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Many ITSM initiatives fail because they are unable to demonstrate value to the business. One reason for this is that ITSM is treated as a project and not a program.
Join David Mainville, CEO & Co-Founder of Navvia for a 1 hour webinar on the three critical steps for embedding ITSM into your organization.
- Assess your current state as a catalyst for change
- Design practical processes to drive business value
- Govern your processes with an eye on continual improvement
Regardless of where you are in your ITSM journey, this lively and interactive discussion will get you thinking about ways to make your program a success.
Today’s presentation is an encore performance of a presentation I did at the Pink Elephant IT service management conference just a few weeks ago in Las Vegas. The title is ‘3 Steps to ITSM Success – How to Deliver Lasting Business Value.’ This presentation will be available up on SlideShare when we’re done and also I think everyone who’s registered should also get an e-mail link taken directly to a copy of this presentation so no worries; you’ll be getting a copy if that’s something you’d like.
Today’s host is myself, David Mainville, and joining me on the technical board today is Rafael, and Raf, as we call him, is going to be helping me out with questions and just some of the technical aspects of today’s webinar.
I want to say that this is a first. This is one of the first times I’ve ever done a webinar on the road so this webinar comes to you live from beautiful Santa Cruz, California. I am really excited to be at Santa Cruz, we have an opportunity to meet with a potential client today and it just worked out that I’m able to do this webinar from my hotel room. Santa Cruz is just in California in general and it’s just a beautiful place; as a matter of fact, I got married in San Francisco and I was up there earlier yesterday.
We are live from beautiful Santa Cruz. I’m interested to see if there is any Californians out there today and on that matter, I’d like to just make sure that everyone can hear me clearly and that everybody can see the video. Those of you who’ve been on one of my webinars before know the drill; I just would like you to go to the webinar control panel, go to the chat pane and where you normally would type in your questions. If you could just provide me with your first name and perhaps the city that you’re calling from and what I will do is I will just switch out of the presentation here momentarily and take a look at some of those coming in.
We’ve got Steven Russo, Jamie from Denver, Ryan from Los Angeles, Jim from Birmingham, Tom from Pittsburgh, Michael from Provo, Karen from Green Bay, Michelle from Toronto, Doreen from Toronto, Ian from Toronto, Matt from New York, Jonathan from Houston, Jerry from New Jersey, Matt from Chicago, Steve, Angelina, Marcos and the list goes on. That’s great. I’m glad everybody could join us here today and I’m glad everybody can hear us.
I’m just going to go over a couple of slides about who we are for folks who do not know about our company. Our company’s name is Navvia. Navvia stands for helping organizations navigate IT and business process complexity via our tools and services; that’s where Navvia came from. We actually are combining some new approaches and some new technology and a whole new vibe and feeling with 14 years of actually being in the IT service management industry. Navvia is part of consulting-portal; consulting-portal’s been actually delivering IT service management solutions for 14 years. We rebranded basically because we are looking at getting and expanding our wings a little bit and moving more into business process management. That’s one of the reasons, for those of you who knew us as consulting-portal, that’s where the Navvia has come from. We actually rebranded back in October of last year.
There are two aspects of our company. We have a toolkit which is also called Navvia; the Navvia business process management toolkit which allows you to survey, design and verify the health of your processes as well as get access to a bunch of pre-service management education. We also are a consulting company and we can provide consulting in a variety of manners via virtual consulting, on-site consulting, ITSM tool implementations and we worked with a variety of vendors up there as well as on-site ITSM education delivered to your premise and that’s basically all of the foundations, intermediate courses as well as some of the other service management offerings.
With no further ado, I’m going to jump into the presentation here today.
My name is David Mainville. Why could I even begin to believe I can provide any insight in the area of service management? I think I’ve got a relatively unique perspective on things. I’ve been living in service management my entire career in IT that spanned 32 years. I started off as a field engineer fixing computers and I was in the front lines of incident management, change management, and configuration management. I moved up through the ranks and became a customer support manager where I started dealing with customer facing processes, service level management, availability management, etc. As a director of ITSM services I got very involved with helping organizations implement service management and assessing their processes and designing a roadmap to improve. I was a solutions architect in the area of enterprise systems management; for those of you who are not familiar with that term, ESM in systems management go hand in hand.
