What is a great question to ask about Help Desk Management?

Effective and efficient Help Desk Management is important for a wide range of businesses and companies. Private and Public companies use Help Desks and Service Desks to stay in touch with their customers, Irrespective of them being for profit or not for profit. 

Running a smooth help desk is not just important for IT departments and companies, it is an important skill set for many different industries. A successful help desk creates improved customer satisfaction as well as an improved business image. After all, we all make mistakes and unforeseen things happen but it’s how you handle the impact is what separates the successful companies from their lesser counterparts.

That’s why this month (March 2019) one of the Self Assessment Toolkits is the Help Desk Management (Available for Silver and Gold Level Subscribers).

Let’s take a deep dive into this toolkit and how the questions help you to identify the effectiveness and efficiency of the Help Desk at your work (or your customer’s )

In this toolkit there are 3 different sets of questions:

  1. Checklists

The questions in the checklist are useful if you need a selection of questions in relation to Incidents, Management or Service. These checklists are specifically for those topics. For example, with your team you can go through the questions to identify if you’ve missed certain aspects of Incident management.
You can also use these checklists to quickly find areas where you can improve. These areas will be mostly around measurement, analysis and documentation. It’s one thing to be able to guess the answer to the question – the challenge is to find the correct and documented answer.

In this checklist you will find questions like:

  • What do outages and major incidents cost you?
  • How quickly are you responding to incidents?
  • Who has the ultimate responsibility in case of a cyber incident?

2) Self Assessment Questionnaire.

In STEP 2 you will find a PDF book with a full Self Assessment and an Excel Spreadsheet with up to 1000 unique and specific questions in relation to improving the management of a Help Desk.

The Self Assessment questions are organised based on the maturity level of the business processes in the organisation.

For the benefit of the Self Assessment questionnaires, we identified 7 levels of process maturity:

  • Recognise —> You recognise that Help Desk Management is a thing and that it may be of interest to you and your organisation.
  • Define —> Now that you know that you need to invest in a more robust Help Desk Management system you need to define what this means to you and your organisation. What are the timelines you accept for incident handling? What are the definitions of a customer, VIP customer etc.?
    This section is important to set the foundation for improvement projects down the track, ensuring you don’t waste time and money by implementing the wrong thing for the company.
  • Measure —> You have a Help Desk and a management system in place, but are you measuring the tasks and activities? How well do you document your measurements, and are you considering dependencies between measurements? To what level of granularity do you need to measure and report in relation to Help Desk Management?
  • Analyse —> Measuring is great, but the raw data doesn’t tell the story. What type of analysis do you perform around Help Desk Management?
  • Improve —> Now that you have an analysis of the measurements that you’ve taken about your Help Desk Management system you can start planning for your improvement projects. How can you implement ongoing and continual improvement as a second nature in all your processes? What needs to be done to achieve this?
  • Control —> Once you achieve this level of maturity it becomes all about controlling the input, the activities and the output. How can we control every step in the management system so we can proactively change course when we feel things are going off the rails?
  • Sustain —> The ultimate level of maturity and sophistication. It’s (relatively) easy to achieve a result once, but can you sustain this level of quality without negative side effects?

The questions in this questionnaire help you improve the Help Desk Management processes as you’re getting a deeper understanding of the process maturity across various areas in the organisation (or even between individuals). It helps to identify the gaps in knowledge, processes and documentation. 

You can use the questionnaire ‘as is’ to perform a Self Assessment in the organisation. Or you select a number of questions as the basis of an executive presentation or white paper to start a conversation about the Help Desk Management Processes that are currently in operation in the business.

You can also randomly select a question to use as a communication starter at your weekly meetings with the Help Desk team. 

NOTE: The questionnaire can be a bit overwhelming, especially when you’re looking at 1000 questions. It’s quite OK to cherry pick a number of questions from each section to have a more manageable sub-set of the questions to go through with your team. Also – make sure you mention to your team that they can skip questions they don’t understand or that don’t make sense in the context of the Help Desk you’re running in the company.

3) Implement, Track, Follow up and Revise Strategy

The questions in this section of the Self Assessment all focus on the implementation of Help Desk Management process activities and how to track the results. We recognise that most of our clients will use a specific project management methodology or toolset already in their organisation. But it never hurts to have a fresh look at the specific questions to ask at the different stages of an implementation project.

For example, as part to the Executing Process Group there are questions about change requests, quality audit, team performance assessment and Issue logs.

For example, in the Team Performance Assessment checklist you can find questions like:

  • To what degree can all members engage in open and interactive conversations?
  • How do you keep key people outside the group informed about its accomplishments?
  • To what degree are the goals ambitious?
Walk Through of the Help Desk Management Self Assessment Toolkit

Want the Help Desk Management Self Assessment Toolkit at 60% discount? Sign up as a The Art of Service Member.