The Brooke Charity achieves ISO20000-1

Consultancy services to achieve ISO 20000-1

Download the case study
The Brooke Charity achieves ISO20000-1 Consultancy services to achieve ISO 20000-1 Download the case study

Organisation Profile

The Brooke is an international charity that protects and improves the lives of horses, donkeys and mules which give people in the developing world the opportunity to work their way out of poverty.


Customer Benefits

  • Achieved the ISO 20000-1 international standard for ITSM
  • Implementation of world-class ITSM tooling
  • Service Catalogue Improvement and Automation
  • Best practice education to align Brooke to ITIL


Brooke is an international charity that helps more than 1.5 million working horses, donkeys and mules around the world. It was founded in 1934 after Dorothy Brooke saw emaciated old horses from WWI being subjected to hard labour in Egypt. Today, Brooke employs over 2000 people globally, including 104 in the UK. Brooke’s Information Services is a department of 13 UK-based members – with local representatives in six other countries – that delivers ITSM expertise, solutions and services to the organisation, world-wide. The relationship between the charity’s HQ, branches and affiliates is based on a ‘hub and spoke’ model. The ‘hub’ offers defined core services and processes that the ‘spokes’ consume.

The Problem

When Brian Lake became Head of Information Services (IS) at Brooke in 2016, he discovered that, while the charity had a warm, familial atmosphere, it wasn’t running like the global charity it had become. The main issue was the fire-fighting culture Brooke had inadvertently developed by not coping with its rapid growth. Brian said: “Turnover was quite high, people were getting stressed and everything was a crisis that needed to be done this afternoon. There were no requests – only incidents, and they were all urgent.”

A Pink Elephant ITSM maturity assessment highlighted a lack of proper project management within IS, with some projects involving IS running behind schedule and not meeting expected results. Pink Elephant also identified a siloed working culture and ad hoc working practises (staff asking for support by means of walk-ups, email and casual chat), both resulting in difficulties around asset control and change management within the charity.

Pink Elephant ITSM Consultant Eddie Potts recognised that IS’s reliance on a fire-fighting “collection of heroes” was unsustainable for a growing organisation. “What was needed was to get into more of an ordered, professional services delivery,” he said. Pink Elephant also recognised the need to address knowledge and organisational change, in particular staff members’ fear of changing their working culture. Furthermore, Brooke needed a scenario where it identified against a standard – in this case ISO 20000. So, what could be done?

The Solution

Pink Elephant advised and supported Brooke’s ITSM transformation over a five-year period. This included support and implementation of enterprise ITSM tooling, process design and implementation, Service Catalogue consultancy and design, and providing Brooke staff with best-practice educational programmes, such as ITIL.

It is the latter point that led Brian to regard Pink Elephant as the go-to Service Management specialist that would professionalise Brooke’s ITSM delivery and link together people, process and technology. He said:

“Pink Elephant has a reputation for excellent training, and I’d walked the path to ITIL v3 expert with them.

We knew that, when not teaching, they were consulting, so I reached out on that basis.” Pink Elephant and Brian identified Freshservice as the most affordable and flexible tool for Brooke’s IT Service Management delivery.

Brian said: “The key differentiator is that Freshservice uses an iterative model of development – as we engaged, they added features and capabilities, which we then could adopt.”

Pink Elephant, recognising Freshservice’s user experience-focused Service Management solution, has since formed a partnership with Freshservice (in July 2021) to boost its ITSM technology service offering. The tool’s incremental approach enabled Brian and Pink Elephant Consultant Eddie to map processes for incident management and then move to request management and defining IS’s core services. “It was hard work,” said

Brian, “since we’d never really asked ‘what do we do?’ before”. As part of the change management process, Eddie formed a powerful ‘good guy, bad guy’ partnership with Brian as a way of supporting the IS team.

Brian “Eddie was the more sympathetic party – if I’d ruffled too many feathers, I’d send Eddie because he was free of confirmation bias”.

The Result

Pink Elephant has been so successful in assisting Brooke’s with their transforming ITSM delivery that the charity has gained its ISO 20000 certification – the international standard for IT Service Management. “The standard demonstrates to others that we are leading professionals,” said Brian.

Brooke’s newly efficient IS operations have also positively transformed the levels of both departmental performance and staff satisfaction.

“There has been zero staff turnover in my department in two years,” Brian said, “the IS budget remains flat and we continue to improve our cost: performance ratio. We allowed the charity to operate as normal during a global pandemic – that’s priceless.”

Especially handy during periods of lockdown, Freshservice, with the expert help of Pink Elephant, has enabled Brooke to create a Display Screen Equipment test, where employees could fill out an assessment and put in a request to send office items such as chairs, monitors, and keyboards to their home. “A request would get you a chair in a day,” said Brian. “This was very well received.” As a final illustration of how the newly efficient, process-driven IS operates, new employees are now given a great start when joining Brooke: a ‘new starter’ request raised by management sends ‘tasks’ to individuals in HR and then, once complete, to IS. New starters are assigned a locker as an asset, a laptop is prepared and arranged, and their building access is issued. Their induction training is raised in a ticket and they are required to complete mandatory learning to complete their probation period.

Brian “We know weeks in advance when someone is arriving, and everything just seems to work like magic. “Of course, it’s not magic – it’s process.”

What is ISO 20000-1?

  • The ISO 20000 is an internationally acknowledged Service Management System (SMS) standard
  • Meeting the standard requires service providers to design, establish, implement, operate, monitor, review, maintain and improve an SMS
  • ISO 20000 certification is a mark of reliability and high quality of service, and thus offers competitive differentiation
Find out more about The Brooke's charity work

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Luci Allen

Head of Operations +44 (0)7595 205888


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