ESM is really the technology that allows you to monitor and manage your infrastructure which ties right into service management as a discipline. I was an ESM practice director and 14 years ago along with my good friend and colleague Harold Beach and I cofounded Navvia and here we are today. If any of you are Twitter people, please follow me @Mainville and we can continue this conversation off-line or online, whichever way you want to look at it.
Why do you think ITSM programs fail? Have any of you ever been in a situation where you have either been involved in a service management program or leading a service management program? What are some of the things that you think caused service management programs to fail?
Anybody out there, why do you think service management programs fail? Any comments, any suggestions?
We got one that just came in; lack of expectations or core expectations; unrealistic expectations; no support from the top; lack of executive support; lack of leadership; lack of higher management support; lack of resources; having an accurate up-to-date [unclear 0:07:43] map of all the components; wrong implementation or difficulty in implementations; poor change management. There are a lot of great comments coming in.
I would have to concur with most of those and let me add a few of my own. First of all the vendor says there is no need for process; just implemented out-of-the-box. I’m sure a few of you have heard of that from time to time that you can just implement the process out-of-the-box. Let me ask you something: is your company out-of-the-box? Is the way you do things exactly the same? Who’s to say that everyone should conform to the exact same way of submitting a change?
There are some high-level things that are common amongst all companies; you want to submit a change and capture the details, you want to schedule it and you want to make sure you have a backup plan. That stuff is consistent across all organizations but whether a change is a standard change, whether it has to go to the CAB, how many levels of approval, that’s very specific to an organization based on their regulatory requirements and other factors.
‘It’s too long and its hard work.’ That’s something I’ve heard a long time too. But you know what? It’s a lot of work too to try and go back and fix things that break or fix the same incident over and over again because you never got the root cause through problem management. I think it is a lot of work and it takes an effort to get buy in from folks but I think it’s well worth the effort because if you take a look at any of the major corporations out there whether it’s McDonald’s or Disney or Apple, they do things in a very systematic and process oriented way. That’s because they want a very repeatable experience to their customers and it’s true that repeatable experience that they raise customer stat, so it might take a little long and it might be hard to get things started but it’s also a very good way of ensuring that your company is delivering the best services.
‘We’ll just do a life and shift from our old tool,’ lift and shift meaning I’m moving into a new service management tool, I’m just going to take everything I had in the old one and put it in the new one. In some ways, that’s just propagating the failures you had in the old tool.
‘We can get people to agree. The last project that focused on process failed. We tried to implement ITIL and that didn’t work. Our management is not supported.’ I heard one individual say it’s SasS; just turn it on. Why do you need to do any of this work?
There are a lot of misunderstandings and there’s a lot of confusion about why process is important. I think some of that is the fault of consulting companies like ourselves which puts process on a pedestal perhaps and you can’t implement a tool without first defining your processes or you’ve got to spend all of this extreme amount of effort to get everything defined to [unclear 0:10:49]. That’s not the right way of doing it either. Process is important but it has to be practical and it has to apply to your organization. I think when you combine the two, a good process with a good piece of technology and people who buy in; the sky is the limit when it comes to the success you can get from your service management program.
What I want to do is I want to talk about three things that in my experience have been very important to the success of an ITSM program. These aren’t three one of a kind things; this is part of continual service improvement. This is a cycle. These are things you should be looking at doing on a regular basis.
First of all, assess where you are, not only just to know where you are, and that’s important; you need a baseline to understand where you are, but you also want to use it as a catalyst to make things better. Once you get people’s attention, now you have a chance to improve. Assess as a catalyst for change.
Design to deliver business value. Think about your processes and how they support business outcomes and design your processes in such a way that they can basically be mapped back to the objectives and the outcomes of the business units that use them. Remember it’s the business that pays our bills. IT is really just a utility supplying services to the organization and everything we need to do has to be aligned with business outcomes.
Lastly, governing your processes. I’ve gotten into discussions with folks about the definition of the word governance versus management; some people say what I talk about is really management. I think it’s a bit of management and a bit of governance but you want to make sure that your processes have control objectives established. For example, if you have a change management process you want to make sure that someone is looking at what changes are going to the CAB and the right changes are going to the CAB and are dealt with properly. People have to look in incident management process to make sure that incidents get close out in the proper timeframe with the proper information. Is that management or is that governance? I will tell you there are Cobit control objectives and Cobit stands for ‘control objectives for IT,’ and Cobit is basically a governance framework that actually talks to those things. It’s important to govern your processes for continual service improvement.
