5 Key Questions to Evaluate Before Implementing ITSM Programs
18/06/2018 |

5 Key Questions to Evaluate Before Implementing ITSM Programs

The implementation of IT Service Management programs makes your service
more efficient and cost-effective. Before implementation, you should first deal
with the following 5 key questions.

two buildings connected by a bridge

So you’ve decided to make your services more efficient and cost-effective by implementing IT Service Management programs. Congratulations! But, before you dive in, understand that projects like these fail more often than not. In fact, according to information shared during the 2017 Pink Conference, 65% of ITSM programs never take hold.

Make sure that your ITSM efforts are successful by starting with these 5 key questions:

1. Why are we implementing ITSM programs?

The answer may seem simple: “Because we want to make our IT organization better.” But in order to run a truly successful project, you must know what problems you are trying to solve:

  • Do you want to make your IT service management organization more efficient?
  • Is it critical that you reduce costs?
  • Are you trying to increase your customer service satisfaction levels?
  • Do you need to improve upon SLA requirements?
  • Is it for better reporting and metrics, and what are those reports and metrics you are trying to find?
  • Are there compliance issues involved like SarbOx or GDPR?

The answers to these questions will help you create a framework for the entire ITSM program and provide focus to your team. In the end, they will also help you determine how successful the project has been.

In the planning stage, it’s incredibly important to conduct a very blunt self-assessment of your organization and its current ITSM knowledge.

2. How much do we know about service management?

In the planning stage, it’s incredibly important to conduct a very blunt self-assessment of your organization and its current ITSM knowledge. Do you have internal candidates who are experienced in service management? In what functions? Do you need to go outside of the organization for help?

This is also a great time to find out if there are parts of the organization that may already be using service management concepts in an informal way or through what’s commonly known as “shadow IT.” These groups might be implementing great processes and procedures under-the-radar or as outlier projects. If these are found, embrace the ideas and learn from that experience as you move forward with your project.

Also, attending an ITSM-focused event, like the annual Pink Conference by Pink Elephant, can be a great introduction for you and your team to the world of ITSM. After all, service management paints an incredibly broad stroke. There are many facets, specialties, areas of concern and focuses that all fall under this umbrella. Events like these will help you figure out “what you don’t know” so that you can better educate yourself, your team, and all stakeholders.

3. Can IT leadership be a force for change?

User acceptance will make or break your ITSM program implementation. Now is the time to understand that change in an organization, especially on the IT side of things, can be daunting and downright scary. If your users don’t actually participate in this project or use your newly implemented processes, you’re back to square one.

The key is for leadership to frame the change properly. Go back to your answers to the first question here: why are we doing this? When you can show a team how these changes will make them more efficient; more secure in their positions; and better able to focus on results and satisfaction, change sheds its scary skin and becomes a truly beautiful moment of organizational advancement. Take the time to shift attitudes towards IT changes right from the start.

4. Are we prepared to invest in ITSM programs?

Service management programs necessitate a variety of ITSM tools, training, and infrastructure to be successful. The costs can add up. Have you properly budgeted funds to complete this project?

I recommend sitting down and deciding what you would like to spend, and then the max you are willing to spend, before you even start the evaluation cycle. There are a wide range of ITSM tools on the market that cover many price points. As you look into them, it’s also important to consider implementation costs, training, and the time needed to effectively establish tools as part of your processes: these will affect your budget.

The vendors you talk to will also love the fact that you’re prepared, as budget greatly affects which tool is right for you. To get started, there are a number of websites where you can get a feel for pricing and total budget, including Capterra and SoftwareAdvice.com.

5. Do we have the right personnel in place to succeed with our ITSM programs?

Many IT departments start with a small core group of professionals who handle issues through all sorts of unconventional methods; email inboxes, excel spreadsheets, simple notepads and whiteboards. As your organization expands, and you move to a more formal issue tracking system, it’s important to think about personnel too.

Consider the skills of the team you have in place. Decide if they are the right fit to support your growth. If so, how can you help make this an easier transition for them? One of the best ways to give your team information to prosper in this new environment is through training. Vendors should be able to offer tool-based training.

But, you may also want to expand their knowledge of ITSM processes and best practices. Axelos is considered to be the foremost authority in training for IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) concepts. This is a series of procedures, processes, checklists and tasks that helps teams better align their IT services with business needs. It is an industry standard for developing ITSM programs. Axelos offers a wide range of courses and certifications to meet your particular use case. Check them out at axelos.com.

Success just means stepping back a bit and examining why and how you're taking on this new project. I wish you the best of luck with your efforts!

Hopefully, after considering these questions, you aren’t scared off from your vision of beginning or expanding ITSM programs within your organization. When done intentionally and methodically, such programs can drastically impact the performance of an IT organization – and really the company overall. Success just means stepping back a bit and examining why and how you’re taking on this new project. I wish you the best of luck with your efforts!

Photos: Ryan Stefan on Unsplash

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