Shift-Left: getting started the right way

Many IT organisations are working to implement a shift-left of knowledge and capabilities. After all, it reduces the number of incidents and escalations, improves resolution times, and makes your customer more self-reliant. However, I've noticed these initiatives often don't deliver the expected results. This raises costs, reduces service quality, and leads to frustration among your customers. Here are three things to keep in mind: 

1. Shift-Left is not (only) about costs

Shift-Left practices are often implemented to reduce operational costs. But the real value lies in freeing up time and money for fundamental improvements. This means fewer incidents and doing more projects with the same resources. This focus is also the right approach to convince stakeholders. Cost savings don't mean much for end users (and IT teams) and have negative implications about service quality. But more reliable IT, more digitization, and stronger growth make for a different story. And IT teams are usually more motivated by doing interesting projects than solving the same issues every day.

2. Define concrete objectives

It is crucial to translate goals into concrete KPIs and objectives. If not, the added value remains unclear and commitment will soon stop. Which domain would benefit most from an improvement in communications and knowledge sharing? Do you want fewer incidents, fewer escalations, or shorter resolution times - and how many % less? How much time and money would this free up? 

3. Consider the total impact, not just the ServiceDesk

When considering the benefits (and needed investment), take the cascade effect into account. Even if the initiative only focuses on end-user communication. After all, fewer tickets also means fewer escalations to level 2 and 3. As the cost per ticket rises at higher levels, one ticket less can have a notable impact. For example: we saw an investment in self-help for customers increase costs at the ServiceDesk by 3%, but decrease costs by 23% across all levels. And this didn't even take into account the impact of improved knowledge sharing within IT.

Do you want to implement shift-left the right way?
Do you want to avoid common pitfalls, and get optimal results?

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