Why every process flow-chart should have a swim-lane for the Service Desk

By ITIL from Experience ©

When designing a process flow chart, always add a swim-lane for the Service Desk, even if it appears that they are not involved in the process. This is especially important if the process is being designed by a back-end team.

Forgetting the Service Desk can cause implementation and operational problems. For example:

  1. The process takes for granted that an Event has been logged in the ITSM Tool.
  2. The process does not identify a point of contact for users. This also applies when the process is internal to I.T. as staff may contact the Service Desk for guidance on how to use the tool or for a status of a request.
  3. The Service Desk is not informed of key event(s) during the process (e.g. a new release).
  4. The Service Desk is not engaged during the implementation of the process. Thus, is unaware of their new responsibilities and may not be able to perform their duties as expected given a lack of awareness, resources or training.

This can result in: confusion of the Service Desk Agent, loss effort to track the information and a poor perception by users that “IT is not aware of what IT does.” In a worst case scenario, the Users actually informs the Service Desk that I.T. has released a new product!

For these reasons, always include the Service Desk in your process flow-charts to avoid forgetting the front line.


Implementation > Process
ITIL Process > Service Desk


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