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Bridging the Gap: How Shadowing Can Enhance Help Desk Performance and Business Relationships

Updated: Apr 26

There's been a significant paradigm shift in business process management, especially with the changing landscape of IT. While it's true that the "old ways" have brought us to where we are today, it's time to revamp our approach.

One area ripe for re-evaluation is our IT help desk - that essential team resolving various technical issues, keeping operations smooth, and ensuring the team is tech-ready. What if we could elevate the help desk's role beyond just fixing issues? Could we make them an integral part of the business units they support?

The answer lies in a simple yet transformative concept: the practice of help desk analysts shadowing the very business units they serve. Let's delve into how this innovative practice could strengthen our business's performance and the symbiotic relationship between help desks and the business units.

people looking at a screen

Understanding the Business, First Hand

Traditionally, help desk staff interact with business units only when a technical issue needs resolution. They fix the problem, and it's business as usual. However, this creates a reactionary approach rather than a proactive one.

By having help desk analysts spend time shadowing business units, they gain firsthand experience of the day-to-day operations. They witness the workflow's struggles, bottlenecks, triumphs, and intricacies. This experience builds a deeper understanding of how the business functions, which feeds into a more nuanced and effective approach to supporting those functions.

Empathy and Improved Relationships

Empathy often takes a backseat in a world driven by numbers and bottom lines. But it is empathy that fosters understanding, appreciation, and, ultimately, stronger relationships. When help desk analysts spend time with business units, they learn the business processes and appreciate the challenges these teams face.

This shared experience and mutual understanding foster better communication and respect. Consequently, business units will view help desk staff as allies rather than just problem fixers, leading to improved cooperation and more robust relationships.

Identifying Opportunities for Technological Improvements

When we view IT as a mere tool to fix issues, we miss the opportunity to harness its full potential in transforming our business operations. By immersing themselves in the business processes, help desk analysts can identify areas where technology could improve efficiency, speed, or ease of operations. They can suggest tools or software to automate repetitive tasks or design systems to streamline processes.

This proactive approach helps optimise current operations and opens avenues for innovation and growth.

The concept of help desk analysts shadowing business units is about more than just getting them out of their comfort zone. It's about empowering them to become an integral part of a business.

By understanding the business operations, empathising with the challenges, and identifying opportunities for technological enhancements, our help desk staff can go beyond resolving technical issues. They can become catalysts of change, driving our business towards optimised processes, improved relationships, and, ultimately, unparalleled growth. Let's bridge the gap and usher in this transformative approach.


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