Let’s start with assessments today. I will go a couple of slides and then I will go back to the question pane to see if there is any outstanding questions; if you have a question out there I will go back and take a look but I’m just going to go through a couple more slides before we do that.
Why are assessments important? First of all it opens a dialogue with your ITSM stakeholders. It gets you talking. It gives you an opportunity to go and say what is working and what is not working it provides you an opportunity to communicate the why. For those of you who heard me speak before know that I am a very big believer in what’s in it for me explain to people what’s in it for them as well as explaining the why something. Simon Seneck has a great TED talk if you are a follower of TED talks who really talks about how human beings are conditioned to really want to know the why. What’s one of the first things your young child says to you when you ask them to do something? Why? We are conditioned that way and people need to know why they have to do something and what’s in it for them.
An assessment is a great way of sitting down across the table from somebody and explaining why is this going to be better for you? How is this going to make your life easier? How is it going to improve service delivery? How is it going to reduce your workload? The why can be different for different people; if you are a CEO, your why might be very different than a person who is in the trenches, and an assessment gives you the opportunity to understand everybody’s point of view.
An assessment is a catalyst for making improvements and once you got that momentum, once you are sitting down and talking to people, once you are out there basically stirring things up and understanding what’s working and what’s not working, you can now set the stage that ‘here is what I discovered, here’s what I have uncovered, let’s try and make things better.’ Assessments are also a way of motivating or mobilizing people into improving things. It provides a baseline to measure success. How do you know if your service management program is delivering value if you don’t have a way of measuring where you are today and coming back down the road and measuring it again? All of that comes together as an important part of continual service improvement.
Whenever I do an assessment and the methodology we teach our folks here, it’s important that communication is a huge part. You can’t send out an e-mail and say ‘fill out a survey.’ You may send out an e-mail asking people to fill out a survey as part of a broader assessment but that can’t be the only way you communicate. You’ve got to have a kickoff event; it has to be live and in person. You can’t shy away from meeting and talking to your stakeholders. You can use webinars like today’s webinar to reach a wider audience. Many of the people on today’s call work for multinational organizations and you can always fly and be there so using webinars to provide your kickoff events and to communicate the value of the service management assessment is a great way of doing things.
You’ve got to get down and meet people face-to-face, whether it is over a Skype videoconference or whether it’s across the table; you need to do interviews. You need to talk to people and they need to be open ended interviews and open ended questions. ‘Tell me how service management is working for you. Tell me the things about change management that are frustrating to you as a user of the change management process.’ It’s great to go in with predefined checklists for you to find questionnaires so you’re consistent when you interview people but you need that opportunity to ask open ended questions and get people talking. When you’re sitting down with those folks, never miss the opportunity to sell the why of a program.
Validation is also very important and part of any good communication program around a service management assessment must include communication and validation. You want to go back and say ‘here’s what I think you said to me, here are the findings, here are the observations that I made interviewing people, sending out questionnaires, running some workshops. Did I capture this right, because I’m going to be making some recommendations based on that information.’ You want to validate.
You are also showing people you listen and that’s very important. One of the best ways to build a relationship with someone is listen to them; let them get what’s on their minds out into the open. By validating and playing that back, you demonstrate in fact that you do listen. Validation sessions are a great way to help with your service management assessment program.
Some of the ways that we do assessments, we use a multifaceted approach, we run some questionnaires which can reach a wide audience and they have to be set up through a kickoff meeting, people have to know they are coming; you just don’t want to send a questionnaire into someone’s inbox and expect them to answer with the right context and the right frame of mind.
Set the stage properly. You want to go out and interview people face-to-face. You want to run some workshops where maybe you get four or five people responsible for your service management tools, your help desk tools, your monitoring tools, in a room and just get them talking about the pros and cons of the systems, the CMDBs and how things are integrated. Workshops and interviews, and never lose an opportunity to make observations. Sit down and watch how the CAB meeting unfolds. Sit down and watch how people into tickets into the system.
I once had an opportunity to sit at a helpdesk where I saw that they were closing up the tickets remarkably quickly and one of the reasons for that is they were being measured on how quickly they can close a ticket. There was actually a button they could place called ‘quick close’ and quick close would do just that without capturing any information that would help support the service management program in the long-term. Sometimes measurements and metrics can adjust or change behavior and that’s an example of bad behavior coming from certain types of metrics. Without doing observations, without sitting down and watching how cumbersome it is to open a change ticket and feeling somebody’s pain you’ll never be able to make a good assessment. All of these things can help drive an ITSM strategy into plan.
