Your organization uses ServiceNow® to assign tasks to your staff, and the application does a fairly good job of delegating activities. But over time you may find that some staff members are clearly overworked compared to others, and meanwhile key projects have stalled or service levels are strained.
The problem is that IT service management (ITSM) workloads can be quite complex, and getting a complete picture of all tasks across multiple processes can be challenging with simple reporting tools. In order to better understand workloads, your organization needs ITSM workload analysis. Below we outline three key ways in which your IT organization can benefit from tracking metrics around staff workloads and tasks segmented by project or process.
1. Track Staff Workloads Across Departments
Within ITSM, workloads are often multidimensional in the sense that each person may be responsible for addressing incidents, supporting applications or infrastructure, and performing project development work within his or her respective domains. The ability to see all open work across different processes for the same group of people is a challenge, because different people own different processes. When you look at one process and the workload associated with a group or an individual, you’re not necessarily getting the whole picture. If you’re trying to determine why it’s taking longer than usual to close incidents, for example, it can be helpful to know what other tasks the staff in question have been working on.
To further complicate matters, workers may have project-specific work in addition to their support tasks, and neither the support manager nor the project management office (PMO) has insight into existing workloads and availability. The PMO may plan timelines based on expectations that don’t reflect reality, so projects get delayed. It’s a pretty common problem: research from MIT Sloan found that as many as 65% of employees work on multiple teams within the organization.
2. Understand Process-Specific Demand
IT leaders can also find it difficult to assess existing workloads across different processes – such as incidents, requests, problems, and changes – to see how long that work has been open and whether the right resources were assigned. Access to this information can help you determine whether the organization will meet customers’ needs and expectations. If not, you can identify what has to happen for the organization to meet demand, whether that be reassigning tasks, reprioritizing work, or resetting the customer’s expectations.
3. Rebalance Team Workloads
There’s an HR side to managing team workloads as well; morale problems can occur when some team members carry heavier loads than their peers. Balancing out unequal workloads within a team is quite the feat, but that process can be simplified if you have visibility across projects and processes. Conducting an ITSM workload analysis with an application such as Numerify pulls together data from disparate systems to ensure an accurate view of the time allocated to various processes and projects.
For example, you can look at a specific employee to see if the current workload and expectations from both support management and the PMO fit reasonably within the allotted 150 work hours for the month. The PMO can gauge what resources are available for projects going forward and can have an informed conversation with the support manager to confirm available resources. Additionally, the support manager can assess capacity to handle support calls. This visibility enables you to manage everyone’s workloads more effectively, optimize service delivery, and, at the end of the day, keep everyone happier and more productive.
[Photo courtesy of flickr user sarahluv.]