2015 UCISA Award for Excellence Entry

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1 Institution Name: University of Leeds Originating Department: IT Contact Name (and address): John Grannan Sally Bogg, Project Title: IT Help Desk Continual Service Improvement Programme

2 DESCRIPTION Service Desk s in recent years have been forced to accept that the break/fix support model is no longer their primary purpose. The Service Desk of today must support a broader array of technologies and services, manage third party relationships with cloud and outsourcing providers and deliver useful services not outdated Service Level Agreements. In the UK HE Benchmarking Report Peter Tinson stated that It is positive that the sector appears to recognise that the service desk is a key component in delivering the overall student experience, and institutions are looking to invest in developing both the staff and the processes that underpin the service desk operation. The diversity of the sector, in terms of the range of services offered, the spectrum of devices used and the demographics of the university body, will continue to present a challenge to service desks in our institutions. Whilst this entry may not be your typical IT project we saw this as an opportunity to raise awareness of the important role the Service Desk plays in any IT organisation. Universities need to understand the importance of quality front line support. The Service Desk is where users get to see the value of IT and if you don t have effective front line support then it doesn t matter how good the actual IT is from a user perspective it will be rubbish! The Service Desk should be the flagship of every IT Support Function. In order to meet the growing challenges placed upon them the University of Leeds IT Help Desk chose the SDI Service Desk Certification as a framework for their Continual Service Improvement Programme to help ensure that the service met the strategic aims of both the IT department and the University. OBJECTIVE The IT Help Desk at the University of Leeds had grown and developed in recent years, and had changed from a traditional catch and dispatch provision to a proactive IT Help Desk providing a range of value added services and a customer focused approached to service quality. Despite these changes users and even other IT teams perception of the desk and its value had not moved forward as quickly as we would have liked. The aim of this project was to improve both the quality and the perception of the IT Help Desk service, enabling us to demonstrate the value we add to IT and to the University. We also wanted to help individuals within the team to understand their role in the organisation and to start to view themselves and each other as IT Professionals with responsibility for providing highly quality customer focused services. We were looking for a benchmark and a planned approach to Continual Service Improvement that would enable us to demonstrate this. The continual service improvement programme aligns to the University strategic aim to provide valued and trusted services with clear accountability and defined delivery standards.

3 CONTRIBUTION TO INSTITUTIONAL EXCELLENCE Student Engagement Incorporating the student voice into IT isn t something that is particularly easy but is essential if we want to deliver IT that supports student needs and expectations. Students are the experts when it comes to student experience and enabling the real student voice means listening and acting. The IT Help Desk have facilitated a number of initiatives to ensure that we are truly engaging with our student body. We have set up regular meetings with the Leeds University Student Union to discuss current service provision as well as future requirements and needs. We have recruited and supported a team of student bloggers that report on their experience of being a student at the University of Leeds including the importance of IT in their everyday life and we recently invited a group of students to present their view and ideas on technology at our internal IT Conference. This has helped us develop a greater insight into how students access and use the services and technology we offer. During the start of term period IT facilitates daily meetings with other key service providers across the University to monitor end to end services and understand whether services meet user expectations. The IT Help Desk invites students to these meeting to give their views and opinions and help ensure we are capturing the true student voice. Outcomes from these meetings have been used to improve student support processes including the way in which Student ID cards are issued at the beginning of the year. This supports the University and departmental strategic aim to provide streamlined, agile and responsive processes, systems and services. We take every opportunity to engage with our students and this is why we have made a strong commitment to the University of Leeds Student Internship Programme. This programme is a real opportunity to work side by side with students and really get to know them. In March 2014 we entered our intern Laura into the National Undergraduate Employability Awards where she was a finalist in the prestigious Best Intern of the Year category. Laura worked at the IT Help Desk for 3 months during the summer of 2013, and went on to take up a role in our weekend and evening team within the IT Help Desk service. She completed her physics degree in the summer of 2014 and is now enrolled on a teacher training course here at University of Leeds, and still working evenings and weekends. It has been both a pleasure and a privilege to be such an intrinsic part of Laura s Higher Education journey and members of the team enjoyed attending her graduation in December Social Media Social media is a great way of keeping in touch with staff and students and is particularly suited to the demographics of our user base. In 2013 the IT Help Desk took over twitter account and developed the IT Help Desk Social Media strategy. This includes a communications road map that is used to plan tweets and web articles in advance as well as enabling staff and students to use twitter as a contact method for reporting service issues or giving feedback. This new approach has tripled our followers and enabled us to expand our communication outreach.

