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  • Business Case elements: Vision & Mission – new branding for your Service Desk Goals & Objectives Current situation – current cost of delivering service & support, with baseline numbers Proposed solution – move to a KP service desk Impact on organization – what aspects it will affect, and how Projected Savings and improvements in productivity Customer satisfaction improvement Staff satisfaction and increased retention Elements of the Proposed Solution: Process changes Systems and Resources Measurements, deliverables CBA, ROI and TCO of proposed solution Projected time-line, milestones
  • Build it into Leadership and Management Critical for success Knowledge Management is already a recognized ‘process’ in ITIL V3 So make sure it is an integral part of your core ITIL processes and supporting support systems Incident Management Here we are searching for a “match” immediately after completing classification and priority Our integration with our KM systems enters at three points: Searching for a match Capturing a solution to be submitted for review SME review of the solution, processing, and publishing Incident Management SOP Searching, Solution re-use, and Solution Capture should be clearly documented within the SOP Required fields must be provided for, and quality structure provided for. Illustrate with examples. Problem Management SOP Should also be clear in PM procedures how this process and the KEDB plays a key role in providing solutions, and facilitating rapid service restoration Ensure that everyone realizes that searching for a solution, or submitting a new solution for consideration, is ‘standard operating procedure’

Transcript

  • 1. “ Transitioning to a Knowledge-Powered Service Desk”
    • Paul M. Dooley
    • Principal – Optimal Connections, LLC
    • www.optimalconnections.com
  • 2. Paul M. Dooley - Principal Optimal Connections, LLC
    • Founder and Principal at Optimal Connections, LLC
    • Visit: www.optimalconnections.com
    • Based in So Cal., firm specializes in service desk and ITSM/ITIL training, assessments, and consulting in best-practices
    • 25+ years in service & support
    • IT Service Mgr, ITIL V3 Expert
  • 3. Caught Between a Rock and a Hard Place!
    • We were at a “cross-road” …
    • The Organization was to rolling out new technologies to our customer base during the upcoming year
    • At the same time, the economy was in “recession” (sound familiar?)
    • Based on my staffing model, and the projected increased workload, I submitted a request with justification for 4 additional support analysts
    • To my chagrin, my management replied that ‘headcount’ was ‘frozen’, and that I would just have to cope!
  • 4. Hard Choices to Make!
    • Fortunately I had metrics and reporting in place that allowed me to show management what would be the consequences …
      • Staff that would steadily be overwhelmed with added workload
      • A decline in average response times and resolution times
      • Decreased staff satisfaction, which could then lead to loss of staff and reduced productivity
      • Decreased customer satisfaction with our performance, which could lead to loss of customers
    • Bottom line – we were looking at reduced performance levels relative to SLAs, and increased costs to deliver!
  • 5. Which Way Should We Go? …
    • I gave management three options to consider, backed by solid evidence over the past year…
      • 1. We could maintain the same staff level , and take on the added work with no other changes; in this case we should expect declining performance and rising costs
      • 2. We could add the necessary headcount over the course of the year, as we had in the past – and maintain performance with the added workload (but more costs!)
      • 3. OR, we could move to a “ new way of working”, a new support model
  • 6. The Move to “Solution Centered Support”
    • A new “knowledge management” support paradigm was being introduced to the industry, based on the proposition that …
      • The key output of a support center was “solutions”
      • That many support center and help desks were ignoring this fact, and continuing to resolve the same solution over and over
      • Thus support analysts were not empowered, not equipped, and not performing optimally !
      • Bottom line : higher costs, lower productivity, lower customer and employee satisfaction!
  • 7. The Move to “Solution Centered Support”
    • We analyzed our reports over that past year, and indeed, we had been solving many issues over and over …incidents that customers could have resolved!
