One of the key tenets that makes successful Agile adoption so powerful is the role the customer plays in guiding a project’s continual improvement.
Ideally, every Agile team should be looking to feedback from outside their sphere – preferably from end users – as they move from one sprint to the next, adding, improving and streamlining features of the product. If they are, then they’re constantly making the product more in line with what the customer wants and needs, and therefore more useful and salable.
Incorporating user feedback throughout the process ensures that the team stays focused on the most important features, fixes the most irritating bugs, and avoids wasting time and energy on pursuits that don’t matter as much.
But how do you get feedback from your customers and other outside influencers fast enough and in a usable enough fashion that it can actually guide ongoing project work?
The only practical means of doing so is by setting up a formal service desk process.
The Formal Service Desk
Service desks in one form or another have been in use nearly as long as goods have been sold to customers anywhere in the world.
But, in many industries, as products have become more numerous, more complex, and more competitively marketed, it’s become necessary to expand the service desk role into a formal collection, prioritization, and routing process. This streamlined approach ensures the right people obtain vital feedback in the right way so it can be acted on quickly.
For example, consider the automated phone systems most customer service centers. Before reaching a human being, you are asked to run through a series of menu options that narrows down the reason for your call. By pushing a button, the system collects information pertinent to your issue, and offers practical assistance without needing to involve a human being at all.
While these systems are notoriously frustrating and often don’t function as well as they should, the human operator you reach at the end should theoretically be able to hit the ground running with many details about your case already in hand.
Translating this concept to an Agile framework and using it to collect and route customer feedback can greatly enhance an Agile team’s ability to continually improve their product.
The JIRA Service Desk
One of the newest software solutions to hit the market offering this level of service desk power comes from a well-established name in Agile software tools: JIRA by Atlassian.
The new JIRA Service Desk is a powerful add-on to the full-scale JIRA Agile application that uses established project tracking capabilities to effectively collect, track, and route customer service requests based on customizable service level agreements (SLAs) and thresholds you design.
Rather than forcing the customer to think like a developer, the user interface provides a simple and intuitive plain-language form that automatically routes the issue to the proper team and individual based on the user’s input.
SLAs established for each type of request can be modified by whom the request is coming from or how it was collected. This level of customization ensures that each issue is attacked within an appropriate time line and with the necessary level of urgency and allocation of resources.
In addition, powerful reporting capabilities make it possible to track all service desk tasks in real time or look back on historical trends to help streamline processes in the future.
As an Atlassian Platinum Partner, the professionals at cPrime are ready, willing, and able to assist you with understanding JIRA Service Desk and incorporating it into your Agile project workflow. Are you ready to formalize your Agile service desk process with one of the most powerful solutions available today?