What does Shift-Left mean?

Shift-Left is about sharing the knowledge of your company's service desk. If such knowledge sharing is successful, the knowledge can be made more effectively available to the employees. This provides them with access to solutions from previously handled and resolved inquiries, and allows them to solve recurring or similar issues independently. The basic idea here is that IT professionals in the back office share their experience and knowledge with their less experienced colleagues in the front office. In this way, these individuals are able to independently solve difficult questions from employees. Two factors are crucial for the implementation of this approach. The first factor is a well-developed knowledge exchange and the second factor is a “Self Service Portal”.

Do you intend to start with Shift-Left? But you're wondering where to start? The first step towards Shift Left is so-called Knowledge Management of Best Practice. Initially, your service department needs a possibility where the collected knowledge and experiences can be documented and mutually exchanged. The "Knowledge Management" of the "Best Practice" focuses on ensuring that such a knowledge database is fully utilized. It represents a kind of ITIL for knowledge management. This works by all solutions to processed inquiries being accurately summarized and represented in a designated database. In this way, a service department employee can access this knowledge and use it for the rapid and independent solution of inquiries.

Basic Process Flow

Search the Knowledge Database

When an employee submits a request to your service desk, the Knowledge Database is first searched for a solution. If a solution already exists for the problem, the request can be easily answered and completed and the affected employee straightforwardly assisted. If there is no (final) solution, a skilled employee (expert) should be consulted for problem-solving.

Correct the knowledge database

If a solution could be worked out with the help of the expert, it should be included in the knowledge database. As necessary, an incomplete entry can also be revised and updated. In this way, the knowledge database expands and becomes the standard point of reference for any current knowledge of your service desk.

Resolve the Request

With the developed solution, the request can now be finally processed. Verify once again whether you have added the solution to your database.

The second step toward Shift-Left is the Self-Service Portal. After launching a high-quality knowledge database and having it managed and maintained by the appropriate employees, the next step follows. This step involves making the accumulated knowledge available to all employees so that they can initially search independently for a solution. The opportunity to self-search for solutions is generally perceived by employees as positive. However, care should be taken to ensure that the Self-Service Portal is user-friendly and easily searchable. Helpful in this case could be, for example, a "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ) section. You should also monitor frequent requests and accordingly update and revise your Self Service Portal and FAQ section.

What are the Advantages of Shift-Left?

When you have found a solution for a request or developed one with the help of an expert, you can create a new entry in the knowledge database or revise or complete an existing entry. Thus, the knowledge database becomes a constantly updated reference point for any knowledge of your service desk.

Add Value to Your Service Desk

This way of working makes your service desk employees more self-reliant and they can act confidently due to their increasing knowledge level. Additionally, your employees will get faster and uniform solutions for their requests. The reduced processing time of requests makes your support more contactable by employees. By exchanging and transferring knowledge through your service desk, a perceptible added value is created.

Relieve Your Service Desk

The knowledge database and Self Service Portal make it easier for your support to access existing knowledge. This results in requests being resolved faster and tickets being escalated less often. This way, efficiency is increased and the cost per ticket is reduced. Another effect is that your service desk has more time to deal with complex technical tasks and issues. Because if employees can solve their problems themselves, then fewer tickets are created, which then need to be processed.

How does Shift-Left relate to ITSM?

ITSM is the ability to offer your employees exceptional service. This should ultimately help your company achieve its goals. By implementing Shift-Left to encourage knowledge exchange within your company, one of the main tasks of IT – the resolution of employee tickets – is simplified. If ITSM is about understanding your employees and ensuring that IT provides them with added value, then Shift-Left is a means to achieve this purpose.

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