Working as the service lead for an outsourced IT company, my challenge is understanding what our customers’ businesses are trying to achieve.
Customers expect new ideas and innovation based on what we see other companies doing across a host of industries. But, above all, they expect us to see how IT fits with their corporate strategy – and for them to share that level of detail requires trust in me.
So, as the first-ever service management graduate in the business – and 18 months into the job – I was introduced to the language of ITIL®, the service management language that everyone speaks. In the space of two weeks, I studied and certified in ITIL Foundation and ITIL Practitioner.
With my existing experience in service management, I’d already picked up a lot of the terminology I found in ITIL Foundation; it affirmed what I knew, which is the foundation layer of IT service management (ITSM) concepts and terminology.
ITIL Practitioner: an eye-opener
However, ITIL Practitioner was another thing altogether: the whole content of the course has opened my eyes and it affects the way I handle my role day-to-day, making me think about things in a different way. Most important, it means I’m looking at strategy, Continual Service Improvement and customer value.
I can now trace the path from what we’re doing in IT to the customer’s overall company strategy. And the knowledge I have through ITIL Practitioner opens up broader conversations with stakeholders and the potential to identify other opportunities to offer additional services to the customer and extend existing contracts.
It’s given me more confidence when talking with senior stakeholders – including senior executives – as I understand what their business is trying to do.
The 9 Guiding Principles
I’ve found ITIL Practitioner’s 9 Guiding Principles a great framework to operate with.
For example, I focus on value because that provides the biggest impact. And the collaboration element means we are always finding ways to work effectively with the customer and internally with my colleagues in Computacenter. The Guiding Principles and ITIL Practitioner overall have given me a structure to plan effectively how to have conversations with customers and be more productive.
And though I would never present myself as an academic, despite having a degree in business management, I carry the ITIL Practitioner book around with me as a reference guide.
An internal team development tool
Today, I’m heavily involved in Computacenter’s graduate programme and act as a “buddy” for new graduate intakes. So, there is an ever-growing community of people with no IT background bringing a fresh view to service management! However, their lack of specific ITSM experience and knowledge is where ITIL Practitioner really helps the new people to develop credibility both with colleagues and customers. I certainly wish I’d taken the initiative to do the course earlier!
Also, it’s possible to use the best practice approach with our staff for annual reviews: setting objectives and making sure they align to the goals in the business unit and to the overall Computacenter strategy. This has unquestionably driven new behaviours and better results.