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5 Ways a Service Desk Can Promote Collaboration

02/03/2014 by: The SunView Team

Communication is not always enough to drive success in the IT service desk. Instead, co-workers need to be able to seamlessly collaborate with their peers to effectively move projects between users, coordinate change management and support other key aspects of operations. As such, a homegrown help desk or similar solution built around email, SharePoint and other tools is usually ill-equipped to support the in-project ticketing and process integration necessary to enable service desk efficiency.

Deploying an advanced service desk can prove a vital consideration when trying to improve collaboration, and there are a few ways that a good solution can meet this need:

1. Better ticketing
An efficient ticketing system plays a critical role in enabling effective process collaboration when supporting various change, problem and incident management operations. A single support request may only require process completion from one service desk employee, but it may also require input from multiple project stakeholders. Getting different stakeholders to collaborate on such a project often hinges on being able to quickly pass tickets between users and update them with the status of the project.

2. Process automation
Sometimes the most difficult aspect of collaboration is getting everybody involved in a project to complete their assigned process and pass the effort along to the next worker in the chain. The actual process of passing a project between users can often be automated by scripting these operations. The end results is often a much more collaborative work environment in which many basic communication tasks that can be neglected because of human error are automated, making it much easier to move through complex projects and support requests.

3. Better reporting
Effective collaboration now often depends on when and how to contact different people who are involved in a project. For example, a service desk group completing a complex change needs to understand the best ways to get a hold of different stakeholders to communicate problems that arise or tell them when they are needed for a specific task. Effective data reporting can help managers understand when workers tend to perform different tasks, what methods they use most frequently and what parts of the day give them the most flex time. These types of data sets can inform collaboration strategies, project development and other key considerations as service desk teams work to develop the best ways to get the job done.

4. Management tools
It is possible for a single individual to hold back a project because he or she is not collaborating effectively with peers. Many service desk solutions feature strategic management tools that combine reporting data with process oversight and governance systems to help managers identify issues and resolve them quickly. The end result is often a much simpler environment for collaboration because managers are given the tools they need to identify why strategies are failing and develop effective solutions.

5. Improve efficiency
Sometimes the greatest barrier to effective collaboration is time. Employees that do not have enough time to handle their basic day-to-day tasks will likely struggle to effectively communicate and work with their peers. It is often considered faster to divide and conquer major projects than it is to truly collaborate. However, some processes, like change management, require genuine collaboration. One of the best ways to encourage innovation in this area is to improve operational efficiency in everyday tasks. An advanced service desk solution can streamline day-to-day tasks and help workers avoid getting so bogged down in their to-do list that they fail to collaborate effectively.

Improving service desk operations can create considerable business value, but finding success in this area hinges on effective collaboration between workers. An advanced service desk solution can give organizations the functionality they need to build better collaboration frameworks and generate a return on investment.

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