IT service management initiatives are lofty decisions for your business and should not be taken lightly. You may have questions tailored to your specific team, but what about the business as a whole? How will this project affect the users and stakeholders? Before you dive into your latest ITSM initiative, consider these six must ask questions and the reasons you should ask these questions. The questions should hopefully inspire you to think a differently about your ITSM initiatives.
1. What is the goal?
- Solve an IT issue
- Overall operational efficiency
- Strategic business value
- Operational efficiency for business value
This question helps with focus for articulating and justifying why you are doing the ITSM project. This does not replace the business plan and other things that you need to do. Based on your answer to this question you maybe trying to:
- Adopt all 26 ITIL® processes
- Focus on one or more processes
- Focus on a particular constraint related to an asset
- Or maybe just adhere to the new business/IT direction
2. Do the major stakeholders in the organization understand?
- The why for the business
- The why for them
- The sense of urgency
This question can help you with understanding communication and solution adoption needs to improve your chance of success. People buy-in is a key ingredient for success.
3. Do you have assets for the tasks at hand?
- Do you have the appropriate resources
- Do you have the appropriate capabilities
- Do you understand the asset needs
This question is a good indicator for understanding if you have your critical success factors (CSFs). Executive commitment is the enabler for the assets that you need. An initiative without resources is just a dormant initiative.
4. What best practices will you be using to enable beneficial change?
- Project Management Prince2 or PMP
This question helps you look at your initiatives more holistically. ITIL does not stand-alone, but works best with other practices. Think about the bigger picture.
5. Have you included the necessary, just-in-time training in your plans?
Training is a CSF for enabling change. Some organization think they have smart people and can figure out what to do without an investment in training. Maybe they can, but if will take much longer and there will be more mistakes. Training should always be apart of the initiative.
6. What are your success measurements?
- Current state
- Definition of success
- Expected TCO
- Expected ROI
Every initiative should have an understanding of where you are and your current capabilities. And, there should be an understanding of where you are going. Measurements, metrics, and key performance indicators (KPIs) for current state and desired state. Some organizations struggle in this area, and in this case, expert opinion on the definition of success is what they have to rely on, but it’s best to use both expert opinion and metrics.
Although, listed are just a few questions. There are many more that can help with your ITSM initiatives for success and proper focus.
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About Anthony Orr
With more than thirty years working in various IT strategy, managerial, consulting, executive advisory, marketing, and technical positions. Anthony is author of the ITIL v3 2011 publications and the ITIL MALC exam book, as well as a Sr. Examiner for the ITIL v2, v3 and Cyber-Resilience certification examinations. He has published numerous podcasts, videos, booklets, white papers and articles, including a white paper, Synergies between ITIL and DevOps, with AXELOS. Anthony has traveled to over 50 countries and lectured at universities around the world.
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