Mature Your IT Operational Processes with Ticket Assignment Analysis

“Automation” is the key enabler for any process, including IT operational processes, for traversing the path of maturity enhancement. It makes a process repeatable and comes with a promise of consistency and greater efficiency. In a recent study, Gartner has termed “IT Process Automation as the Key part of Business Success“. There are many ITSM solutions available in the industry now, that offer automation on the core ITIL processes, namely – Incident, Request, Problem and Change Management. And the main integration point between the different process modules is a Record, widely known as a “ticket”, which gets created for any interaction, incident, request, problem or change.

Therefore, in order to mature the core IT operational processes, an organization should focus on improving the effectiveness of their “ticket management” system and most importantly, the “ticket assignment” component. As a wrong assignment may cause a delay resulting into ineffectiveness and inefficiency of the processes, and even dissatisfaction amongst the customers.

Following are some key benefits of having an effective ticket management system:

  1. Greater Process and Service Efficiency – Reduction in ticket bounce and the associated time and effort
  2. Improved Process and Service Effectiveness – Faster service recovery supports process objectives and ultimately the business objectives
  3. Sustained Customer Satisfaction – Quicker resolution keeps customers happy

Measure to Manage with Greater Insights

Of the many enablers for building an effective ticket management system – tools, procedures, skill sets, training, etc. –  analytics is one of the most important. By assisting with process performance and maturity assessment, analytics can help detect gaps related to process, procedure, skill sets or even training.

Following are some of the beneficial analyses primarily on ticket flow, reassignment and handoffs which can increase your visibility on the ticket management system:

1. Number of Reassignments by Category, CI and Assignment Group

The first thing a process owner would want to know is which category or CI or assignment group has the most number of reassignments as a % of their total incident count. In one case, a small number of tickets were being reassigned as many as 10 times and pretty much all of them were missing SLAs.

If structured analyses using key dimensions does not yield an obvious answer, text analytics can be used to analyze the ticket keywords to spot any specific cause or trend , such as – reassignments are caused by service desk or by level 2 after their preliminary troubleshooting. This could be due to inadequacy of technical training & awareness in Service Desk whereas re-allocation by level 2 troubleshooting may indicate lack of knowledge or appropriate skillset in the support staffs.

2. SLA Breach vs Reassignment Count

Next step is to understand the impact on SLAs due to reassignments. By conducting a comparative analysis between the reassignment count and SLA achievement rate for any specific category, or department or assignment group, Service Desk Managers can spot any correlation between the 2 aspects, the data may indicate that the more the reassignments the lesser the chances of achieving the SLA targets.

In the following ticket assignment analysis, “Request” and “Hardware” are 2 major categories which are having the most number of re-assigned tickets and purple bubble on the second graph is a cause of concern as it indicates multiple “Request” tickets being reassigned for “inbound call center” department, which may lead to SLA breach for increased resolution time.

SLA and ticket assignment analysis

3. Ticket Flow Analysis

Having an improved visibility on the entire life cycle of any ticket is of great assistance in detecting the process bottlenecks with the help of the ticket management and assignment system.

Analyzing the time lapse or dormancy before a reassignment may unravel reasons for delays such as:

  • Workload
  • Engineer’s inefficiency
  • High Demand

These insights can then be used for improving the efficiency level of the process.

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