IT Service Desk Staffing

IT Service Desk Staffing

Staffing an IT service desk can be problematic. IT service desk staffing is challenging, with unfilled vacancies and a limited budget. Then there is the opposite—too much staffing, with the cost to the rest of the workforce and budget.

Lets’ look at IT service desk staffing from another perspective. Justifying the costs of extra service desk personnel can be challenging. This challenge is particularly real when management blames service bottlenecks on service desk inefficiencies. They will overlook investigating staffing and ticket volume. They will usually fault technology, practices, and people.

IT Service Desk Staffing the Right Way

An ‘Erlang C Calculator’ will help determine the ideal IT service desk staffing.

Erlang C calculators will use an ‘Erlang C traffic model’ to calculate queue wait times. IT service desks are about people. They must handle client and end-user calls, along with queues they might or might not have to. Delays also affect worker productivity, which in turn affects business operations and results.

The ‘Erlang C traffic model’ formula is in the following image. Now you don’t need to know this formula, but we thought it would be nice to share:

The Erlang C formula
The Erlang C formula (Image source: Wikipedia)

Be aware that the basis for the staffing computation in the below:

  • E is a multiple of call arrival rate and average call holding time
  • m is the number of service desk workers
  • Pw is the likelihood that the customer will have to wait for the service

Many free and fee-based Erlang C calculators will compute this formula on your behalf. Furthermore, they also make a what-if analysis. They will verify changes in IT service desk traffic data and staffing expectations. These changes could include things like the effects of a rise in call volume.

IT Service Desk Staff Assessment Advantages

We can go without saying, but let’s say it anyway. IT service desk staffing is critical for effective and efficient business support. There are several advantages to utilizing the Erlang C calculator, like:

  • Cost reduction
  • A decrease in the number of neglected calls
  • Optimizing use of IT support persons
  • Prediction of future changes for a prepared response
  • Improvement of IT service desk service levels
  • Improvement of the total client and staff experience
Erlang C calculator

The Erlang C calculator

A great deal of Erlang C calculation software work with several IT service desk elements. These elements can include, but not limited to:

  • Agent availability
  • Average talk times
  • Call volume average
  • Average and max wait time
  • Abandonment rates
  • …and more

It still seems complex; but, the Erlang C calculator is pretty much straightforward. It removes assumptions and impacts of earlier staffing choices.

Conclusion of IT Service Desk Staffing

Enter the elements discussed above. Use the Erlang C traffic model and it will allow you to gain a clearer comprehension of:

  • Ideal quantity of IT service desk specialists
  • Variants based on daily and the seasonal traffic peaks and valleys
  • Total calls anticipated for an IT service desk specialist to process in an hour or a day
  • Max wait time, average wait and average queue size
  • The relation between the call talk times and queuing times
  • Percentage of callers that remain in a queue based on a specific staffing amount
  • Length of time callers wait in the line based on a particular amount of staffing
  • SLAs and projected SLA realization comparative to wait times of the callers
  • Impact of changes to IT service desk staffing on queuing times and abandonment rates

You can always use your favorite search engine to find free calculators. There are free ones out there, and some paid versions with free trial offers. Be careful, especially with the free software. Also, be aware of the terms, license agreements, etc.

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