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MIT Help Desk

There is currently an extensive array of assistance available to the MIT community. This includes more than 50 established help desks, on-line consulting and a large informal network of experts. The assistance provided can have many dimensions, some business focused and others technology focused, such as: answering questions, responding to requests for service and fixing problems.

There are several issues with the current approach. Since each source of assistance operates independently within a narrow domain, overall service can be less than acceptable; even if each source provides excellent service. Today the customer must diagnose their own problem and determine which help desk to call. Often the customer is bounced between help desks and each time has to repeat the description of their need. Furthermore, this method of providing service and assistance to the customers does not scale up as new capabilities are added without adding additional staff.

Our goal is to create an environment of success through teamwork, and further promote a culture where there is more to gain than to lose by sharing information. Specific goals are to provide:

  • A team of highly skilled help desk staff that effectively support the MIT Community through integrated business and technology assistance
  • ������������������A series of self-help tools that enables individuals to get answers to their questions without having to call the help desk
  • ������������������A proactive approach to analyzing and addressing recurring problems.

As a team we are continuing to define the I/T Support Process. Having completed the redesign, our next phase is pilot testing. This involves evaluating and refining the redesign, resolving open issues, and identifying specific information technology components required for design deployment. Our ultimate objective is to effectively introduce an easier, more productive means of providing assistance to the MIT community.

Project Staffing: Kim Carney (Team Leader), Cindy De Simone, Carla Fermann, Valerie Hartt, Harold Pakulat, Clayton Ward, Kip Warren, Greg Jackson (Sponsor).

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on May 1, 1995.

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