ITSM blah blah blah!

It seems that everyone is talking about implementing ITIL or doing service management properly, but no-one seems to have a process by which to do this. There are a lot of Frameworks lurking about in various IT companies and none of them seem to be practical enough for the Actual Operations and Support Teams to accept that implementing them is actually possible…

BUT, is the reluctance maybe just because the crew believe:

  • We really can’t improve
  • We’ll never get the budget to change
  • If we change and it ends up being much better, we’ll look bad for not having done this earlier.
  • We are working hard enough, this kind of change will make us work even harder
  • Better processes usually mean more admin and paperwork… yuck

Or some combination of the above.

It seems that the old Marketing philosophy of making the people hungry first is what is needed. We have to sell the need to have some ITSM processes in a way that the relevant teams start to crave a “better way” and eventually start asking for processes and tools to improve their roles.

HP, Microsoft and BMC all have simulation games that convey the message. These simulations take around half a day and cover all of the ITSM processes in a way that all the participants get a real feel for what is needed. The challenge is getting the necessary group of middle management to participate in a simulation game.

If we could get the right group of managers thinking in terms of the need for a better way to do IT Service Management they will come knocking; looking for the best-practice processes we speak so highly of.

We seem so anxious to start the journey that we are buying tools and initiating projects, implementing processes before we have the necessary need instilled. Even “I know I need something, but I’m not sure what” isn’t good enough. We need the respective Service management teams to be saying: “We are working too hard and we can’t prove that we are actually improving anything for the business. We need ITIL! Please!” Once the teams are talking like that the battle is won and a programme of projects to set up ITIL processes will succeed (or whatever guidelines/standards are decided on). What’s more the people will be finding ways to get proper processes implemented faster and cheaper, instead of thinking of reasons it cannot work.

Which is all a long-winded way of saying: Make sure you have REAL buy-in at all the required levels in the organisation before you try to implement ITIL. It makes the programme easier from start to finish. Rather spend the time and effort getting buy-in that trying to implement pilots to prove the benefit to a group of people who are trying to find the reasons it won’t.

I’d love to find the ROI of a marketing programme in terms of

  • Partial or no buy-in before project start: Project time and cost to implement ITIL
  • Full buy-in through marketing before project start: Project time and cost to implement ITIL

I am convinced the cost and effort savings in the second case would far outweigh the cost and effort of the marketing programme required to achieve the buy-in.

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