That strategy and plan really needs to lay out a lot of different elements. What are some of the quick wins? What can I improve today? A couple of simple things like calling a CAB meeting if you don’t have one and just getting that in place right there, that’s probably better; you get a whole bunch of value from that then spending a ton of time trying to implement the process in the tool. You’ll get a lot of value just from one quick win.
Process enhancements; what processes do we want to focus on? Which ones do we want to enhance? Which ones do we want to implement? How are we going to deploy this in technology? How are we going to deal with the organizational change attributes? This road map needs to take you from a current state to a future state.
When you report back on an assessment, I think is very important to really lay it out in a very structured way; an executive summary that just basically ‘here’s what we did, here’s what we found, is what we recommend and this is the timeline to get it done.’ Short, concise and succinct. You also need, when you report back, some detail on ‘he is exactly how we did it.’ What it does is it shows that you with thorough; it shows by showing the methodology, it shows that you didn’t whip this up and you actually have a formalized approach.
Your findings and observations and your detailed analysis needs to be documented. Your recommendations need to be supported with the benefits and what’s it going to take to actually implement the recommendations. A roadmap and finally an appendix full of all the information that you might have gathered as part of the assessment; a very comprehensive report.
I will just summarize up the assessment piece really quickly and then I will switch over to the chat pane and see if any assessment questions came in and I will be able to take those.
Again, assessments are not about the score. I know a lot of people make them about the score. Scores are important but what’s more important is there a catalyst for change and there is an opportunity to make improvements. Questionnaires are only one small part of an assessment. They can let you go wide but you also need to spend time with people. Ask questions, make observations and of course base your recommendations on the things you actually saw and actually observed.
Are there any questions on conducting a service management assessment? There doesn’t seem to be any at this point. I’ll wait for a second and if there are no others, I’ll move on.
What I’m going to do is I’m going to take 2 minutes and show you one of the ways that we actually automate assessments in our organization. We have the Navvia toolkit which we’ve taken our entire consulting methodology and put it into a tool to any practitioner like yourselves can use for an annual license fee. I log in, you can see here, I have an actual survey engine that allows me to do a lot of the mechanics behind a service management assessment. In this case, I’ve been given two survey questionnaires I need to follow; change management and incident management, and one of them I’m actually done 2 of 22 questions and I can pop in here and complete the survey. This automated tool allows you send out a survey to an unlimited number of people, as many times as you want, as many different assessment projects you want and uses this way of bringing these results back into a central repository.
If I go into the actual survey module, I can see that this Navvia webinar project was set up with two questionnaires; incident and change, and if I dive a little bit deeper into the project, if I wanted to see what’s in a change management questionnaire, I just click on it. These all came from templates that were prebuilt; of course you can always build your own templates, you can add questions, you can add answers to the survey, you can change the scoring. You can modify these to make them your own.
There’s a complete methodical way of setting up your question sets, figuring out the groups you’re sending it to, the participants that are going to be part of those groups, e-mail messages that notify people, launching your project, remind people if you need to remind them to complete the surveys, and a easy way to notify those folks to get on with the work of responding to those survey, and I can send a reminder message to as many people as I need to and there are dashboards and reports that allow you to drill into the results. It is one nice little tool so right here I can see that I’ve sent out 18 questionnaires for incident management and none of those have started, and one of them has started but not completed, and I sent out 21 questionnaires of change; two have not been completed and 18 haven’t even been started. I can actually drill into a time of really detailed reports that can be exported out of our tool that can really help you determine where things might be if you want to see the overall maturity of the processes; you can run a quick project radar chart. Here is a nice maturity chart and this can be exported in a variety of formats; you can drill into one of the processes, get a more detailed view of that process based on people process technology and see how all the questions were answered.
A lot of detailed reports; you can drill it down and compare one group to another. If you want to see how management assessed the processes versus other folks because you set them up in groups, you can now view the differences between groups. A great little tool to help automate that whole assessment part of your project.
