This is the second of a four-part series from Randy Michael of Knowledge ToolWorks.
At the heart of ITIL, or any IT service management practice, are lifecycle stages. There are five lifecycle stages, each with a defined set of processes to be performed within that lifecycle stage. Each lifecycle stage has a defined goal and process for you to achieve. The goals (or outputs) of strategy from each lifecycle become inputs to other lifecycles downstream. So, what is the most important question you should ask yourself during each lifecycle stage?
- Service Strategy: What is the best strategy I can use to serve my customers? How do I ensure that my team is viewed as the compelling reason for my customer’s success?
- Service Design: How do I perform design activities in a way that our design is effective, efficient & complete?
- Service Transition: How do I move this from a design phase out into a live service that we can support at the level of expectation we have already set with the customer?
- Service Operation: How do I keep it all running?
- Continual Service Improvement: Where has there been any underperformance? How can I help that process, lifecycle stage, role, or skillset to get better so that the outputs become more consistent and more valuable to the customer?
An ITSM adoption is a journey not just a project. A project has a beginning and an end date, but an adoption has no end date. Within an ITSM adoption you will have multiple projects that are defined, have an end date and have a measurement of if they were successful. But, doing too much too fast has the tendency to be rejected by the culture of people who do not like change. It’s critical to think about that culture and what it’s going to take to successfully have this solution integrated into the environment. To ease the transition, constantly look for ways to rethink the conversation both with your customer and internal IT teammates.
You don’t have to be perfect as soon as your ITSM transition begins. Three words for you: do better everyday.
If you can implement beneficial processes a little bit at a time, eventually you get to be in really good shape. Just saying you’re going to be an ITIL organization will not make things better in one day, but that decision is a step in right direction. Be realistic where you are now and how you can “suck less” each day.
And, keep it simple. As IT professionals we love hard, but the customer loveS simple. Resist that temptation to over complicate things. If you are spending a significant portion of your time implementing technology then you may have the wrong technology. Spend more time on delivering value, determining what customers really want, meeting or exceeding those wants, and what your ongoing part is in all of that. The customer actually has to use this service you’re providing and how easy it is to use will often define the perceived success of how good that solution is… and you.
So, where do you go from here? The reality is you only have one place where you can start….where you are.