I+P+C+C=FAIL Why LeanITSM is not Less ITSM - Matthew Hooper VigilantGuy Digital Transformentalist - Create High Performing IT
I+P+C+C=FAIL Why LeanITSM  is not Less ITSM

Old School ITSMSo I’m just returning from Knowledge15, ServiceNow’s annual user conference.  The highlight for me was definitely Fred Luddy’s Keynote, since the journey from a struggling startup to one of the hottest public software companies.  Hearing the vision of self-service and automation Fred had back in 2003 got me to stop and think about how most companies have adopted ServiceNow, or any ITSM tool lately.  It still seems most companies are still just using it for Help Desk Queue Management, and failing to take full advantage of the power and benefits of  “Service Management”.

There has been a growing trend that ITSM implementations need to be “Lean”

Those of you who know me, know I love ServiceNow’s platform.  However, I cringe every time I hear that a client went “live” with IPCC (Incident, Problem, Config, Change) a rapid start program offered by ServiceNows’ professional services team called StartNow.  Other ITSM tool vendors offer similar Lean deployments where they deploy IPCC.   Yes, it’s bread and butter ITIL, and yes, it will help you quickly replace a help desk tool that is failing to deliver IT responsiveness.

The problem is it doesn’t create a stable foundation for IT Service Management.  Implementations frequently end up with an overly complicated Incident process, a poorly defined Problem process, completely under scoped Change process and an asset import for Configuration that has no relationship (if they even get that in place).

In no way am I suggesting “boiling the ocean”, I also believe organizations don’t need to take 5+ months to deploy an ITSM tool and instrument process improvements to see organizational efficiencies gained.  However, deploying without the basic tenants of agility will be a complete fail.  Some of these tenants are;

  • self-service interface for request,
  • self-help knowledge base portal,
  • basic business service models in the CMDB,
  • dynamic risk based change management and approvals

Any organization not focusing on enabling their internal business partners is on a path to being irrelevant.

I believe the foundation for any go-forward ITSM strategy is a re-definition and a priority around Knowledge Management. In my next blog, I’m going to tackle the lack of knowledge around Knowledge Management.
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Digital Transformentalist Twitter: @VigilantGuy http://twitter.com/vigilantguy Linkedin: http://www.linkedin.com/in/matthewbhooper Web: http://www.vigilantguy.com Matt Hooper is an industry advocate for Service Management strategies and best practices around Enterprise Service Management. For over 20 years Matt has instituted methodologies for business intelligence and optimization. Leveraging technology to drive business outcomes, he has built an industry reputation for his highly effective approach to creating value through Service Management. Matt is active on Social Media known as VigilantGuy, and co-hosts the weekly podcast: Hacking Business Technology. HackBizTech.com

2 Comments
  • Ian Clayton says:

    Hi Matt

    Thanks for the insights into Knowledge15, couldn’t make it this year.

    Lean? My concern is that this isn’t Lean Thinking as Womack and others use the term. Its Lean with a little ‘L’ as ITSM folks use it to describe the ‘leanest’ path between where there are now and some form of ITSM program adoption. Its more a ‘Lite’ or ‘Fat Free’ approach.

    That said, I agree with your assertion it results failure grounded in the wrong foundation and ‘fat’ process centric practices.

    I suppose you know where I am going to go next – which is where the true lean has arrived in recent years – go to the Gemba – or the place where (customer interaction) action occurs. Yes I’m back to Outside-In Thinking (originally missing from even Lean), and the customer centricity it enables.

    Service management always was about the customer and customer satisfaction. In todays’ mobile world, the digital consumer and their appetite for instant access to information through any device is at the core of the challenge for IT. Knowing when, how and why your customers (users) interact with devices to perform the activities they need to to succeed, is vital.

    If because of ServiceNow’;s market dominance anyone out there actually follows the IPCC approach, I urge you to at least change the order and as Matt suggests start with a real simple ‘;knowledge management’ but to collect knowledge on your customers – to fuel problems defined using problem management (sorry the methods are not in ITIL 🙁 ) , and then to supplement a feedback system with some form of again simple incident/complaint/compliment management.

    BTW, if you can incorporate incident as a type of service request, even better. Commit to a continuous improvement program (not CSI), and put change as need beat the end of that program and set of practices as the gatekeeper to product….

    Again thanks Matt for sharp sticking my bias…

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Matthew Hooper

Digital Transformentalist