The next piece of those three steps to ITSM success is about designing your processes. You have assessed them, hopefully you’ve identified some gaps; now you can come in and tweak your process to make sure that those gaps have been closed. You can’t do that in a vacuum. I was at one of the presentations at Pink where there was a panel discussion going on about ITSM programs and failures, and one person actually admitted to the big audience that they had gone off in a previous project, designed incident, problem and change, they had them all documented, beautiful binders, communicated out to folks through e-mails and told him where to find the documentation upon SharePoint and the project was a total failure. Nobody bought in, nobody believed those processes were important and they weren’t part of them; they were designed in a vacuum with no engagement from the stakeholders. People need to know why and they need to believe that they have been heard, and who better knows what’s important to them on the front line and the people who live there? Processes can’t be designed in a vacuum.
I saw something recently, an e-mail that came across my desk where somebody was taking a look at a process document and were more concerned whether the language was 100% ITIL compliant versus the general idea of it’s important to open an incident, escalate it and resolve it; it was becoming more about the Ts and Cs of some specific framework. I will tell you I’ve never been in part of the ITIL police; I think we do service management for one thing, to make IT better. Frameworks like ITIL are amazing, frameworks like Cobit are great, but they are just guidance and how you do things in your own organization needs to be a balance of best practice and practicality. It’s when people start discussing how many CIs danced on the head of a pin; that’s when the rest of people in IT’s eyes start rolling and they begin to think that this is about dogma versus making things better. You have to balance best practice with practicality and you have to put things in a language that people really understand and be consistent with.
When you’re designing a process, it has to drive out the requirements for automation. Having a process that comes at a high level that says ‘here’s the inputs and the outputs and the three tasks and the first task is to open an incident, second task is verify the information of the user, third task is to assign or escalate’; that’s all great, but how is that going to work in the tool? What are the screens going to look like? What data is going to be captured on the screens? Are things drop downs? Are they bouillon values? Are things mandatory fields or not? Are certain fields visible or hidden? All of those technical requirements need to be gathered as well as part of process design or else you’re going to hand your process document over to a tool person and they’re going to say ‘what’s this, I can’t automate something, and I don’t have requirements.’ You need to drive out requirements for automation.
You also need to get down to the procedural level. Yes, it’s great to have a task that says open the incident, but it’s a lot better to have a few screenshots of how you would actually log into the service management tool of your choice and actually open that incident and provide the information and add a little bit of guidance on how to do that. A good process can’t be done in a vacuum, it has to drive up those technical requirements and get down to the procedural level because if you don’t do it, it’s not practical.
I also say you shouldn’t start from scratch. As much as I might have criticized a little earlier people who follow the ITIL dogma to the T, and this is something we could take offline; I’ve been doing service management for a long time and I’ll tell you I would much rather have a change documented and in the system and have that information at my fingertips and a backup plan than to worry too much about whether it followed the exact prescribed ITIL way of doing things. You can get a ton of value just by doing things the right way.
I think there’s a lot of great information up there, you don’t need to start from scratch; there’s templates, there’s other standards you can leverage but people seem to forget what are we already doing today? We’re all smart people, we all work for great companies, and we’re not doing things because it’s bad; some of that stuff is evolved over the practicality of how our economy works and the needs and the requirements. To totally ignore what an organization is doing today is really not a good way of starting your process design, and that’s why you really need to talk to people. You might find out there’s a very good requirement for why something is done a certain way and maybe there’s a better way of doing, but you can’t ignore the requirement for that.
Caution; best practices by their very nature are absent of your company’s organizational, business cultural and technology requirements. I’ve heard in the last few years of people organizing around ITIL. I’m not a big fan of that either. I don’t think you need to organize around ITIL. Yes, you need to have operations, you need to have application development, you need to have the network team; I think managing or aligning by technology is perfectly fine because processes by their very nature are cross functional. If people start aligning by processes, that means they’ve lost track of the fact that these processes are supposed to be cross functional in the first place and its very achievable to have a single change management process that basically is for the folks in networking and the folks in servers and the other parts of the organization. Nowhere in the ITIL books will it tell you how your organization needs to be organized.
