- Analyze, Document, and Maintain Processes: Process analysis is where any good project starts, and automating your service desk is no different. Analysis is pretty easy because it should primarily involve shadowing your work force. Documenting might be a little harder because finding the resources to commit is always a challenge. However, it will help a great deal during Step 2. Finally, maintenance is perhaps the most important part of this step. Processes are great, but if you don't have a system in place for tracking that change back to the process, you'll be right back to where you started. Though, a complete Change Management solution can help you with this as well.
- Create or Update Your Service Level Agreement (SLA): The best way to think about this is as a living document that is a bond between you and your customer - be them internal or external. It will changes, and like processes, need to be updated over time. However, it's perhaps the strongest communication tool you have when setting expectations and managing the automation of a Service Desk. We wrote about the value of an SLA a few weeks ago, and offered a few resources to get you started.
- Define Ownership and Roles within Your IT Organization: At this point, you should be glad you did your due diligence with regard to the first and second steps. However, a good way to visualize this step is a mapping of how incidents and request will flow through your IT organization. Important to remember is how items that are submitted get routed by importance, level of severity, and expertise requires to resolve an issue.
Setup a Web Interface for Users to Browse and Select Services: Part of automation is allowing users to have access to review and browse your services 24 hours a day. That doesn't mean all incidents or requests will get resolved in that same time frame. Though, it's an excellent practice when describing services via the Service Catalog, you also set an expectation for how long it will be till a user receives a response. If you are evaluating a tool, make sure it has this option (many do not), ChangeGear does.
- Upgrade to an Automatable Service Desk Tool: Succeeding through the previous four steps, but trying to use a system that does not allow you automatically build connections between users, systems, and support staff is like trekking up Mount Everest, then deciding to turn around right before you reach the peak. In that, we aren't going to tell you Service Desk automation is easy, and won't present any challenges - it most definitely will. However, much of that is resolved during the process and communication work you will need to do. Once all that is done, a solution like ChangeGear Service Desk will support and extend your efforts in the preceding steps. This means your entire organization will have a better view of what needs to be done, automatically.