      • Simple ‘how to’ questions
      • Solutions to minor incidents
    • Customers had no access to solutions to simple incidents and requests
      • Thus we were not empowering them
      • And we were continuing to waste time on resolving simple issues, not realizing our potential
  • 8. The Move to “Solution Centered Support”
    • Financial/productivity Measurements
      • Incident volume: high
      • Types of incidents: many relatively simple
      • Average cost per incident: high
      • First Contact Resolution (FCR) rate: low
    • Customer & Employee Satisfaction
      • Customer & staff satisfaction level: low
    • Organizational Maturity Measurements
      • Time to proficiency for new staff members : months
      • Quality of existing solutions: poor
      • Time to publish and share solutions: almost never
      • Ratio of new/known incidents: most “new”
      • Existing level of self-service: practically zero
    Baseline Measurements we took a look at to examine where we were on a ‘ Balanced Scorecard ’ of results
  • 9. The Move to “Solution Centered Support”
    • Imagine: what if we could capture solutions “as we worked”!
      • Making these available immediately for re-use across the team, AND empower customers with solutions!
    • The challenge :
      • We would have to move to a “new way of working ”
      • A new support culture that realized knowledge management was central to success
    • We decided we would transition our support center
      • From a “ traditional ” phone centric model
      • To a multi-channel, knowledge-powered support model!
  • 10. Making the Business Case to Management
    • A business case was put together for management to consider
      • The three options were spelled out:
        • Option A : Doing nothing , and adding the additional load – with the resultant dire consequences
        • Option B: Adding 4 additional headcount thru next year, with the unwanted incremental expense
        • Option C: Transition to a new support model – “Solution Centered Support” (now referred to as KCS)
      • Option C made the most business sense
        • There would be incremental investment , but the cost/benefit analysis and ROI showed this was it!
        • Mgt approved, and we were off on the quest!
  • 11. The Results Exceeded Expectations!
    • We implemented a two-phase internal/external roll-out over 18 months , incorporating the new “knowledge centered” approach into everything we did!
      • Our core processes
      • Our support systems
      • Our very culture
    • At 12 months, the support team was successfully searching solutions, or creating new ones
    • The new model was adopted across all our teams - L1,2 and 3. Analysts were enthusiastic, as it made their job easier and vastly more effective!
  • 12. The Results Exceeded Expectations !
    • Satisfaction rose, average resolution times dropped, productivity per analyst increased, and customers were all the happier!
    • During the next 6 months we rolled access out to users through an integration to our web portal
      • Empowering customers
      • Reducing the level of simple incidents
      • Further boosting customer satisfaction!
      • Further reducing costs
      • Allows support analysts to reduce backlog and be more proactive
    • Year after year , this support center has continued to realize high ROI
  • 13. So …What Do We Mean by “Knowledge-Powered” Support?
    • Leveraging the power of collective experience & expertise to …
      • Solve it once , then reuse it – working smarter, not harder
      • Reduce average resolutions time through the reuse of accurate, proven solutions
      • Thus reducing costs of operation, boosting productivity
      • Increase the accuracy of answers and solutions presented
      • Increase consistency in the quality of solutions provided
      • Empower staff to be more effective
      • Equip new support staff to come up to speed quickly
      • Empowering customers to solve the simple issues themselves, thus raising customer satisfaction and ability
  • 14. Why Is Leveraging Knowledge Especially Important Now ?
    • Today the pressure is on to reduce costs, while maintaining quality and increasing customer satisfaction!
      • We have keener competition nationally, globally
      • IT must be an asset to the business
    • What is a key source of higher costs?
      • Lack of effective management of collective knowledge
      • Solving the same problem over and over
        • Inconsistently, inaccurately
        • Resulting in more labor than necessary applied to the service delivery process
  • 15. In a Knowledge-Powered Service Desk
    • In a Knowledge-Powered Support Center , you are always doing one of two things :
      • Either re-using previously captured solutions
      • or
      • Capturing and contributing new solutions
    • It is a closed loop, continuous process with measurements and quality assurance built in
  • 16. What Knowledge Management is, and is Not
    • Because of our “ tool-centered ” mentality in IT, we are often caught in the trap of thinking that buying a tool will be the solution, “the silver bullet”
    • “ A fool with a tool is still a fool”
    • Knowledge Management is not a “tool”!
      • A database
      • A Wiki
      • A FAQs list
      • A web site
      • A person
  • 17. True Knowledge Management is …
    • A PROCESS , not a tool or database
    • The tool or technology is the enabling factor
    • True Knowledge Management is not added on, but is ‘built in’ to everything that you do
      • It becomes a part of “ just the way you work”
    • A part of your culture
    • May be driven by a team , but the responsibility of everyone in the support center!
