Following Parts 1 and 2 of “The ‘C’ in ITSM” blog series, Part 3 will focus on words not specifically linked to the people, process, and products of ITSM, but they are equally as important and impactful on your service management efforts. These “C” words can determine the success of your business.
Curious for more vibrations of “C” in Service Management? Read on.
We live in a world of choices. There is no such thing as an endless stream of resources to create the ideal service ecosystem. Make sure that you understand the constraints and know-how they affect your ITSM activities.
Tip 1: If you experience value loss on a service, find the weakest link in the service chain. Remediate that constraint and make sure the improvements are integrated as part of the daily practice. If needed, move on to the next weakest link for remediation to keep that service value flowing. This is continual service improvement at its best.
Tip 2: Make it a habit to start chasing those constraints early on, even when your service is still in the project phase. Involve operations in this process, as they are a valuable source of information.
There are three certainties in life: you are born, you will die, and everything in between is change. The willingness to adjust as you go is a requirement in life, just as it is for the ITSM practice. It is all about being good today, providing the right balance in utility and warranty of the service, and being ready to change tomorrow to support the “new normal.”
Tip: Check out the Axelos-published ITIL Practitioner Guidance, and more specifically, the Organizational Change Management section written by Karen Ferris. Or, read her book, “Balanced Diversity, a Portfolio Approach to Organizational Change.” Get inspired!
“Cwality (read: Quality)”
Quality is a very individual experience, but very important for any service delivery manager. To make it tangible, it must be measurable. Objective metrics are the foundation when reporting the customer service experience. These specific metrics are called Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and should be linked to their Critical Success Factor (CSF), which in turn should reflect the agreed service quality expectations.
Tip 1: Be cautious when technical monitoring metrics (like server or network uptime, or even a combination of the two) are used to report on service uptime. It will rarely reflect the reality experienced by the customer.
Tip 2: Use subjective experiences as feed for service quality evaluations. Customer experience is not binary in nature; rather, it includes all the shades of grey. One valuable source of information is customer surveys. Do not forget to listen to the voice of the customer.
Although I have not come across many organizations that specifically measure the cost of their services, there is value to be gained in doing so. Keep in mind, however, that cost should never be viewed in isolation. Doing things right always incurs a cost. It is the value the effort provides compared to the incurred cost that should be the driver in managing improvements and changes.
Tip: From an ITSM perspective, it is not about attributing costs up to the last cent to the services. Think of it as an indicative monetary exercise and agree on which financial components are taken into account to define the cost/value ratio. Do the exercise regularly and use the trend to define actions.
This concludes my journey of “C” in the land of service management. There are definitely more “C” words that could be part of these blogs. In his comments, author and IT professional Paul Wilkinson suggested “commitment:” “Management commitment is often stated as a critical success or fail fact. Managers often declare full 'commitment' but what does that look like? What are the desirable behaviors that underpin 'commitment?’”
Find your own words and use them to define actions that improve your service management practice. I hope the articles gave some food for thought and ideas for improvement. Feel free to contact me.
A final tip: Share your experience. Write an article. I am sure it will be appreciated.
Senior ITSM Consultant
CTG Belgium Senior ITSM Consultant, Eddy Peters, is a Service Management expert with plus 25 years experience in various IT positions, from support functions to consultancy and from commercial support to managerial positions.