Info-Tech’s Tips to Improve Service Desk Ticket Queues

Info-Tech Research Group, an IT research and advisory firm, has published a new research-backed blueprint, Improve Service Desk Ticket Queue Management. As more employees return to the office and adopt hybrid work, Info-Tech’s data-backed blueprint helps organizations define clear processes and ownership for assigning and actioning tickets, improving service desk ticket queue management and customer satisfaction.

“Service desk and IT leaders often struggle with low efficiency, high backlogs, missed service-level agreements, and poor service desk metrics,” said Natalie Sansone, senior research analyst at Info-Tech Research Group. “Organizations often believe they need to hire more resources or get a new information technology service management tool with better automation and AI capabilities. However, more often than not, the root cause of their challenges goes back to the fundamentals.”

As tickets come into the service desk via multiple channels, such as email, phone, chat and portal, they are consolidated in multiple queues, making prioritization more difficult. Without proper prioritization, new tickets stay in the queue too long without being assigned, and assigned tickets sit too long without progress, leading to slow response and resolution time.

According to Info-Tech’s research, one major obstacle to proper prioritization is that technicians have no guidelines on how to prioritize their work and have no easy way to organize their tickets or queue to know what to work on next.

When there is a lack of authority or accountability for queue management, technicians only have a view of their own tickets while others fall through the cracks.

“Organizations cannot resolve incidents and fulfill service requests in time to meet service-level agreements without first getting the ticket to the right place efficiently and then managing all tickets in the queue effectively,” Sansone said. “Even though it sounds simple, challenges can occur around the queue management system, ranging from new tickets sitting too long before being assigned, to in-progress tickets getting buried in favor of easier tickets.”

To improve matters, Info-Tech recommends that organizations define a structure by organizing the queue by content and assigning resources to the relevant queues to improve the service desk. A structured approach and clear guidelines on ownership and accountability for queue management will decrease response and resolution time along with the ticket backlog. Once these processes are defined, IT leaders can identify opportunities to build-in automation to improve efficiency.

Info-Tech’s blueprint explains that a mature ticket queue management process is critical to the success of other service desk processes. Info-Tech outlines the top 10 tips to effectively manage a queue:

  1. Define the optimal queue structure.
  2. Design and assign resources to relevant queues.
  3. Define and document queue management processes.
  4. Clearly define queue management responsibilities for every team member.
  5. Establish clear ownership and accountability over all queues.
  6. Always keep ticket status and documentation up to date.
  7. Shift left to reduce queue volume.
  8. Build-in automation to improve efficiency.
  9. Configure the ITSM tool to support and optimize queue management processes.
  10. Don’t lose visibility of the backlog.

“Without clear ownership and accountability over each queue, it becomes too easy to assume someone else is handling or monitoring a ticket when in fact, nobody is,” Sansone said. “It’s essential to assign a queue manager to each queue and ensure someone is responsible for monitoring ticket movement across all the queues for an effective queue management system.”

Info-Tech’s Improve Service Desk Ticket Queue Management blueprint can be downloaded and viewed now. To learn more about Info-Tech Research Group and to download all the latest research, visit