Improving IT Service Management in 2015
For me the main issue with improving ITSM is that we often spend too much time contemplating our own navel instead of making things happen! As an industry we are very good at theorizing and discussing ideas both old and new, but making them a reality is not always our strong suit. This unfortunately delays the benefits, and doesn’t do much to help promote the value of ITSM in improving businesses. We have to address this in 2015.
This year every ITSM practitioner should aim to make one improvement every month - fix ONE problem, make ONE thing happen, make ONE thing better, get ONE new skill. Setting and achieving targets will put you into the habit of review and enhancement, and achieve the nirvana of true continual service improvement. This advice applies not only to ITSM practitioners in organizations, but also to those who are evolving best management practice.
Changing ITSM to remain relevant in 2015
ITIL is, without question, an excellent source of information and knowledge. It is however under threat and in danger of becoming ‘old hat’ as practices like Agile and DevOps gain in popularity and rapidly evolve, creating their own bodies of knowledge and qualifications. More organizations are turning away from the current best practice guidance in favour of these newer practices.
For ITSM to remain relevant and survive we must recognize and describe the synergies between these newer practices and ITIL. That means evolving ITIL to describe how it supports and works with them. It is unavoidable that the younger communities involved in developing Agile and DevOps thinking have more drive and “buzz” about what they do. ITIL was the same in its early days but it and many of its proponents have matured since then! Our job now is to understand the new ways of working and bring them in to best practice, focusing on supporting the fast pace and demands of today’s businesses.
ITSM delivering and demonstrating value to the business in 2015
We must first gain a core understanding of what ITSM is in the business to do. Too many practitioners forget that the end goal of ITSM is to provide value to the business. Remind yourself of the two core aims of ITSM: If something fails, get it fixed quickly and Stop it failing in the first place!
Shift the focus from reactive activities to proactive activities. The key to that is putting a much greater focus on upfront holistic service design, and a shift towards a culture that says: “IT systems must not fail”. We have to improve our capability to take changes from design into operation so that they work and we deliver the value, quickly, safely and securely. DevOps has good ideas on how to do this, which we need to embrace in ITSM.
ITSM practitioners also need to understand in detail what value means in their organizations. Use the advice in the ITIL service strategy publication to do this. That includes understanding the business outcomes that IT and ITSM support, then focusing on delivering them efficiently and effectively.
ITSM and getting to the cause of problems in 2015
The usual advice to identifying problems is to analyze volumes of incident data. Try another way: Talk to users, the service desk, and technical support teams and pose the question: “if we could fix one thing, what would you want to fix?” Bring all their answers together and pick one problem to work on that will deliver the most value. Focus on just that problem, fix it, then move onto another one.
Keeping ITSM relevant in 2015 with best practice
ITIL is not the only source of best practice for ITSM, although it is the most used. Aim to build a better understanding of how you can use other practices and frameworks to work in association with the common sense principles, methods, and techniques from ITIL. For example, using ITIL, PRINCE2, and COBIT together can provide increased value.
Continuing your learning and development in 2015
Take control of your own learning and development. Every person working in ITSM should own their own continuing professional development - something that I know AXELOS is supporting this year. In today’s connected world there is a wealth of knowledge and information just a few mouse clicks away. Make use of it.
It’s also important that ITSM practitioners reach out to other fellow professionals. Aside from the AXELOS social media channels, there are also several industry-related communities, itSMF being one, encouraging mutual support and learning. You will always take something new away from a twitterchat, seminar or a conference so consider attending at least one this year. Make it your mission to keep learning and developing.
Join Kevin for a webinar on Thursday 5 February at 2pm GMT with AXELOS in which Kevin will be discussing Service Integration and Management (SIAM) and his recent AXELOS white paper.
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