Effectively managing the technology needs of more than 5,000 city employees, including employees that utilize technology in the field, requires the right combination of people, processes and technology. Business Systems Manager Dusty Borchardt said Oklahoma City has a top-notch IT team and well-defined processes, but the city government lacked an IT Service Management (ITSM) platform that would allow it to become a fully mature IT organization – that is, until they discovered TeamDynamix.
Before TeamDynamix, Oklahoma City was using a ticketing application that gave employees very limited visibility into the status of their service requests. Employees had to be connected to the city network to create and update service tickets, which was inconvenient for IT technicians working remotely. In addition, services that required the completion of routine tasks by multiple groups within IT had to be manually routed by employees.
Using TeamDynamix has brought more efficiency to IT service for city employees. With a new ITSM platform in place, Oklahoma City has built a self-service portal to meet employees’ IT needs more effectively.
Now, city employees can initiate a service request from wherever they are using their phone or any other internet-connected device. Employees also have more visibility into the status of their requests, and IT managers have comprehensive insight into how their department is doing.
Borchardt and his team are continuing to expand the use of TeamDynamix and look forward to improved project management tools and more effective allocation of IT resources once PPM is fully implemented.
“The feedback we’ve gotten is that everyone loves TeamDynamix,” he says. “This is the first IT Service Management platform we’ve implemented that everyone loves to use.”
Gaining Greater Efficiency
With about 100 people providing IT services for more than 5,000 city employees, the OKC IT department needs to work efficiently. Using TeamDynamix they’ve been able to streamline the delivery of IT services through automated workflows.
“TeamDynamix has brought simplicity to our operations,” Borchardt says.
Using tools within the platform, Oklahoma City IT staff have created a self-service portal linked to an expanding knowledge base. City employees can find answers to common problems and frequently asked questions within the knowledge base, and if they can’t resolve their own issues, they can submit a service request through the portal. Based on the nature of the problem they describe in their ticket; the request is routed automatically to the appropriate IT team for a response.
Expediting Response Time with Self-Service Portals
Self-service holds major significance in organizations because it can dramatically reduce the number of tickets that are submitted to IT. And reduced ticket volume can do two things.
First, it decreases the per-incident cost incurred by IT as fewer resources are used on each issue.
Second, it saves time because help desk employees don’t need to waste time addressing smaller issues that they get a call for. Rather, they can spend their time resolving more complex issues that a self-service portal is unable to fix.
Another benefit of self-service portals is higher satisfaction throughout an organization. Users like independence and favor a ‘do it yourself’ system over one where they need intervention from someone else.
Lastly, self-service portals lead to an enhanced overall user experience because IT issues consume less of users’ time. Self-service doesn’t decrease the number of problems that arise for any single person, but it does greatly decrease the amount of time that is allotted to dealing with those issues.
“Our goal is that use of the self-service portal will continue to grow, reducing our call volume and emails to the IT service desk,” Borchardt says.
Automated workflows also ensure that important tasks aren’t overlooked when IT staff are busy. For instance, when new city employees are hired, there are many steps in the onboarding process. With TeamDynamix, the entire workflow can be initiated with a single service request that is routed to the various departments automatically. The same is true for requesting purchases and managing IT contracts.
“Before TeamDynamix, we had employees emailing requests directly to our administrative group within IT, and that was causing some issues,” Borchardt says. “Sometimes requests would fall through the cracks, and months would go by without anyone noticing.”
Benefits of Dashboards and Insights
Greater efficiency is one key benefit that Oklahoma City IT staff have realized from using TeamDynamix. Deeper insight into IT operations is another.
There are four specific capabilities within TeamDynamix dashboards and reports that are particularly helpful in providing a significant increase in visibility and control. They are:
- The ability to view spikes in incidents.
- The tracking of trends.
- Measuring quality and performance.
- Addressing project goals, timelines and risks.
The live dashboards provide managers with the ability to see real-time spikes in incidents and allow them to initiate major incident or problem management workflows as needed.
Tracking trends is easier when you use the report builder that clearly displays trends, and through the automated reports that are delivered when there are results. For example, a report can be automatically generated and sent out to specific people when a certain threshold (that you determine) is met for a trend.
With out-of-the-box reporting to measure quality and performance, anyone can build the reports and dashboards they need to make confident decisions and focus on priorities.
The ability to create both public and private dashboards means employees can be well-informed on exactly what they need to be focused on and not overwhelmed by other data and reports.
Transparency into IT and departmental metrics can be offered to the community through these dashboards, improving communication throughout an organization.
Because the dashboards are so customizable, users often create a view that is personalized to their own liking. For example, people may create one with a view that combines key elements such as “My Tickets,” “My Tasks,” “Requests for Change,” “Project Status,” “SLA Tracking” and even a news feed.
TeamDynamix offers flexible notification and alerting capabilities that help to easily contact proper recipients. Additionally, users can use APIs to automatically post alerts to a Microsoft Teams or Slack channel.
‘Fantastic’ Implementation with Knowledge Transfer
For Oklahoma City, getting up and running with TeamDynamix took careful planning. “Before we got started, we spent time defining our service catalog so we could implement it with the appropriate structure in mind,” Borchardt says. “We wanted to get this right because we knew it would serve as the foundation for everything we are trying to accomplish.”
Borchardt describes the implementation process itself as “fantastic.”
“We worked side by side with the TeamDynamix team to configure the system. The TeamDynamix consultants taught us every aspect of the platform as we progressed through the system setup,” he explains. “This helped us understand not only how to use it, but more importantly, how to think about the system strategically. It was an immediate transfer of knowledge on how the system works across all areas.”
Using TeamDynamix has helped Oklahoma City’s IT support teams realize their vision for using industry best practices to improve the delivery of IT services. “We adopted the ITIL framework more than 15 years ago. We’ve had effective processes in place for a while, but we haven’t had a decent toolset to manage them until now,” Borchardt concludes.