Using Display Boards in a Support Center


by Paul Dooley
September 25, 2018

What types of displays should we have? How should we use them, and what benefits might we gain? Display boards are becoming increasingly popular in support centers these days, especially in view of the following:

  • Business and technology change is picking up pace (change in products and services to be supported, changing customer environment, changing regulations, and changing business priorities). Since the service desk is the front-line support arm of the organization, they must be continually informed of all changes in the external and internal environment that could impact support.
  • The service desk/support center is also dependent on other back-line support groups for resolution assistance, so it’s important that all support groups have a common view of the support situation and have displays reporting feedback relevant to their group.
  • All support teams need to be aware of the shared vision, mission, and priorities of the support organization that they participate in. This includes not just the tier 1 service desk, but other support teams as well.
  • Support teams (tiers 1, 2, and 3) need to be aware of incoming issues and their performance to goals/service level targets on addressing these issues.

Add to all of this the fact that we need to integrate call management systems, ticketing systems, monitoring tools, and survey systems to feed and drive these displays and use processes to govern their use. The task of displaying "the situation" accurately and in real or near real time can become quite daunting.

What Is a Display Board?

A display board is typically an electronic panel integrated with one or more of the supporting systems listed above: monitoring tools, ticketing system, survey tool, or phone system. But keep in mind that a display board could also be a simple white board, or electronic white board, for purposes of carrying problem management—tracking progress on problems that are triggered from incoming incidents! These sorts of board are becoming popular, as resolving some issues requires problem management and a team to get to the root cause and come up with a solution.

Display boards can be updated in real-time, from the supporting monitoring tool, phone system, ticket system, or other tool or manually, as the process moves forward in resolving the problem or project. For example, problem management might use a manual task board to track and report problems to the team problems and how they progress through the problem management process to resolution.

Types of Displays Boards Used to Drive Performance

Whether manual or automated with an integration to one or more support systems, display boards in a support center can and should be used to keep the entire team informed of current status and their performance to common performance goals.

Display boards in a support center should keep the entire team informed of current status and their performance to goals.
Tweet: Display boards in a support center should keep the entire team informed of current status and their performance to goals. @ThinkHDI #techsupport #metrics

Examples of display board use include the following:

  • Display board for updates/news/issues in the external environment that might impact the mission and performance of the support center (for example, climate changes, political events, business issues, etc.).
  • Displays for communicating the shared vision and mission of key priorities (goals) of the support center so that all support teams will be aware of and can join in supporting a common vision, mission, and goals.
  • Real-time displays for showing incoming calls from the call management system, showing calls queued, calls waiting, calls assigned, and other phone metrics such as average hold time, abandon rate, and analyst availability status, etc.
  • Displays for showing incoming work and progress on other channels of support (email, web tickets logged, walk-up issues posted, etc.). It’s important to monitor, report, and manage all incoming channels of support!
  • Displays that show team performance against shared goals and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). This is the "scoreboard" feedback your team gets on their performance to the key measurements that they are held accountable for. Popular KPIs for most support centers include performance on First Contact Resolution rate (FCR), Average Speed of Answer (ASA), Average Resolution Time (ART), Abandon Rate, etc. This provides all teams with feedback on how thy are doing in terms of achieving shared goals and achieving common KPIs.
  • Displays for recognizing and rewarding support staff who have gone above and beyond the call of duty, doing an outstanding job. You can post on this display board the analyst of the month, a team member being recognized for an outstanding achievement, or someone who has been on a good will volunteer mission. This can result in better staff morale and higher productivity.
  • Displays that show the status of tickets as they progress through their life-cycle:  incidents/requests queued, assigned, in progress, resolved, and closed.

Plan the Placement of Your Displays

Be sure to think about where to place the various types of reporting displays so they can have the desired impact.

  • Displays reporting vision, mission, and goals should be in the entry to the support center facility, with displays in the areas of other support teams.
  • Displays reporting overall status of incoming issues should be clearly viewable to the entire support team (keep in mind the data displayed will be slightly different depending on whether the team is tier 1, 2, or 3).
  • Your display on performance on key goals and KPIs should be clearly viewable to the whole team and be very prominent in the support center.
  • Displays communicating reward and recognition should also be prominent, so that all can view them as they pass by (in an entryway or shared break room, for example).

Further Considerations

Concerning the display for performance against key goals and KPIs, there is one other element to consider. Consider having not just a display of team performance against share goals and KPIs, but also equipping each support team member with an individual dashboard of their personal performance against support center goals and KPIs. In this way, you are informing the team member of their personal performance (privately), while at the same time giving them a view of the shared team performance. Taking such a two-pronged approach to displaying the performance scoreboard tends to motivate individuals to maximize their own performance, while at the same time doing their best to ensure the team meets the overall goals and objectives.

Bottom line, plan your display board reporting systems carefully. Consider a display board for a variety of purposes such as showing incoming work, performance against KPIs, and rewards and recognition, as mentioned above. When you implement display board reporting with the shared vision, mission, and goals; integrated supporting systems and tools to automate and drive the displays; and shared goals and KPIs that are tied to reward and recognition, you end up with a feedback system that can truly drive both individual and support center performance, resulting in optimized performance for the entire support organization!


Paul DooleyPaul is the president and principal consultant of Optimal Connections LLC. With more than 30 years of experience in planning and managing technology services, Paul has held numerous positions in both support and management for companies such as Motorola, FileNet, and QAD. He is also experienced in service desk infrastructure development, support center consolidation, deployment of web portals and knowledge management systems, as well as service marketing strategy and activities. Currently Paul delivers a variety of services to IT organizations, including Support Center Analyst and Manager training, ITIL Foundation and Intermediate level training, Best-Practice Assessments, Support Center Audits, and general IT consulting. His degrees include a BA and an MBA. Paul is certified in most ITIL Intermediate levels and is a certified ITIL Expert. He is also on the HDI Faculty and trains for ITpreneurs, Global Knowledge, Phoenix TS, and other training organizations. For more about Paul, please visit www.optimalconnections.com.


Tag(s): supportworld, metrics and measurements, support center, performance management

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