Best Practices to Improve Service Management in Education, Public Sector & Healthcare
Written By Andrew Graf
Internally, organizations in the public sector, education, and healthcare tend to experience challenges stemming from bandwidth issues, the multitude of service requests, the increasing use and demand for technology, and the ongoing usage of disparate systems. These issues tend to cause resource constraints, gaps in service, and overall end-user grief.
Take something that is seemingly simple: onboarding a new employee. This overall function typically involves IT, human resources, security, and facilities. Usually, this means multiple requests into different platforms, perhaps a series of emails and maybe even phone calls. An enterprise service management (ESM) platform can help mitigate the back & forth.
In industries such as Education, Public Sector and Healthcare the prevalence of disparate systems and workflows tends to cause unnecessary gaps in service, time lags and poor use of resources. This is why IT leaders are moving toward a single platform approach.
One Portal. One Platform. One Enterprise Solution. Imagine that instead of entering requests into multiple systems, there is a single portal that will take the initial onboarding request. Once the request has been submitted, it will parse out the tasks and assign the appropriate task to the various departments, such as requesting equipment from IT, clearance from security, badge processing from facilities and benefits onboarding from human resources.
IT teams also benefit and can manage the rollout of new software and servers, automatically route tickets and enable employees to submit requests via self-service tools. The possibilities are endless and will become even more sophisticated as states and municipalities develop smart city projects, integrate with the Internet of Things (IoT) and implement innovative mobile services.
5 BEST PRACTICES FOR IMPROVED SERVICE MANAGEMENT
Establish a Comprehensive, User-Friendly Knowledge Base: A well-built knowledge base promotes self-service and allows people to easily access the information they need. Think about how you will present, index and categorize information so users can easily find and use it. Crowdsource knowledge (judiciously) from multiple departments to make the knowledge base as comprehensive as possible.
Create a Centralized Portal for Universal Access: If you build out a single centralized portal that crosses over all areas such as IT, Facilities, HR and more, then end-users can use it as a centralized access point. Once in the hub, the knowledge base will be available to answer any self-service inquiries while there will be quick access to ‘service requests’ – these could be basic IT requests such as “wifi is not working” or it could be to initiate a process such as ‘onboard new employee’ or to make an inquiry such as ‘requesting parent/teacher meeting’.
Consolidate Service & Project Management: This allows organizations to obtain a unified, accurate view of what tasks need to be done and what projects are assigned to who. It also helps optimize resources, allocate workers’ time appropriately and improve project performance.
Choose the Right Tool for the Job: Users can become frustrated when they are asked to follow methodologies that are unwieldy or unnecessary for a given task or project. To encourage broad adoption of a project management methodology, consider the scale and complexity of each project, and then choose the model that best serves the project.
Make Project Management a Discipline: Create a project management office (PMO), appoint a certified project management professional to lead it, and establish policies and procedures to help standardize and enforce best practices. In a survey of U.S. government IT leaders, respondents reported that their PMO had contributed to a 23 percent drop in the number of failed projects, a 35 percent increase in the number of projects that were delivered under budget and a 20 percent improvement in productivity.¹