IT Service Desks have a primary responsibility to “Maintain End User Satisfaction with IT Services”. Think of internet banking services: if the end user could not use the service at the time they wished to do so, it would be unacceptable to him/her. The end user never accepts that “we met Service Level Requirements and are therefore performing well.” If the desired service is not available and functionally working, we are simply not meeting end user client requirements.
The foregoing is a dilemma; our service management can never be fast enough and we need to continually find ways to deliver faster without compromising quality of work. Unless we become blazingly fast, the end user client will not only lose faith in us, but in this day and age will be very vocal about it, possibly causing reputational damage to the service provider.
In short, the end user client wants it, and wants it right now.
How does Service Staff in this world of Instant Gratification ensure that they do fast and accurate incident analysis? The key is to select very “Capable and Skilled” individuals who can, in a structured manner (both as individuals and teams) think through an incident. The following are the golden rules for such thinking (see KEPNERandFOURIE ITRCA):
- What do I factually know about the incident?
- What don't I know about the incident?
- What factual gaps are there in the incident information?
- Who can provide the missing information?
The key to success is the ability to identify the key pieces of information needed to solve this incident rather than trying to work with all the information. Once the key information is mapped, the endless list of technical causes can quickly be tested against the factual information and “loser causes” can be eliminated so that no further time is wasted. Doing so allows the service person / team to focus and properly evaluate the remaining technical causes. This approach stands in stark contrast to a) trying to roll back all recent changes (or) b) trying to deal with all possible causes which creates chaos. The KEPNERandFOURIE CauseWise “Thinking On Your Feet Approach” is an ideal vehicle to scan out low viability technical causes. Then, the “CauseWise Intuitive Method” can be used to evaluate the remaining technical causes in good time, which guides the team to drill down to the root cause.
This blog post was authored by Adriaan du Plessis, Partner of Thinking Dimensions Global
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