Building & Managing a World Class IT Help Desk
||Author: Bob Wooten, G. Robert Wooten|
List Price: $39.99
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Publisher: McGraw-Hill Osborne Media (26 April, 2001)
Sales Rank: 74,386
Average Customer Rating: 2.67 out of 5
Customer ReviewsRating: 1 out of 5
Building & Managing a World Class IT Help Desk
So basic it was insulting. I kept reading thinking the author would give more detail. Not sure who this book is geared towards as the technology sections are weak too.
Rating: 2 out of 5
I work as a Project Manager and I recently started having to incorporate Help Desk consulting/outsourcing as part of my projects. With all due respect to the excellently written review below, I found this book to be too general and filled with advice that amounted to little more than common sense. Hard metrics--what constitutes an acceptable abandonment rate or hold time at most well-run Desks?--is missing. So too are what concrete steps can be taken to improve a Help Desk that has poor metrics.
What is here are paragraphs such as "You know you want to talk them (senior management), but how do you find them? If you already are an employee of this company, odds are you have some idea who they are. If you are new to the company, you will likely have no idea." On the need to have a daily staff meeting every day (which is good advice), he writes, "You should hold this meeting either first thing in the morning or the last thing at night." (why?) "The alignment of your schedule with your managers...will tell you which one is best for you." And you should have all of the right people attending and none of the wrong people....Experience will show you if you have all the right people." I need to read this?
The book is 571 pages so he does cover a lot of ground, and if you are absolutely new to the concept of Help Desk and the Desk you will create is for a small company, this book may offer a decent general overview (see review below), but I wasn't happy.
Rating: 5 out of 5
Excellent for desktop support help desk operations
This is an excellent beginner's book for implementing and/or managing help desk operations that are focused on desktop support and infrastructure issue management.
Part I thoroughly explains the basics, including concepts, budgeting, and a business case for implementing a help desk. Part II covers the essentials of people, processes and tools. It also covers how to go about defining requirements and setting goals. I like the way the author steps you through the "As-Is" and "To-Be" planning because this is the foundation from which the help desk will be aligned to business and user requirements within a budget and the context of service level objectives. This part is process-oriented (as it should be) and gets you thinking in those terms.
For readers who already staff or manage a help desk Part III will be especially valuable. Here the author discusses the realities of managing your staff, retaining them in a relatively sane state and ensuring that they have training opportunities. What I like, though, is the additional processes that are introduced, including change management, service level agreements and metrics. In fact, the chapter on metrics is excellent and hits all of the key points.
Part IV is devoted to fixing existing help desk operations and is worth the price of the book if you are managing an operation that seems to forever be behind the power curve. Common causes of complaints are addressed in a methodical manner, which will provide you with the basis of a "get well" plan. If you are starting up a help desk this part of the book will show you pitfalls to avoid as your operation matures. Part V takes the people-process-tools discussed earlier into a greater amount of detail. Each topic is thoroughly covered and each provides excellent advice for increasing the effectiveness of your help desk.
The appendices are also valuable. Appendix A is a set of sample job descriptions and Appendix B is a sample service level agreement (this sample covers all of the key elements of a good SLA).
Although I found this book to be basic I also thought it is complete for desktop support and infrastructure-oriented help desks. For managed support operations where the help desk functions as an issue broker I prefer IT Problem Management by Gary S. Walker and/or Delivering World-Class Technical Support by Lori Laub et al, both of which are most applicable to enterprise application support. If you are starting a help desk or are managing one that is focused on desktop and infrastructure support this book will serve you well.
· Introduction to Help Desk Concepts and Skills
· How to Manage the IT Helpdesk - A Guide for User Support and Call Center Managers
· Help Desk Practitioner's Handbook
· Running an Effective Help Desk, 2nd Edition
· IT Problem Management