A connection of mine on Twitter was looking to hire an
incident manager within their organization and was wanted to bounce the job
posting off me to see if there was anything that could be added or removed in the
post. Since many organizations are looking to cut costs wherever they can I
asked if this was a replacement person. They said that they were looking to
hire an additional person since their incident rates had been going up.
As I read this I had two thoughts. On the one side, this
organization was looking to ensure that they were able to manage the issues
that they were seeing as effectively as they could. On the other hand that same
organization is enabling the mismanagement of issues by not understanding what
drives them in the first place.
Here is an example. If we had a performance issue with an
application and the suggestion was to bolster the clustered environment buy
throwing more servers at it we could fix the issue. That would work but what is
the value proposition of doing that? Not particularly good I would say.
Eventually when we are looking at a value of the service
we are providing this just does not make sense.
The addition of the incident manager is a similar
situation. We should have a fundamental understanding of what is driving these
issues in the first place. While initially we may need this person to handle
the flood of work that is coming in I instructed my friend to think of a long
term strategy to reduce incidents in the first place.
To start, take a look at the top 10 issues which you seem
to be facing and determine their source. By source I am talking about breaking
it down into chunks like this:
Application issues – IT
- Infrastructure issues – IT
- Training Issues
- User Perception
- Project Related
There are a few others you could use but this will at
least target areas where we as an IT capability can look at some issues and
where we may need to look at other teams to help facilitate the issues which
are being experienced.
While the application and infrastructure issues are fairly
straight forward, training issues may apply to the way that training was handled
after a new tool was implemented or updated and as a result we may need to vet
similar rollout or updates in a more managed and consistent way to reduce these
User perception issues are similar in that they may have
expected something as a result of a deployment and are not seeing what was
expected, this could be a result of communication breakdowns or user acceptance
to name a few challenges but we need to know what they are if we are going to
build a strategy to reduce these.
Depending on how projects are transitioned into
operations we may see a combination of the two previous examples or in some
cases if IT was not looped in throughout the project until just before ‘go live’
we may have other issues which are being escalated which could have been
In the end IT needs to broaden its understanding of the
services which it provides so that it can take a list of issues and plan a
strategy to reduce them one at a time and improve the customer experience
me on Twitter @ryanrogilvie
or connect with me on LinkedIn
Labels: Continual Service Improvement, CSI, Incident Management, ITIL, ITSM, Problem Management