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Posts Tagged ‘Practice’

IT Service Delivery is a Journey not a Destination

December 8th, 2009

Organizations increasingly recognize that proven frameworks are key to improvement in IT Service Delivery and aligning IT operations to the needs of the business. Often the recognition that ‘things need to get better’ manifests itself through the purchasing of a new ITSM tool and/or the hiring of a consultant to implement some basic operational processes such as Incident, Problem and Change Management.  Meetings are held; documents are drafted, re-drafted and re-drafted again until everyone is happy with the outcome. The new tool gets implemented, the consultant leaves and those process documents that everyone spent weeks or months building get filed away in some electronic repository often never to be seen again.

If this scenario rings true, you’re not alone. Many IT departments treat Service Management or ITIL process implementation as a project and not a journey. Like losing weight, if you do not have a plan for ongoing success then the weight will come back and all the gains you made with hard work are simply lost.

Conveniently, the answer to help us through this scenario is given new prominence in ITIL’s latest incarnation of version 3. CSI or Continual Service Improvement, which was merely implied in previous ITIL frameworks, is now thrust into prominence and has its own book and its fair share of the limelight. CSI provides the process that drives the value out of your other ITIL practices. The Incident Management process in itself does not generate value – certainly, it would tell you something like how incidents can be escalated to reduce impact to the business. This in itself provides cost savings and improved productivity but it does not speak to the elements that drive a business; it does not tell us how many incidents we escalated last month, what the areas of improvement are and how we will do better next month. The incident management process assumes that everything remains constant – of course, the business changes.

CSI provides the wrapper to the ITIL processes you have in place. It enables you to baseline where you are today, where you need to be and to drive a path through to the goal. Getting a baseline for your existing performance is key, because it is difficult to get to your next destination if you don’t know where you are today. The good news is that there is a range of knowledge and resources that can be tapped inexpensively to help you through this process. For example, The ITSM Coach from ThinkITSM gives you the ability to assess your end user satisfaction and help desk maturity for free, highlighting the area’s most in need of addressing. Often we know much of this information informally but to have objective data enables the change process and gets disparate groups on board to adopt positive changes in how work is done.

CSI and Quality improvement has revolutionized manufacturing and have given automobile companies such as Toyota and Honda a fundamental competitive advantage that they translated into market share gains and profitability. It is now time for IT to embrace quality improvement processes and truly drive business value from IT Service Delivery.

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Charles Cyna Uncategorized , , , , , , , , ,

ITIL maturity - where do you want to be and why.

October 6th, 2009

As a rule, a practice is not considered mature unless it is at a level 3 or higher. This means that the single practice is mature enough to be working as designed and is being used by all relevant stakeholders. It also means that the data it is generating is mature and can be trusted for decision-making.

At Level 3 the practice has control points that provide management indication when and if intervention is required. The practice is end-to- end and collaboration across departments has been optimized. For many organizations reaching Level 3 seems to be the end of the journey.

However, the value proposition of an integrated ITSM practice approach is that when practices reach Level 4 they begin to interact with each other. This provides the ability to share common data and provide insight that is not available at Level 3.

By working cooperatively the practices become more efficient and effective and whole becomes greater than the sum of the parts. Level 4 is the desired target state for the practices in scope for most organizations.

A maturity of Level 5 is often seen in single departments but rarely across all departments. The effort required to get to this level of maturity is high and costly.

Many organizations do not have the ability or desire to reach Level 5. That is ok and not all organizations will have business need for this level of maturity.

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Maria Ritchie Uncategorized , , , , ,