For Best Practise (ITIL)
When looking to improve the performance of the Help Desk using an existing framework based on industry best practice can save time and effort, and avoid repeating mistakes that others have already learned from. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is such a framework. Industry adoption of its recommendations has been exponential in recent years.
ITIL is a comprehensive framework covering the entire range of IT’s responsibilities. It offers definitions, explains challenges, defines critical success factors and risks, provides procedural advice and guidance on implementation and much more.
For a Help Desk looking to start process improvement using the ITIL framework the key functions and processes that need to be addressed are as follows:
Service Desk – is the single point of contact for IT users for the handling of incident and service requests. Service Desk staff deal with a variety of service events that come through various channels including telephone, web, email and infrastructure monitoring systems.
Request Fulfilment – manages those customer service requests which are ‘business as usual’, as distinct from those regarding IT issues (faults). Service Requests follow a predefined and approved workflow with clear qualifications for access to each service request.
Incident Management – seeks to resolve a fault as quickly as reasonable, while minimising business disruption, in order to restore a user’s productivity. This is a reactive process that occurs after the fault in the IT environment has already occurred and impacted on users.
Problem Management – seeks to proactively prevent incidents from occurring by monitoring and analysing the IT environment to identify areas of weakness and risk. Incident Management provides information for this process.
Service Level Management – is quality focused. It manages and maintains the quality of IT services delivered to customers and seeks to improve it through cycles of continuous improvement.
Configuration Management – this process controls and identifies assets (configuration items) and most importantly identifies the nature and importance of relationships between these configuration items. It is a vital underpinning process that enables many other ITIL processes.
Knowledge Management - makes available the right information to the right person at the right time. And by doing so, enables them to make an informed decision. The quality of decision making is dependent on reliable knowledge.