Break-fix is inevitable in any corporate IT environment and is an essential element of a nimble, responsive department. However, when your engineers spend too much time spinning their wheels or working on the same bugs, defects or tickets over and over again, you’ve got a problem that will likely impact business as a whole if not addressed.
At the very least, a break-fix blackhole could result in downtime for an employee and loss of productivity. Worse yet, if it’s a system customers are using, an overstretched team of engineers could very well lead to revenue losses. Here are some red flags that signal there’s a problem, and some yellow flags to watch for—and remedy—before your engineers are overextended:
High call volumes
This, along with extended wait times on hold, likely mean either you’re short-staffed or your staff doesn’t have enough time to tend to both break-fix issues as well as their other responsibilities. Finding quality, on-demand support to keep the system functioning is critical at this stage.
Not being able to meet deliverables
Many companies rely on system administrators to tend to break-fix issues, but rarely is it their primary scope of work. If your team is constantly falling behind on their primary job functions, break-fix may be to blame. For example, the VIMRO team worked with a company that discovered one of their engineers hired to do one thing ended up spending more than 40% of his time on break-fix. Timely research at this stage is essential to determine if additional support can resolve the issues.
Same ticket that keeps coming in
Along with a high amount of face-to-face time, if the same ticket appears repeatedly, this could mean the ticketing system is flawed or not user-friendly. However, it could also be a sign that not enough time was spent on break-fix the first time around and might be an early indication of rushed or harried system admins. Take a deeper look at not only the ticket or tickets, but also whether your team feels they have enough time to spend on resolving issues rather than simply putting a band-aid on them.
Too many trips to the server room
Excessive trips to the server room or a datacenter are often hardware related, but sometimes software related, and can be one of the earlier signs the break-fix process is being rushed due to lack of time or too few available hands. Regardless of the reason, spending too much time in the datacenter – whether it’s just downstairs or at an off-site location – is a trend that deserves a second look.
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