Implementing an ITSM Tool is more than buying a software tool ‘off the shelf’ and installing it on a server, or indeed as a SaaS solution. Before buying a tool from a supplier you have to be aware of the following
Implementing an ITSM Tool requires a full understanding of how your organisation operates. Before starting an implementation or even a selection project get together the people that know, understand and have documented the processes and activities that are required in your organisation. Together you can detail the inputs, activities and outputs needed for achieving business objectives and outcomes. This makes the business case for your selection and implementation project!
As much as we love ITIL, don’t think that IT Service Management according to ITIL is an ‘out of the box’ solution for your business problems. Before ‘doing’ ITIL you have to understand and think Service Management. ITIL is not an “implementation” that you can do once and then it works. ITIL is a complete change in the organisation’s culture and thinking. It is a commitment to the Continual Service Improvement of your products and services. Having the books and qualifications only means that you have taken the first step.
Don’t make ITIL a thing only the process managers do. ITIL requires participation of everyone in your organisation. If your organisation is strongly divided and the different teams do not seem to co-operate (and they have no intention to do so) then you first need to pay attention to that. No tool will solve internal conflicts if the conflicts are not recognised and the tool is an agreed way to solve the recognised problem. Implementing ITIL requires a strong vision and ambition on a management level.
Keep the focus on getting the involved processes right before getting the tool. Any implementation of a tool should contribute to the desired process model, in order to deliver your products and services.
If the implementation of an IT Service Management Tool/Suite goes wrong then don’t blame it on the Toolset. Implementing an ITSM Tool requires in-depth definitions of important ITSM toolsets. If you have no clue of, for example, how you want to have your Service Knowledge Management System, or, as part of it, what you want to register in your Configuration Management System, then it is difficult to make the right implementation. Not because the tools don’t support it, but because you have no clue what you expected in the first place. So first analyse your business requirement analysis from the tool, and define the services, products and processes you want to improve. THEN select a tool and implement it.
Changing your organisation and implementing a Service Management ethos in an organisation requires more skills than just ITIL knowledge. Since it is a cultural change that touches every group and individual in your organisation you need a strong vision, lots of communication, and strong leadership. Find or create the right Business Change Managers and divide the project into multiple projects in order to contain problems.
Start with quick wins where you can show the benefits of the introduction (or improvement) of the New Way of Working (or something like that). Make people aware that real improvement is, for example, collaboration and communication. The real change might then come out of your people as they start to believe that they can meet your objectives and see the benefits for themselves. People need to see, ‘what’s in it for me’.
Implementing Service Management is not a project. Making the organisation ITIL aware is a project. By saying this I want to stress that ITIL is not a one-time issue. Implementing ITIL means that you introduce a way of working that always will have a focus on Service Improvement and adopting processes to the environment. Adopting ITIL is never finished as you will always adapt your processes to new situations, the big benefit is that you do it in a controlled way, and not on an ad-hoc basis.
Don’t believe vendors that promise you an ‘out of the box’ solution. Most of the times vendors over-promise the benefit their tools will have to your business. They simply forget to stress the limitations or the adoptions that have to be made to the tool or your organisation. If someone offers you a solution that sounds too good to be true……it probably is too good to be true.
Don’t align your business process with your service management tool – see point 5. Your business is leading and is your vision on how to be of use for your clients. A service management tool just has to fit in your organisation and provide the information that is needed to manage and control your business. Don’t forget to put the business alignment in your specs too!
BEWARE tools that come along with a pre-defined set of processes – “for rapid deployment of the tool”. Your ITSM processes should be defined around YOUR business needs – not what a tool vendor wants them to be in order to make their tool work.