4 Staff Satisfaction One of the best ways to improve student experience is to improve employee experience and the IT Help Desk truly understands the value and the importance of the people that are responsible for service delivery. A good service needs good people and it is essential to have the right people doing the right jobs. We have implemented rigorous recruitment, induction and training procedures because staff that are well managed and given continuous training and evaluation are better able to deliver the excellent customer service we are looking for. Professional and personal development is a great motivator and the IT Help Desk has created a culture and working environment that gives people the opportunity to learn new skills and improve their knowledge. We have processes to support secondment opportunities and job shadowing and the high quality of front line staff means that the IT Help Desk has now become the first port of call for technical and second line support teams looking to recruit. This supports the University and departmental strategic aim of recruiting, growing and developing talent and providing sector leading opportunities for personal and professional growth. Reward & Recognition Reward and recognition is all about celebrating what you want to see more of it is therefore very important to recognise and acknowledge when a member of the team is performing well. The IT Help Desk management team use many different ways of recognising good performance including financial and non-financial recognition. Last year the whole team received a one off payment to recognise their achievements with regard to the Service Desk Certification programme and there have been a number of high profile celebratory events. The team are not afraid to fly their own flag and last year they put themselves forward for a number of industry awards and events. In 2014 the IT Help Desk were finalists in the IT Service & Support Awards Best Small Service Desk and came runner up in the I Love My Service Desk competition. And as we said earlier Laura Rimkute the Help Desk intern was also a finalist for the Best Intern at the National Undergraduate Employability Awards. This supports the University and department objectives of implementing new and strategically aligned ways of recognising achievement, innovation and excellence and celebrating and publicising service team achievements and success. Quality Assurance Quality assurance ensures that the IT Help Desk is fit for purpose and that it continues to add value to the department and to the University. The quality assurance process consists of a number of different aspects that help build up a comprehensive picture of the service. One of the main indicators of our success is customer satisfaction and without measuring this we can never truly understand the quality of our services. The IT Help Desk has implemented a customer satisfaction strategy including two customer satisfaction kiosks. This allows us to capture customer feedback at the point of contact enabling us to develop a greater understanding of our users and the perceptions they have of the services we provide. Customer feedback has been used to make simple changes that

5 have improved student experience, for example making our information about printing and print services more accessible and useable. Our complaints and compliments process provides a fair and consistent way for users to comment on our services, and feedback is logged in our ITSM tool to ensure that it can be tracked through to successful resolution. This supports the Universities strategic aim of providing streamlined, agile and responsive processes, systems and services. Call coaching provides both team members and management with an on-going quality and personal development mechanism. Call coaching helps the management team understand individual skill levels as well as the quality of processes and procedures. It helps us to ensure that team are performing at their very best by updating and developing skills and knowledge. This supports the University and departmental strategic aim of enabling clear ownership and accountability by setting clear standards and expectations. Vision & Mission Vision statements are used to define organisational purpose and communicate values. We have created the IT Help Desk Vision and Mission statement to give a strong sense of direction and purpose for the service and to provide a guide for clear and directional decision making. The mission statement brings focus to the overall goals and objectives of the IT Help Desk and is written from a customer perspective. It answers three questions; who we are, what we do and who we do it for. These documents have given the team a common goal and ensure that we are all pulling in the same direction. They have been an excellent way of inspiring the team and ensuring that they understand the objectives of the service and the University and the role they play in it. Strategic Planning As part of the work for Service Desk Certification we introduced a strategic planning process for the service. This process helps us ensure that there are appropriate business and operational plans that establish strategies and tactics to help the IT Help Desk achieve its overall mission and vision and to ensure that we are supporting the University in its strategic aims. The Help Desk Business Plan is reviewed quarterly with a full refresh taking place during the summer period ready for the start of the academic year. Example content includes a summary of current situation, key challenges and issues as well as information about staffing plans and other service initiatives.

