This is an excerpt, you will find more detailed descriptions in the book.
Most IT organizations have limited resources. This means that the resources there is are easily overloaded with issues and assignments, which in turn result in the business experiencing unnecessarily long delays in getting something done. In order to avoid this, it is common for issues to be directly allocated to a resource without there being a plan for implementation in place. The result is consequently that each resource ends up with a pile of issues.
This is unfortunately the everyday reality for many staff within IT organizations, and for many of them, normality is not having time for everything that they are allocated. The behavior that develops can then be to do what is most enjoyable or to help the person who shouts loudest. In the worst case, it can go so far that employees develop stress-related illnesses. Many other organizations which have a high throughput of issues, for example, healthcare, car workshops or other service operations, use overall coordination of issues so that individual employees can work in peace. This also provides the conditions to enable issues to be prioritized at the right level and on more business-like grounds than whoever shouts loudest.
The coordinator function has the task of distributing resources and staffing roles in the everyday work within the IT organization. The coordinator functions as the spider in the web, and should have control of all resources on every occasion and for all activities that take place. This in order to be able to rapidly prioritize and redistribute resources.
The purpose of Coordination is to create an acceptable work situation for the IT organization’s staff. No technical analyst or applications analyst should be allocated more assignments than they can manage within the forthcoming period.
The process also has the purpose of enabling prioritization at an overall level and on business-like grounds. If the amount of issues exceeds the IT organization’s total resource capacity, Coordination provides effective data to enable the IT Steering Group to make decisions on new recruitment or to contract in consultants.
Coordination enables the IT organization to present statistics on how much it has to do.
The purpose is achieved through:
- Receiving and coordinating orders that are processed by Service Desk
- Overall responsibility that all roles needed for the everyday operation are staffed
- Control of all resource calendars
- Overall control of issue flow and workload
Coordination is responsible for appointing resources for all activities and assignments within the IT organization. The specific assignment or issue is handled within the framework of the respective process and managed by the issue owner. It is only appointment of resources that is dealt with by Coordination. Coordination functions as a funnel to collect all ongoing issues and simultaneously a filter so that only the activities which must be performed within the forthcoming period go to the resources within Technical Operation and Application Management.
There is no reason to manage all activities separately in the process. It would take a great deal of energy and be administratively slow. issues located within the framework of a project should naturally be managed by the project manager. Roles or assignments where the issues are governed by someone else, for example rolling staffing by second line support in Service Desk, are not controlled at issue level by Coordination either. In these issues, it is the assignment ”participate in project X” or ”staff Service Desk” that is coordinated and entered in the resource’s calendar. The issues which then remain, i.e. which are too small to be defined as projects, are the issues that are managed and planned by Coordination.
A simple way to manage the planning is for the coordinator to have a weekly calendar where all resources are included. Everything that is planned for the resources is entered in the calendar so that empty boxes correspond to free time. This enables the entire IT organization to see who is doing what and what the total workload looks like.
To avoid unnecessarily burdening individual resources, as well as the risk of losing the overall view, it is important not to allocate more assignments than it is assessed can be dealt with during the week. Reactive problem records cannot be planned per issue, but instead are marked as a responsibility in the resource’s calendar. On this day the resource has responsibility for all reactive problem that are initiated from Service Desk. If there is time, other activities can be implemented provided that these activities are stopped if a reactive problem is registered.
Example of a simple weekly schedule that the coordinator can use for the resources.