The modern enterprise is no longer siloed. One day, sales might be working with the product team to talk about how to portray the product to clients, and the next day development may be helping marketing with the verbiage for a piece of collateral. And, as an IT professional, you’re already well aware that an average day at the office may require you to help all departments at once, meaning that you’re rarely ever at your desk.
An organization needs teamwork to make the dream work (yep, I said it!). It’s only with the combined talents of every employee that business objectives can be met. However, despite this fact, why is it that IT is seen as the only “service provider”? Do your coworkers look at collaboration with other departments as a “service” that can be offered and requested?
Well, they should. By ditching antiquated ideas of daily “to do” lists and never ending lists of projects to be completed, employees can not only manage their time and energy more efficiently, but executives can enjoy better reporting and troubleshooting. It’s time to lend IT’s expertise of processes and tools to other departments.
Each Department Has a Service
So, let’s talk about what makes a task a service using traditional IT categorization. A service is best identified by looking at your tasks and determining whether they fall into one of these two categories:
- Break/Fix — Something has broken and needs to be fixed.
- Service Request — A task that needs to be performed for someone else, such as a purchase or approval.
Most likely, tasks are a little more nuanced. For example, sales may not be thinking in terms of breaking or fixing, but human resources probably has a lot of issues that they need to fix, from settling a dispute between co-workers (don’t lie, we all know that it happens) to fixing the issues that have arisen from making a switch to a new insurance provider. In short, whether the services that your employees offer are break/fix or just regular service requests will vary from department to department.
The best way to identify a service that can be rendered is, well, if they’ve already done it in the past, and are often asked to repeat it.
The Right Tools for the Job
Once your coworkers are starting to think about their job responsibilities in terms of services they provide, it’s time to add tools into the mix.
Service Catalog + Service Desk = Saying “No” When You Need To
Just because someone offers a service doesn’t mean that they can drop everything they’re working on in order to help one person. If each department has a list of all the services they offer and a platform through which other employees can make requests, they’ll immediately be able to start filtering out tasks and will have the power to say “no” or delay. The product team may offer a new feature presentation at another department’s request, but when that department submits a ticket, it falls in line behind other requests they’ve already received.
Let’s say that human resources thinks that they get way too many emails for paid time off requests. Or maybe marketing is getting tired of having to remind everyone about what the company’s official colors are in hexadecimal codes. Any piece of information that is frequently requested, and doesn’t have an answer that varies from user to user, can live in an article in the knowledge base. Anyone from another department can log on and read the article and get the information they need without any personal assistance.
Where’d You Get That Asset From?
Asset management is one of the easiest ways to introduce an IT tool to a non-IT (or just non-tech savvy) department. Every department has assets, from the laptops sales uses to give demos to the shirts and pens that marketing gives out at conferences. Keeping an inventory of all the moving parts gives the department the power to budget to buy new tools or to simply know where everything is.
It’s Time to Add Value
Your boss isn’t just going to let you change processes if there isn’t a larger benefit that could be added. The best way to show your boss what’s really working? It’s a numbers game — with key performance indicators (KPIs). These are KPIs that IT lives by, but they could also benefit teams across the enterprise as they work to develop more efficient processes when it comes to cross-departmental requests.
Maybe don’t refer to your co-workers as “customers,” but since you’re giving a service, you want to ensure that your service met or exceeded expectations and that your fellow employees were happy to get your help. If you have a low satisfaction score, you might not be the team player you think you are.
Time to Resolution
While part of the service desk’s job is to give you the power to manage your time wisely, that doesn’t mean that you should slack off when a request is sent. The same tool IT uses, can be used to help efficiently measure how quickly requests are completed across departments.
First Touch Resolution
Are you the right person for the job? If you’re frequently having to escalate a service request to someone who is a more senior member of the team, it’s time to make a change to either the service catalog or to your team’s training. Hands-off escalations are the new cool thing, we promise.
Nobody wants to be the worker that has more on his or her plate than everyone else. On the other hand, if someone is noticeably not pulling their weight, it’s time for a serious talk.
Becoming an Enterprise Team Player
IT has a plethora of expertise when it comes to service workflows and managing time. Once the rest of the enterprise gets on board with that way of thinking, departments can truly work together to get the job done. By arming your workforce with the tools and KPIs to ensure efficiency, you’ll find a new level of success in no time. Who says IT can’t be a team player?