Identifying Critical Helpdesk and Desktop IT Processes

How do you know what you know?

What are your critical processes that if improved, optimize your IT support?

Are incidents from VIPs the processes you should improve?   Maybe it’s the incidents that costs the company the most money?  Could it be the one’s your top technician supports?

I don’t think any of these are wrong.  I just feel that there is one answer that is more right.

Critical processes are those that take up most of your team’s time.

This is just my feelings having worked with processes improvement for over 15 years.  If you can standardize, streamline, and develop a solid monitoring metric of these types of processes, your team will start providing consistent and timely support to what your customers think are important.

Analyzing these processes may show unneeded steps and opportunities for automation (e.g. Service Manager 2010 or SharePoint 2007 workflows).

This is the first step in process improvement.  After that’s finished, you can then survey your customers to find out what they think are important and most (or least) effective.  I have more on this later.

The easiest way for me, the Helpdesk/Desktop manger, to tell what is taking up my team’s time is to review our Altiris Helpdesk incidents using a T-SQL query, which groups tickets and helps me identify the IT process.   We’ve had over 8,700 tickets since January 1st and our top 10 break out is below.

I’ve replaced the real names of our applications with an alias (Application A, Application B, etc.).

Helpdesk Tickets by Category – Top 10


Total Incidents



Service Request\Data\Application A


Service Request\Data\Application B


Service Request\Configuration\Desktop Client Software


Service Request\Account Management\Update Account


Service Request\Data\Application C


Service Request\Add/Remove\Other


Procurement\Wireless Device\Blackberry


Service Request\Update/Change\Other




Service Request\Configuration\Application A

Looking at these numbers, it’s obvious we’ve got some serious data support challenges.  Since our company relies heavily on meter data usage, this is very well known.  Due to uniqueness of our industry, there really aren’t applications that work right out of the box.  Therefore, you see a lot of data support tickets.

Analyzing the list above, here are my critical desktop processes:

1 – Desktop Client Software Configuration (Configure, Add, Remove) – I combined three categories here.

2 – Account Management

3 –  Blackberry Support

4 – Outlook Software

My team spends a lot of time managing desktop software.   This is a critical process that appears to be “out of control.”

Remember that question from before?  “How do you know what you know”?  This is how.  Numbers don’t lie.  I now know where to focus my time.My next posts will delve into how you can analyze processes and determine the best metric for ensuring your team stays on track.




About Doug Sigmon

IT Helpdesk manager in southern California. Love technology, gadgets, and golf.
This entry was posted in Altiris, Process Improvement and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Identifying Critical Helpdesk and Desktop IT Processes

  1. Pingback: Identifying Critical Helpdesk and Desktop IT Processes « Doug's IT …help desk management | help desk management

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s