Did the smurfs have it right?

Recently I’ve been thinking about what would make a helpdesk the most efficient.  For a college campus the lab and classrooms generally have a different set of technicians than you do for the faculty/staff.  However I have started to feel that perhaps this is not quite scalable to all sizes.

This came to mind when I saw the smurfs recently.  Each smurf has a specific task to do or lead, and the other smurfs all help in with their specialties, following the guidance of Papa Smurf and whatever smurf was in charge.  What if an IT helpdesk followed the same philosophy, that the most talented people in a field deal with the issues with the help of the rest of the team for larger projects.

Most IT helpdesks are understaffed.  So splitting the responsibility up is hard to do, but that is why you have a helpdesk team, to work with each other and to cover each other so services are not interrupted.  The example below has six groups, with the main contact group (Tier II) having 4 members, and all specialized workgroups (Tier III) have two members each.  This could be expanded out based on the number of employees and the other needs of your organization.  Notice how even though some people are on the Tier II group, they are also Tier III techs.  Tech assignment isn’t specific, I just threw them in there to get a general sense of the diversity and redundancy that this allows for.

Sample Helpdesk Workgroup Membership

Example of six workgroups for an IT helpdesk.

This is still a work in progress, but I’m hoping can be expanded and modified to develop a workflow that allows issues to be addressed quickly by the most talented staff available.

Till next time.