Where I live, and for many of you, today is the first day of school. What that
really means for me is that the summer is over sadly enough, and while kids go
back to the books many businesses seem to gear back up and refocus on what
needs to be done as well. This is not to say that the summer is a time where
this wasn’t getting done but there always appears to be more vigor towards
improving after the summer holiday season. It must be the crisp autumn air.
Despite whatever your business challenges are the
question from your internal IT leadership will surface, “How well are we doing?”
This is generally asked so that your leaders can get
ahead of these same questions being asked of them by business leaders down the
line and allow IT to be able to address business executives with an intelligent
response. Early in my career I was told that your boss (a term I dislike but use to differentiate from a true leader who
operates on a different level) needs to be able to answer the “how are we
doing” question in a simple way rather than having a blank stare and an “I don’t
know” as a response. The trouble with this mentality is that sometimes we as
the operations teams didn’t know either.
This is why in my opinion the right level of reporting
needs to be managed and then leveraged to be able to make improvements. The trouble
is that we think that the reporting functionality manages itself and it really doesn’t.
The business has teams dedicated to analytics after all to allow them to take
their business to the next level so why don’t we manage our reporting better. The
annual refresher isn’t really the way to go, neither is the ‘we have sunk to
new lows and now need to desperately find a way to improve’ method.
We need to start thinking, even in a small sense, of
autumn in a quarterly way. If your company is putting out quarterly results and reports we should leverage these to see if there are areas where IT could be helping your
business to improve or if there were ways in which IT has hindered the business
in some way.
Like an over eager mom in the stationary store we tend to
go overboard in these back to school improvements and either gather too much
information, or are not in a position to scrutinize the data to validate the accuracy,
Personally I have been in both situations. If you think a
boss was angry about saying I don’t know,
think how mad they get when the business tells them that their data is wrong or
This is why these quarterly exercises to review the data
to make corrections in your operations are necessary. You may not have budget to
do a large scale continual service improvement initiative right now but
instituting a simple quarterly service management review against metrics will
keep your team on point. This will ensure that when your teams make improvements you will be able to leverage
that data for a business case to make getting budget for larger improvement
initiatives down the line that much easier.
me on Twitter @ryanrogilvie
or connect with me on LinkedIn
Labels: Continual Service Improvement, CSI, ITIL, ITSM, Service Management Reporting