Case Study: Health Tech IT Help Desk
Improving IT Help Desk Support Through Lean Implementation
- Significant reduction in lead time for service requests
- Significant reduction in aging telecom service requests and call volume
- Successful and relevant deployment of Lean Implementation as a proof-of-concept for IT Help Desks
Our client is a world leader in health technology. Its core deliverables include healthy living and prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and home care. Based in Brussels, its IT professionals are divided into Customer Care Teams such as hardware, network, telecoms and applications. These teams coordinate many third-party suppliers including an offshore IT help desk based in the Philippines.
The quality of IT support services was a major source of frustration for our client.
- Issues often took too long to resolve and in some cases were closed before they were fixed.
- Problems frequently occurred during the handover of ticketed cases between care teams.
The client decided to undertake a pilot project in which Lean processes would be applied to its IT Customer Care programs. They selected the Board of Excellence to consult with them on the project.
We deployed Business Process Value Stream Mapping (VSM) and A3 Structured Problem-Solving methodologies. We then facilitated meetings and discussions with a committee that included management stakeholders, and representatives from IT Helpdesk Services as well as each of the Customer Care teams. This approach was used to gain consensus in defining the problem and to collectively identify improvement objectives.
We held training events to ensure that all representatives fully understood – and were able to use – Business Process Value Stream Mapping and A3 Structured Problem-Solving methodologies. Focus was placed on two key value streams: the mobile plan and non-standard hardware.
A detailed action plan was developed that outlined the steps required for our client to implement the new processes and address the key problems. We presented these plans in a Toyota A3 one-page format.
Following the VSM workshop, we coached the various teams for a period of three months in order to most efficiently implement their A3 plans. This included assisting individual team members – as well as groups – to use problem-solving techniques on a daily basis to find and fix the root causes of everyday service delivery issues.
After the three-month training and support period, significant achievements in the area of lean implementation of IT processes were documented. These included:
- Lead time for mobile phone service requests was reduced from 74 days to 10 days.
- Lead time for non-standard hardware was reduced from 47 days to 11 days.
- The number of aging telecom service requests greater than 10 days was reduced from a peak of 160 to 40.
- Call volume handled by the telecom team was reduced from 480 per month to 175 since fewer issues were occurring in IT processes.
- The lean implementation pilot project successfully demonstrated how Lean deployment can be easily deployed
- The number of aging telecom service requests greater than 10 days was reduced from a peak of 160 to 40
Calls volume handled by the telecom team was reduced from 480 per month to 175 since fewer issues were occurring in IT processes within a business process, and how it serves as a foundation for ongoing further improvement.