmap were to run late.

Activity 3.2.0 Use the Service Support Strategy Roadmap to sequence strategic initiatives

Overview

Determine the sequence of improvement initiatives that have been identified throughout the workshop.

The purpose of this exercise is to define a timeline and commit to initiatives to reach your goals.

Instructions

  1. Review the initiatives that will be taken to improve the service desk and revise tasks as necessary.
  2. Assign a priority level to each task (Quick Win, Low, Medium, High).
  3. Assign ownership to each task.
  4. Identify (at minimum) a start date for each task based on the priority.
  5. Work through the tabs in the Service Support Strategy Roadmap to create a chronical illustration of your initiatives.
INPUT
  • Current and target initiatives
  • Ranking criteria
OUTPUT
  • Prioritized initiatives
Materials
  • Whiteboard and markers
  • Sticky notes
  • Service Support Strategy Roadmap
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT leaders

Craft a communication plan to garner support for the strategy

An effective communication plan will:

  • Gain support from management at the project proposal phase.
  • Create end-user buy-in once the program is set to launch.
  • Maintain the presence of the program throughout the business.
  • Instill ownership throughout the business, from top-level management to new hires.

Build a communication plan to:

  • Assess when communications must happen with executives, business unit leaders, end users, and technicians.
  • Identify any additional communication challenges that have come up during the workshop.
  • Identify who will send out the communications.
  • Identify multiple methods for getting the messages out (newsletters, emails, posters, company meetings).

Tailor your communication plan to each stakeholder group to overcome resistance to change

Why:

  • What problems are you trying to solve?

What:

  • What processes will it affect (that will affect me)?

Who:

  • Who will be affected?
  • Who do I go to if I have issues with the new process?
A diagram is displayed showing how a communication plan should be tailored to each stakeholder group. The communication plan should start with IT Staff, then transition into management, and finally End Users.

When:

  • When will this be happening?
  • When will it affect me?

How:

  • How will these changes manifest themselves?

Goal:

  • What is the final goal?
  • How will it benefit me?

Create a Lean Canvas for the service support strategy

A Lean Canvas is a tool with which you can formulate a quick communication plan for your strategy and initiatives. It also serves as a visual guide to plan your key messages effectively.

The idea is to spend about 15–20 minutes to get your key messages on paper.

Once you have your first Lean Canvas, the key is to test it. Try as many iterations of the first canvas as possible, and test each one with different stakeholders until the winning strategy emerges.

A diagram of a Lean Canvas is displayed. The lean canvas serves as a tool to formulate a communication plan for your strategy and initiatives. It also helps plan your key messages effectively.

Example: The Lean Canvas below outlines the key messages for a self-service portal initiative

An example of a Lean Canvas is displayed. The example outlines the key messages for a self-service portal initiative. It includes the Problem, Solution, Unique Project Value Proposition, Advantage, and Customer / End-User Segments.

Activity 3.2.1 Create a Lean Canvas for the service support strategy

Overview

Create a Lean Canvas for the service support strategy.

Instructions

Use the previous slide as a template or draw a template on a whiteboard, and fill it out.

  1. Problem: Add a short description of the top three problems you want to solve.
  2. Customer Segments: Who are the stakeholders for this product/service? Can they be divided into segments (e.g. IT staff, end users, executives, etc.)? If stakeholders have widely diverging interests, create a separate canvas for each one.
  3. Unique Value Proposition (VP): What benefits will stakeholders reap from the strategy?
  4. Solution: What is the minimum viable product that demonstrates the unique VP?
  5. Key Activity: Describe key initiatives that will help you achieve your service support goals.
  6. Channels: List the methods you can use to reach your customers and stakeholders.
  7. Cost Structure: List all your costs, both fixed and variable.
  8. Revenue Streams: Identify the impact your initiatives will have on revenue. Effective service support often has an indirect impact on revenue. For instance, implementing self-service can release IT staff to pursue revenue-generating projects.
  9. Unfair Advantage: Think about what your organization provides that makes you different, and make your difference matter at the same time. “Depth of organizational knowledge” is a common advantage for in-house service support groups.
INPUT
  • Ranked initiatives
  • IT strategy
OUTPUT
  • Quick business plan
Materials
  • PowerPoint
  • Whiteboard and markers
Participants
  • CIO
  • Senior IT leaders

Phase 3 outline

Call 1-888-670-8889 or email GuidedImplementations@InfoTech.com for more information.

Complete these steps on your own, or call us to complete a guided implementation. A guided implementation is a series of 2-3 advisory calls that help you execute each phase of a project. They are included in most advisory memberships.

Guided Implementation 3: Develop Recommendations

Proposed Time to Completion: 2 weeks

Step 3.1: Identify Target Initiatives

Start with an analyst kick-off call:

  • Discuss gap between current and target capabilities.
  • Discuss potential key initiatives to bridge the gap.

Then complete these activities…

  • Perform a gap analysis.
  • Identify key initiatives.
  • Map initiatives to target goals and capabilities.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet
  • IT Implications Checklist

Step 3.2: Plan Implementation

Review findings with analyst:

  • Discuss critical path for key initiatives.
  • Identify key messages for each project.

Then complete these activities…

  • Create profiles for each initiative.
  • Prioritize each initiative.
  • Create a communication plan.

