Located in Madison, Wisconsin, Edgewood College was founded in 1927 as a Catholic college in the Dominican tradition. The independent liberal arts college has an overall student enrollment of 2,800 and offers more than 60 majors and more than 40 minors.
When embarking on a search for a new help desk manager, Edgewood College decided the transition period would be an ideal time to step back and assess the current help desk’s performance. The organization engaged Wipfli in its efforts to identify improvement opportunities.
Wipfli conducted a comprehensive assessment and evaluation of the help desk function. The work was begun by conducting 30 different sets of interviews with various customer communities across the campus in order to identify customer requirements and expectations for service delivery. The firm then turned its attention to the department’s current processes, including assessing how it tracked calls and requests for assistance, reviewing subsequent documentation, mapping workflow, and reviewing positions and training.
Armed with this valuable information, Wipfli then conducted a SWOT analysis with the help desk team. The firm compared the help desk’s current processes and performance to end users’ expectations, thereby identifying key gaps and areas for improvement. The overall discoveries led to a plan for implementing best practices and a design for new processes. Included were new monthly metrics, weekly reports, and best practices for defining severity levels and priority handling. Also included were the creation of service-level agreements (SLA) and operational-level agreements (OLA).
With the benefits of a new playbook and improved tools and processes, the help desk was well positioned to reach a higher level of service and technical support. With formal processes in place, issues could be readily escalated, and resolutions could be reached faster. Also, by making projects and workloads visible to the entire team, the department moved from consistently having 100 open job tickets at any given time to having only 20 or 30 open tickets. That roughly 75% improvement translates into more satisfied end users.
Another result of the assessment process was a reenergized help desk team. Along the way, team members initiated improvements on their own, and subject matter experts were identified. In addition, the Edgewood community expressed optimism over improvements and appreciation that their voices were heard. In all, the help desk enhanced its services to the college community and boosted satisfaction levels both within the community it serves and on its team.