Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Got my ITIL today

So today I got the most useless certification in my field. The ITIL or as we call it here, the IKILL. If you ever wondered why you get such horrible service when you call anyone: the cable company, the phone company, dell, well it's because of ITIL.

As wiki puts it "The Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of concepts and policies for managing information technology (IT) infrastructure, development and operations."

I used to work for NMCI, who obviously followed the ITIL. Part of the ITIL says that lower end people on the service desk should not be there permanently but trained to move into higher management positions. "The service desk is a stepping stone".

First off the ITIL is from Europe and they spell stuff like utilize, utalise. A lot of s's instead of z's. Second, what works for one company doesn't work for another. This ITIL is what was making the customers at NMCI hate us all because the system is so cluster ------. Different companies need different standards and "processes". They all try to run the same way and it doesn't take a rocket scientist to see that we get horrible service anytime we call any helpdesk. And it just keeps getting worse because they keep trying to put more standardization. It's like more government, just more problems.

A call at NMCI was suppose to end in less than 15 minutes. A lot of people after 15 minutes couldn't finish so they escalated the calls, which cost up to 15X as much to fix than over the phone. After a year there I could easily, and I did, close all calls in under 3 minutes. I took 117 calls one day and routinely took over 90, average was about 18-20 for other people! I told management they need to take a different approach because with 70,000, yes 70,000 applications on that network, the agents were quitting before they had a clue what was going on. The government was paying thousands, around 10K just to get people a clearance. Then they would give them 3 weeks training. Finally they put them on the floor and they are fumbling on calls pissing people off because they are new and don't know what they are doing. A couple months later they move onto better jobs, all compliments of government training. It takes the average person 6 months- a year to get that network down. Of course for me, 3 months because I'm not average.

So I told management one day they need to have more incentives to keep people there. Give them more money after a probationary period. Pay people double what they start out at, they can do as much work as 4 or 5 people by that time, keep the customers happy instead of ready to blow a fuse on every call, and overall it would save the company so much money. You could have 300 people doing the job of the 900 they had, and have completely different results when customers get 3 minute service that fixes their problem as opposed to 20 minutes or even an hour just to escalate the problem to me or someone else that actually had a clue what was going on. Other agents got yelled at in the worst ways daily. I on the other hand only got yelled at once by a complete moron. I got compliments daily from people that hated NMCI but they had nothing but good things to say about my service for them. There could have been a lot more happy people if EDS had the brains to realize the ITIL is not the solution.

But management simply said "the helpdesk is a stepping stone".

And that is what the ITIL teaches you... How to run your company into the ground.