Standardize the Service Desk

Strengthen your service desk to build a strong ITSM foundation.


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Your Challenge

Service desk managers with immature service desk processes struggle with:

  • Low business satisfaction.
  • High cost to resolve incidents and implement requests.
  • Confused and unhappy end users.
  • High ticket volumes and a lack of root-cause analysis to reduce recurring issues.
  • Wasted IT time and wages resolving the same issues time and again.
  • Ineffective demand planning.

Our Advice

Critical Insight

  • Don’t be fooled by a tool that’s new. A new service desk tool alone won’t solve the problem. Service desk maturity improvements depend on putting in place the right people and processes to support the technology.
  • Service desk improvement is an exercise in organizational change. Engage specialists across the IT organization in building the solution, and emphasize how everyone stands to benefit from the initiative.
  • Organizations are sometimes tempted to track their work under a single ticket type. Unfortunately, the practice obscures the fact that incidents, requests, and projects require radically different amounts of time and resources, and can create the impression that IT is underperforming. Distinguish between incidents, requests, and projects, and design specific processes to support and track the performance of each activity.
  • Remember, the value of any IT service management (ITSM) tool is a function of the processes it supports and the adoption of those processes. The ITSM tool with the best functionality is worth little if you do not build the right processes, configure the tool to support them, and work to improve tool adoption in your organization.

Impact and Result

  • Increase business satisfaction.
  • Reduce recurring issues and ticket volumes.
  • Reduce average incident resolution time and average request implementation time.
  • Increase efficiency and lower operating costs.
  • Enhance demand planning.

Standardize the Service Desk

Start here – read the Executive Brief

Read our concise Executive Brief to find out why you should standardize the service desk, review Info-Tech’s methodology, and understand the four ways we can support you as you complete the project.


Design incident management processes

Develop the building blocks of the incident management process, including workflows, ticket handling guidelines, and ticket categorization, prioritization, and escalation guidelines.


Design request fulfilment processes

Develop the building blocks of a modern request fulfilment process, including service request workflows, the high-level planning for a service catalog, and a web portal for the service desk software.


Plan the implementation of the service desk

Now that basic service desk processes are built, review the performance of your existing ITSM tool and plan for a replacement if necessary.


Support your project

Hand over projects to the service desk and develop service desk customer service skills.

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Service Desk Course

Strengthen your service desk to build a strong foundation for ITSM maturity.
This course makes up part of the Infrastructure & Operations Certificate.

Now Playing: Executive Brief

Course information:

Title: Service Desk Course
Number of Course Modules: 5
Estimated Time to Complete: 2-2.5 hours

Michel Hebert, Research Director, Infrastructure Practice
Mark Tauschek, Vice-President of Research, Infrastructure & Operations Practice

Onsite Workshop

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Onsite workshops offer an easy way to accelerate your project. If you are unable to do the project yourself, and a Guided Implementation isn't enough, we offer low-cost onsite delivery of our project workshops. We take you through every phase of your project and ensure that you have a roadmap in place to complete your project successfully.

Module 1: Lay Service Desk Foundations

The Purpose

Conduct a current state assessment of the existing service desk.

Key Benefits Achieved

Assess the process maturity, structure, staffing, and key metrics of the existing service desk, and determine your target state.



Outline service desk challenges.

  • Service desk challenges


Review diagnostics results.

  • Diagnostics results


Review current state assessment.

  • Current state assessment


Review service desk structure and staffing.

  • Service desk structure and staffing


Create a RACI chart to review accountabilities.

  • RACI chart and skills gap analysis


List IT service support roles.

  • Service desk roles


Review current task allocations.

  • Service desk responsibilities


Create a list of required reports and metrics.

  • Service desk metrics and reports, and balanced scorecard

Module 2: Design Incident Management

The Purpose

Conduct a health check on incident management processes, improve the key elements, and align them to best practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

Develop workflows for incident and critical incident management processes, and develop guidelines for ticket handling, categorization, prioritization, and escalation.



Review incident management challenges.

  • Incident management challenges


Define incident management workflows.

  • Incident management workflow


Define critical incident management workflow.

  • Critical incident management workflow


Design critical incident communication plan.

  • Critical incident management communication plan


Identify opportunities to automate ticket creation.

  • List of ticket templates


Identify opportunities to reduce recurring tickets.

  • List of recurring tickets


Assess ticket categorization.

  • Enhanced ticket categorization scheme


Enhance ticket classifications with resolution codes.

  • Ticket resolution and status codes


Build a small number of rules to facilitate prioritization.

  • Enhanced ticket prioritization scheme


Define escalation rules.

  • Escalation guidelines


Define automated escalations.

  • List of automatic escalations

Module 3: Design Request Fulfilment

The Purpose

Conduct a health check on service request fulfilment, improve its key elements, and align them to best practices.

Key Benefits Achieved

Develop workflows for service request fulfilment, prepare for a service catalog project, and put in place a process to build and maintain a knowledgebase targeted on your most important tickets.



Define service requests with SLAs.

  • List of service requests


Build and critique request workflows.

  • Service request workflows and estimated SLAs


Distinguish between requests and small projects.

  • Criteria to distinguish between requests and projects


Review service definition checklist for standardized request models.

  • Service request models for the service catalog


Develop self-help tools for end users.

  • List of self-help tools for end users


Design knowledge management processes.

  • Knowledge management policy and process


Create actionable knowledgebase articles.

  • Article template; knowledgebase writing strategies and exercises

Module 4: Plan the Implementation of the Service Desk

The Purpose

Prepare to implement the service desk processes built in previous modules.

Key Benefits Achieved

Compile requirements for service desk software, build a communication plan, and develop an implementation roadmap.



Create a requirements list for the service desk tool.

  • ITSM tool requirements


Investigate which tool best meets your needs.

  • Vendor shortlist and vendor briefing script


Create the communication plan.

  • Comunication plan, executive presentation, and service desk SOP


Build an implementation roadmap.

  • Service desk implementation roadmap