It doesn’t talk about the culture in your organization. Maybe you work for a trading company where the whole concept of a standard change that doesn’t require approval is a foreign concept, and no amount of somebody saying ‘ITIL says you can do it this way’; no amount of that is going to change the fact that these are going to go to the CAB because that’s how it works and that’s the requirement and that’s what it’s going to be. That doesn’t make it wrong; it just makes it different. Good process design encompasses the requirements of an individual organization that things at ITIL as the best practice could never know. ITIL doesn’t know what tool you’re running. They don’t know if you’re running whether it’s Remedy or Service Now or Easy Vista or Sharewell or HP Service Desk or IBM’s Maximo; I don’t think any of these tools are better than the others. I think they’re all great tools if implemented correctly and with the right people and process and the right procedures, but nowhere in ITIL does it tell you how to implement a specific product. All of these things have to be pulled out as part of your process design and if it’s not, your processes aren’t really being designed in a way that helps you realize the full benefit.
Don’t try it on your own. Don’t build processes in a vacuum. People need to understand why you’re doing them. People need to understand or feel that their voice is being heard. Do you understand your stakeholder’s requirements? Are you actually making things better for people or more complex? All of this is really an important part of balancing and getting things done with doing things in a structured and organized way.
What’s in it for me? When you design a process, you should really make sure that you’re able to articulate to the various stakeholders, and that could be the CIO, middle management, a line manager, a technical person who has to submit a change request. Why should I embrace your vision? Why should I change the way I am doing things? What am I going to get out of it? That is an important part of process design; the communication. That’s why someone who writes up a change management process was a little committee of people locked in a backroom and then publishes it might find that they get pushed back from people adopting it, and that’s a big reason why ITSM fails in many organizations.
Everyone has their own perspective. The CEO, ‘the process should just work.’ The CIO, ‘I need it to show how I’m aligning my services to the needs of the business, I need that IT alignment.’ The IT manager, they’re saying ‘I have no time for putting these processes in place. Infrastructure in operations are consuming 60% of my budget, I can’t find a new project to fix processes.’ Well, Gartner says that most of the cost of infrastructure and operations comes from keeping the lights on and most of it is a result of bad process and having to repeat and rework and do things without having the benefit of streamlined, effective and efficient processes. I would almost turn back around to the person and say ‘you cannot afford but to do an ITSM project.’ If done right and adopted with the buy in, you’re actually going to start reducing costs, not increasing them. The technical staff, ‘those users just don’t understand, I have a lot on my plate, I have all these tickets.’ You need to show them how this system is going to make their lives easier; it’s how it’s going to make them more productive, It might actually cut down on the number of calls they get because things are fixed at root causes as opposed to over and over again.
When you’re designing a process, I’ve seen it and I’ve made every mistake in the book, my first time I did a process design, it was a big ‘kum by ya’ session where everybody and their brother were in a big room and we just sat there for three or four days until it was done; that really was not the right way. On the other side of the spectrum is the people who do it in a vacuum and don’t involve anybody. I think there’s a better way and that’s where you balance out the practicality and the consensus. Get a core team. Get a good core team of people who are empowered to make decisions. ‘Can I have Jane or Sally or Sheila on my project and can they make a decision as to whether or not how many approvals need to be in a change or what the path for a change approval process is going to look like. They are not authorized to make that, then they really shouldn’t be a part of the core team.’ Get people on your core team who can make decisions and who are empowered to make decisions.
The next layers are subject matter experts. Every now and then let’s bring in the tool expert because they understand that tool and you need to say ‘we’re thinking of doing this and will that work in the tool.’ You don’t need them on the project 100% of the time but you need to be able to consult to them more frequently than the next level of people which are the stakeholders.
As these rings move out you are engaging people less frequently and they have less day-to-day involvement; however as you are moving out, they are also extremely important people. The stakeholders, the management, the team leads, those folks who are going to have to be living with these processes, need to be informed what’s being built, how it’s being built, and they also need to get their say in, but they don’t need to be part of the daily sessions of designing a process. They need to be validated too.
And then a steering committee, making sure that you’re taking in the needs of the broader organizations and that’s an important part as well, but you don’t want the steering committee micromanaging what’s going on at the core team level. There needs to be delegation and you need to recognize that folks are smart and they are empowered and they can do the right thing if they are given the opportunity to do it. A good design team really has these concentric circles, these different groups of stakeholders and as you move through the process, there’s great communication at all levels but the focus is done by the core team.
