Essential ITSM tips for 2018

woman standing in front of blackboard depicting the word 'target' and related diagrams

Charlotte Morison2017 was the year of the “lean IT” revolution, trying to bring frameworks together and figuring out how they can all play in the same sandpit.

That means understanding how to get cohesion between the likes of ITIL®, Agile, Six Sigma and COBIT in a way that adds value to organizations.

The demand for this change came from the C-suite, wanting greater efficiency, improved levels of accuracy and high value for low cost while using best practice.

It is now time to take the next step forward.

2018: a new ITSM conversation

The changes that took place in 2017 meant I began 2018 with a feeling of slight trepidation because stress levels in the industry at the end of last year were higher than ever before. However, I’m relieved to see that people are accepting, and even embracing, new ways of doing things.

I’m having conversations with clients today that weren’t possible a couple of years ago: sensible discussions about portfolio management, organization-wide service catalogue and the tech services needed.

Clients are now beginning to talk about designing services to meet customer demands and how to introduce new strategic elements to the organization.  There is a mix of frameworks in use – for example, PMOs are using PRINCE2® while others are using Agile and waterfall methods. All the conversations are about finding the best practice framework that most suits the work you’re doing.

Ringing in the ITSM changes

Previously, a typical approach to best practice for large infrastructure changes would mean laying tracks process by process in a traditional fashion with, often, no real focus on the problem to be solved. Such problems might include change approvals, authorization, documentation levels, etc. However, the ITSM knowledge wasn’t there.

Now, I’m seeing organizations take “baby steps” and solve problems as they arise rather than trying to solve everything at once. They are recognizing value by introducing well-structured configuration management – looking at the impact of incidents, which customers are affected and now understand better the business impact when an application goes down.

Essential ITSM tips

1. Understand the problem and solve it using best practice.

2. Hire people based on their skills, experience and if they are the right fit for the role and the organization. Develop a well thought-out recruitment strategy and don’t be too quick to hire.

3. High level executive support is paramount, as is hands-on knowledge of how things work in the real world.

4. From a process point of view, start small. Identify what is critical right now, solve the problems that arise and question the changes that need to go to the Change Advisory Board (CAB).

5. Work out how to get all the frameworks within your organization to talk together nicely. For example, if one department uses Agile and another uses waterfall, work out how to create a release and deployment process that will work across both methods. Remember to always translate the intent of the process in order to get the necessary rigour and governance in place.

6. Look at how information is used to drive customer experience and how this can be modified to make the experience better for the user and to drive the outcome desired by the business. For example, social media and digital marketing are looking beyond click patterns to the website experience and navigation. Applying this to a service management environment, look at how people currently work through a change and how the experience can be modified to be cleaner and more efficient for the customer.

7.  Get excited about the ITIL update! I believe that we will see clarity about actual requirements of the guidance, along with how it flows through an organization.

As we came into 2018, we have reached a certain level of ITSM maturity. In the past, organizations often missed the mark in conversations around business and technology. Now, however, tech services have been given a seat at the strategic table. It’s time for them to be heard!

Read more AXELOS Blog Posts from Charlotte Morison

Progress iteratively – why “baby steps” are better than all or nothing

How to plan for major incidents in ITSM

How to prove effectiveness and value in ITIL®

4 steps to getting the most from managed service providers

The modern service desk

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