Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Looking at ITSM improvements through 3D Glasses


Your teams have reached a point where they are performing and achieving the goals in which they were initially intended. However over time expectations and goals have a way of changing. The question is whether you, as an IT organization, are positioned to meet these changes. You have to ask yourselves “do we continue to meet requirements?” “Are we positioned to make improvements to ensure we can continue to align with business needs?”

We all know that are business is looking to IT to produce a consistent service in a way that reduces costs whenever possible. So even in times where we haven’t really changed, we are still looking to make improvements.

Does your IT organization think in terms of CSI (Continual Service Improvements), the key word here is continual. We may not need to make huge changes year over year but we should be reviewing regularly how well we are providing service to the business. A part of this review should include the processes which are enabling IT to deliver services.  

As I have mentioned before one of the ways we (IT) as a service provider can do that is through reporting. Reporting plays a big part in understanding how well you are performing or not, however one if the limiting factors in metrics we collect is that we think of them in a process centric way. We need to get away from the one dimensional “did we have incident outages last month” to an overall service metric.

While it is important that we address outages and process focused reporting (because they are the building blocks to service reporting) we need to start thinking in terms of service as a whole, or in 3D so to speak. In essence “How do all activities around the service impact the delivery of that service?”

When we talk about making improvements generally the first step involves taking a look where we are today. There are many measurement tools or benchmarks to gauge this, regardless of which one(s) your organization decides to leverage start thinking in terms of overall service capability.

One Dimensional Thinking

When you think about improvements you might review in terms of Incident OR Change OR Requests etc. Performing reviews in this manner will allow you to improve in each of these areas separately however overall improvement will still be just outside your reach because one process may only improve if the inputs or outputs from another process are able to improve as well. Using this diagram to illustrate this we can see where we are from a capability standpoint for 3 sample processes.


You need to think of the gaps which are holding back the improvement for the service as shown by the red components in this chart.

Identifying these gaps will allow you to add the “3D thinking” and enable you to improve the processes or activities which are currently appearing as limits to the CSI initiatives. Having this big picture perspective will allow your organization to identify a CSI strategy where they may not have been able to do so before.

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