Organizations are going through a period of constant change in how they do things and having to leave behind the mindset of “that’s the way we’ve always done it”.
As ITIL® says, it’s a matter of focusing on customers and what they want. From an IT service management (ITSM) perspective, I say: “Tell me what you want and I’ll show you how to get there”, taking advantage of the technology available to get what you want, and then some.
There is a positive opportunity to take service management to the next level and that’s what ITIL’s all about. However, one of the biggest challenges is trying to convince people in organizations who don’t believe, are afraid of change or just don’t want to bother.
None of those responses is good enough, because companies or public sector organizations need to realize that IT and ITSM needs to have proper checks and balances. And this needs a separation of duties to mitigate risk: for example, you need someone to focus on disaster recovery, someone else to be responsible for change management.
Overtaxing any one individual leads to mistakes, such as having an incident manager responsible for a major incident. This needs a person dedicated to gathering the right personnel and documenting the problem for the response to be efficient and effective.
Learning and applying ITIL
Where does ITIL fit with the ITSM challenges organizations are facing today?
What I started to do in my organization was introduce ITIL training, so teams could understand best practice approaches and apply this learning to be part of the solutions we needed.
With the skills in place, the next building block is to identify where the organization is at that time and where you want to go.
For example, if increasing speed to market is important, then having a focus on change management will bring improvements to mitigating risk without delaying productivity.
Today, we run roadshows with customers to explain why we do change management and how it benefits them. Having data to analyze, we can understand more about root causes of problems in change management and become more proactive than reactive in finding fixes.
Applying knowledge management addresses the problem of people not transitioning things properly and leaving the service desk without the knowledge to support them. Now, we have the requirements in place before anything goes live. That means the departments supporting a change understand how to troubleshoot and are able to redirect escalations to get a more efficient flow.
One of the most important things is to communicate with people: make sure they’re on board and have a clear understanding of the benefits they’re getting. It’s huge for us to show we’re collaborating with them and are not siloed.
If your ultimate goal is to get fewer calls at the service desk, then you need to implement things that don’t fail.
Using ITIL’s Guiding Principles – such as collaboration and continually improving the services you provide – means you can be looking constantly at the next wave of what you can add for the customer.
For example, doing more statistical analysis around change management and providing feedback to departments can help identify why people aren’t following processes and protocols and therefore holding them accountable when things go wrong.
ITIL learning and certification gives ITSM professionals a better understanding that the role they play is not just about answering calls on a service desk. Introducing new processes and procedures is resolving more problems and providing a more efficient customer experience.
This is why ITIL remains relevant. And it’s not telling people how to do everything they do; it’s providing the guidelines to help them put things in place so customers have a consistent experience. Once one thing runs more efficiently teams can work on the next thing, making it more standardized, simple and transparent for the user.
Meanwhile ITIL helps me in my role as a leader: to explain things clearly and help my support teams understand what we need to accomplish and why. The collaboration this creates among the teams makes them want to be there every day, improving processes and continuing to enhance ITSM.
For more information, see our Built on ITIL pages.
Read more Blog Posts in the Built on ITIL series
Built on ITIL: putting a rocket under your career
Built on ITIL: quality and consistency in service delivery
Built on ITIL: a service management foundation for the future
Built on ITIL: ITIL – the tool that just keeps giving
Built on ITIL: digital transformation is an organizational challenge
Read Steve Levinson's previous AXELOS Blog Post, ITIL Practitioner’s 9 Guiding Principles – part of my vision statement.