6 RETURN ON INVESTMENT The costs, including auditor expenses for the SDI Service Desk Certification programme from 2012 to 2014 have been 14,295 and staff costs in terms of effort put into the overall improvement programme have been estimated at a total of 23,000 bringing overall costs in at 37,295. However it is worth noting that the majority of this staff effort would have been expended during normal service improvement initiatives and business as usual activities and no additional resources were brought in to deliver this programme. The SDI Service Desk Certification Programme is not the only framework that can be used for Continual Service Improvement. The Customer Service Excellence Standard provides a similar CSI tool however this is not specific to Service Desk s and can be applied to any service. ISO20000 also offers an internationally recognised standard but this is measured across the whole IT Service rather than just Service Desks. Costs for these alternative frameworks will vary and depend on the size and nature of the organisation. We chose the SDI programme as we felt that it was the best fit for our needs, it particularly focused on the role of the Service Desk and would provide us with very specific and tailored recommendations to enable us to improve our service. We also had experience of working with the SDI as they had delivered our Service Desk training. There have been some tangible returns on investment for this programme in terms of saved working hours and reduced staff absence costs. We have used the certification programme as a way of promoting shared goals and giving the team a strong sense of purpose. This has resulted in increased staff retention, motivation and performance. Staff absence days have reduced from an average of 4.9 days per person per year to 1.92 days per person per year, with a cost value of approximate 5,000 and we expect to maintain this year on year. Improved service levels have resulted in efficiencies and time savings for the University. Reducing wait times means that users contacting the IT Help Desk by phone spent on average 26 seconds less waiting for their call to be answered in 2014 compared to Over the course of a year this reduction in wait times totals over 21 working days. By increasing our 1 st contact and 1 st resolution times we have reduced calls resolution times significantly with a total of 34 hours saved in However there have also been many benefits that are difficult to put a cost value against. The development and introduction of performance measures and metrics for the IT Help Desk have enabled us to produce monthly service reports that we can share with our key stakeholders including the senior management team. These reports mean we are able to demonstrate how the service is improving over time and as the critical success factors and key performance indicators have been designed to show how we are supporting the university and departmental objectives we can demonstrate how are adding value. We have enhanced the credibility of the IT Help Desk both internally and externally, we are now viewed as a sector leading IT Help Desk and have received recognition from University of Leeds Senate for our achievements. We can also evidence that this continual service improvement is delivering strong return on investment as we have seen customer satisfaction increase from 88% to 98% and we expect this improvement to be reflected in the National Student Survey results for 2015.

