Rebecca Duray: Eliminating Waste at the IT Service Desk

Lean’s 8 types of waste and IT Service Desk related examples for each:

  1. Overprocessing – More processing than is necessary to meet customer requirements; for example, spending excessive amounts of time on a customer call capturing unnecessary administrative data, or over-analyzing the customer’s issues, or addressing more than is required to address their needs.
  2. Transportation – Moving things unnecessarily from place to place; for example, unnecessary ticket or call routing, or requiring customers to call multiple service points in order to resolve their issues.
  3. Motion – Unnecessary movement in performance of a task; for example, requiring agents to perform excessive steps in the help desk system in order to perform repetitive procedures, or requiring them to move around the support center in order to find resources to help them resolve customer issues.
  4. Inventory – Too much work-in-progress; for example, excessive call or ticket volumes waiting in queue, or backlogs of pending tickets.
  5. Waiting – Delays of any sort, waiting for parts, for resources, for decisions; for example, waiting for a patch to be applied on an application before a ticket can be closed, or waiting for an escalation approval to happen before responding to a customer request.
  6. Defects – Quality imperfections; for example, abandoned calls, dropped tickets, or incident resolutions that do not solve the customer’s issue.
  7. Overproduction – Producing more of a product or service than is necessary; for example, generating knowledge base articles that are not directly related to customer issues, or reinventing the wheel for commonly-performed activities due to lack of standardized processes.
  8. Human potential – Underutilizing employees or preventing them from fulfilling their potential; for example, assigning under-qualified, or over-qualified, employees to perform certain tasks, or not providing proper training, or placing excessive demands on employees.


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