Last fall, industry analyst firm Forrester noted an increasing ambition among organizations to improve collaboration between service departments. And enterprise service management, or ESM, seems to be the domain tackling that challenge.
Described by Wikipedia as providing “an integrated view of core service business processes, often in real-time [and] using common databases,” ESM allows service teams across an organization – from information technology (IT) and facilities to human resources (HR) and project management – to join forces by processing employee requests from a single platform
With one go-to service point for numerous departments, organizations often find problems taking less time to solve, their communication efforts improving, teamwork and collaboration becoming more straightforward, increased transparency, decreased costs, and employees receiving higher levels of service.
ESM breaks down silos
ESM helps push the people aspect of service management to the forefront and is increasingly driven – in all shapes and forms – by the employee experience. It’s what I call “customer centricity,” and it should drive everything an organization does for both customers and employees.
Breaking down silos between service departments is vital to establishing a great employee experience. When supporting departments offer a single, shared service desk, employees no longer have to think about whether to send their request to the HR, facilities, or IT team. They can go to a single portal instead.
After all, it makes no difference to an employee who processes his request. It only matters that the request is made quickly and easily and fulfilled promptly.
ESM to improve workflows and collaboration
When collaboration among individuals becomes easier, teams begin to share more tasks, workflows, best practices, and knowledge with each other and, ultimately, they will better serve employees.
Here’s an example for illustrative purposes. Let’s say a newly hired employee is scheduled to start in one week. The HR department must set up the employee’s payroll and benefits. The facilities team must provide the employee with a desk and chair, and the IT department must set up a new laptop for the employee.
Onboarding is a joint effort for service departments. But, how can you keep track of the workflow across the board? A good ESM solution allows an organization to set up an automated chain of events for onboarding, so every service department knows what to do and when, and new employees always have great first-day experience.
Making your activities flow
Here is another example of how value can be achieved through ESM. An employee will soon change positions within an organization. If the organization’s HR, facilities, and IT departments are working independently of one another, the employee’s current (or new) manager will need to issue three different authorizations before the transition process can begin.
When shared service management is applied through ESM, the different processes are brought together, and an organization can fully map out the value stream and then optimize it by removing duplicate steps.
The manager only has to issue a single authorization for the position change, after which all departments know they can get to work. Two superﬂuous authorization steps have been eliminated without any value being lost.
These three departments’ activities are mutually dependent to a certain extent. The ﬁrst step is often HR applying a change in the HR administration system because the other departments need this to happen for them to perform their tasks. The IT department has to know which authorizations they must assign, and the facilities department wants to know if it must prepare a different workspace or supply a mobile phone.
When all service departments work in the same ESM tool, everyone can see the progress. In addition, to prevent unnecessary obstructions and wasted time, the ESM solution makes sure each task is not visible until it can be worked on by the team to which it is assigned.
Delivering at the right time
Here is another simple example of how standardized workflows within ESM tools can help.
A new employee is hired but won’t start work for another three months. There is no need to immediately order products, such as a laptop, building access badge, and a mobile phone, if they are going to collect dust for months. In this time, the price of the products may drop, or a newer product could become the new standard.
When the onboarding process is entirely under control across all departments, the IT and facilities teams can best determine when items must be ordered. Conversely, if something needs to be done right away, a ticket can be logged to the right person at the right time to tasks accomplished as quickly as possible.
ESM solutions essentially allow integration service across a central point throughout an organization across IT, facilities, and HR departments and can process employee requests from a single, integrated platform.
With one go-to service point for multiple departments, organizations can identify problems sooner, improve interdepartmental communication, enhance teamwork and collaboration, and increasing organizational transparency while providing higher levels of service for everyone.