Working in IT is a thankless, never-ending job. There’s always something to be fixed and you’ll have to accept that not all issues will ever be resolved. That said, it’s still possible to deliver winning IT services that will satisfy or even delight most people in your organization.
Here’s how to improve your IT service management and avoid having to continually repeat the same fixes.
1.) Implement an effective system for collecting outage and incident data
It’s important to be able to identify just exactly what types of problems are being reported. This will help your IT team prioritize resources for solving the most pressing recurring issues.
Perhaps the most effective way to enhance your service management process is to use an ERP system with functionality that allows for the easy reporting and description of issues. This will allow your IT team’s managers instant access to different issue categories as well as data on when these problems happened and the circumstances surrounding the incident. This will help greatly reduce the number of possibilities the IT team will have to go through when finding a fix.
2.) Review if the fixes are satisfactory
While fixes don’t have to be perfect they should generally create no additional problems for the user. They should also be documented and easily repeatable. Having a good ERP system with issue reporting functionality will help ensure that these vital parts of the issue resolution process are not skipped over.
3.) Check for any commonality between incidents
Sometimes, seemingly disparate issues can be traced to one cause or a group of related causes. This can often be due to the lack of employee training, technology issues, system misuse, managerial problems, and so on. If there is indeed any commonality with different issues that are due to those factors, then recommendations can be made to the stakeholders and resources can be better allocated to tackle the problem.
4.) Create solutions make sense for the given situation
In real-world IT work, there isn’t always time to deliver a perfect solution. In practice, fixes should be both expedient and “good enough” for the situation. Having one issue perfectly resolved while others are left unfixed isn’t usually as good for the organization as having all the pressing problems adequately fixed.
On the other hand, if temporary solutions are required due to time or access constraints, care should be given so that the fix could be reviewed at some time soon, if needed.
5.) Focus on permanent and systemic fixes
Oftentimes, the best solution does not involve some kind of clever ad hoc coding. This type of fix, while often celebrated, rarely touches on the fundamental problems that allow problems to occur and reoccur in the first place. In most cases, additional training and hiring, adherence to processes, process engineering, the implementation of more appropriate technology, or a combination of these are what’s usually needed.
Unfortunately, improving service management processes for IT is often difficult and may require significant interdepartmental cooperation. This is not always easy to have when different departments are also focused on their own pressing problems. However, if certain types of outages reoccur often enough or are causing a significant problem with the organization’s bottom line, it may be well worth considering going through the effort needed to get it done.