Also, you have to do process and technology simultaneously. There are a lot of people and components out there who say design your processes first then pick your tool. I say no. That’s too slow, it’s going to take too long and in many cases you don’t have the luxury because you already have a tool. I don’t know many IT organizations today that do not have some form of service management tool in place. If you’re going to refresh a process, you want to be talking about those process attributes, the inputs, the outputs, the controls, the measures, the activities, the tasks, but you want to have somebody there from the tool side of the house who will keep you honest. ‘No we don’t have a way to do what you’re hoping to do in this tool without fast customizations. We don’t want to do customizations, we want to tailor the process for sure but we don’t want to customize it and cause more problems down the road.’
As you are moving through your design, you start off focusing more on process and a little bit of technology but it gets to a point where once the process has been designed, you are focusing more on technology which someone from the process team is making sure it’s getting implemented as it’s supposed to. When you go down this simultaneous process and technology path, you have a much better chance of all the requirements that were being defined implemented rather than doing process first thing going over a brick wall into a group of people who will look at that and say they don’t know how to code this and just implement what they want.
It’s seldom the tool that’s the problem. I have seen a lot of tools; I have seen all the way from the days of Infoman and green screens. I used to enter tickets on an acoustic coupler; that’s where you took a phone and you stuck it into these little suction cups and then I had a deck writer which was basically a typewriter with keyboard on it and that’s how I answered my tickets, basically on a typewriter paper through acoustic coupler into the main system. I’ve seen Infoman on a 32×70 green screen computer and at the other end of the spectrum, in their company, we used the service management components of salesforce.com which is a SasS application relatively easy for us to tailor, not a bad solution for a company of our size. I’ve been involved with Service Now, I’ve been involved with Remedy, [unclear 0:41:14], you name them. It’s seldom the tool is the problem.
You can write a Pulitzer prize-winning novel with pen and paper, on a computer, on an iPad; the tool doesn’t really matter. It’s what you put into it. One of the things that I find about service management implementations is a lot of times the focus on the implementation always starts down here with tools and technology, and it really should be starting up here with the business outcomes and the requirements. Drive your requirements based on the needs of the business, make sure the implemented in the tool then you’re going to get the business on board. To lift and shift or just follow an out-of-the-box process is totally ignoring the people who pay your bills and the people who are going to be using the tool. Don’t be a technophobe. Out-of-the-box seldom works. Map business outcomes to your data requirements. Identify the mandatory fields, define pick list, figure out the triggers, and make sure your capturing the right data to produce some metrics. Get down to a level of detail that you can actually hand someone a set of functional requirements and say ‘make this so.’
When it comes to process don’t forget to validate either. It’s iterative. We like to use show and tell; don’t wait six months to show somebody what you’ve built. Show them weekly. Show them a couple of times a week. Get them involved; ‘here’s what we’ve built, here’s how it’s looking, here’s how it feels, try it out yourself.’ Watch out for scope creep because a lot of these agile approaches to process design, it’s not an excuse for people to get all the requirements on the table always. It’s a way of making sure what people have agreed to is being implemented in an iterative way. Don’t confuse agile within excuse to go [unclear 0:43:09]. Watch out for scope creep, validate often and get sign off against your requirements, and always when you’re designing processes, watch out for those folks who come back at the end and say ‘I didn’t agree to that.’ Don’t give them a chance to say ‘I didn’t agree to that’ and make sure they are part of the solution and part of the build.
Also you need to educate folks. One of the biggest reasons that these process initiatives fail is because people don’t go out and show folks how to use the tool. I have had people say to me ‘I have smart people, they don’t need to learn how to use this as it’s pretty simple, they use much more complex systems.’ You need to know how to facilitate it. You don’t need 12 weeks of education on it but you need some training.
Training is one of the best ways to foster adoption, it’s a great way of making sure people are consistent in the way that information is put into the system, gives you an opportunity to build CBTs for new employees, it gives you a great opportunity to capture your tribal knowledge and bring it into an organization. Education is a huge part of any service management tool and process roll out.
In summary, don’t design your processes in isolation, get the right amount of people involved, balance your consensus building with execution, look at both the tool and the technology simultaneously, get those tool requirements to a level of detail you need to tailor the tool and don’t forget to educate people on the process.
I have finished item two of the three steps. I’m going to see if there are any questions or comments. I think we’re good so I’m going to continue on.
