4 Ways to Keep Your IT Support Process Driven
Does the squeaky wheel in your business get the grease when it comes to IT support? What happens to the users that don’t make a big fuss over IT issues – are they just accustomed to getting slow response times? Or does your office manager have a to-do list of items that need to be handled? Whether you are a law firm, engineering or financial services firm you’ve probably seen these scenarios happen. Having a process driven approach can help your business avoid these types of situations and improve the quality of IT services and response times. Here are 4 ways to keep your IT support process driven. 1: Clear agreed to processes. Are your firm’s support processes clearly defined and agreed to by each of the stake-holder groups: The partners and associates, accounting, and IT department should all be on board. It’s one thing to have support processes in place and another to have support processes in place that everyone has helped develop, bought into and agree to follow. 2: Management system. There are many types of software here that can help execute the processes that you have defined. Ranging from a basic help-desk ticketing software to a more all in-compassing business management system or enterprise resource planning system (ERP) platform. Having a software system to realize the processes that your firm has agreed to is a good way to keep things on track. If your professional services firm starts using emails and folders in Outlook, an Excel sheet, or ad hoc calling the IT resource – these are indicators that your process may be breaking down. 3: Reporting. Basic summary reports of your IT support requests create accountability with the different departments within your firm. If there are complaints that response times are slow, or first time attempts to solve a problem doesn’t happen and the problems seem to linger, the reports can be used to clear the wheat from the chafe and have an objective look at what is working or what needs to be improved. After-all no one wants to call their help desk if they don’t have too. 4: Exception Management. As with most business operations, you may have a need for an exception outside of the routine process, but how do you keep exceptions from becoming the norm? Breaking your process driven approach to a reactive situation where your IT person is like a pinball bouncing from one exception to the next. You may have a client that needs something urgently and if the PDF writer doesn’t work or Outlook won’t open that translates to an IT support exception to meet the client’s immediate need. Having an exception process will help keep you on track versus just pulling resources off current issues to solve the emergencies. Having clear guidelines on what constitutes an exception and who can initiate the exception are good ways to keep the process from turning into the status quo.