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Incident Management: How the Help Desk Should Work

01/16/2012 by: The SunView Team


A few years ago I made one of the worst verbal slips I have ever made. Now, you must take into consideration that I like to talk almost as much as I like to write. Given that, I rarely turn down an opportunity to argue. So, even when I slip, as I did this day, I still find a way to argue my own point. Worse yet, I'll typically argue my own point to death, unleashing my own horrible combination of ad hominem type attacks and faulty logic in an fleeting attempt to confuse a foe. It's never pretty, and the aftermath is painful to look at. This time was no different. That's how lessons in life work I suppose, even those related to Incident Management and the Help Support Service Desk.

Now on this particular day, I walked into the IT Support area expecting the usually benign banter of video game, super hero, and "what's for lunch" conversation. While all of that did occur, we also got on the topic of "the naming of desks which offer help, service, and/or support." I positioned myself on the side of logic (purely my own), that there's not much in a name - it comes down to what you do at the end of the day. Little did I know, help desk, at least with this group, was the name that should not be spoken . By doing so, I had, without knowing, broken a sacred tenet of the support desk. In a few short seconds, I had stomped on accepted semantics, and in turn, alienated myself from the group. Eventually we got past this, though neither myself, nor the rest of the group, ever truly conceded a right or wrong name.

It's sad really, but in my situation we never really pulled back the layers of the discussion enough to see that we were all, in a way, right and wrong, simultaneously. In fact, even though this was long before I ever understood the true concept of IT Service Management or ITIL, neither of our arguments for naming ever considered the actual concept of Incident Management. We most certainly didn't think about how processes could do much more to improve our perception within the business than any name ever could.

Where do you start though, and how do you convert a team's compelling concern over naming conventions into a focus on service-oriented and process-driven results? Quite simply, you start with the basics. That means identifying the reason a desk of any name is there in the first place - to provide service (help) and resolution (support) to users. In turn, add value to the business no matter what the department is called.

Next, you implement industry-standard best practices like ITIL, with an introduction to the core set of topics relevant to the team; in this case Incident Management. Luckily, The ITSM Lens, Sun View Software, and the Experts at Pink Elephant have done just that in the Free Webinar: Key Concepts of Incident Management.

In the short webinar (less than 30 minutes) George Spalding, Executive Vice President at Pink Elephant, offers a straightforward, easy-to-understand introduction to the ITIL process of Incident Management. We've included some of the key points that are included below. However, this is just a sample. Click the banner to view the full video.

Key Concepts of Incident Management Webinar - Overview

  • A Brief An Introduction to ITIL
  • How to Fix the User vs. Technology
  • Tips for Effective Automation
  • The Incident Process ( Identification to Closure)
  • Incident Ownership, Impact, Urgency, Priority, and Control
  • Relationships between Incident and Change Management

Image: Flickr | compujeramey