With these tools & templates:

  • Service Support Strategy Worksheet
  • Service Support Strategy Roadmap

Phase 3 Results:

  • Defined and prioritized key initiatives

If you want additional support, have our analysts guide you through this phase as part of an Info-Tech workshop

Book a workshop with our Info-Tech analysts:

  • To accelerate this project, engage your IT team in an Info-Tech workshop with an Info-Tech analyst team.
  • Info-Tech analysts will join you and your team onsite at your location or welcome you to Info-Tech’s historic Toronto office to participate in an innovative onsite workshop.
  • Contact your account manager (www.infotech.com/account), or email Workshops@InfoTech.com for more information.

The following are sample activities that will be conducted by Info-Tech analysts with your team:

3.1.2 Connect key initiatives to target goals and capabilities

Discuss how to align supporting initiatives with their relevant capabilities and goals.

3.2.1 Develop a Lean Canvas for each key initiative

Discuss how to use this communication method to identify key messages for each initiative.

Insight breakdown

Info-Tech Best Practices

Phase 1:

Analyze service support trends to understand potential shifts in the landscape. They may be beyond the strategy’s scope, but you should have a sense of how they might impact service support.

Phase 2:

Don’t rush into an evaluation of technology or the feasibility of a specific option. Start with the overarching business objectives and work your way down.

Phase 3:

The best strategies identify opportunities and risks early in the process. Engage stakeholders in a recommendation discussion to improve your strategic peripheral vision, and increase buy-in.

"It’s tempting to start with questions about ITIL or the next-generation service desk. But these commit you to pursuing frameworks or technologies before you even define challenges.

The right question to ask first is: how can I solve my organization’s service support problems, quickly and permanently?"

Michel Hebert, PhD

Research Director

Info-Tech Research Group

Summary of accomplishment

Knowledge Gained

  • Review service support trends
  • Documented high-level IT strategy
  • CSFs and KPIs
  • Current service support strengths and challenges
  • Target service support initiatives tied to goals and capabilities

Deliverables Completed

  • Service support strategy
  • High-level project communication plan

Related Info-Tech research

Standardize the Service Desk

Strengthen your service desk to build a strong ITSM foundation.

Create a Service Management Roadmap

Know where you are, when to start, and how to get there.

Build a Continual Improvement Plan for the Service Desk

Teach your old service desk new tricks.

Build an IT Strategy for the Small Enterprise

Don’t let false assumptions hold you back.

Outsource the Service Desk

If your outsourcing project is driven by cost alone, you will fail.

Rapidly Develop a Visual IT Strategy

Break the cycle of outdated and unread IT strategies.

Workshop Structure

  • Day 1: Design Target State
  • Day 2: Assess Current State
  • Day 3: Perform Gap Analysis
  • Day 4: Develop Action Plan

Day 1 – Design Target State

Today’s Agenda
8:30 a.m.
  • Introductions and project rationale
10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:30 a.m.
  • Review service support trends
12:00 p.m. LUNCH
1:00 p.m.
  • Document IT strategy, service support goals, and capabilities
2:30 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m.
  • Identify critical success factors and key performance indicators
Deliverables
  • Service support trends
  • High-level IT strategy, CSFs, and KPIs

Day 2 – Assess Current State

Today’s Agenda
8:30 a.m.
  • Perform maturity assessment and review diagnostics
10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:30 a.m.
  • Identify service support challenges
  • Perform SWOT
12:00 p.m. LUNCH
1:00 p.m.
  • Identify areas for improvement
2:30 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m.
  • Document in-flight initiatives and current capabilities
Deliverables
  • Current service support strengths and challenges

Day 3 – Perform Gap Analysis

Today’s Agenda
8:30 a.m.
  • Perform a gap analysis for service support capabilities
10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:30 a.m.
  • Identify key initiatives to bridge capabilities gap (1)
12:00 p.m. LUNCH
1:00 p.m.
  • Identify key initiatives to bridge capabilities gap (2)
2:30 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m.
  • Tie key initiatives to target capabilities
Deliverables
  • Key service support initiatives to develop target state

Day 4 – Develop Action Plan

Today’s Agenda
8:30 a.m.
  • Create profiles for each initiative (1)
10:00 a.m. BREAK
10:30 a.m.
  • Create profiles for each initiative (2)
12:00 p.m. LUNCH
1:00 p.m.
  • Build implementation roadmap
2:30 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m.
  • Develop key messages for communication plan
Deliverables
  • Implementation roadmap
  • High-level communication plan

Works cited

Briggs, Bill, et al. “Manifesting legacy: Looking beyond the digital era.” Deloitte. 8 Aug. 2018. Web.

Schiff, Jennifer Lonoff. “8 strategies for achieving IT goals.” CIO. 26 Oct. 2016. Web.

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A blueprint is designed to be a roadmap, containing a methodology and the tools and templates you need to solve your IT problems.

Each blueprint can be accompanied by a Guided Implementation that provides you access to our world-class analysts to help you get through the project.

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Guided Implementation #1 - Design target state
  • Call #1 - Review service support trends.
  • Call #2 - Document IT strategy; determine goals and capabilities.

Guided Implementation #2 - Assess current state
  • Call #1 - Identify CSFs and KPIs.
  • Call #2 - Perform maturity assessments, identify challenges, and assess existing capabilities.

Guided Implementation #3 - Develop recommendations
  • Call #1 - Perform a gap analysis, identify key initiatives, and map them to capabilities.
  • Call #2 - Develop key initiatives.

Author

Michel Hebert

Contributors

  • Suneet Arora, Director, Service Delivery, Colliers International
  • Ron Hunt, Senior Director, IT Client Services, Universal Music Group
  • Karim Bechane, Director, IT Client Services, Canadian Food Inspection Agency
  • Madonna Arntz, Armstrong World Industries, Manager, IT Service Experience
  • 16 anonymous industry contributors
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