Making new processes stick

A question of organizational change

You have found and documented your phantom processes, you have brought a great team together to give business, and IT views on how it can be improved. You have documented the output from both these exercises, so now you have the perfect process!The first thing to understand is that you don’t! You will never have a perfect process – a process that works today will, in all probability, need refinement within a very short timeframe. The first thing to understand about ITSM process is that they are not static; they need to change with changing business and IT requirements. That is, after all, what continual service improvement (CSI) is all about.

The first thing to understand is that you don’t! You will never have a perfect process – a process that works today will, in all probability, need refinement within a very short timeframe. The first thing to understand about ITSM process is that they are not static; they need to change with changing business and IT requirements. That is, after all, what continual service improvement (CSI) is all about.However, you do have a good process, one that has been designed with both the business and IT in mind, one that is expected to meet the needs of everyone involved in and affected by its use. So, now the question is, how do we make sure that people use it?

Getting people to use the new process

However, you do have a good process, one that has been designed with both the business and IT in mind, one that is expected to meet the needs of everyone involved in and affected by its use. So, now the question is, how do we make sure that people use it? That is the hardest part of the whole exercise. Writing documentation and creating process diagrams is easy. Getting people to change the way they work is an entirely different

That is the hardest part of the whole exercise. Writing documentation and creating process diagrams is easy. Getting people to change the way they work is an entirely different question and one that must be handled carefully and with an understanding of how people react to change. You cannot just throw the new process over the wall and expect everyone to start using it with no questions being asked.You will have a head start in this

You will have a head start in this game if you have listened to the advice in the first two parts of this series. Involving the people who will be executing the new process in the design phase means that they should understand the value of any proposed changes, and will feel they have some ownership of the new process, but it is still a change and change is hard.

I am a big fan of Karen Ferris’s work on the Balanced Diversity methodology for organizational and cultural Change. This provides an easy to understand and proven set of practices designed to give the best chance possible of embedding change into the culture of an organization. The choice of practices is critical, selecting a balance of formal and informal/ innovative and fulfillment practices. We don’t have room in this article to discuss this in detail, but please read the whitepaper, you won’t regret it! The most critical thing to remember is not to underestimate the work that will be required to make the new process ‘just the way we do things around here’. You will know that the new process is working, when it is just second nature and people no longer regard is as a process to be followed.

Do not underestimate the effort required

The most critical thing to remember is not to underestimate the work that will be required to make the new process ‘just the way we do things around here’. You will know that the new process is working, when it is just second nature and people no longer regard is as a process to be followed.

If you did as I suggested and obtained a baseline measurement of just how effective your previous process was, then you have a way of knowing just how much your new process has impacted the business, hopefully in a positive way. Take new measurements to compare, and celebrate your team’s success.

Remember to assess continually the value of your ITSM processes, keep talking to the business and the IT team and continue to revise and improve the way you work.


• Posted by Cecile Hurley on Jul 19, 2016
• Filed under Articles
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