Leeds Beckett University Retain Impressive Service Desk Certification Achievement

Posted on Monday 21 November 2022.

Leeds Beckett University is a modern, professional-based university with a dedicated, diverse community. LBU work closely with employers and partners to help  graduates become ready for work, ready for life and ready to seize all the opportunities that lie ahead. The IT Service Desk consists of 8 analysts, 2 student placements, 2 team leaders and the Service Desk Manager. The team are split across 2 campuses and provide first line IT and AV support to over 2000 staff and a popular media equipment loans service for over 25,000 staff and students.

Choosing the Service Desk Certification journey

We joined the SDC programme not long after a significant restructure in 2015. This restructure combined the IT and AV disciplines, and the Service Desk were a brand-new team trying to find their feet. As the SDC programme is based on the use of the Global Best Practice Standard for Service Desk, it seemed the perfect benchmark to guide and measure this improvement journey. The ultimate goal was to transform the service in to one that delivered great outcomes for our customers and that we could be proud of.

What changes have been made since entering the SDC Programme?

Before we started the programme we had an unloved ITSM tool that didn’t even differentiate between incidents and requests. In 2018 we replaced this tool and have been developing it through CSI activities. We now have extensive reporting capabilities that allow us to make targeted, measurable improvements.

We’ve also replaced email as a contact channel with chat support and implemented problem and asset management into a unified toolset. We have undertaken significant shift-left activities and the Analysts’ profile of work has expanded significantly. They are now a highly valued asset in the university, providing resolutions and fulfilments, but also digital pedagogical advice, to our staff.

What benefits have been noted from the Certification programme?

The customers have noticed these changes, our CSAT is consistently over 90%, the team have an incident first level fix rate over 70%. We have implemented balanced scorecards for the analysts, and this has been really successful in driving individual performance and service improvements.

What challenges have you overcome?

The biggest challenge during this programme was our second surveillance audit in 2020. The university flipped to remote working overnight in reaction to the pandemic, this increased service desk contacts and the length of time it took to resolve issues at first point of contact. In addition to this, increased cyber threats created a need for tighter IT security that led to an increase in account lockouts. This  made preparing for an audit challenging enough, but on top of that, the Global Best Practice Standard had been updated from v7 to v8, all of this presented a sizeable amount of additional work. Fortunately the hard work paid off and we were delighted that we had managed to improve our score from 3-Star to 4-Star.

Do you recommend the SDC programme to other service and support teams?

“Yes absolutely, having to prepare for an audit gives you focus, and it is really valuable in driving continual service improvement across the department. “

What are you most proud to share about your team?

The SDC programme doesn’t just help develop the service; it helps develop individuals. I am always delighted when one of our Analysts goes on to gain an internal promotion, or a significant position outside of the business. We have been fortunate to have seen many Analysts progress, and the best practice they learn within the role really supports them and looks great on their CVs. Our recruitment continues to be successful, and we are able to maintain the high levels of service we have reached, with  new and different faces, continuing the best practice we have adopted from the SDC programme and Best Practice Standard.

“We very much value our partnership with SDI to support us in delivering great outcomes to the University and I am immensely pleased that despite this being a pressured and turbulent time for the Department, we have managed to consolidate our 4 star accreditation.”

Nigel Buckland, Leeds Beckett IT Services

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