If senior leaders in law firms who have the authority to purchase a new IT Help Desk solution do not feel significant pain, they will hardly ever authorise a new purchase. It is the job of the IT project leader to identify if significant senior leader pain exists, quantify the pain, and show how a new solution can eliminate this pain with minimal risk and at a reasonable cost. There are many forms of senior leader pain. Focus on identifying and eliminating senior leader pain and get approval for your new IT Help Desk solution!
Business Case Results / Relieving Senior Leader Pain
A top 100 law firm was looking to significantly lower costs and increase attorney satisfaction with the IT help desk. Giva assisted the firm in highlighting pain points that senior leaders were living with because they did not know of a superior solution at a lower cost. Giva assisted this law firm in building a business case to replace FrontRange HEAT. After Giva helped highlight senior leader pain, a 30-day production pilot was approved; and thereafter, the firm purchased the cloud-based Giva Service Management Suite™ to replace FrontRange HEAT.
Summary of Business Results
- Senior leaders can now access to real-time KPIs/Metrics/Reports, Dashboards and "Broadcasts" with an easy-to-use interface
- "Report Guru" is no longer required. Any IT person can access the reports they need.
- Annual cost for Giva is significantly less than FrontRange HEAT
- Eliminated 2 production servers, a test environment, and expensive database licenses
- Significantly reduced ongoing hard dollar and soft labour costs for "care and feeding" of FrontRange HEAT
- Knowledge base and FAQ increased first call resolution and was also exposed to the attorneys/staff for self-help
- Giva access anytime, anywhere in the world with just a web browser. No client software required.
- IT infrastructure changes are now funneled through a formal approval cycle
- IT infrastructure changes are now highly visibility across IT departments
- Attorneys/staff can view "Broadcasts" of major outages
- Outside service vendors are tracked with respond and resolve service level agreements (SLAs)
- Single call tracking system with independent service desks for each service departments: IT, Library, Conflicts, Facilities, Copy Centre, etc.
- After 9 months, a knowledge base increased first call resolution from 60% to 82%
- After 12 months, attorney satisfaction increase from 3.1 to 4.3, or approximately a 38% increase
- After 6 months, since IT change requests now required approval, coordination and documentation, infrastructure outages decreased by 29% without purchasing any new hardware or software
Initially, your most important responsibility is to determine the pain level throughout your organisation that is caused by not having an appropriate IT help desk call tracking application. Perhaps your company does not have an application, or the application you are using is not providing all the benefits that you desire.
It is critical to understand the pain points from the perspective of senior leaders such as the Executive Director/COO/ CIO/ IT Director. In over a decade of experience engaging with customers, Giva has found that there must be strong, deep and very significant pain that senior leaders feel in order to motivate them to authorise the purchase of a new IT help desk application. This has always been the case, even before the late 2008 economic crisis. However, even as the economy is turning around, this is still the case. There is a "new normal" in business that dictates careful analysis and justification when spending money for software purchases.
Situation Summary of a Top 100 Law Firm
The following was the situation at the law firm when Giva began to get involved:
- On a scale of 1-5, customer satisfaction was rated a 3.1 which is just a little above average
- 30 second Average Speed to Answer from 8 am to 5 pm
- First Contact Resolution 60%
- Call Abandon Rate of 7%
- Using FrontRange HEAT with help desk, asset management and change management modules
- Modules poorly integrated, clunky and not web based
- Knowledge base "stinks"
- 100 IT infrastructures changes/month, but no change management process, approval cycle, rollback plan, etc.
The IT help desk receives 5,000 calls per month and 1,000 emails per month from 2,500 employees, which is approximately 2.4 calls per employee per month. Three years ago the IT help desk was receiving 2,200 calls per month, so there has been significant growth.
This white paper will help you ask the right questions and listen for pain points from senior leaders. After reading this white paper, schedule a meeting with the senior leader who is the final purchase authority and the highest level person associated with your project and ask them about their pain points.
In preparing for your meeting, ask yourself these questions:
"Are there significant pain points directly or indirectly related to the IT help desk in this law firm?
"If so, then who feels the pain?"
"Do senior leaders such as the Executive Director, COO, CIO or the Technology Committee feel this pain?"
