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A new approach to implementing ITSM

Upper torsos and head of man and woman holding tablet and smartphone with ITSM graphic images overlaid

As an experienced ITSM professional I am fortunate to have a wide network of colleagues and friends within the sector and from the many conversations I have had, I came to the realization that most of us are unhappy with our IT service management tools. This got me thinking – why might this be?

My initial thought was that many of these products come with a high price tag, leading to unrealistic expectations of what they might deliver. Maybe it was because we often find them difficult to configure and customize, meaning we struggle to make them work for us. On the other hand, we might be unable to get the vendors and suppliers to provide us with what we actually want. These are all valid reasons but, as customers, we are too quick to lay the blame on the product and the supplier. And because of this, we get stuck in a non-productive cycle. We buy a new tool, go through the pain of implementation and then walk away with very little investment in development.

So, is your ITSM tool performing poorly because it is lacking in the usability and features you require, or is it because it has been poorly implemented? Perhaps it is time for some internal reflection, asking direct questions that require direct and honest answers. An ITSM tool can make or break an IT service. If you are not happy with your ITSM solution, then maybe it is time to do something about it.

I believe it is time to rip up the ITSM tool implementation project and focus on benefits and outcomes, instead. What do you want from a new ITSM tool? What are you hoping to achieve? By focusing on the business drivers and managing the implementation as a business change project, you can articulate your requirements and define the scope for the project. And, while one of the potential outcomes might be that your organization really does need a different ITSM solution, it is almost certain that you will come up with requirements that incorporate all of the four dimensions of Service Management.

Here are my top tips on how you can make the most of your ITSM Tool:

  • Processes and value streams. So often, ITSM tool adoptions fail because of bad processes. Spending time early on mapping the project and documenting the ITSM processes and value streams will save time and energy later on. Starting with processes first will enable you to better understand your requirements and will prevent you having to retrofit after going live.
  • Information and technology. Understand the features and functionality on offer and work out how much time and effort is required to get the ITSM solution to work for your organization. IT does not stand still, your organization does not stand still, and neither should your ITSM tool. Ensure you plan and budget for future investment and development, and take the time to develop a continual service improvement roadmap.
  • Partners and suppliers. If you are in the market for a new tool, then do your research. It is important to understand the functionality and features on offer, but it is equally, if not more, important to find a vendor that aligns with your organizational goals. Find a vendor that will offer you the relationship management that you need, someone you can create a strategic partnership with.
  • Organization and people: Many ITSM and digital transformation programmes are about driving cultural change and where there is change there is resistance. Focusing on effective communication, investing in training, and gathering and incorporating feedback and input from key stakeholders will help you address the challenges associated with cultural change.

A well implemented IT service management tool can delivery significant benefits to any IT organization. It can automate business processes, provide management information for data driven decision-making, improve the customer experience, and reduce the burden on your support teams. Therefore it is worth the investment in time and effort into getting it right.

The full version of Sally Bogg’s white paper “A New Approach to Implementing ITSM Tools” is available to My ITIL subscribers. Sign up here:


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