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Welcome to the SysAid Blog - the place to go to find out where the IT industry is going, and what is SysAid’s role in it.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

IT service desk warriors

Your IT service desk staff are hopefully warriors, battling incidents and tirelessly delivering against service requests on a daily basis to ensure the smooth running of the technology that supports and drives your organization forward.

But sadly, due to the high intensity of the service desk role, people move on and need to be replaced. So what should you be looking for in an IT service desk candidate? Do you replace “like for like” or do you look to take your team to the next level? A level where the service desk is about more than just providing technical support, with customer service and the customer experience a growing requirement of end users whose expectations are rising in line with their personal-life experiences of technology, service, and support.

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Posted by on in Service Desk

Producing value in ITSM

Ever hear that ITSM (and ITIL) are not about the processes? If that’s true, then why are the ITIL volumes full of processes? Incident management, change management, release, and so on. Twenty-six of them, at last count. What am I missing?

Processes Are Great, But…

If you look at IT from the perspective of the customer – as all IT providers should – it becomes immediately obvious that processes are vastly less important than the outcomes the customer can see. Customers know processes are key to producing outcomes, but frankly, the customers care very much about the outcomes, and very little about the processes themselves.

So, let’s agree on this:

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Posted by on in Service Desk

ITSM management meetings

Has this ever happened to you?

You’re asked to look at a pressing issue and report back your findings and ideas at the next management status meeting.

You interrupt what you're doing, invest time, do the research, and develop a rationale for what's causing the issue, as well as some ideas on how it can be addressed.

The status meeting is well attended by all the right decision-makers. You present your ideas, your logic is irrefutable, your research and data bulletproof. Heads nod in agreement. It seems to go well.

The meeting ends, and when back at your desk a “ding” signals the arrival of an email thanking you for your ideas. A short time later, you hear from others your proposal has been parked.

What went wrong you wonder?

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Posted by on in Service Desk

Service desk value chain

I was riding home on my bike recently when the traffic lights turned red, as they do.  I stopped, and waited for them to turn green again so I could go.  There were cars all around me.  When the lights finally did turn green I pedalled as hard as I could to try to get clear of the traffic and into a safe space at the edge of the road.

Unfortunately, my bike picked that exact moment to develop a fault.

The freehub that is supposed to disconnect the wheel from the chain when you are rolling down a hill decided that now was a really good time to go into operation. But it wasn’t supposed to.  The result was that no matter how hard I pedalled – and believe me, I pedalled as hard as I could – the bike just stayed still, before slowly starting to topple over. I felt like a character in a classic cartoon, working hard but making no progress and heading for a fall.

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Posted by on in ITIL

Supercharging change management process

When creating a request for change (RFC), it's tempting to stick to the bare minimum. After all, most of us have better things to do than populating endless forms with information that nobody really needs to know. I mean what are the chances of the requested change going wrong?

Apparently pretty high it seems, if the oft-quoted incidents-related-to-change numbers are to be believed. So with a high proportion of incidents caused by a change can you really afford to be slapdash when submitting an RFC? So what can you do to make your RFC process, and forms, better? Here are my top tips for supercharging your requests for change.

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Posted by on in Events

Service Desk & IT Support Show (SITS)

As an exhibitor, it seems to take forever to plan for the Service Desk and IT Support Show (SITS) but, once you are there, the two-day event is a case of “blink and you’ll miss it.” Of course if you didn’t attend this year’s event, then you’ll have missed it anyway. Not just the ocean of IT service management (ITSM) vendors displaying their respective wares but also the hectic schedule of educational sessions.

Thankfully, this is where this blog comes in – it’s a potted summary of some of that educational content, organized in a number of action-based statements:

  1. Benefit from ITIL Practitioner
  2. Don’t forget the negative impact of self-service success
  3. Look to the Twitter stream
  4. Get the basics right
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Posted by on in Service Desk

Emergency Room Syndrome in ITSM

I was trying to get support from a supplier recently and, after considerable delay in reaching a service desk agent, I was upset to be able to hear the boredom in his voice.  It was a routine call perhaps, but I was having a domestic crisis and needed something fixed that day. Why was this guy sounding so uninterested?

In the ITIL® Service Transition book, the authors made up a term to describe this: “Emergency Room Syndrome”. In that book the term is used to describe the need to remember – as a front-line service agent – that however routine the job and the situations become to you, it is essential to remember that many customers are experiencing disruptive events for the first time. They will be upset, possibly frightened and probably tense and stressed. Good agents will not only be aware of that, but will respond and support that level of crisis, offering calm but interested support and prioritizing in accordance with the customers’ needs, not their vision of routine.

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Posted by on in Technologies

Disappointment in DevOps

DevOps is currently very fashionable, and so I hear lots of people talking about how their IT organization will be doing DevOps over the next year or so. The trouble is, as soon as I hear this I cringe, because I can’t help thinking about all of the failed improvement projects these same IT organizations have run in the past. Their stories are remarkably similar and they go something like this…

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Posted by on in Service Desk

Cohesive ITSM team

Leading and managing an IT service management (ITSM) team can be tough. Not only do you need to think about your own performance, how you feel about your job, and your motivation, there are also the perspectives on the team as a whole and of the individual team members.

Team dynamics are an interesting thing – I guess that anything that involves people and the unpredictability of human behavior always is. Even if you’ve handpicked each team member from the crème de la crème of the ITSM industry there will still be times when day-to-day operations are adversely impacted by personality clashes, personal issues spilling over into work, and general slumps in performance. Sadly, it can be even more difficult in the real world, where your ITSM team might be an “inherited” mixed bag of great people – some brimming with potential but have yet to deliver on it, and maybe the odd one or two who think that they are paid to attend work rather than to actively embrace and participate in work.

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Posted by on in Events

Service Desk and IT Support Show (SITS)

Are you going to the annual Service Desk and IT Support Show (SITS16) in London? It’s a free-to-attend IT service management (ITSM) and service desk event where not only do you get to see just about every ITSM tool vendor on the planet, and there’s a few, there’s also a wealth of great ITSM and service desk seminar content available to attendees. It’s not too late to register for the event, if you can get to London for the 8th or 9th of June.

I’m very pleased to be attending SITS again this year, it’s a great ITSM event, but the reality of attending has hit me – with so much quality seminar content to choose from, which sessions do you see and which do you sadly have insufficient time to make? At SysAid we call this “Sophie Danby’s choice,” that’s having to forgo quality presenters and topics due to the competing seminar streams. Unfortunately, it’s a common issue across the global ITSM event circuit that we never seem to be able to avoid.

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