Building Your ITSM House, Part 4

Can you feel the excitement?  All of the hard work is paying off – our ITSM house that we’ve been building is taking shape!  In Part 1 of this series, I discussed some things to think about before you even get your hammer, saw, and trusty tool belt out to build your ITSM house. In Part 2, I talked about aspects of developing the plans or “blueprints” for your ITSM house.  In Part 3, I discussed the importance of setting the foundation and structure of our ITSM house in place.  Now it’s time to get that finishing work done, move in, and enjoy living in our ITSM house!

For those of you that have built a house, you know the eagerness and anticipation that you feel when you first see the walls standing up and the roof going up.  But before you can move in, there’s a few last details that must be attended to—things like landscaping, painting, decorating, inspections, and the like.

Finishing our ITSM house is very similar.  “Moving in” represents both the culmination of a lot of planning and effort, as well as the beginning of running IT in a business-aligned, service-oriented way.  As you’ll see, everything that we’ve discussed in the previous parts of this series comes into play.

Finishing Work

Now that the walls are up and the roof is on, there’s some finishing work that needs to be done before we can move in.  Your ITSM house, just like your family house, needs systems and appliances to function.  Yes, you need ITSM tools – and now that you’ve got your processes designed, you know what you need to look for in said tools. Notice the sequence here – design processes first, THEN implement tools.

Remember those communication and organizational change plans we discussed back in Part 2?  Now is the time to execute those!  We need to let everyone in our business know what ITSM is all about and what’s in it for the business as well as the individual. Let people know the vision for service management, acknowledge the challenges, and focus on the expected benefits. Leverage that business relationship management we talked about in Part 3 to ensure that communication is effective.

Training is also a key factor for a successful ITSM implementation. People generally do better when they understand the goals of the ITSM implementation and know what’s expected of them. Use those training plans we talked about in Part 3 to train process actors, functional managers, and other stakeholders in your ITSM implementation.

Moving In

Just before moving into your newly-built house, the builder will do a “walk-through” with you.  During the walk-through, the builder will point out the features and systems of the house. During the walk-through, any items that need to be repaired or addressed are often listed on a punch list.  For our ITSM house, the continual service improvement (CSI) register could be thought of as our punch list. The CSI register is used to record and manage improvement opportunities.  As we test our newly-designed processes, invariably we find something that may not be working as optimally as we’d like. The CSI register is a great way to capture, visualize, prioritize, and decide improvements to our ITSM implementation. (If you’d like to learn more about the CSI register, I’d recommend you read my friend Stuart Rance’s blog Managing a continual service improvement register.)

We also need to let everyone know that we’ve moved into our ITSM house, and what better way to let folks know about our house than to publish our service catalog, describing those services we identified and discussed in Part 3. The service catalog is also a great marketing communication tool for letting the business know what services IT provides, and how those services deliver the value and outcomes needed by the business.

When we first started building our ITSM house, we talked about wanting to have service level agreements (SLAs) between IT and the business. Now we’re ready to prepare them!  SLAs establish the mutually agreed expectations for services.  Some would argue that we need to do this earlier, but without going through the planning, foundation, and structure, what are we going to promise to deliver? Now that we’re in our house, we can develop SLAs!

Maintenance and Upkeep

Just like with any house, this one does require maintenance and upkeep.  As new services are introduced or retired, the service catalog must be updated.  Process owners need to review their processes regularly to ensure that they remain fit for purpose, or take corrective actions as indicated by their process metrics and reports. These are just a couple of examples of the maintenance of your ITSM house. Keep your ITSM house in top shape and you’ll enjoy great benefits for years to come!

Wrapping Up a Couple of Loose Ends…

Back in Part 2, I discussed using the CSI model as the “master blueprint” of our IT service management blueprints.  I also promised that I would answer the last two questions of the CSI model.  Now that we’re in our ITSM house, we can now answer the last two questions:

Did we get there?

In Part 1, I asked some questions that you should consider before starting an ITSM implementation.  In Part 2, I discussed developing the business case and the ITSM plan.  In Part 3, I discussed defining those metrics and measures. Now that we’re in our ITSM house, we can now compare the metrics and measures we’re collecting, and determine if we are achieving our goals (see, I told you this would all come together).

If we’re not there – never fear! We can now make fact-based decisions (not impulse reactions) for corrective actions, based on our metrics and measures. Hmm….isn’t that the essence of what ITSM is all about anyway?

How do we keep momentum?

First of all, keep on communicating and marketing your ITSM implementation. Secondly, FOLLOW YOUR PROCESSES. Service management is not something to be done only when convenient. Regularly update and review the CSI register to identify justifiable improvements, gain agreement and sponsorship, update your ITSM plan, and work your updated ITSM plan. Lastly, conduct regular periodic service reviews with your customers, key stakeholders, and service desk and business relationship manager.

Whew!  It’s been a lot of planning and effort, but our ITSM house is now the envy of the neighborhood. Before I go, there’s one more item that I just thought about – the housewarming party!  Don’t forget to celebrate your IT service management success, and what better way to celebrate than to enjoy some yummy double pepperoni pizza. Who’s in?

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Posted by Joe the IT Guy

Joe the IT Guy
Joe the IT Guy

Native New Yorker. Loves everything IT-related (and hugs). Passionate blogger and Twitter addict. Oh...and resident IT Guy at SysAid Technologies (almost forgot the day job!).


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