Service Desk Manager

The Service Desk Manager (SDM) has to juggle several completely different stakeholder groups and communities at once – their own team, customers, suppliers and the rest of the IT organization – so a good SDM will need to be an excellent, flexible communicator and diplomat.

The Service Desk team requires careful and considerate management, as they deal with negativity on a daily basis, and are also restricted in their activity as the Service Desk is a time-based operation. An SDM, therefore, must be able to relate to his/her staff members needs and also be ready to support them through difficult situations. The SDM must also be able to show his/her staff the ‘bigger picture of where they fit into the business, not just IT (because remember IT IS the business).

Customers require empathy and understanding from the SDM, who must be able to see their perspective on support and IT service issues – this requires relationship building and regular contact with everyone in the business and an active informed interest in their daily affairs. The SDM needs to be able to switch focus, language, and context on a continual basis as they deal with different stakeholders daily.

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.