General discussion


Desktop support workloads

By teaguer ·
Given that there are 3 levels of desktop support, 1) Assistant, 2) Desktop Tech, 3) SR Desktop Tech, how many desktops should each tech be required to support. I realize that the end client's experience has a significant impact on the figure, but there should be some guidelines. We have two level 3 techs and a working director of IT supporting 1000 network nodes.

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by Bill_W In reply to Desktop support workload ...

Others may quibble with your 3 levels of support - one of the usual yardsticks (metre-sticks?) seems to be:
L1 - call centre/fault logger/junior skill set & experience/first point of contact.
L2 - 2nd point of contact/resolver of harder problems/more intermediate skills & experience.
L3 - further escalation level, infrastructural design & implementation as well, senior skills and experience.

Anyway, to answer your question, based on where I've been.

Site One - 1400 users, nocall centre, 4 L2+ techs, plus tech Team Mgr, with a degree of onsite support at some remote sites (super user, backup tape changer, etc). Some app support passed to other areas.

Site Two - 300 users, 1 L1 call logger/1st point contact, 2 desktop/L2 techs, 1 tech mgr.

Site Three - about 300 users, 1 L1/L2 logger/app support, 3 L2/L3 apps/dt/server support, 1 tech mgr.

Site Four - 2500 remote users (all phone support), 3 L1 loggers/simple fixers, 3 L2 resolvers, 1 tech team ldr. Some app support escalated to outside group. Also 3 L3 providing escalation/infra support (servers etc).

So there's a bit of a pattern here. All worked OK, but site four worked much better, even though there was a much larger user base. Main reason I reckon was the support was ALL phone based - none of the calling on users and getting the "now you're here, can you install XYZ for us?" bleating.

I suspect (if you haven't any L1/L2 staff as well) that you are a little light on the ground.

Other stories?


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Drivers of ratios

by James R Linn In reply to Workloads

You should look at a number of factors before comparing staff ratios.

First is environmental complexity. The more spread out and diverse your user community is, the more people you need to staff it. Look at the number and types of applications used, how many apps supported are created in house. Look at the network typology - people who interact and share applications across a wide area network need more support than insulated groups.

Then look at the age of the equipment you support, and the number of different hardware platforms. Supporting multiple hardware vendors, X terms, etc can increase the workload.

Then look at the maturity and amount of training your users have. All organizations have some level of peer support, well trained orgs do it very well, poorly trained orgs require more techs because they don't have enough good people to provide peer support.

You also have to look at service levels and customer expectations. Where service expectations are higher, you need more staff.

Look at all those factors and then look at the ranges of tech support per user for comparison.


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by mailbag In reply to Workloads

Perfect break down!

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Desktop support workloads

by kdavies In reply to Desktop support workload ...

I'm looking for information to do a comparison with the desktop support group in the same industry, size and region.

Large Hospital
11,000 employees with 6,500 desktops
Southwest Region

Is there any published comparison and best practice information? Can someone point me in the right direction?
Thanks in advance

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Variations of the formula

by mailbag In reply to Desktop support workloads

I would be suspect of any documented formula in searching for your solution. Ther are a lot of variables you need to take into consideration. Skill levels, types of issues, location, access, proprietary applications. The medical field uses several "in house" applications that supporting them often falls to 3rd party vendors. if this is true, there's another part of your formula.

If you run your solution to a point where what techs you have are flying across the building and barely getting a days work done, then your turn-over rate will be another factor you will ahve to take into consideration.

I would start with the default of 100 systems to a tech. Then, take location into consideration.

If your looking for some previously published document to stipulate the standards, these guys are the ones setting those standards. Our comments and views flesh out the boundries, while the editors and people who get paid to review those demographics pile it all into a nice little print-out your big wigs might enjoy.

Raw data is truth in action. If your techs are tired and spread thin, hire more.

If your call volume is more than what you can see within a comfortable time frame, hire more. If your administration is complaining about the lousy service, hire more.

IT has two obligations right out the gate. Productivity is PARAMOUNT! Customer Satisfaction is PARAMOUNT!

If your techs are visiting the same machine frequently, review the tech doing the call or reviewthe end user.

On the other hand, if you find a firm definition of a+[bxc]=e, post it! I'm sure others would love to compare it.

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