When establishing an IT Service Management (ITSM) improvement program, the most common questions that arise tend to be: “How do we get started?” “What is the goal?” “What critical knowledge do we need from People, Process, Product and Partners perspectives?”, etc. This is understandable, especially, since the ITSM program is a people project, supported by tools and processes. However, many times, this program is mistaken for ITSM tool implementation, or process documentation projects. To understand why this is a mistaken identity, lessons from hundreds of customer engagements will be elaborated upon.
Sometimes, well-intended ITIL initiatives also fall short of expectations due to skipping over minor factors during the initial assessment. This can be avoided by using a high-level check-list to identify if a gap exists in your current or future ITSM program strategy. Only through such assessments can critical gaps be filled and a roadmap be developed to fill those gaps in a logical and strategic manner.
In this post, Top 10 Considerations For Successful ITSM Programs, author and ITIL expert Troy DuMoulin provides an excellent summary of key considerations you and your IT Service Management process improvement teams need to consider to ensure successful outcomes.
So you have taken the ITIL Foundation course and possibly even one or two of the intermediate level certifications and have now been asked to setup and establish an IT Service Management (ITSM) improvement program!
Congratulations, you have been entrusted with a key element of your organisation’s plan to improve service delivery and customer satisfaction. Now the key question is: How do you get started on this major task and what critical knowledge do you need to consider from a People, Process, Product and Partner perspective?
ITSM programs are really people change initiatives, but that they are frequently mistaken for an ITSM tool implementation or process documentation projects. Because of this mistaken identity, many frustrated IT leaders have invested significant resources, time and money and received very little benefit or return for their efforts.
To avoid becoming an unfortunate statistic, it is critical that you start your journey with a good understanding of the goal you are being asked to achieve and to make sure others, especially your manager, does as well. The following lessons-learned from hundreds of customer engagements provide insight into why this to goal is often not understood or realised:
ITSM and ITIL projects are actually transformation programs requiring significant shifts in behaviour and cultural change across multiple groups that need to define new ways to work in a common manner;
Process documentation is not worth the paper it is printed on without the political ability and organisational will to enforce its use;
The first step is to realise that the true goal of an ITSM initiative is to establish a common and efficient approach for the various functions within the IT value chain in order to deliver stable and reliable IT Services to the customer. Process documentation and the underlying IT tools are simply a means to an end, not the end themselves. To avoid repeating these common mistakes, your ITSM program must target the true goal, have the leadership support and address critical success factors.
The following tables represent a high-level check-list for you to use when developing or evaluating your ITSM program approach. Use this check-list as the basis for determining if a gap exists in your current or future ITSM program strategy.
1. Effective Project Controls & Roles
2. Management Of Change Strategy
3. Integrated Project Plans
4. Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Strategy
5. Awareness and Communication Strategy
6. Ongoing Process Ownership and Management Roles
7. Policies, Processes, Roles and Metrics
8. The Tool Supports ITIL Best Practices
9. Ongoing Tool Administration and Improvement Structures and Processes
10. Tool Configuration and Testing Done In Parallel With Process Design
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