These days, it’s almost a given to assume that IT departments are understaffed and overextended. However, “it’s one thing to say we’re overworked—and it’s another to be able to illustrate this with concrete data,” said Lisa Faison, deputy CIO for the City of Goodyear, Arizona, municipal government.
Having the data to back up this assertion makes all the difference in justifying a larger investment in resources to organizational leaders. With the help of TeamDynamix, Faison and her colleagues in Goodyear’s IT department have been able to do just that, which has led to better IT service for the city’s nearly 1,000 employees.
A few years ago, the City of Goodyear didn’t have any way to track the status of IT projects. The city government had a ticketing system for managing the delivery of IT services. Still, this system was very limited in what it could do and what information it could provide.
“We wanted to increase the maturity of our IT operations by moving to ITIL processes,” Faison said.
This meant bringing the oversight of IT services and projects together under a single platform for IT Service Management (ITSM) and Project Portfolio Management (PPM) that gave leaders a holistic view of the work employees were doing. What’s more, the platform had to allow for simple configuration and automation of IT processes, without a lot of coding or administration needed on the back end.
Using a single platform for ITSM and PPM can be especially useful when you have limited resources coupled with an increase in demand for service.
Benefits of this one-platform approach include:
- Improved IT productivity
- Improved quality of service (QoS)
- Improved IT performance measurement and reporting capabilities
By combining ITSM and PPM you get to have all relevant information in one place. Instead of switching between different browser tabs or applications, everything you need for tickets and projects can be right in front of you in a comprehensive, custom dashboard. This allows for a greater amount of information to be at your fingertips, including:
- The amount of and type of work that needs to be completed.
- The estimated length of a project or task.
- Information on which areas need more resources within your organization.
- Information on who is assigned to do what.
- Information on who has the availability to help fulfill certain needs.
- And information on when people have availability to do the work.
On the IT service side, the new platform has allowed the City of Goodyear to set up a service catalog and a self-service portal that routs tickets to the correct staff members for fulfillment automatically, reducing the number of times that service tickets bounce around from one person to another. This has helped speed up incident response times significantly.
“We did a training roadshow,” Faison said, whereby IT staff met with various departments and showed them how to use the self-service portal. They also handed out pens with the link to the portal etched on the side. This internal marketing campaign has contributed to widespread adoption, with about three-fourths of service requests now being submitted through the portal— and this is leading to faster resolution for employees.
Automated workflows have also helped streamline key processes and improve the delivery of IT services. For instance, the IT team established an automated workflow within TeamDynamix for purchasing hardware and software, routing requests automatically to the appropriate people for approvals.
“It’s a nice, fully automated workflow,” Faison said. “We’d like to implement automated workflows in other areas moving forward as well.”
Data-Driven IT Resource Allocation
On the project side, TeamDynamix gives the city’s IT department a simple way to evaluate, approve and manage projects of all sizes. Managing IT projects and service requests within the same platform gives leaders a holistic view of the work that team members are doing.
“It helps us evaluate whether we can take on new projects based on the people we have available,” said Remi Nunez, senior IT project manager. And this is critical for reducing resource drain.
Having clear data showing the scope of the work that team members are doing also gives IT leaders the evidence they need to advocate for additional staffing in areas that require it.
For instance, Faison and her colleagues knew the GIS team had a constant backlog of work, but they weren’t able to quantify this challenge before. With TeamDynamix reporting, they were able to demonstrate this need and hire another full-time GIS employee.
One year into using TeamDynamix, having better visibility into project and service information has helped the city’s IT department improve customer service for employees—and the city has only begun to scratch the surface of what the platform enables.
As Goodyear’s IT maturity continues, Faison and her colleagues will be looking to use the data they collect on IT projects to accurately forecast the amount of time that new projects will take, so they can allocate resources to projects more effectively. They also plan to help other city departments use TeamDynamix for enterprise-level service and project management.
Faison’s advice for getting the most out of the platform: “Think about what questions you’d like to ask of the data you’re collecting.” TeamDynamix is a powerful tool for supporting data-driven decision-making, she notes—and understanding what you’d like to know can help organizations take full advantage of the platform’s capabilities.
Supercharging ITSM and PPM with Automation
As you can see from the City of Goodyear’s experience, the benefits of a one-platform solution for ITSM and PPM are enhanced even more when you can include an integration component. By combining integration and automation with your ITSM/PPM platform you can automate both complex and simple tasks, as well as connect disparate systems throughout your organization.
Employees no longer need to spend time on the repetitive, mundane tasks they normally have to complete before working on bigger projects – things like system name changes, resetting passwords, or granting certain permissions to software. All of these, and more, can be automated with workflows.
Here are a few other ways an ITSM/PPM tool with an integration and automation layer can supercharge service delivery and reduce the IT drain on an organization:
- Facilitate enterprise integration by using a single hub with pre-built connectors to systems that you use every day as well as a connector concierge for the creation of specific connectors (Imagine being able to automatically change a username, add someone to a distribution group or onboard an employee).
- Expedite creation of automation and workflows with a codeless visual flow builder that’s easy to use, own and operate; allowing you to reduce IT’s backlog of integration and workflow requests.
- Optimize resources across IT to allow for improved output and a higher level of service delivery to your internal and external customers by removing redundant data entry and manual processing.
- Reduce API risk with a single connectivity platform that will offer increased oversight and control.
Want to learn more about what state and local government organizations are doing to automate and modernize their IT? Check out: Modernizing ITSM in the Public Sector
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