Responsible for the technology that powers the commercial operations of this international financial services leviathan demands exemplary 24×7 service delivery. Employing over 7,000 people worldwide, the IT organisation supports a myriad of retail and commercial banking operations that service millions of banking customers and clients around the globe.
Responsible for everything from, maintaining the infrastructure that runs thousands of ATM’s, millions of customer accounts, an extensive network of branches and support centres, and powers online banking is just part of the day-to-day challenge. As part of its remit, the IT organisation is also responsible for creating new leading-edge applications that deliver competitive advantage and enable the bank to achieve its strategic priorities – accelerating the growth of its global retail and commercial banking business, delivering superlative customer service, and enhancing operational excellence.
Preparations for implementation of a new IT Service Management toolset had highlighted a number of critical issues. An unacceptably high number of incidents were being categorised as Severity 1, hampering the ability of senior executives to focus on innovation as they struggled to manage a growing tide of operational issues. What’s more, too many Problems were being left ‘open’ for extended periods, which in turn generated recurring repeat Incidents. Investigations had revealed that, in part, unauthorised and unplanned Changes were fuelling the generation of Incidents – according to industry analyst Gartner, up to 80% of all Incidents are generated by Change.
As well as addressing the key critical issues, the UK HQ management team took the decision to instigate an ITSM process improvement programme which would incorporate most of the ITIL® V3 processes, and to upgrade the ITSM tool set. The goal was to develop rigorous, repeatable and standardised processes that ultimately would be rolled-out across the global IT support organisation and would generate improved performance.
Pink Elephant put in place a team of ITIL experts for Incident Management (Severity 1), Problem Management, Change and Release Management, Configuration Management, Service Level Management, Capacity Management, Availability Management and IT Service Continuity. Working alongside the IT organisation’s internal ITIL process owners, Pink Elephant’s ITIL experts would support the review and re-engineering of all processes – mentoring personnel to ensure knowledge transfer into the IT organisation.
The first task was to sanitise a previous LEAN assessment – which provided minimal guidance on actions to redress issues or any improvement goals – and then to benchmark the maturity of each ITSM process against the ITIL framework. These reviews revealed that Release Management needed a special independent focus and that the focus on Incident Management need to be expanded to encompass the entire end-to-end process, covering Event Management, Access Management, Knowledge Management and Request Fulfillment.
The success of the new ITSM toolset would be reliant on the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) either directly, by way of interfaces, or other data feeds. To support this, Pink Elephant instigated a data modelling and mapping project to run alongside the master Process Improvement project.
A PinkScan Capability Maturity Model assessment, had revealed a lack of integration between IT Service Management(ITSM) processes – which were being managed in ‘silos’ – and that there was no process governance in place. This was further contributing to the proliferation of operational issues. Pink Elephant identified 16 ‘quick win’ projects that would generate actual savings of 1,000 man-days per year. During the detailed process design phase, a further 200 Service Improvements were identified.
Using PinkATLAS™, Pink Elephant’s Service Management knowledge base packed with templates, project plans, documentation and frameworks, the ITIL ‘experts’ team worked with client process owners to develop documentation sets for each process. Simultaneously, the Quick Win project was kicked-off. In parallel with the Process Improvement and Data Modelling projects, a communications and awareness programme was initiated to bring technology teams and the business closer together. Alongside ITIL training courses for staff, one-to-one coaching with process owners and other key personnel from departments within the bank, process owners participated in Pink Elephant’s ITIL simulation game – Polestar ITSM – to demonstrate how process improves business performance.
Mirroring real-world interactions between IT and the business ‘players’ progress through defined service transition phases, planning for strategic and operational continual service improvements against a backdrop of increasing budget constraints. To further enhance corporate awareness, a video was developed explaining why ITIL had been selected for a global framework and a stakeholder communication programme was put in place to keep senior managers up-to-speed with activities and benefits realised.
In just 10 months, the IT organisation regained command of its operational challenges. The initial identified problems were addressed through the Quick Wins programme, with impressive outcomes.
Severity 1 Incidents were reduced by 30% and all Changes were brought under control through the implementation of a proper classification hierarchy for Changes. Change Advisory Board meetings were streamlined and rationalised – reducing the number of CABs by 50%. Problems are now resolved much faster, as a consequence of which the number of repeat Incidents has dramatically fallen. Severity 2 Incidents have also reduced by 50% – equating to a cost saving of £200,000 per month.
A new ITSM model was developed, with re-engineered IT processes incorporating critical integration points to ensure ‘joined up’ working. Documentation was completed – including a functional description of each individual process, complete with job roles and responsibilities, process maps, detailed process design and work instructions – providing a step-by-step ‘how to’ template that could be rolled out to operations around the world in a standardised, repeatable manner.
Fully documented data models were produced to facilitate the collation and structuring of data. Alongside this, a Service Catalogue is being developed to enhance collaborative working across the business units the IT organisation supports and an Availability Criticality Framework has been defined.
The project return on investment generated measurable returns within months; quick win projects generated actual savings of 1,000 man-days a year, incident volumes have decreased significantly, and the IT organisation – while fitter and leaner – is responding more efficiently to the needs of the business.