It takes a lot of discipline to build a well-organized and efficient Service Desk, from defining roles and responsibilities to implementing effective processes and workflows. And don’t forget the impact of cultivating a strong and positive culture within the ITSM team, in terms of the role of teamwork, communication, and a customer-centric mindset in delivering exceptional IT support.
On the 51st Episode of Ticket Volume, our IT podcast, Sanjay Nair, the brilliant mind behind The Service Desk Handbook, shared his insights on precisely what it takes to build a top-notch Service Management tool. But that's not all, he also shed light on the value of certifications.
With over 26 years of experience in the field, Nair knows a thing or two about the secrets of success. He stressed the added value that it is assembling a dream team, composed of the right people with the right skills. It's like building a solid foundation for your help desk, ensuring smooth operations from day one.
Currently, he holds the prestigious position of Manager of IT Operations at Knet, where he continues to make waves in the industry. But his journey doesn't stop there. Previously, he served as the Help Desk Manager at Automated System Company and successfully ran the Network Operations Center and Service Desk at the National Bank of Kuwait.
Make sure to tune in to the entire episode featuring Nair, as he emphasizes the value of industry-recognized certifications in enhancing the skills and credibility of Service Desk professionals. And remember, you can sign up for our monthly live recordings and directly ask any questions during the session.
The making of the service desk handbook
Nair's passion for writing and his previous experience in writing sports reports provided the inspiration for him to embark on writing a book. After gaining experience reviewing books for IT governance publishing, he decided to channel his knowledge and expertise into creating a comprehensive guide on service desk processes, metrics, and documentation. His goal was to compile all his research and insights into a single resource that would benefit others in the field.
Nair began by emphasizing the pivotal role of service and support as a career option. He highlighted the role of people skills in the service industry, stating that effectively dealing with different kinds of people is essential for success. While technical skills can be developed, the ability to handle people effectively is necessary.
"I think the beauty of it happens when you figure out how to deal with different kinds of people because skills you can always develop. You can do numerous training courses, get numerous certifications, but if you do not know how to handle people, then the service industry is just not for you. You might as well sit behind a PC and just code your life away because you're not going to move ahead."
Moving on, Nair stressed that having a structured approach is vital for running a successful service desk. Incident Management and service request fulfillment are identified as key areas in service desk operations. Nair also mentioned the value of obtaining certifications like ISO 20 000 service management, as they demonstrate a commitment to following industry standards.
Continual service improvement is another crucial aspect that Nair discussed. He pointed out that Service Management is a continuous process, and certifications and frameworks like ISO and COBIT complement each other well in this regard. Nair highlighted that implementing these ideas requires the team's support and good data.
But first, he said one has to get everyone on board for continual service improvement initiatives. Hence, he suggested following these considerations to make it happen:
- Having a champion who explores frameworks, shares stories, and brings in trainers to drive the implementation process.
- Executive management buy-in and addressing the question of "what's in it for me" are essential for successful implementation.
- Seeing the benefits of automation convinces people of its value and leads to improved efficiency.
- Benchmarking and measuring improvements against metrics are also important for continual progress.
On that regard, the utilization of Configuration Management Database (CMDB) in digital transformation is another topic Nair covered. He explained that digital transformation and automation of workflows have resulted in significant value.
CMDB is the ideal tool for extracting value and accuracy in managing assets and linking them during organizational changes. For him, utilizing its data for recording incidents, service requests, and Problem Management is essential. Additionally, service mapping is an end goal for proper utilization of CMDB, especially in the payment industry.
"I've been very tempted to put together something maybe half of this size (his book) for change management to have. I do change management in the organization and what I've seen is that implementing the change is by far the easiest thing that you can do in change management. But putting together a proper risk assessment, dealing with the nitty-gritty around all of that, it takes a lot of pain, a lot of patience. It's not everybody's cup of tea."
The discussion went on the challenges and importance of service mapping and change management. Organizations are getting closer to having systems map their dependencies, which can be leveraged for service mapping initiatives. While service mapping exercises can be difficult and require experts, they offer significant benefits once completed. And for that, change management is critical and requires proper risk assessment, documentation, and controls to avoid trouble.
This is just a summary of Ticket Volume's episode featuring Sanjay Nair. It’s a conversation you don't want to miss if you're passionate about creating a culture of excellence, establishing a solid structure, and leveraging certifications to take your ITSM products to new heights. Be sure to listen to the full discussion with Matt Beran to learn more about the service desk handbook.
You can find the full episode on popular platforms like Apple Podcasts, Spotify, YouTube, or any other podcast platform you prefer. Remember to subscribe if you're interested in joining the monthly live recordings!