  • 18. So Why Aren’t All Support Centers Knowledge-Driven???
    • They are still operating on reactive models that capture ticket information , but not ‘ solutions’
    • They are too command & control driven , as opposed to being knowledge enabled and process driven
    • They are operating on the ‘ assisted’ model , instead of on a ‘ community’ model
      • Where customer self-service plays a complimentary role to the support center
      • Where online communities operate
      • Where customers are a ‘partner’ to the support center
  • 19. 9 Pitfalls to Avoid, or What NOT to Do!
    • How to NOT be successful at implementing a Knowledge-Powered Service Desk
      • 1. Approach the implementation as a tool or a database (“a fool with a tool is still a fool”) rather than as a process
      • 2. Make it the responsibility of one person – the “knowledge manager” (it thereby becomes no one else’s responsibility)
      • 3. Don’t integrate it with your processes, procedures, and systems – try to “add it on” as an optional, extra step and get people to participate
  • 20. Pitfalls to Avoid or What NOT to Do!
      • 4. Don’t document its use as part of peoples jobs – make it optional
      • 5. Don’t establish goals for adding knowledge to your KB – just assume people will cooperate
      • 6. Don’t incentivize people either
      • 7. Forget about establishing metrics for KM and assessing your performance against these targets
      • 8. Ignore a QA step – just add the knowledge in without review and publish it
      • 9. Don’t market and promote it internally & externally (“just build it and they will come”)
  • 21. So What ARE the 6 Keys to Success???
    • 1. Approach it as a process – not a tool!
    • 2. Establish a business case
    • 3. Set expectations for major change
    • 4. Implement the new support model as a project, employing Project Management best-practices
    • 5. Don’t ‘add it on’, build it in to everything you do – your very culture
    • 6. Keep it going with Continual Improvement
  • 22. Keys to Success: 1. Approach it as a Process (not a Tool!)
    • Approach it as the implementation of a “foundational” process
    • A change in Culture
      • Not just in process and tools
      • A change in mindset
      • The way work is conducted
    • Know that moving to a Knowledge-Powered Support Center will take time – not days or week, but months and years
  • 23. Keys to Success: 2. Develop a Clear Business Case!
    • Build a clear business case
      • Document current situation and solution
      • Impact: cost savings, productivity and customer satisfaction improvements
      • The solution – key elements: people, process, technology
      • Measurements, deliverables, timeline
    • Capture existing baselines to compare with later!
      • Performance – avg resolution time, FCR rate
      • Customer satisfaction level
      • Staff satisfaction level, retention rates
      • Most importantly, net this out to bottom line costs $$
  • 24. Keys to Success: 3. Set Expectations for a Major Change
    • Let support center staff know this is a change in the way you will operate
    • Let them know WHY, and WIIFM!
      • Eventually making their job easier, more fun, and rewarding
      • Customers will be happier, and the center will be more productive and cost-effective
    • It will not be optional but expected
    • It will eventually be integrated into everything that you do over time
    • Everyone will have a role to play
    • Secure high level management support (key!)
  • 25. Keys to Success: 4. Implement it as a Project
    • Approach it as a project , leveraging Project Management disciplines and tools
      • Appoint a strong project mgt. lead
      • Leadership and communication skills
    • Form a cross-functional team from the organization
      • Draw in other groups so they feel a part of this
    • Secure executive sponsorship to manage up!
    • Leverage PM best-practices to manage project effectively and deliver promised results
  • 26. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it In” to Everything You Do !
    • As opposed to making it one person or a small team’s responsibility, build it into the very fabric of your support center culture
    • Yes, you should have a focal point for the process, but ultimately you want everyone to feel they are a part of Knowledge Management
    • This includes:
      • Support Center Leadership
      • Policies and procedures documentation
      • Core processes: Incident Mgt, Problem Mgt
      • Tools and supporting systems
      • Metrics and reporting systems
      • QA processes
  • 27. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it In to …”
    • Your Leadership and Management
      • Supportive Management is critical!
