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Change Management and the Service Desk

Mar 14, 2004

ITSM Watch Staff

By Christopher Ciccolini and Michael Jablon

Targeting Service Desk Effectiveness
Change Management improves Service Desk effectiveness by targeting two areas: change communications/knowledge transfer and processing change requests.

Change Communications/Knowledge Transfer
The Change Management process can help reduce incidents in the production environment by subjecting change requests, and their implementation, to a higher level of scrutiny. Further, when information on scheduled changes is shared with the Service Desk, the company can achieve a higher degree of incident resolution and corresponding end-user satisfaction.

Steps for successful knowledge sharing with the Service Desk include:

  • Share the Forward Schedule of Change with the Service Desk team on a regular basis.
  • Include the Service Desk manager in weekly Change Control Board meetings.
  • Implement knowledge transfer meetings between development and networking staff and the Service Desk team to prepare for upcoming items on the Forward Schedule of Change. Ideally, these sessions should result in structured documentation and decision trees that can be added to the Service Desk knowledgebase.
  • Utilize Service Desk team members to test and prepare documentation for release management.
  • Establish and make available to the Service Desk a configuration database that documents characteristics of technologies installed in the production environment.
Processing Change Requests
As a first line of contact with end users Service Desks often receive a number of change requests on top of the incidents that they address. The Service Desk can assist in the day-to-day management of change requests by:
  • Managing a change request mailbox or intranet site.
  • Serving the Change Coordinator function by aggregating change requests and organizing them for Change Control Board meetings.
  • Communicating status to end users on basic change requests.
Integrating the Service Desk into the Change Management process can help companies reap significant benefits:
  • Fewer Incidents in the Production Environment Thoroughly assessing the impact of a change to the infrastructure before taking action can reduce resulting support incidents.
  • Better Communication at the Service Desk When Service Desk teams are informed about changes, including timetables and business drivers, they are better prepared for contingencies and can support change in the production environment more effectively.
  • Better Incident Resolution by the Service Desk Knowledge transfer and documentation on upcoming changes can prepare the Service Desk to address issues once a change is made to the production environment.
  • Better Planning Capabilities When the Service Desk becomes a sourcing mechanism, the Change Management process provides IT with real insight into the evolving needs of the user community, as well as a means to act on these needs in a structured, logical manner.