23 January 2018

Agile service management: Kanban in TOPdesk

You might think it's a conundrum. While Agile is becoming a more popular method of working, TOPdesk is built around the ITIL framework. Are Agile and ITIL incompatible? We don't think so. In fact, the Agile mindset is becoming increasingly relevant to IT service management. How are we making TOPdesk more suitable for Agile ways of working? Read on to find out how the new Kanban Board is a step in this direction.

Agile and Kanban

When you apply an Agile mindset, you respond more quickly to your customer’s needs. Kanban is an Agile method, one that emphasizes the work in process. Instead of you and your colleagues constantly starting new tasks, Kanban encourages focusing on a singular task before moving onto the next thing. In a team setting, working together helps you visualize the task you're currently all working on, so that you finish tasks quicker.


Kanban board for calls

With the new Kanban board, you're able to work agile in TOPdesk. In this first version, you see several columns that represent the various phases a call passes through. Calls assigned to an operator group appear in the Unprioritized column. You then drag and drop the call through the various columns until it reaches Closed. When you move calls through the various phases, you visualize the progress your team is making.

Calls are also ranked vertically. Is one call far more important than the others? Simply drag it to the top of the column. This call gets picked up and moved to In Progress at the earliest opportunity.

These features make the Kanban view an ideal way to start a team’s workday. Make sure everyone has a cup of coffee, open the Kanban view on a large monitor, and quickly identify where the bottlenecks are and which work needs to be picked up next.

What can you expect next?

This first iteration of the Kanban board is not the final product. In the future, you will be able to use the board for other card types than only Call Management. This will help teams prioritize work across TOPdesk modules and ensure a good balance between primarily reactive work, such as Calls Management, and proactive improvements, such as Change Management.

You can also expect more flexibility in the number of columns, and how they affect the underlying TOPdesk cards. For now, only the column Closed changes the status of the underlying call. Next, we want to help you customize how each column affects the status of the card to best suit your business processes. This will help your operators work from the board without needing to open the card and make changes there.

How can you help?

Want to help improve our product? In TOPdesk, go to Functional Settings > Labs > Kanban Board. Here you'll find a link to provide us with feedback. The feedback you provide will help us determine the further direction of the report.

Please reach out to me with your suggestions on the topic of facilitating Agile in TOPdesk. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Geoffrey Simpson

Geoffrey Simpson, Product Manager