Mind Your Queues
There are all sorts of ways to organize and prioritize a support queue. The classic method, and perhaps still the best, method is to respond to requests on a first come, first served basis. Along with being fair, many teams find this to be the most efficient way to manage a large volume of requests. However, it is not the only way and it may be worth considering and experimenting with other methods to find the right fit for your team. Some things to consider when organizing your queue:
- What is your service priority?If it’s speed, which is often the case, then it makes sense to organize your queue by time (sort by time to resolution). However, speed is not always the only or the most import consideration. The type of tickets that are given priority will depend on the type of service team. A customer relations team may prioritize customers that are submitting a request for the first time. A facilities team may prioritize responding to reports of safety hazards. In these cases, you would want to triage your tickets to make sure that the most urgent matters get dealt with first.It’s worth mentioning that using time to resolution as a measure of success really only fits in cases when everyone knows and agrees on what the desired outcome is. In tech that’s usually pretty straight forward - get the system (or the customer/user) working again. But in other business teams things may not be quite as clear. Imagine the HR officer who receives a request from a supervisor with a disciplinary action notification attached and a note saying, “I really want to fire this person.” Depending on the circumstances the HR Officer may or may not be in agreement about the desired outcome. Unless the offending employee is endangering themselves, others or the organization, resolving the problem quickly is going to be less important than resolving it carefully.
- What model provides the best service and also supports your support team?Queues provide an opportunity to organize your team’s division of labor in whatever way works best. The HR team might assign all issues relating to employee benefits to one team member and all issues related to hiring to another. Or different team members might be responsible for providing HR services to different departments. In either case, you can set up automation rules to send requests directly into the desired child queue, avoiding the need to triage manually.Another consideration is how to use queues to support team competence and morale. Some teams create a rotating “ninja” position - an agent whose job for the day is to comb through the queue and handle all the requests that can be resolved quickly. Having someone assigned to pick off this low hanging fruit means that the queue doesn’t get to large. This not only helps maintain the morale of the support team, it also means that the more complex requests that remain will make it to the top of the list faster.
Converting to a service desk model is an opportunity for business teams to revisit how they organize their services, but it’s also important to let them know that the tools can be employed to support them in carrying out their processes in whatever way they see fit. Jira Service Desk provides great features like queues, built-in approvals and easy access to analytics, and ProForma forms and templates make converting to Jira Service Desk easy.