In an organization, IT is rarely the only group that offers services – whether to employees, customers or citizens – and state and local governments are no different. But not every group has an organized system for service requests – that’s where Enterprise Service Management (ESM) comes in.
In most cases, groups or departments outside of IT rely on emails, phone calls or merely stopping and chatting in the hallway as a way of communicating requests – and these requests can be anything, including:
- Request a name change from HR.
- Request catering for a meeting.
- Request help from facilities for a broken lightbulb, etc.
While these email requests or other systems may get the job done, you should consider what can be lost when a formal service management process isn’t in place, including:
- Accountability – Who is responsible for what? Are requests being completed on time? Without proper assignment and tracking processes, answers to these questions get very blurry.
- Visibility – Staff members seem busy and appear to be meeting responsibilities. But it is challenging and time-intensive to stop and precisely identify what is complete and what is still outstanding or even past due.
- Clarity – Lack of clarity can lead to over-committing and, ultimately, disappointing stakeholders.
- Paths Toward Improvement – The status quo stands a high chance of going unchanged when there is not a clear view of what is working versus what is not. It often takes highly visible process breakdowns to identify areas of improvement, leading to a perpetually reactive environment.
With Enterprise Service Management you can address these gaps and foster better visibility and collaboration across departments. This, in turn, can lead to higher efficiency, lower operational costs, improved service levels and increased satisfaction.
The City of Avondale Takes an Enterprise Service Management Approach to Service Management and Delivery
For the City of Avondale, AZ, The TeamDynamix Enterprise Service Management (ESM) platform plays a critical role in helping multiple branches of the city government work better together.
With a more efficient government, the city can respond to citizens’ needs faster and more effectively. And by leveraging a single portal with automated request routing and workflows, the team can be more responsive and transparent with citizens.
The government for the City of Avondale consists of 14 departments serving nearly 100,000 residents. Its use of TeamDynamix (TDX) began within the IT department, which was looking for a better way to support employees’ use of technology through ITSM.
“Before, people would have to call or email our help desk with their service requests,” said CIO Jeff Scheetz. “However, now with the portal, IT has been able to create workflows and automation, rather than managing the many email and ticket requests. The workflow ensures that the requests are handled efficiently and provides additional reporting capabilities. Before, it was hard to prioritize tasks without a full view of what was going on.”
In just a little over a year, Scheetz and his staff transformed the delivery of IT services for the city.
Now, government employees can submit their IT service requests through a self-service portal, and they can find answers to common questions and problems within a growing knowledge base.
When service requests are submitted, they are routed automatically to the appropriate team member for a response, based on the nature of the issue. Team members are automatically notified when tasks that affect them are completed or require their involvement—and comprehensive dashboards give IT leaders full visibility into the status of all service requests.
“We have better communication now, and tickets are getting handled much faster,” Scheetz observes. “The platform saves everyone a lot of time and helps us make sure that nothing gets lost in the shuffle.”
When other city departments saw how the platform helped improve the delivery of IT service, they realized they could streamline their own processes using TeamDynamix. The Human Resources department is currently onboarding TDX to manage its service delivery, and Facilities and Finance are coming on board as well.
Using TeamDynamix, employees have been able to streamline city operations and deliver better service to Avondale residents.
The system’s versatility has added a tremendous amount of value to the city government, according to Scheetz, “Everybody has a limited staff, having a system like TeamDynamix makes a huge difference.”
Enterprise Service Management Best Practices
To successfully implement an ESM platform throughout an organization, you need to think through use cases for each department and not assume everyone uses the same language and processes.
To be successful, each group or department needs a purpose-built portal that incorporates their specific needs using a unified ESM tool.
Simply taking an existing ITSM platform and trying to duplicate it in each group will not work. Each department needs to be able to ideate and create its own service solution WITHOUT dependency on IT. For this, you likely need a platform that is codeless.
If the clerk’s office wants to add a new service to the catalog or create a new request type or new content in the knowledge base – they should be able to do so without using IT resources. The goal of a good ESM platform is to be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate.
Good ESM platforms provide:
- Ease of use – Each department can manage its own service requests, content and workflows without the help of IT resources.
- Dashboards – A specific view for each user type is helpful. If you are managing events and projects, you need to have a specific view of that versus someone managing work orders for facilities, or onboarding requests in HR.
Here are a few practical dos and don’ts for implementing an ESM solution across your organization:
- Don’t just take an ITSM platform being used within your IT department and try to scale it across each group. It won’t work.
- Do meet with each department or group prior to implementing an ESM solution and settle on the processes and functionalities they need.
- Don’t assume that each department has the same language as IT for each process. HR might not use the terminology “submit a ticket” for example.
- Do ask each group or department for a list of their commonly used terms and how they correspond to the actions they’ll be taking when using the ESM platform.
- Don’t overcomplicate or try to over-process the ESM platform.
- Do make your ESM accessible and easy to use. For an ESM implementation to be successful, you’ll want departments and groups to be able to fully utilize the platform WITHOUT reliance on IT for support. Implementing a codeless ESM platform can be a great way to free up IT resources and empower departments to manage their own portals.
Want to learn more about Enterprise Service Management? Check out Enterprise Service Management – Key Lessons and Best Practices.