The value of an incremental approach to process design

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Business Process Development

The Big Bang = A Big Mess

How often have you seen a big-bang approach to developing and implementing ITSM processes have a successful outcome? Process design will change the outcome dramatically.

Personally, I have never come across a scenario where implementing multiple processes in one effort has had the desired business outcomes. In many cases, the organization comes out of this situation in a worse place than they were before the initiative started.

You can see the theory behind this type of action – if one new process is going to make a small business improvement, then surely 10 or 15 new processes will make a huge improvement to the organization.

In reality, what happens is that none of the new processes get the attention they deserve in the design and implementation phases of the initiative. Even if they get through this part of the program, they ultimately fail to win the hearts and minds of the people who need to adopt a new way of working because there is insufficient resource available to make any realistic attempt to embed the change in the organization by way of a program of cultural and organizational change.

Don’t get carried away with enthusiasm

I understand the excitement that comes when people are exposed to the wisdom that forms the basis of IT Service Management – I experienced this myself – you just want to get on and make improvements that you know will benefit the organization. I am not saying that they will not help, just that you must take a measured approach to making these changes.

Critically, do NOT try to do this on your own. Firstly, you need to find out just where the biggest pain points are – is it with customer communication? Do incidents just take too long to resolve? Are you plagued with repeat calls about the same issue? Do you have a rush of new incidents following change implementations?

Get the right people in the room

Talk to your team, and very importantly, talk to your customers. If there are multiple points of pain, pick the one that will make the biggest improvement initially and decide which process will take some of that pain away.

Take the information you get from these discussions to management and explain how you intend on improving the situation. Make sure that you explain this in terms of the business value these improvements will deliver. This may be improved customer retention, it could be reduced downtime, faster transaction time – whatever it is, make sure that this value is communicated, this is how you will get the management buy-in that you need to successfully make change happen.

The next key point to remember is that you cannot design this process on your own. Bring the people into the room that will be affected by the change, both inside and outside of the IT organization. Ensure that your customer is represented in this group, ultimately they are the ones who will be able to judge the success, or otherwise, of your improvement initiative.

The best chance of success

With their input, design the process you have selected as the most likely to bring noticeable improvement and deliver business value. Be sure to design the organizational change part of the program from the outset, this is not something that you add on at the end as an afterthought.

With this collaborative approach to the design of your new process, you will have the greatest chance of a successful change in the way you are working. Once this first process is established, accepted and delivering the expected benefits then, and only then, you can start looking at the next process.

David Mainville

David Mainville, CEO and co-founder of Navvia, is a passionate advocate of Service Management and a frequent presenter, blogger and well known member of the ITSM community. With over 35 years of experience, David has held progressively senior technical and management roles allowing him to "connect the dots" between the Business and IT. At Navvia, David leads the charge to bring innovative ITSM solutions to market focusing on Product Development, Marketing and Operations.

• Posted by David Mainville on Sep 12, 2016
• Filed under Articles

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