ITSM Journey: Have you Arrived?

Jun 12th 2013 | Posted by Rick Letourneau

Whether it is through reading industry publications, being informed by consultants or through internal discussions, the question of how mature or established your organization is in alignment to the Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) model is an interesting one. One which we know you ask yourself from time to time.

Transforming to a best practices ITSM model represents a journey to the promised land of service excellence, process efficiencies and ultimately added value to the business. The good news is the promised land does exist. As the saying goes, a long journey starts with the first step.

So how do you know where you are on that journey?

There is a simple litmus test to gauge where your organization is in the establishment of ITSM. The first step is to pick a service with a moderate level of complexity (moderate level of complexity being defined as multiple components provided by more than one supplier). Next ask the following diagnostic questions about that service:

  1. Was it designed to support a specific business requirement and is it orderable from a single service catalog item?
  2. Is the price based on actual cost to deliver? Is it competitive? Can the same features and benefits of this service be purchased elsewhere for less?
  3. Is there a named service owner who clearly has end-to-end ownership of the service?
  4. Do the service components have documented processes and process owners?
  5. Have KPI’s been established at the service level and are they actively governed?
  6. Have SLA’s been established with suppliers that align to the KPI’s and have OLA’s been established between dependent suppliers?
  7. Is there a process in place to forecast and manage demand?
  8. Do you know the capacity limits in delivering this service and is there a documented process to scale?
  9. Are the supporting foundation processes incident, problem, event, configuration and change management integrated at the service level?
  10. Is there a process discipline in place to routinely evaluate the performance of the service and introduce service improvements?

This is not meant to be a self-assessment; rather it is intended to be a probing, thought provoking set of questions. The challenge in this quick test is that it is difficult to be objective. There is a natural tendency to justify why things are not quite what they should be and move past it. With this exercise I invite you to be critical.

So where should you be? If you answered not sure or no to one or more of these questions you may want to consider assessing how your organization as a whole stacks up to a best practice ITSM model, create a maturity baseline and a stepwise plan to build and measure planned progress.

The outline of a best practice ITSM model provides guidance and structure to assist IT in the transformation from a support organization to running IT as a business.

Embracing ITSM and committing to the journey will prove to pay itself off in dividends not to mention the agility of a predictable service delivery model.

Further Reading: “Don’t Look Twice – ITSM is not ITIL”

 

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