Remember that only senior leaders can write a pain relief prescription. They have many alternatives on which to spend the firm's resources. Usually, there is a lot of pain in most law firms surrounding IT since it is such an important function to increase productivity.
"Can I assign a monetary value to this pain?
"How much productivity is lost and what is the revenue value of that productivity?
Perhaps take an informal survey of some mid-level associates and determine how much of their productivity is negatively affected by information technology. Use this data and estimate the total number of hours of productivity lost and the associated revenue loss. Senior leaders like to see quantitative data, even if it is not derived from a statistically valid sample size. Make estimates by building a series of assumptions. Start building a business case by turning what everybody in your firm may already knows to be true into some concrete pain points with associated revenue losses.
"Is the productivity of revenue-producing attorneys directly affected?"
If so, this is the type of pain that senior leaders will quickly write prescriptions to eliminate.
"How much, if any, would senior leaders be willing to pay to make the pain go away?
Senior Leader Pain Statements
These are some senior leader pain statements from this top 100 law firm that was using FrontRange HEAT before switching to the cloud-based Giva Service Management Suite™. Are any of these pain statements true for this organisation? Direct pain that affects firm revenue is the easiest to establish a business case around and get approval for a pain relief prescription:
"I'm the Executive Director; and when a partner calls me asking about the status of a major IT infrastructure outage, I cannot respond with real-time information. I feel embarrassed. I know that IT is working on it, but attorneys like regular status updates. Email is not the right tool as we all get too many. We need a real-time tool which is available when I get a phone call from an irate partner."
"As Chair of the Technology Committee, I didn't know the reason and impact of an outage in the NYC office when our document management system was down for 3 hours on Monday. Can't the IT department keep me updated with a dashboard?"
"Keeping attorneys updated during major infrastructure outages is important, so they can plan client calls and meetings as appropriate. We have no way to provide a broadcast notification to our attorneys/staff except through emails."
"As COO, I'm concerned about our increasing help desk call volume. As we add new attorneys and staff, there seems to be a direct linear increase in calls to the help desk. Our growth is not creating all the efficiencies we want. We do not know who needs application training. If we knew that, we could help increase productivity and billed hours and decrease calls to the help desk."
"As Executive Director, I see that we spend a lot of money on outside service vendors, but how do we know if they are meeting our SLAs for respond and resolve times?"
"As COO, I want to consolidate the number of software vendors we use to increase efficiencies and decrease costs. Can we utilise a single call tracking system for the IT help desk, Library, Conflicts, Facilities, Copy Centre, etc.?"
"We don't know what we don't know since we can't get real-time KPIs/Metrics with our current help desk reporting engine, and that's no way to run a top 100 law firm."
"I'm the CIO, and I need IT Reports more quickly for the Executive Director and the Technology Committee without our IT staff spending many hours to pull together weekly reports. Also, ad-hoc requests for information require an extraordinary amount of time to generate. This is unacceptable."
"Our Help Desk can't search a knowledge base while documenting a call with an attorney. Attorneys are very busy and impatient. They sometimes hang up on the agent in frustration of the slowness of the call. We need a call tracking system that is easier to document a problem while at the same time quickly searching a knowledge base."
"I know our IT infrastructure changes are too informally handled, and approvals are lacking, and this negatively impacts the uptime of our infrastructure, which directly impacts attorney productivity and the amount of hours billed."
"Each month we have numerous examples when attorneys are significantly unproductive, and it is directly or indirectly related to the current call tracking system. For example, the IT staff can't easily build a knowledge base for faster level 1 trouble shooting. Furthermore, even if we had a knowledge base, we could not selectively expose appropriate knowledge for self-help to the more technically astute younger associates."
"The Help Desk can't quickly determine if an attorney problem is due to an IT infrastructure change the evening before, since our current call tracking system does not allow us an easy way to troubleshoot a problem while at the same time provide visibility to recent IT changes."
"After-hours support could enable attorneys to be more productive, but it is difficult for the on-call help desk agents to access our call tracking system outside the office, since there is no native web interface. The on-call agents try some basic trouble shooting, but they can't access all the tools they need from home in the evenings and weekends."
These statements indicate senior leader pain points from different aspects in the organisation. If you are able to identify with similar ones, they can help you make a business case to select a new IT help desk vendor.