In my first blog post, I reviewed the case for making collaboration part of your service management approach. Now I want to look at some of the problems that this solves – in many cases virtually overnight.
1. “We’ve got all the right subject matter experts but they work in different locations, maybe different countries. Distance and sometimes time differences mean that people on the service desk will waste time puzzling over a problem rather than going to the person who could resolve it straight away.”
Solution: With the right collaborative architecture, analysts and co-workers in different locations or even countries can easily work together on the same problem or project. That way, you can connect the most relevant subject matter experts and get the fastest resolution, no matter how far apart the people are.
2. “It’s not just that people are in far-flung locations – they all have different mother tongues as well. While most people speak enough English to exchange pleasantries, it’s not so easy to discuss technical issues.”
Solution: Your solution should be multilingual, supporting not only a multiple language user interface but also real-time content translations. This means you can put together the best teams, or identify the technician who can best help a user, even if there is no common language. (We can’t promise to resolve all the cultural differences overnight though.)
3. “We’ve accumulated a wealth of information, but it’s mostly in people’s heads, or at best in emails and so on. There’s no easy way to find information when we want to reuse it – and if someone leaves the company”
Solution: The new breed of service desk solution makes it second nature for users to share their knowledge and collaborate to answer questions quickly. Internal and external information that is of value filters to the surface through community feedback and ratings. A shared knowledge base stores the information that you need to hang on to.4.
4. “Our people still have a tendency to work in silos. The information that they have stays inside those silos when it could be of use elsewhere in the organization.”
Solution: With collaborative technology, users have access to the information they need, regardless of who has created it. Intelligent features guide them straight to it, and also help them connect with experts in the community, proactively answer questions, and identify relevant responses to earlier queries. As an additional benefit, you’ll probably find that the organizational silos start to break down as a natural consequence of this type of collaboration.
5. “Documents are always getting lost, and when people can’t find what they want (or don’t know who is responsible for the document in question) they set up duplicates. That adds to the problems of keeping them up to date.”
Solution: A structured collaborative space ensures documents always have a clearly identified owner and are easy to find and contribute to. This reduces the likelihood of users creating multiple versions of documents while editing, or misplacing documents altogether because they are confusingly labeled or saved in various locations. They just go straight to the document that they need and then use and/or update that. A note of caution, though: choose the wrong collaborative tools and you could actually make the problem of duplication worse.
6. “To keep up with our workload and collaborate more effectively, we need to automate more service management processes, but we haven’t got time to develop a lot of software or train people to work in different ways.”
Solution: The right solution will provide workflow orchestration that can drive both human and automated tasks, to streamline the process of getting work done while removing the need for most workers to have a detailed understanding of the process. You can enhance the customer experience and have more effective, configurable processes – yet the complexities are invisible to the people executing those processes.
If any of these problems rings bells with you, I’d be delighted if you’d drop me a line or comment below. Please also look out for my next blog post, where I’ll pass on some tips for achieving the right type of collaborative service management.