There are some people in life that can keep multiple plates spinning in their head without allowing them to drop. I'm not one of those people. I marvel at their ability to juggle all types of things without forgetting something. However, the problem is that - at some point - something invariably gets forgotten. It might be an important task that was due yesterday or it might be the order in which a few critical things were completed. No matter what plate gets dropped and crashes to the floor, it is likely that it is an important one.
It's easy to see how this translates to your Help Desk. Forgetting about a customer request, not capturing the details around the solution to a customer problem and not being able to track the progress of an issue to be able to report on it are all signs of disorganization. And they can be killers for everyone involved - no matter if they are an end user or a technician. It seems like common sense, but I'm always amazed at how many people and companies say that they are highly organized but when you look closely, they actually have some real problems that can easily be solved. This type of problem is most often seen in new companies or smaller organizations but anyone can slip up and let complacency slip into their day-to-day work - no matter how large or small their service organization is.
So, why is it critically important for you or your group to get organized?
Trust from customers - it only takes one fail for trust in you and your Help Desk to plummet - especially if the issue is a high-profile one. It really doesn't matter what type of problem occurred - a forgotten task or ticket can cause the same type of loss of trust as taking way too long to fix an issue because you didn't capture how it was solved for another customer last week. The bottom line is that we are all held accountable for failures in the eyes of the customer. They don't care whose fault it was - only that their problem didn't get solved or that their SLA was not met.
It's too easy not to - with technology available to us today, there is no reason not to use something to stay organized. And if you have a smart phone, you can access the information that you need no matter where you are if you use the right tools. There are a lot of different methodologies documented that you can use and if all else fails, you can always use a simple pad of paper and a pen to implement any of them. You would be giving up a lot of advantages that tools specifically designed to help you get organized bring to the table, but ultimately, the organizational method is more important than the tool that you use to implement it.
Clearing your mind - I've always believed that a clear mind is a relaxed mind. One of the main positives that I noted when I decided to get ultra-organized was that I felt so much more relaxed - even under heavy stress. Simply keeping track of everything in one place with a single system to keep it organized reduced my stress level greatly. Before taking the plunge, I always wondered if I was really working on the right task at the moment or if I had captured everything that I really needed to for a given task. Even keeping a simple paper task list every day didn't help me because I was never 100% sure that it was correct and I couldn't easily pull priorities or areas of focus out of the list.
Reporting - let's face it - reporting on what needs to be done or what has already been done is sometimes more important than doing the work. It allows your boss to see that things are running smoothly and it allows you to see where the gaps are before they become a real problem. The main issue with reporting off of a set of data is that your reports are only as accurate as your data is. Sticking with a system and being persistent will make any reports that you generate as accurate as possible and - more importantly - extremely useful to everyone.
Clear lines for improvement - without having a well-documented process for your work, you will have a hard time improving on how you do things. Having an organized Help Desk and understanding what that means allows you to see where you can consolidate steps, do things in parallel and eliminate tasks so that you increase your efficiency and make your customers happy. Process improvement is about seeing the big picture and validating the current state of your process as a first step. If you don't have an organized Help Desk and know how your process works, you will likely find it very difficult to show measurable improvement in the way that your organization deals with problems and incidents.
What do you think? Am I way off base here? Do you run your Help Desk in an efficient manner without any formal process or organizational methodology? Maybe you're just starting to look at what Track-It! can do for you? I'd love to hear about your experiences in the comments - let me know what you're thinking.
Next time I'll talk about why I'm discussing organizational methods and what they have to do with Track-It! and your Help Desk. I'll show you why there is much more overlap across your personal organizational system and your Help Desk than you think.