As a ServiceNow platform consultant, I work with many companies seeking to shift their IT strategy from a focus on technology and software, to a focus on creating and delivering outstanding IT experiences through ITSM (IT Service Management).
Organizations that focus on quality ITSM can reap rewards including a strengthened service culture, empowered internal teams that can deliver on business goals, lowered IT operation costs, and minimized service outages.
Building a healthy ITSM practice requires equal focus on incident, problem, and change management practices. It also requires rethinking how work is assigned and tracked, identifying task area owners, and providing continued training and education.
I’ve outlined three steps your business can take to improve ITSM performance, without the need to incur unplanned costs.
Review, Diagram, and Challenge Your Current Processes
Refreshing your team’s familiarity with best practices is a great starting point for an ITSM tune-up. ITIL best practices align IT services with the needs of your business. Review ITIL processes and compare them against your own current approach to determine where improvements can be made.
Some helpful questions to consider while reviewing practices and processes:
1. What is the value of each process and the steps that make up that process?
2. Is the right individual performing the tasks within each process?
3. Are we operating this way because it’s the best approach or simply because that’s the way things have always been done?
Turning your current state into your desired state through ITIL best practices creates a leaner, more efficient operation that allows your team to function strategically versus reactively.
Define Service, Process, and Product Owners
Even if an organization has clarity into all of the applications their team uses, it can often still be unclear who is responsible for the health of each application and which services depend on them.
For example, everyone knows Microsoft Office 365 is important, but are the services that rely on Microsoft Office 365 to be successful well documented? Perhaps a customer relations team leverages email as a primary contact method or a healthcare company’s paging and dispatch services are driven via emails generated from another external application that routes through an Office 365 tenant.
By identifying intangible services and defining the people and processes that depend on them, you can assess the business criticality of each service and application objectively. This allows for strategic decisions to be made in the event of a failure within specific environments.
Build a Knowledge Base to Support Services, Processes, and Applications
Teams are only as good as what they know, and what they know is directly related to the information they can access. It is very common for organizations to realize that their processes, or even support triage steps, are available to only a handful of individuals within the organization.
Could your support volume be reduced by providing easy access to process information for internal customers? In normal day-to-day operations, solid product and service documentation is often overlooked or pushed to the side as a nice-to-have, but a robust knowledge base can reduce support volume, improve customer satisfaction, and drastically shorten the amount of time it takes to train new resources as your business scales. This is a great opportunity to have your tribal knowledge resources get that information out of their heads, and in front of the teams that can benefit from it.
If you have questions on how to improve ITSM performance, reach out to our team at firstname.lastname@example.org.