Monitoring is embedded in the daily life of a type 1 diabetes patient. Checking the blood sugar levels with a test strip and meter helps the patient determine whether his blood sugar levels are just right, too low or too high. It is a routine that is repeated before every meal and snack. Any time a diabetic feels “strange”, light headed or hyper, or has a sudden mood swing, the blood sugar levels need to be checked as well.
The purpose of measuring blood sugar levels is twofold. First and foremost, it is meant to prevent a situation in which high or low blood glucose levels may cause severe symptoms that need to be treated right away. Depending on the glucose reading, a patient must take corrective measures to get the blood glucose levels up to par. Second, checking blood glucose will help a patient place fluctuating blood glucose levels in their correct context. High or low glucose levels may not appear from out-of-the-blue. Analyzing the context of a blood glucose measurement will help a patient learn how aspects such as insulin injections, food, activity levels and stress impact their blood sugar levels.
So where’s the link to IT Service Management? Monitoring a service desk serves two purposes that are indeed quite similar to the reasons for measuring blood sugar levels. First, it enables service desk managers to take corrective measures in order to prevent undesirable situations from occurring. Second, it helps managers understand the context of the metrics that are retrieved.
Consider, for example, a scenario in which your daily monitor indicates that a business-critical workgroup is assigned an unusually high number of calls. This may have dire consequences; the number of calls past deadline may increase, SLAs may not be met and customer satisfaction may decrease. Detecting this trend, the service desk manager can now ensure that calls are assigned to other workgroups or request additional staffing to help deal with the workgroup’s unusual workload.
Moreover, as Susan Sanderson correctly observes in her book “Introduction to Help Desk Concepts and Skills”, metrics must be evaluated in context since variation from standard levels can be the result of a wide range of factors. Analyzing the reasons behind the increasing pressure on the aforementioned workgroup may lead the service desk manager to conclude that the higher number of assigned calls is the direct consequence of a Change implemented in the organization’s network infrastructure the previous day. Rather than requesting additional staffing as a permanent measure, more staff may only be required for resolving the issues resulting from the Change.
How will monitoring your service desk help you in your daily endeavors? What daily metrics do you want to obtain? Consider these questions and share your ideas with us by posting a comment.
Get started with monitoring your service desk using Westbury’s Service Desk Monitor. Westbury’s Service Desk Monitor is a lightweight application for retrieving daily metrics from your service desk environment and distributing these metrics to a wide range of audiences via RSS. Interested? Leave an ‘I am interested’ comment and I’ll contact you.