Lockdown has, I believe, ultimately changed all products to services and means that service managers will be needed more and more.
Thinking about ITIL 4®, the co-creation of value is going to be increasingly important to service management if you want to understand business needs and create real value. Equally, with more remote working, the old-fashioned style of management is finished and we have to change to find more collaborative and creative ways of managing people.
So, what are the other challenges as we move to the “new normal”?
- Personal relationships and motivation
While organizations might have continued working, they are missing the personal relationships, contact with people and the empathy, trust and close collaboration that builds. People’s motivation can be affected by this, so need to make sure we are “on the same page” and aligned with our work.
The collaborate and promote visibility ITIL 4 principle is guiding us here, which promotes information sharing, trust and understanding.
- Collaboration and creativity
Though possible in remote working conditions, what is missing is the more casual collaboration that happens by chance, when you meet a colleague and realize you can work together on something.
As one solution, my company is using an application called Teampact that helps agile teams working remotely to measure improvement and satisfaction. This application could become a new way for us to create collaboration and track its success.
- Measurement of performance during lockdown
We need to understand what has worked well, what hasn’t worked well and what can we improve if there is another lockdown or remote working situation. We need to learn from the experience and recalibrate our processes and procedures. What better opportunity to reassess our results and ensure we are using ITIL 4’s guiding principle focus on value?
- Digital acceleration and service management
In the past few months, digital has been the primary experience for everything – work, family and entertainment.
With the digital interface becoming a commodity, service management needs to keep this in mind as people use more and more digital applications in their daily activities.
- Real time data
Monthly reports will no longer be enough. We need to move to more real-time information in service management to provide a clear and instant picture of what is happening with services. The optimize and automate guiding principle will support us with this challenge.
- Worldwide competition
Boundaries have been brought down by the pandemic and now we have new competitors around the world who can serve our customers.
This is the primary requirement from customers in these uncertain times. They will not want to face such difficult challenges again, so having trust in their providers will be vital.
- Reviewing service management plans
This will involve reviewing contingency and capacity plans to have a rapid response and suitable alternatives in place if something further happens.
It also means greater transparency and a partnership approach with customers to build resilience and have constant visibility of what’s happening with the customer experience. Again, we can leverage the collaborate and promote visibility ITIL 4 principle to foster these enhancements.
Organizations will need to re-assess their tool use and ITSM applications according to the optimize and automate ITIL 4 principle.
This will probably mean an increase in self-service portals, which isn’t really new but has become more and more apparent during lockdown. In addition, using AI to support service management tools should offer more intelligent ways to obtain data and feedback.
As we enter the new normal, the value of service management is becoming clearer and more evident than previously, particularly in its relationship with customers. And ITIL 4 approaches will continue to be useful as we move forward.