Productivity Best Practice 1: Use Your Data
Should be obvious, but it’s often not. Certain things are of no use if we don’t actively make use of them, and data is no exception. No matter what your business, if you aren’t tracking your data and using it to assess where you currently stand as well as to find areas in which your organization could improve, you’re missing out on the single biggest opportunity to increase your productivity — and profits.
In today’s world — the business world especially, where everything is moving and changing at such a rapid rate that to not keep up equates to hammering the last nail into your own coffin — you simply can’t afford to drop the ball on using your data to improve your business.
Using your data to become a more productive organization translates roughly to conducting an assessment. This assessment can be as simple or fancy as you want, but you need a way in which to measure the trajectory your company takes as it departs from its baseline (i.e., your current state of affairs). As has been said many a time, you can’t manage what you can’t measure.
This is where your data comes in. You have a ton of it. Question is, do you have the access you need to it and the ability to make sense of it? If not, get these things. (Hint: DashboardFox can help with that, learn more here.)
If you’re a service management organization, you’re probably familiar with how to perform assessments already, as you likely do so for your clients. Well, it’s time to eat your own dog food and do the same for your organization. Use data to figure out who your problem customers are, what they’re struggling with and how it’s affecting you, etc.
But go beyond that too. Start using your data (or, again, tracking it if you aren’t already) to figure out which devices around the office are breaking most often, where bottlenecks are occurring, what processes should be considered for automation, etc.
You might be thinking this is a lot of ground to cover. The good news is, you don’t have to do it all at once. But you do need to do some amount of it in order to figure out where your problem areas are and be able to develop an action plan to start clearing some of them up. Start wherever you’re comfortable, but start — and, perhaps most importantly, don’t stop.
Tracking the amount of time it takes from when a ticket is opened to when it is closed — often referred to as “time to close” (TTC) or “mean time to repair” (MTTR) — is one of the most commonly measured service-desk metrics. Many organizations tie this metric to an SLA and guarantee customers certain performance based on it (for example, all Priority 2 tickets will be closed no later than 6 hours after they’re opened).
While knowing what this metric is serves as a good starting point, the real value is understanding the underlying reason why this number is what it is — and more importantly, what improvements you can make in order to reduce it.
By being able to quickly view your standard TTC metric through a variety of different life-cycle lenses such as these, you can pinpoint which segments of tickets in your service desk are the biggest influencers of your overall TTC. Subsequently, you can target those specific segments for improvement, and once you’ve done that, just imagine…
All those pesky penalties you pay when you miss your SLA targets? Gone. Those unhappy customers waiting and waiting — and complaining and complaining — to be back up and running? Gone. Your boss hearing about how satisfied clients are with the service you’re providing instead? Check. Saving the company money because the help desk is performing better? Check. Suddenly getting more funding for your department? Checkmate.
In the next best practice, find out how an action plan helps you go a long way.