When it comes to ITSM programme management, Continual Service Improvement (CSI) through ITIL® is an opportunity to add value that exceeds customers expectations.
- Get to know the customer The first step in a contract should be a kick-off meeting and, where possible, do it in person. Get around the table, get introduced and acquainted with each other and then start to understand your customer’s business.
In this meeting, you need to understand and flesh out the details, find out their mission and what success really is. At this point, you should also be building the foundations for your Service Level Agreement, measurement metrics and how you’ll report going forward.
Doing this as a first step is crucial, but you also need to keep momentum. Make sure you set up regular meetings, whether it’s weekly or bi-weekly: this will make sure you know and are always addressing a customer’s current needs.
I also encourage my team to complete a stakeholder analysis exercise called a 3-3-1 analysis. For each point of contact or stakeholder understand:
- 3 things they are looking for
- 3 things that you’d like to provide
- 1 thing that you’d like to talk to them about and follow up on.
This exercise ensures your team provides personalized, tailored support to all points of contact and it helps to develop strong relationships
- Effective reporting
Reporting is an area you will have started to cover in your kick-off meeting but it is so important that it deserves another mention.
A report can be simple or complex, but what it must be is tailored to the customer’s needs. In your initial session find out what format they want it in, if they use an existing system and how best to deliver it.
Government organizations, for instance, have an existing format that suppliers need to follow, but not all companies do. This can actually be an opportunity to provide added value to a client and create a solution for them. Not all customers know what they’re looking for.
Once you’ve got a reporting structure in place remember to check in periodically and make sure it still fulfils their needs.
- Keep improving
There is a reason that Continual Service Improvement is at the heart of ITIL: constantly measuring, learning and improving should be central to everything you do.
As well as checking in regularly, you should find ways to solve additional problems for the customer. What’s the thing that’s keeping them awake at night? And, as their ITSM expert, be the technology advocate and offer a solution to their problem.
I also like to provide additional insights and information to my customers through white papers and presentations. What can they learn from other people’s experiences and how would you solve their problem?
Customers rely on you to continually improve their service, but most people wait for the customer to come to them. For successful programme management, it must be the other way around.