In the first part of this series we discussed ‘phantom processes,’ the processes that exist with no documentation, agreement or plan. Once you have found and explored your phantom processes, what do you do with the results?
It is really important to understand the effectiveness of the processes you have uncovered – get some baselines, how many calls are being logged, how many are resolved satisfactorily? With no documented processes found, it is entirely possible that SLAs are also not documented, so it may be difficult to measure just what satisfactory is. Work out what you CAN measure, decide what is useful and record it.
Once you understand the effectiveness of the current way of working, you can consider just where you can make improvements that will benefit the business. Whatever you do, do NOT try to do this in isolation. Process design and improvement needs to be a collaborative event, bringing IT and the business together to create a process that provides the best outcomes for everyone who is affected.
Working out who the best collaborators are may be one of the biggest decisions you will make on this journey. You need people who care, people who have the time to spend discussing and refining processes. You have to have people who understand and care about the effect that ITSM processes can have on the business as a whole. Having a lot of people in a room who do not want to be there will be far less effective than having a handful of people who wish to help.
Talking to the right people will help you to understand what is critical to the business and what makes sense to the Service Desk and IT as a whole. Marrying these viewpoints together into a process that works for everyone is the challenge you now face. With your documented ‘phantom process’ in hand, along with an understanding of how well that is serving the needs of the business, you will have a good starting point for your discussion and design session.
IT Service Management is not an exact science, by any stretch of the imagination. Just because a process works well in one organization, even one in the same industry, this does not mean it will work in another. There are so many factors to take into consideration, not least of all culture and organizational personality. Leave assumptions at the door and listen to the people who understand the business and how it works.
Combining the existing ‘phantom process’ with the input from IT and business, you will have an excellent basis for a robust process design that has a good chance of meeting expectations and being accepted by the service desk. After all, it will be, at least in part, based on the way they are already working.
The task is now to pull all the strings together into one cohesive process that makes sense, is repeatable and does not impose excessive overheads on the Service Desk. Above all, it needs to provide the expected value to the business.
With the process designed and documented, you are ready for the most critical phase of ITSM process development – getting people to use it! Watch out for the final part of this series to get some pointers on how to do that.