All IT service management (ITSM) functions are defined by the tools used to get day-to-day work done, whether that is resource management, data tracking, handling tickets, or anything in between.
These tools (and the people working within them) are tasked with constantly providing more efficiency, lowering costs, improving customer support, boosting employee satisfaction, and probably also preparing lunch for everyone daily.
The demand for more effective tools is clear. According to the AXELOS ITSM benchmarking report 2022, 24% of all organizations wish to replace their ITSM tools (and 11% of organizations, somehow, don’t even have an ITSM tool).
So, with a pressing need for excellent tools to support ITSM, but substandard options out there, how do you scale a support desk? Or get clarity over your entire portfolio while managing the expectations of both your customers and your fellow employees?
Controlling your portfolio
It can take a lot of time to get a full picture of the work, queues, and tickets happening throughout your entire organization, let alone then trying to coordinate it all across teams and projects.
Even with tools at your disposal, having the confidence to make decisions across multiple different pieces of software or aligning different teams and departments across Jira to your wider company objectives is a major task.
Common pain points
- Struggling with decision-making and getting transparency across your portfolio
- Managing the backlog
- Working out what to prioritize and creating realistic timeframes
In fact, according to the Future of ITSM survey, 84% of respondents think that working in IT will get harder over the next three years and 72% of ITSM workers feel “undervalued” to some extent.
How to overcome these issues
If you’ve got a mixture of home-brewed and dedicated solutions, the simplest step towards controlling your portfolio is to use a single source of truth or find tools that are designed to communicate with each other.
The reason for this is that when different teams have to jump from window to window, shift applications for work and reporting, or even have different parts of their work in different tools, it’s more likely that something will slip through the cracks.
With a single source of truth, you can manage your queue sprawl by being able to view multiple service management projects in one place. Teams can see all their work and its status in a centralized location, and you can group and prioritize tickets correctly and then report on workloads without a bunch of mind-numbing double data-entry.
However, the solution often isn’t as simple as just buying the first suite of tools you can find. There are concerns about enterprise software packages, commonly described as monolithic, and the “bloat” they can come with. They're feature-packed, but expensive and filled with clutter that your team has little use for.
This is why Tempo is ideal for ITSM teams. It is a modular suite of Jira-native products, meaning that they can all do their intended job as individual tools but have as much integration functionality as possible.
That means your organization gets powerful and flexible new tools that don’t sit outside of your existing workflows or need to be purchased with superfluous software.
Optimizing service excellence
ITSM tools are not just about handling tickets as quickly as possible, although that’s obviously important. Leadership and project managers need a higher-level view to see where bottlenecks develop and understand the cost and time spent across projects in their portfolio.
As teams grow, the flow of information between managers and agents can become more complicated. When your portfolio is on the smaller side, it’s easier to identify and react when problems arise, but when your operation starts to grow you can’t rely on the same tactics as before.
Common pain points
- Spending too much time reacting to meet changing customer expectations
- Locating bottlenecks and finding where time is being spent
- Understanding the total costs of projects across your IT portfolio
It can take far too much of your time as a manager to work out where all your team's time is going, where your money is going, and if all this is matching up to your SLAs.
Once you get to 20+ agents and over a hundred tickets a day, especially if you are working in a sector like healthcare or finance with complex demands, waiting until overload becomes an issue can risk frustrating your customers and losing your best employees to burnout.
But how do you overcome the pain points above and become proactive in your day-to-day operations?
How to overcome these issues
Being proactive with the challenge of optimizing ITSM service excellence means acquiring real-time insights on where your resources are going. It also means getting reliable forecasting and predictive analysis to show you where things might end up in the future.
It’s a major project to try to understand the full cost of support, but it’s the best way to ensure you can make the right investments — both to keep your customers happy and to stop your teams from being driven mad by burning hours of their time and goodwill on the wrong projects.
To understand the full cost of support, you’ll need something like Timesheets – one of Tempo’s modular ITSM tools.
Timesheets is an AI time-tracking tool that automatically logs tickets completed and the time taken for both agents and non-agents, helps to identify pain points in your ticket management process, and shows you where your time (and money) is being spent portfolio-wide.
You can also look into bigger-picture tools like Cost Tracker that track time logged on specific incidents across all teams so you can get easy reports on labor costs, hardware and software expenses, and any expenditure across your project portfolio
Ultimately, the goal of most operations leaders or project managers should be to have a full idea of their available resources and where those resources will be most impactful. If that is in place, then it becomes so much more possible to deliver quality and keep your employees informed and on your side as you start to grow.
Unlocking insights from your data
Jira is a great tool for project tracking – but it doesn’t have everything a modern team needs for reporting out of the box - you can be missing out on a lot of functionality to make your life a lot easier.
No-one needs to be told the value of getting their hands on more data – but with that data comes the ability to move it into reporting and share it with the people that need to see it.
Common pain points
- Many tools have minimal reporting capabilities, hurting decision time
- Manual data entry is time-consuming and error prone
As ITSM practices have evolved, the amount of data created has grown exponentially. Tickets are resolved, customers change their needs, and people change roles and workloads. The problem isn’t the amount of data at your disposal – it’s having the right data at your fingertips delivered in a timely manner.
How to overcome these issues
No-one should have to manually scroll through reports to drop statistics into a spreadsheet or presentation deck with the intent of showing it off to executives or customers.
There is probably no greater way to bore your talented team to death than to require them to start filling out onerous spreadsheets. It’s undoubtedly important to have that information, but it is equally time-consuming and error-prone.
Fortunately, there’s a better way. Tempo has tools, such as Structure and Custom Charts, that can organize your data, automatically generate reports from your worklogs, and get them in a shareable form for internal or external use.
Having an integrated approach to your toolkit, as mentioned above, allows you to aggregate information from multiple sources and create easily customizable reports to share risk, status, and ITSM metrics across your organization or directly with customers.
How Tempo’s tools can help
When it comes to scaling your ITSM operations, it doesn’t need to be a monolithic solution where you overhaul the entire working world at once. With Tempo’s modular suite of flexible solutions, you can pick what works best for your teams and improve your setup straight away – or combine tools together to add more punch to your portfolio.
Connect work across multiple teams, projects, or service queues in one view. With Structure you can create custom issue hierarchies and spreadsheet-like overviews of your data so you can visualize and track criteria across your entire portfolio of project and services and turn it all into reports and dashboards.
Ensure your teams always have the capacity and resources to meet support and project demands with a flexible and scalable planning tool for Jira that works both at the team and individual level.
Enterprise-class AI time-tracking that reveals the tickets your agents and non-agents are spending their time on, where the biggest bottlenecks are, and incident resolution times throughout your entire portfolio.
An add-on for Timesheets for Jira that displays a project or portfolio’s real-time financial metrics so you can make more accurate forecasts for the future and better understand the cost of incidents, financial implications of different types of service requests. (on Data Center? Check out Budgets)
Simple yet powerful charts for Jira and Confluence with fully customizable service management dashboards for Jira Service Management to track ticket priority, SLAs met vs breached, CSAT rating, and other key ITSM metrics so your reports are always boardroom-ready.