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Jira Service Desk: Help Center vs Service Desk

Sep 20, 2019 8:51:00 AM

When designing Jira Service Desk implementation for your organization, there are tons of choices that need to be made. One important decision during this process is determining how to break down your service desk - Will you have one Service Desk for all of the teams working in the organization? Or will you build out multiple service desks and use the Help Center to route users to different Portals? 

This decision will dictate both user and agent experiences working in the tool - so it's in everyone's best interest to consider as many factors as possible when making this decision.

But before we jump into the pros and cons, let's talk about the Help Center a bit.

What is the Jira Service Desk Help Center?

Jira Service Desk comes with the Help Center out of the box. The Help Center is an aggregated view of all of the Service Desks in that Jira instance. Customers are able to view the Help Center to search across multiple service desks and knowledge bases, see requests they've raised across all service desks, and much more. 

The Help Center may or may not make sense for your organization. Below are some things to consider when designing your organization's Jira Service Desk. 

Benefits of Using One Service Desk

Jira Service Desk comes with a ton of out of the box functionality that can help you group work in logical ways. 

  • The customer can never go to the wrong place - the experience is simplified because there’s just one portal.

  • Since all agents are working in the same place, there is clear visibility across teams, preventing silos. 

  • Requests, queues and SLAs are customizable based on teams or org lines - making it easy to determine who needs to work on the request.

  • All of your work is in one location, which means that finding issues in Jira is simplified.

  • Although all agents are working out of the same project, you can use issue security to lock down sensitive requests. 

  • JSD Reports are straightforward - because they are project specific, you can access them in one place to easily compare metrics. 

  • As an admin, everyone is using the same schemes - which means less effort to set up and less overhead to maintain. 

Benefits of Using the Help Center

If you decide that breaking up the service desk makes sense - you're able to customize the underlying schemes in each project, so teams can have different workflows, issue types, issue security etc. 

  • Schemes are customizable - so different teams can follow different workflows, permissions, etc. if needed. 

  • Each service desk can have no more than 50 queues - so if you've got a lot of teams working on separate work, you'll likely run into this limitation (but run into a fairly confusing service desk first)

  • Each service desk can have one set of customers who can see all of the requests - so the Help Center does the job if you need to restrict which requests customers can see.

  • With the integration between JSD and Confluence, you have the ability to connect knowledge bases to your portal. Each service desk can have only one knowledge base, and the Help Center allows customers to search across them all to find the relevant articles, while also viewing only the relevant articles when viewing from a specific service desk. 

Designing your Service Desk Implementation

As you can see, there are quite a few things to think about here. Designing your service desk implementation may be an overwhelming idea, so a good starting place is to consider the end-users. Knowing what you know now, think about who will be using the service desk (agent and customer), and what would make sense to them. Are there agents who will be working in multiple service desks - how would they manage their work? Is it clear to a customer which project they should go to, or which request they need to use? For more information on customizing your help center, read this article from Atlassian. If you're in the research stage of your Jira Service Desk implementation, read Praecipio Consulting's advice on Accelerator vs. Custom Implementation

Written by Morgan Folsom

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