IT Services will be undergoing changes over the next 5 years in the way we work and manage our services. Due to increased demand on staff time, increased requests for IT support around the University and planned growth of potentially up to 20,000 students, there is a need to ensure that as an IT department we are scaling with the requirements of the institution.
Rather than biting off more than we can chew, we are going to start off with a Phase 1 project which will be focused around Incident and Problem Management. The mandate (project idea) has been approved by the Project Coordination Group and a business case (more in-depth project plan) is now being written up for approval by the Systems and Academic Projects Board sub-committee.
The Aims of the project are to:
- Ensure customers know how we can (and can’t) support them at our three main campuses.
- Ensure customers feel looked after from before they need IT support to after a support call has been completed.
- Ensure everyone has access to the relevant information they need throughout the process of a support call.
- Enable measurement of incident and problem levels and provide regular reports to service managers for analysis.
- Provide management information for Directors and Team Leaders on customer satisfaction and service level target achievements.
- Ensure IT support is meeting the needs of the institution.
We will be achieving this by:
- Understanding, developing and documenting a list of IT Services supported services.
- Adopting and adapting the ITIL Incident Management and Problem Management processes and embedding them within IT Services team working practices.
- Ensuring IT Services teams have adequate training and support to enable them to successfully change their way of working to fit in with these processes.
- Setting expectations for IT support and communicating them clearly to customers and stakeholders.
- Making best use of the existing ITSM software tool, Cherwell, to manage incidents and problems.
- Establishing an expectation of customer self-service and planning the development of the knowledgebase for high volume and/or high impact issues.
- Setting up a Continuous Service Improvement plan to review the process after implementation.
The Benefits the project will provide:
- Stability and efficiency of IT service support for future growth.
- More effectively meeting business needs for solving issues by generating accurate prioritisation standards, VIP user criteria and service level targets.
- More accurate allocation of resource for support and maintenance of services versus IT projects.
- Accurate and comprehensive data collected on the support and maintenance resource costs of all IT services.
- Efficiency of incident and problem turnaround time due to greater clarity of process from first line support to third line developer fix.
- Clarity for customers on where to go for IT support.
- Clarity for IT staff on who supports which services.
- Better communication about IT service outages or maintenance periods.
- Mutually agreed expectations for support channels, turnaround time and availability.
- Efficiency of self-service for customers by increasing the amount of IT knowledge articles available on the web.
Which will be measured by:
- Production of a publicly available Service List to document what IT services are supported at the University.
- Production of clear Service Level Targets for all IT Services managed services.
- Production of a list of VIP user criteria.
- Ability to access management information on service level target achievements and volume of support and maintenance for individual services.
- Increase in customer satisfaction via surveys (staff and student).
- Decrease in average support call time to close.
- Increase in number of “first-time fixes”.
- Increase in number of incidents and requests being entered into the ITSM tool.
- Ability to compare numbers of incidents versus requests.
- Increase in number of knowledgebase articles available on http://answers.essex.ac.uk and their respective view count and satisfaction rating.
- Increase in satisfaction with support and maintenance work by IT Services staff.
- Undertaking of a successful communication campaign around IT support to set clear customer expectations.
I’ll be writing more about this project on the blog over the coming months.
If you have any questions or comments about the project please don’t hesitate to contact Alex O’Neill for more information.