Part 1: The “C” in ITSM People
Who remembers the “new beat” group Confetti’s and their song, “The Sound of C?” It was refreshing and catchy and a huge success throughout Europe some 30 years ago. “C” created a dance scene movement that lasted for several years. Brings back sweet memories. Yes, I’m that old.
It made me wonder what impact the letter “C” has on the world of IT Service Management (ITSM). I took some time to reflect and came up with a nice list of “C” words. So how does “C” resonate within ITSM? To structure it, the words are grouped in three dimensions:
- Process and Product
I will cover each dimension in a separate article within this blog series.
In Part 1, the “C” words focus on the People dimension. Why do I start with People? In my humble opinion, a good ITSM practice is driven by motivated people. So if you read but one of the articles, this would be the preferable one. Happy reading in the glossary of “C.”
If I were allowed to use only one phrase to describe what makes or breaks ITSM practices, it would be the lack of timely communication. Without good communication in any phase of your practice, be it in project or in operations, there will be a negative impact on the expected value of your ITSM practice.
Tip: Avoid assumptions! Ask, understand, clarify, and align as needed.
As a logical consequence, an ITSM practice should foster a collaborative mindset. A service is a logical grouping of assets around a well-defined offering. Everyone involved should know their role and responsibilities in this “service team.” Understanding these dynamics will greatly increase the likeliness of high-quality service delivery.
Tip: Even in project mode, collaboration should be high on the agenda. Involve your operations teams in your design activities to assure that once the service becomes operational, it generates value from day one. This will generate a double bonus. Your projects can be delivered more cost efficiently because operations can identify re-usable existing resources and are aware and trained before the new service is live.
The primary reason why you “do ITSM” is to support the customer or client in doing their business. That support will focus on the removal of constraints and/or increasing the performance of their services. Or to put it less clinically, you want to give your customer a value-add experience by making sure the service is fit for purpose and fit for use.
Customer Experience (CEX) is hot these days. In ITIL®’s service definition, it is referenced with the word “outcome.” Being able to influence the outcome from within your ITSM practice means the business-IT alignment is a fact and Service Management is a closed loop indeed.
Tip: Understanding the Business Pattern Activity (BPA) behind the customer services allows for the creation of a dynamic value proposition and fine-tuning your services proactively. It is not about creating the perfect service, it is about providing the perfect service.
Tip: Get close to your customer—connect! How? A role like Business Relationship Management (BRM) comes to mind. Check the internet for more information.
The magic word. It is a word that pops up so often in Service Management discussions, but remains difficult to pinpoint. Why? Because culture is a complex, dynamic mix of resources and capabilities that results in what psychologist and Nobel Memorial Prize winner, Daniel Kahneman, describes as implicit knowledge. From an organizational perspective, that corresponds to everyone involved in the organization and their rational and emotional contribution in the ecosystem. That represents this knowledge, which in turn drives their behavior. Therefore, defining your culture can be a challenge indeed.
Tip: If you want to get a grip on the human behavior, why not go and play. What? I’ve had the pleasure of assisting with several GamingWorks Apollo 13 sessions. It is a fun way to get insight on team interactions and such a game generates new ideas to improve team dynamics—guaranteed!
This concludes the first part of my journey in the Service Management land of “C.” I hope it brings some food for thought. Check my next articles for more “C” words related to the other dimensions, Process and Products and Generics.