What Does The Princess Bride Have to Do with Your Service Desk?
On Sept. 25 The Princess Bride will be 34 Years Old
What? You haven’t seen The Princess Bride? “Inconceivable!”
Based on a 1973 book by William Goldman, the film became a cult classic. A story of true love, giants, pirates and miracles – it is loved by IT geeks all around the world.
So many memorable quotations, and so many references to use when selecting a new service desk. It would be rude not to quote some.
“When I was your age, television was called books.”
Yes, and we all used to paint pictures on cave walls. Like it or not, time moves on, your customers are getting younger and more tech savvy. (Don’t get me started on their more lack of patience). Does your list of new tools give you a true omni channel experience? At the very least it should be browser based. But does it automatically adapt to the device that it is on? Take a look around you the next time you’re out in public. That small screen on people’s phones is their gateway to everything, including service desks. Incidents and requests will be logged as soon as they hit a hurdle. Time is of the essence to the next generation of workforce.
“I’ll tell you the truth and it’s up to you to live with it.”
What was wrong with the old service desk software? Obviously, something. Was it out of support? Have you just outgrown it? What were the top 10 biggest problems that you found with it?
Now you have criteria for choosing your new software. As I said earlier, time has moved on. Don’t go expecting miracles (there is no Miracle Max in this article.) Many of your issues may have been caused by a poor initial implementation. Learn from this and ensure that your new solution, is implemented correctly. If you start cutting corners you will never be able to utilize all of your new tool’s features.
“The only way forward is to never look back.”
I cannot count the number of sales calls with a prospect where they insist that they must bring across all of their data. It has to work the same as the old system… Surely, they would be better just continuing to use the old system?
Don’t be scared of change. Change is good. Your new choice of tool will enable you to do things better, faster, stronger than your old tool. But only if you can adopt some of its processes.
And why do you want to fill up a perfectly good new system with junk from years ago? Now I will agree, some data is worth taking across. Perhaps your knowledge. But, your users will probably be brought in fresh from Active Directory and your configuration items will be brought in from a discovery tool.
Keep your old data, but in a separate system. Not only will it make your system easier to navigate but it will save you a HUGE amount of consultancy time.
“Well, why didn't you list that among our assets in the first place?”
Talking of Assets and configuration items, are you still using spreadsheets as a hardware asset register? Or maybe you have an integration to a discovery tool? Just as before, things have moved on in the last few years since you got your last service desk. Ask your vendors if they have their own discovery tool. What benefits could that give you? Does it mean that you can stride towards hyper-automation, self-healing and proactive service management? How easy would it be to integrate that tool to your old discovery toolset? Does it use APIs and webhook?
“Life isn't fair, it's just fairer than death, that's all.”
You have a budget, don’t you? This should have been one of the first things that you discussed before embarking on this journey. Don’t be scared to share this with vendors. As a customer we all want the shiny, sparkling new tool. But can we afford it? Vendors will be honest with you if you’re honest with them. Let them know your budget at the early stages of conversations. They will be quick to let you know if you’re way off the mark for their software. While some movement of cost can happen, you need to also be realistic. Maybe you can rule out the top two of your lists of vendors on cost? That has saved both you and the vendor time, and they will appreciate it too.
Do you need all those bells and whistles? Is your company mature enough for the tool? Take another look at your requirements and budgets, and with a tear in your eye dismiss the fancy or expensive tools.
“We’ll never survive!”
“Nonsense. You’re only saying that because no one ever has.”
Your vendor of choice will do whatever they can to help you through the procurement cycle. The supplier has done this thousands of times before. Their consultants can give real world examples and war stories to ensure that you fully understand any implication that could happen by going down a certain path. But with this comes responsibility from your side as well. You will not get your new service desk installed and working within a week. A project plan will need to be built between the professional services and yourself. Ensure that you have the resources available when they will be needed. I’m sure many of you have been sat around waiting for someone to turn up and do their small but important task. In the end you will get through this, but there may be a few small bumps in the road.
“True love is the best thing in the world, except for a nice MLT, Mutton, lettuce and tomato sandwich.”
Don’t you just love your new service desk? Did you decide on a big bang approach to implement it, or did you go with the favored phased approach? From an implementation point of view, it is easier to fix issues within a sprint rather than looking for a needle in a haystack. IT also means that you can bring on certain processes quickly (keeping the big guy upstairs happy with their investment). And when you finally have a working service desk, don’t rest on your laurels. Continuous improvement can be monitored and acted upon – look for patterns and trends. Is there something that could be done to improve a particular area?
Think about the beginning of this article, people want instant access, can you improve the self-service portal? How about changing the look every so often? A simple change of background images goes a long way. Also, think about how you can drive more traffic through the portal. Can you offer out more services or perhaps some external content? Of course, you want to be able to do this yourself without the need for code and not having to pay for expensive consultants.
“Hello . . . my name is Inigo Montoya; you killed my father . . . prepare to die . . . .”
So, there you go, some great quotations from an amazing film. And of course, some great ideas to think about when looking to change your service desk.
And all this without any mention of The Rodents of Unusual Size, The Fire Swamp, The Pit of Despair or Shrieking Eels!