Service Desk Staffing: How Many Agents do You Need?
Service Desk Staffing
How Many Agents Do You Need?
One of the most common questions I hear from IT support managers is “How many agents do I need in the service desk?” It’s a great question, but one that is rarely answered adequately. The result is that many the service desks are not staffed properly because they do not follow any sort of proven methodology when making headcount decisions. Instead, they rely on “gut feel” or “instinct” when it comes to service desk staffing.
In this blog, MetricNet defines a rigorous methodology for determining the appropriate agent headcount for the service desk. Following the approach outlined in this article, your service desk can be assured that it will be staffed to meet the needs and expectations of its customers, while simultaneously delivering services in an efficient, fiscally responsible manner.
The Staffing Fallacy in Service Desk
A common misperception in the service desk is that the user population alone will define the number of agents needed. This approach wrongly assumes that the ratio of the service desk agents to the number of users supported is fixed. For example, 5 service desk agents are needed for every 1,000 users. The error in this approach is that no two user populations have the same needs, and therefore no two user populations generate the same workload. As such, staffing decisions in the service desk should be based upon workload, not user population.