Organizations & services
For many organizations providing services, help desk is an essential part of the company’s success. An ineffective help desk could lead to customer loss or customer dissatisfaction. The question that everyone is normally faced is what constitutes an effective help desk? Statement of the Problem This document aims to answer whether help desk ought to be staffed by the most senior information technology people available. Requirements of a Successful Help Desk Physical ConsiderationsAccording to Bayan, help desk requires a well defined mission, proper budget allocations and quantified service target which will serve as the blueprint (2003). Second to this are the physical considerations which include proximity, environment ergonomics and workflow.
Proximity in the sense that the support personnel are not located in area that makes it very crowded. Environment ergonomics such as neatness and arrangement of cubicles helps lessen the stress of help desk personnel. Workflow is essential to provide smooth transitions between technical support who are maintaining the PCs and network of support personnel.These physical considerations give us a hint that it is difficult to put information technology people, even the most senior into this environment. These detailed considerations that impact the success of a help desk indicates that we need people who can survive in such a stressful environment that requires balanced proximity, ergonomic environment and workflow. Although the technology required clearly calls for an information technology people to support help desk, it does not require that it will be staffed by senior information technology people.
Expertise Required The goals and the understanding of customers set the expertise required. Although there is no doubt that a senior information technology is required at the start, the long run operation may be left with trained individuals for the specific task. For the goals set, according to Bayan, it is important to differentiate between expert interactions that requires more skilled agents, and resource providers that simply requires access to various information but may not have to know it all (2004).So if the help desk goals require to provide expert interactions then more skilled support is required.
The skilled support need not be part of the help desk but may be connected by a person in the help desk to a core of skilled agents. In most cases, help desk are more of resource providers who requires access to various information without the need of fully understanding them. This is somebody that can be trained on how to access different types of information. The task does not require a senior information technology personnel.The understanding of customer is also essential in determining the expertise required.
First there is a need “to understand whether the help desk supports knowledge workers or process workers” (Bayan, 2004). So if the support is for knowledge workers, then the help desk could again route the concerns to the knowledge support group. Similar concerns can be group before it can be process by a knowledge group at the same time. The answers of the knowledge group may be related back to the help desk personnel who in turn would provide the answers to the person being supported.
This again does not require a senior IT but rather a trained individual or more like a resource provider. If the help desk support is for process workers then there is no doubt it can be supported by a resource provider. The next important part to get the expertise required is hiring the right person. According to Bayan, for support of proprietary parts, it might be possible to get from customer base (2004).
For generic parts then there are a number of available skill sets. Finding different skill sets and cross training them is mostly effective.Survival Kits and Training The availability of survival kits and training also supports the idea that a group of trained individuals can make up a help desk. It does not necessarily be staffed by the most senior information technology personnel. For example the http://www.
helpdesksurvival. com sells help desk survival kits. This site claims that every resource you need to set up a help desk and get it running is already provided in a pre-packaged survival kit. Another example of a web service that provides seminars for operating system helpdesk is http://ali.apple.
com/ali_sites/adcchd/exhibits/1000665/. This site which is part of the apple computer website provides lessons on how to go about with a help desk. There are a lot of other website and software vendors providing help desk creation services. The knowledge of setting up a successful help desk is widely available in the web. Organizations providing help desk startup or improvement are available at very affordable prices. This again points more to the idea that help desk can be created by training new individuals.
ConclusionThe physical considerations and the expertise required all suggest that it is not necessary to staff the help desk with the most senior information technology personnel. It is possible through software, survival kits or training to produce an effective help desk. Although the startup may require skilled information technology personnel because of the IT related tools to setup, the long run operation may be left to trained individuals.ReferencesBayan, R. (2003).
Setting up a successful help desk–physical considerations. Retrieved from the TechRepublic Article website: http://articles.techrepublic. com. com/5100-10878_11-5112459.
html, on March 20, 2007 Bayan, R. (2003). Setting up a successful help desk–physical considerations. Retrieved from the TechRepublic Article website: http://articles. techrepublic.
com. com/5100-10878_11-5112459. html, on March 20, 2007 Help Desk Survival. Retrieved from the Helpdesksurvival website: http://www. helpdesksurvival.
com/, on March 20, 2007 Setting Up Your Help Deak. Retrieved from the Support Essentials: