The phrase is believed to have originated with a naval aircraft engineer in the 1960s, but has been adopted in countless situations, including product design, architecture, and information technology. The KISS principle acknowledges two things:
- People generally want things to be simple and easy to learn or use.
- On the part of the producer of products or provider of services, simplicity is advantageous, for reducing costs and time investments. However, it’s OK for design time to take longer or cost more, as long as the result is a net benefit in terms of simplicity of products and services in the long term.
It’s easy to see how the KISS principle makes sense for the IT service desk. Here are some of the ways an IT service desk can use the KISS principle to its advantage.
The IT Service Catalog
Implementation of an IT service catalog is a way to make access to IT services as simple and foolproof for the end user as possible. A service catalog allows users to “shop” for IT services, from requisitioning laptops for new employees to asking for help with a balky printer. With a great IT service catalog, the end user sees a simple interface that lets him or her easily and quickly request products and services. At the back end, great IT service management software can route these service catalog requests to particular IT help desk workers for maximum efficiency. A well-planned IT service catalog cuts down on phone time and allows end users to track the status of their requests, allowing help desk workers to concentrate on solving more complex problems.
The Self-Service Portal
A self-service portal is another application of the KISS principle in IT service provision. Rather than phoning the help desk and asking for a password reset, for example, the end user can access the self-service portal and reset the password himself, freeing up IT help desk workers to deal with problems end users can’t solve themselves. As another example, the self-service portal may walk the end user through the process of connecting to a network printer, again resulting in faster results and better use of human capital. The self-service portal doesn’t take the place of the IT help desk, but makes it run much more efficiently.
The Knowledge Base
Your knowledge base is standing by with answers at all times.
When your IT service management software allows creation of a knowledge base, you build up a base of solutions that help desk workers can access so as not to have to “reinvent the wheel” when coming up with solutions for end users. Once a help desk worker fixes a complex problem, she can add it to the knowledge base, along with appropriate tags. That way, the next time the problem occurs, she or anther help desk worker can refer to the knowledge base for a solution rather than spending time developing the solution all over again from scratch. A knowledge base is a terrific way to share information in a useful and practical manner.
The Cloud and the KISS Principle
IT service management software that resides in the cloud can greatly simplify IT service provision. If your IT service management software is run on-site on your servers, maintenance and upkeep of those servers is necessary. But with cloud service management software, your IT help desk and IT asset management software isn’t dependent on the health and upkeep of your on-site servers. This can be especially valuable to your disaster preparedness plan. Once you’re back online, so is your IT service management capability.