Dr. Seuss is known for books targeted at beginning readers, such as One Fish, 2 Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish. So, as you begin your ITSM or ITIL journey, here are some simple things to remember to help you improve IT operational efficiency for business outcomes using best practices for ITSM, ITIL®, and Project Management.
The One Fish
Remember IT Service Management (ITSM) supports service management, and is about delivering customer and business value. Most of the time we separate operational efficiency from business benefits by not completely connecting the “why” we do IT projects.
Operational efficiency can save money and may improve performance in an area of IT, but there is connectivity between IT areas that form a value chain to support services and business outcomes. If the operational improvement is not done with this in mind, the service constraint that is hindering business value will still exist. The business will then make statements, such as “We spent all that money, time, and resource in IT for operational efficiency but the business value has not changed.“
The Two Fish
People and Technology. Technology enables people. Technology is for people, not for the sake of just having technology. Today, many organizations struggle with changing IT from a cost center to a profit center. The key is connecting capabilities services with the needs from people. If a service has a capability that your customers do not need, you have wasted resources and are not efficient in managing the total cost of ownership (TCO) of the service, which means your return on investment (ROI) could be better.
The ITSM Fish
ITSM gets a bad rap when adopting ITIL. This is usually because of a process only approach. ITIL is about ITSM, not just IT process management. You have to think service-oriented to get maximum value from your performance improvement process initiatives. You have to support the business and IT strategy. Many organizations do too many things that they do not need to do when they are not aligned to strategy.
The PM Fish
Service management and project management go together. Many organizations that have project management offices (PMOs) are trying to create service management offices (SMOs). IT projects have to have (not just need to have) business value for them to be successful. The SMO should lead with a strategic plan that enables the PMO to manage projects from a business value perspective. The SMO should be service management and IT service management capable as their specialization. The PMO should be program and project management capable as their specialization. The two specializations working together can help organizations improve the business value of projects, thus improving the success rate of projects.
The YOU Fish
Every person makes a difference. Good leadership as well as good follower-ship is needed. Follower-ship includes individual contributors giving respected feedback to support leadership direction. The ITIL core material actually uses total quality management (TQM) concepts related to feedback from individual contributors to management, or process owners/manager to service owner/managers to convey the relationship between leaders and followers. So, whether you are a leader or follower, both leaders and followers make a difference.
We fish for value in business and IT initiatives. Not just operational efficiency, but operational efficiency to support business values. Everyone in the organization matters. Just like in the “fish” community, teamwork matters for performance and overall value of the team and the individual on the team.