Historically the emphasis in any support project has been on adherence to the SLA levels that have been laid down by the client. But in the current scenario, this is something that is accepted as a given. The questions that are asked from the client side are mainly focused on what else we can do as service providers to add value in a support environment.
The following are some suggestions that have been culled from personal experience and can be replicated in any Support environment.
These aspects do not stand in isolation but are interdependent.
- Productivity gain
- Knowledge Management
- Causal analysis
- Trend analysis
- Reduction in inflow
This is a key area that is expected to be a focus both for the client as well as internally.
The emphasis should be to have a robust mentoring and knowledge management structure in place so that medium complexity tickets show a progressive drop in resolution times.
Team members should be encouraged to create “solution documents”, which will be a ready reckoner for similar issues both for the second level support team as well for key users. This ensures that we do not have to “reinvent the wheel” every time and a similar issue occurring in future can be addressed and resolved in a much shorter span of time.
It is imperative that a causal analysis be undertaken on all tickets which miss SLA. Even if SLA targets are met, undertaking such an exercise means that we are continuously striving towards excellence and a 100% SLA adherence. Causal analysis also helps to pinpoint the areas which require improvement so that rectification measures can be undertaken.
An integral part of the value addition that the support team can provide is in the form of trend analysis of incoming Incidents. It is possible that a higher number of tickets are coming in from some specific countries/geographies. It is also possible that certain business areas see a higher number of tickets compared to others. Analyzing these helps in identifying trends which in turn can feed into measures such as user training, internal enhancements to stabilize certain functional areas, Problem Management etc
Reduction in inflow:
This should be a key metric in any support project. The intention should be to show a progressive reduction in incoming volumes as well. In addition to stabilizing the system through Problem Management and internal enhancements, the team should also focus on identifying increasing trends in ticket flow owing to user errors, non-adherence to established process or even Incidents which could have been resolved locally. The team can undertake the activity of classifying each Incident that is raised into areas such as Technical error, Interface error, Lack of knowledge, User error etc, which would assist in a meaningful analysis of ticket related data at any point in time.