“Let’s get Incident working and then we’ll tackle Change”
Who says this? Just about every ITSM Manager.
Hey, we’ve all done it. We believed a focus on process maturity would help our organization to stabilize and produce better business outcomes. Then reality set in and we found ourselves fighting cultural turf wars and organization change battles.
“What’s wrong with these people, don’t they want to stop firefighting?”, you have probably griped to your friends or family. Which in return they said “I thought you worked with computers.”
So what broke down? Likely the singular focus on one particular process has led you down a path where you have designed a life-cylce for that process but have failed to understand the process integration touch points. ITIL is claimed as a framework, but I question that. Where are the integration points and foundational layers?
Implementers of ITIL processes, in my mind, are like builders of a house that say “Let’s get the kitchen finished and then we’ll tackle the bathrooms”. Ask any plumber or electrician if this is a good house building strategy, and you’ll quickly see “change resistance”.
Any builder knows you must lay a foundation and plan for water pipes in and sewage out, as well as electrical needs. Plumbing, electrical and other cabling needs are integrated not only into the utility of the house, i.e. turning the lights on, but also the esthetics and outcome. TV’s on walls, shower heads coming from the ceiling, etc… With the proper design, the appropriate support materials can be “roughed in”, or have just enough in place to build upon.
So the resistance to the process is probably not the process, it’s likely the approach. It’s an unnatural act that is causing frustration because of the lack of supporting processes.
So if you are building your Service Management “House”, it is imperative that you know what the blueprint is for both the foundation and the end design. It is also crucial that you roll out supporting processes in conjunction to build a process framework that can support organizational & process maturity.
As discussed in my last blog
, you in someway or another already have all these processes in place, they may be undefined and written on toilet paper, or cocktail napkins in the case of my friend Tara C. These foundational processes should be interconnected. Starting with these processes will drive the operational awareness on how things get done in IT;
– Knowledge Management
– Incident Management
– Request Management
– Project Management
– Change Management
– Asset Management
– Configuration Management
– Quality Management
– IT Financial Management
Having “just enough” of these processes in place creates a foundation that allows for clarity of handling activities, identification of decision makers, and identifies the prioritized process failings that need to be addressed. For example, Project processes need to have just enough Knowledge in place, so that elicitation, storage & review of requirements, key configuration settings, known issues, etc… can be used to restore services faster through Incident when the project goes live. Feedback loops, coaching circles and other actives can be added later in the maturation of Knowledge. Here is where ITIL guidance comes in full strength and can be leveraged to make improvements.
So focusing on improving how these processes talk to each out, will in fact mature them organically, efficiently, and with the most direct impact to how IT get’s stuff done. This is the “low hanging fruit” you really want, and this is what will help sustain the support for your initiatives.