IT Governance

What Makes a Super Service Desk Manager?

The service desk manager (SDM) is the one-man (or woman) Justice League of IT service management. These managers are required to have a full suite of characteristics and skills, some interconnected and others disparate, in order to succeed. Joe the IT Guy believes that anyone aspiring to be a service manager, consultant, or even CIO should start here. He breaks down the myriad responsibilities that come with being the great super service desk manager.

Soaring for Success

For starters, the SDM needs to be able to maintain relations with and multitask between wholly separate stakeholder groups and communities. Priorities must be determined based on timetables, and their significance must be properly articulated to the staff. The SDM needs to be able to handle people’s emotions, empathize with them, and build relationships. Joe elaborates on the weight the role carries:

A key element in understanding the role is to focus on what it’s like when the role is not done by the right person – e.g. maybe someone with technical skills but no people management or relationship management skills, or no understanding or interest in the wider business context and outcomes. This can be a disaster and cause problems both in terms of lack of synergy and poor or inappropriate performance. For example if the SDM is tough on following processes to the letter when actually they need to engage at a different level – i.e. viewing support from the customer experience point of view.

He goes on to list several more areas where SDMs must express competency. Driving and understanding metrics, motivating and developing staff, coaching, negotiating with peers, relationship building, escalating issues in management, written communications, and the bigger picture of ITSM are all areas that Joe covers in depth in his full post. For instance, with regard to written communication, the SDM must be able to write precise and detailed documents that also fit the required tone; one example would be how work instructions and business-focused updates require different language. To learn even more, you can read the full post here:

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