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Spring Cleaning For Your Service Desk Blog Feature
Kevin Lancaster

By: Kevin Lancaster on April 1st, 2014

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Spring Cleaning For Your Service Desk

Government Business Development | Technology | Resources and Insight | 2 Min Read


ITSM – Service Desk Ticket System Field and Categorization Simplification

As anyone who owns a home or has a garage knows, we tend to collect stuff over time that we no longer need (or maybe never really needed) and then keep those items stored in places where they are in the way, or where they just simply look out of place. Maybe those items are now keeping us from seeing or even getting to the useful stuff that we are actually looking for. Well, this might also be the same problem that some of you are experiencing with those seldom or never used fields and selections in your Service Desk or Help Desk online ticketing systems. IT specialists would identify these as categorization selections like “PDA”, “dongle”, and “floppy drive”, or selections of application systems that they probably retired three years ago. These applications may even have fields that that no one uses anymore because they are not sure what those fields were intended for.

Spring has Sprung!

At this point, you come to a realization; it’s time for a “Service Desk Spring Cleaning.” You can start the spring cleaning process by making your Service Desk application simpler to use by removing these unused or seldom used fields and selections, further limiting the chance that someone will make an erroneous selection by choosing these essentially useless fields. The result, you will have more accurate data stored in the tickets and your reports will be more accurate as well. It should seem obvious, but the more simple a system is to use, the more accurate the data it contains.

Speaking of reports, if you are not using those fields or selections for reporting, why even have those fields to begin with? One reason may be to help identify the intended team for assignment of the ticket. But other than assignment, the main reason is for reporting on our tickets in various ways. If you have no reports that are currently using certain selections or fields, I suggest you throw out those fields/selections the next time the garbage truck comes around (or maybe with the next approved Change Management window). Those fields are simply cluttering up the screens and wasting the time of all the Service Desk technicians (and assigned Agents) by reading them each and every time they open or edit a ticket.

How do we know which selections and fields are never used or seldom used? Simply create a custom report, search, or query, and see how many times that field or selection was used during the last year or two. If it has been used less than 5 times, you’ll probably find that most or all of those times were mistakes! If it wasn’t used at all, then it is high on the candidate list for deletion. If a field or selection was used only a few times, you may want to choose a better selection or correct selection before deleting that seldom used selection, so you can still report on those tickets correctly.

Also, by removing unused or seldom used fields you can create a ticketing edit screen that is easier to navigate, and potentially more intuitive to use. Technicians will no longer have to wander through those fourteen date fields that no one uses to get to the one Due Date field that they do use (hopefully this doesn’t describe your edit screen).

Keep it Clean

As with any application system that you use on a routine basis, you should take time each year (or better yet every six months) to review the use of your Service Desk ticketing system and look for ways to make it more efficient for those that use it. This can save your employees minutes each day (adding up to hours over the course of a year), and may help with more accurate data and reports from your system.

Happy Service Desk Spring Cleaning!


About Kevin Lancaster

Kevin Lancaster leads Winvale’s corporate growth strategies in both the commercial and government markets. He develops and drives solutions to meet Winvale’s business goals while enabling an operating model to help staff identify and respond to emerging trends that affect both Winvale and the clients it serves. He is integrally involved in all aspects of managing the firm’s operations and workforce, leading efforts to improve productivity, profitability, and customer satisfaction.

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