    • Your Standard Procedures
      • This is not optional, or an extra step
      • Integrate search, capture and QA process steps into Incident & Problem Mgt documentation
      • Document what you mean by a ‘quality solution’
        • With symptom, cause, solution, steps & links
        • Implement Ticket Monitoring” to enforce consistency
  • 28. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it in to …”
    • Your Service Management System
      • Integrate it , so its no “extra step”
        • Search, capture, re-use just happens
      • Suggested solutions should appear proactively, in order of relevance
      • Make sure your integrated KMS tool is fast and efficient
        • Repository , structure , and search tool all play a role
        • Must be easy to use (Google is the standard!)
      • The search engine and interface should provide for free form, natural language query
  • 29. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it in to …”
    • Your People Management Systems
      • Job descriptions
        • Capturing and re-using solutions is a responsibility of all team members
        • Senior Analysts assigned a SME role
      • Reward and Recognition Program
        • Recognize and reward people for going above & beyond in contributing the KM process
      • Quality Assurance Processes
        • Ticket monitoring , to ensure structured solutions captured
      • Operating Level Agreements (OLA) between groups
        • To ensure all support teams participate
  • 30. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it in to …”
    • Your Metrics and Reporting
      • F inancial/productivity Measurements
        • Incident volume: should decrease
        • Types of incidents: will become more complex
        • Average cost per incident: will increase initially, then should decline over time
        • First Contact Resolution (FCR) rate: at first decline , then should improve
      • Customer Satisfaction Measurements
        • Customer satisfaction level: should rise!
  • 31. Keys to Success: 5. “Build it in to …”
    • Your Metrics and Reporting (Con’t)
      • Employee Satisfaction Measurements
        • Employee (staff) satisfaction level: should increase
      • Organizational Maturity Measurements
        • Time to proficiency for new staff: should drop
        • Quality and accuracy of solutions: should increase
        • Time to publish and share solutions: should decrease
        • Ratio of new/known incidents: should decline
        • L evel of self-service: should grow over time
  • 32. Keys to Success: 5. Build it in to…”
    • Knowledge Monitoring: include KM KPIs
      • Solution quality index
      • Number of solutions per period, by Analyst and Type
      • % growth of KB per period (is it growing per our expectation?)
      • % solutions re-used per period (should be increasing, indicating valuable solutions are being added)
      • % success rate per KB visit (should be increasing, showing increased quality of solution relative to need – target is > 50%)
      • Customer satisfaction level with solution quality (through an on-going survey process)
  • 33. Keys to Success: 5. Build it in to …”
    • Quality Assurance processes
      • Integrate QA step in solution capture : designated SME review and check before adding to the KB
        • Leverage Senior Analysts as SMEs
        • To review and assure on-going quality solutions
      • Establish a periodic auditing of the KMS repository to assure
        • Accuracy, completeness, and currency
        • Provide for archiving any “obsolete knowledge”
  • 34. Keys to Success: 6. Keep it Going with Continual Improvement
    • Maintain an on-going KM cross-functional team , with a designated process owner/manager
    • Incorporate KM metrics into daily, weekly, quarterly and annual reporting
      • Publish favorable impact on Balanced Scorecard performance metrics!
      • Look for opportunities to improve
    • Assess impact on KPIs in all four BSC quadrants
    • Translate KPIs to business ROI and $$ benefits
  • 35. Knowledge-Powered Support In Summary…
    • There is nothing more powerful you can do than incorporate Knowledge Management into your support!
    • It favorably impacts all four quadrants of a “Balanced Scorecard” of performance
    • The engine that will enable your support center to deliver high value to stakeholders – customers, staff, and the organization
    • Follow these steps, “build it in”, and your Support Center will be more productive and cost-effective
    • Plus – it makes work more fun!
  • 36. Resources for More Information!
    • Consortium for Service Innovation
      • www.serviceinnovation.org
      • Creators of the KCS Best-Practice
      • White Papers, Case Studies, and more!
    • itSMFusa.org
      • www.itsmfusa.org
      • ITSM/ITIL publications referencing Knowledge Management best-practices
    • HDI
      • Training on KCS - “Knowledge-Centered Support ”
  • 37. Thank You! Contact details: Paul M. Dooley Principal Optimal Connections, LLC Web: www.optimalconnections.com Email: pmdooley@optimalconnections.com Ph: +1 949-305-3544