It is time to break away from the status quo when developing ITSM processes.
Most organizations view the various processes associated with IT service management (ITSM) as internal IT related processes meant to help the IT department be more structured and efficient. They implement processes without considering how they impact the customer and the company. The adoption of best practices isn’t linked to an overall strategic plan and the value of the processes being implemented is never fully recognized. In many cases, the processes may help IT but they become detrimental to the broader organization and they negatively impact customer satisfaction.
When developing processes, it is fairly standard to identify the process purpose and description, inputs, activities, outputs, roles and responsibilities, and policies without really considering the true opportunity that exists and how all of the associated work can benefit the customer and the larger organization.
A significant opportunity exists when you step back and take the time to look at the problem that needs to be solved rather than following the standard practice of developing and implementing ITSM processes. Consider how the processes may change if you first approach the problem in the context of the overall business. This creates an opportunity to find innovative solutions that contribute to the business achieving their objectives which will ultimately improve customer satisfaction with the IT organization.
Rather than merely focusing on processes from the perspective of IT, reevaluate the problem you are trying to solve in the context of your corporate objectives and your customer objectives. Defining a problem statement is a good place to start and it will change how you go about determining the solution and ultimately, defining ITSM processes.
Let’s look at an example for incident management. What is the problem you are trying to solve? Many organizations will say the problem is reducing downtime for the customer. Is the problem we are trying to solve reducing downtime? This is an objective. It isn’t the problem. Why do you want to reduce downtime? The problem could be that technology challenges and outages cause a lack of productivity or loss of revenue. When looking at the problem, look at the bigger picture in terms of the broader organization and the customer.
If the problem statement is too narrow or if there are assumptions made about the problem, the resulting solution will be fairly stagnant. The opportunity to find a new or innovative solution is significantly diminished. If the problem statement is incorrect, the solution will not have the anticipated impact.
The conversation and solution associated with reducing downtime versus technology challenges and outages causing a lack of productivity or a loss of revenue will vary greatly. Framing the problem statement from the corporate and customer viewpoint will open up the opportunity to find a very different, innovative solution. As a result, often there are changes to the activities associated with a process, new roles and responsibilities identified, additional processes implemented, and existing process deficiencies illuminated.
Many IT organizations struggle with the concept of framing the problem based on the company and the customer. They worry that the solution will not be based in the reality they face relating to resource constraints, technology, or funding. Every department faces similar challenges. If boundaries are noted when defining a problem, the opportunity to be innovative is immediately eliminated. A bit of realism can easily be applied as your processes are being developed but it should not be used as a limitation when defining the problem statement.
Beginning your process development work by defining a problem statement for each process will result in an overall stronger process set that supports business objectives and improves customer satisfaction.
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What have you done that is innovative? Senior IT leaders believe their teams are innovative but often, they are merely operating within the boundaries that already exist. Leaders may task their teams with finding innovative solutions but without a focused effort, it is difficult to accomplish. IT staff are generally focused on keeping the lights on by solving day to day issues or completing their tasks for the next project.
Innovation requires a concerted effort with support from senior leaders to explore new ideas that may or may not deliver the intended result. If staff haven’t been working in this type of environment, this doesn’t come easy. It isn’t as simple as just giving the team a vision, telling them to explore possibilities, and then giving them a deadline. Unfortunately, this is how many IT organizations work.
"Innovation is seeing beyond the status quo to create significant change to products and services, processes,
or your business model."
It can be difficult for leaders to fully internalize how their reactions can shape the attitudes and behaviors of their teams. IT staff need to think out of the box but in the past if they presented a solution that wasn’t within the existing norms of the organization, it was shot down. Perhaps it didn’t follow a technology standard or it required a high level conversation with another executive. To the staff, it seemed minor. Regardless of how the message was delivered, what they heard is that they need to follow the standard way of doing business.
Three Key Actions for I.T. Leaders to Begin the Journey Toward True Innovation
Take steps to create true innovation within I.T. and for the broader organization. While there is an initial investment, the return will be well worth it.
Don’t miss our upcoming blog article on innovation with IT service management. It is time to break away from the status quo when adopting best practices. Join our mailing list today!
Organizations don’t change but people can change the organization. Your staff and customers are critical to success. A recent survey indicated that 83% of organizations believe change resistance is inhibiting the organization from realizing the value of their ITSM initiative.
With technology changing rapidly, if an IT organization is unable to harness change and leverage it to the organization’s advantage, they will continue to struggle with customer and employee satisfaction. If organizations are to recognize the value of an ITSM related initiative, they must take steps to minimize change resistance.
What are the top 3 actions you can take to minimize change resistance?
At AdOPT, we are transformation consultants focused on strategy, innovation, process, and culture to increase effectiveness, improve efficiency, and optimize costs. We wrote the book on organizational change in IT. For more information about our Change Adoption course, vision and strategy development, or other services, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by calling 520-591-2427.