Helping Your Helpdesk with a Service Coverage Matrix

Over the past couple of weeks, our American University of Sharjah IT Helpdesk and other teams have been working on creating a simple Service Coverage Matrix. We found that we had a knowledge gap with the distributed IT support structure at AUS.  Not everyone knew who was the primary and the secondary service support analysts for all the technology services we delivered to the University.

This knowledge gap resulted in service delays and needless searching for the right resource only to find they were out of the office that day.   I introduced the idea of a Service Coverage Matrix to our new Team Leaders a few weeks ago.

The document is service based and identifies the following basic attributes:

  • Service Name
  • IT Team Name
  • Primary Analyst
  • Secondary Analyst
Now, our IT Helpdesk and our colleagues in the Academic Computing Group have a single place to find the correct person to help them resolve a technology service incident.

From a coverage perspective, the various Team Leaders are responsible to update the Service Coverage Matrix information to account for staff going on vacation, being sick or going on training.

In the longer term, we can also see the impact of an analyst changing roles or leaving the university.  By reviewing the Service Coverage Matrix items they are identified with, we can plan to ensure we continue to maintain coverage while training a replacement person.

I know this seems very simple but it is amazing how many IT organizations still rely on tribal knowledge for this basic support information.  Higher Education employee turnover in the Gulf may be more that in North America due to the time bound employment contracts used here.   This simple tool will help us ensure that we have an accurate list of which analyst is supporting what service over time.

Push me a message if you would like me to send you the template for the Service Coverage Matrix.

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