7 TRANSFERENCE OF BEST PRACTISE In the UK HE Benchmarking Report Peter Tinson stated that The implementation of standards will go some considerable way to delivering an efficient and effective service desk, which supports an ever increasing range of services. However, most institutions have only recently started down this road. In the coming years, as the processes that underpin standards are implemented, IT services should be in a position to highlight improvements and so demonstrate a strong return on the investment made. In 2012 we set our vision to become a sector leading IT Service Desk and achieve the Service Desk Certification three star rating by 2014 and we are proud to say that we did it. We are only the second University in the UK and third globally to achieve this internationally recognised standard. The IT Help Desk at the University of Leeds is now seen as a beacon of good practise across both the Higher Education and Service Desk sectors. Transference of best practise around our Continual Service Improvement Programme is already underway. In 2014 the team facilitated visits from the University of Manchester, Manchester Metropolitan University, York University, Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield University, University of New South Wales and the Open University. Each institution has chosen to visit us so that they can to learn from and share our experience of Service Desk Certification and Continual Service Improvement. We have similar visits planned with 02 Telefonica, Lloyds Bank and the University of Huddersfield and Durham University for Spring We have also had a number of articles published in both internal and external magazines and websites including Support World and the University of Leeds Reporter. And we have provided presentations and sessions at several events for both UCISA and the Service Desk Institute. Not only is the University of Leeds IT Help Desk sharing good practise but they are now also leading and shaping the future of Service Desk s for Higher Education. Their recent Twitter Marketing campaign was described as cutting edge by two ITSM industry experts and the Service Desk Institute themselves have called them trail blazing. The University of Leeds will continue to support other institutions embarking on similar programmes of Continual Service Improvement by sharing experiences and best practise with a view to increasing the levels of excellence within Higher Education Service Desks. This will be done through the facilitation of visits, webinars, blog posts and presentations at industry specific events. The Continual Service Improvement Programme has been a steep learning curve. When we started out we really thought it would be about processes, procedures, tools and technologies but what we learnt is that really it is all about people. A good service needs good people, people that are hardworking, committed, humble, enthusiastic, positive, persistent, confident, honest and creative. The Continual Service Improvement Programme has been about the development of a team that can stand tall and be proud of the service that they deliver and we would welcome further opportunity of sharing our experiences with the wider Higher Education community.

8 1. Benefits Realisation PLANNED BENEFIT Provide a continual service improvement programme and a benchmark for service quality and growth to ensure the IT Help Desk service aligns to needs of overall organisational goals Develop performance measures to maximize performance and demonstrate the value of the IT Help Desk to the department and the University Promotion of shared goals to improve teamwork, staff motivation and performance Enhance credibility and recognition of the IT Help Desk and promotion of the service to help manage customer expectations Increased customer satisfaction Improved service levels BENEFIT REALISATION Implementation of strategic business planning enables us to develop business and operational plans that support the University s strategic objectives Production of monthly service review reports for key stakeholders including senior management team that demonstrate how the service is improving over time Improved service levels including 1 st level fix and 1 st contact resolution and phone wait times Reduced staff absence days from average 4.2 days per person per year to 1.92 days per person per year Increase in staff satisfaction to 100% resulting in team that are performing above expected standards IT Help Desk now viewed as sector leading across HE and Service Desk industry and recognition from senate on this achievement Increased customer satisfaction Customer satisfaction has increased from 88% to 98% demonstrating customers are increasingly happy with the service 1 st level fix increase by 4% and phone wait times reduced by an average of 26 seconds per call

9 2. Vision & Mission

10 3. IT Help Desk Metrics Map Critical Success Factors & Key Performance Indicators

11 4. Social Media

12 2014 UCISA Award for Excellence Entry 5. Letter from Senate

13 2014 UCISA Award for Excellence Entry 6. Service Levels Average Phone Wait Times st Contact Resolution 1 st Level Fix JANUARY 43.1 FEBRUARY 40.6 MARCH 37.9 APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER JANUARY FEBRUARY MARCH APRIL MAY JUNE JULY AUGUST SEPTEMBER OCTOBER NOVEMBER DECEMBER

14 2014 UCISA Award for Excellence Entry 7. Staff Satisfaction I enjoy my job Strongly Disagree 80 Disagree Neither agree nor disagree Agree Strongly Agree 0 Apr 13 Nov 13 May 14 Nov-14

15 8. Customer Satisfaction

16 9. For Fun Strong team dynamics have played a critical role in our success and enabled us to affect change and improvements quickly. We know that a team is not just a group of people that work together but also a group of people that respect, trust and care for each other. And it is really important to have some fun along the way.

17 10. Short Videos We would like to finish this submission by sharing with you a couple of videos that the team created. The first was to celebrate the University of Leeds Internship Programme and the second was part of our entry into the IT Service & Support Awards We had a lot of fun making them and we hope that you enjoy.

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