Before I get into the last step of the three steps, which is governance, I just want to take a moment to pop back into our Navvia toolkit and show you how we can through the design module easily build folders and processes which are ways of controlling access of a folder to a person and once they have access they can do various things to the process, how you can get processes into a folder really easily either from one of our prebuilt templates or how you can actually build a process from scratch. Once you build a process, how we capture all this great information on the sets of screens and then have this tool produce all your process documentation for you, and also push the process to a new portal have actually been released on March 25th. Gone are the requirements of having to build your swim lane diagrams, your Visio, your Word document, your RACI charts, savings stuff off, putting it up on SharePoint; this tool is going to automate a lot of that work load.
I actually had a person say to me in a demonstration the other day ‘you made a huge part of my job obsolete.’ That could be scary to some people but that’s not how this person took it. They say ‘a part of my job you made obsolete was a part I never liked. Now I can spend my time delivering value and not tweaking documents.’ If you want to change the description of incident management, go ahead and change it, and in one simple change I just updated the Word document, updated the portal and pushed that information out. If I want to change a role in the process, I can see a life of all the roles for the incident management process, I can add new roles like my role, I can see service desk agents, service desk managers, I can rename service desk agent to ‘service desk agent demo,’ and I’ve just changed swim lane diagrams, RACI charts and pushed a bunch of stuff to the portal. Why should I as an ITSM practitioner be focused on the mechanics when I could be actually taking these predefined templates and tweaking them? The workflow of the processes, I can add new activities and tasks, I can see the definition of activities, I can see the definition of a task and have the system automatically draw this out for me, which can be exported to various formats, it’s automatically included into the Word document, it’s automatically pushed out to the portal, I can navigate the process, I concede detect and record, open a new incident which is done by the service desk agent, I can see ‘show me everything the service desk agent does for the process,’ so it’s very easy to drill into a particular task, understand the procedures, the data and I’m not going to go into this in a lot of detail but it’s a very easy way for defining and documenting your processes.
All of this stuff can be exported out into Word and RACI charts and various things but we also have this great portal now where I can log in as a free portal user-we don’t we charge for the portal users-and quickly get access to a very concise essential view of all of my process documentation. Its built in the other system and pushed out to a list of processes I should know about. If I click on incident management, everyone of these artifacts that you’re about to see were automatically created; we have the flow diagram for the project so I can expand this and see a larger view of it, I can navigate through the different activities, I can drill into an activity and launch a procedure, I can just click on that, go to the procedures and I can launch the procedure for it. All of this is automatically pushed out through the portal; none of these drawings were drawn by humans, none of this was actually pushed out manually. The same thing with the RACI chart all built in real time, all built and pushed to the portal automatically. A nice little mind map of the process which is for some people and interesting view of all the different aspects of a process; we have the related processes, change, problem and request; we have the first activity of incident management which is detect and record, and just hitting the document tab will automatically bring up the entire process document which again wasn’t typed by human; it was built by the database of elements that we customized in the previous demonstration. Very complete right down to including the flow diagrams in the Word document, and of course, all of these artifacts can be exported.
Not only can a person access these nice elements from here, they can see the surveys they are supposed to take, the tasks that have been assigned to them and get access to all this free education. Yes this is free, unlimited for anyone in your company; ITIL foundations, how to conduct a process assessment, effective process design, ITSM awareness both in live mode on these dates and times through a web [unclear 0:51:29] or in recorded mode just by pushing on the recorded tab, downloading the user guide and clicking on the link and starting the course.
That’s the new portal March 25th. If you’re already one of our customers I thank you for being a customer and you can expect us in a little under two weeks.
I’m going to talk about governance. Governance to me is a way of making sure the processes stay healthy. It could help maximize the value from your service management program, it can support regulatory requirements, it can help with third-party certifications, and it could help you get ISO20K or ISO201K certified, SSA 16 which is a data center standard. S great way of making sure that things that people are supposed to do are being done, making people accountable for doing them and then when they are not, using that as a way to kick off continual service improvement and make sure that they do it.
There are a lot of different frameworks and I think they all work together. ITIL’s got some great guidance on process but Cobit’s got some great guidance on what the controls should be and what the evidence of compliance should be through the audit guide. ISO20K is another standard which is really about putting in a framework for service management for your organization.
There are a lot of different roles that have to be involved but like any role in service management, these aren’t full-time jobs necessarily. There needs to be someone in your organization that says descriptively you will do this. You are responsible, Mr. process owner, for ensuring the process documentation is updated and double check that it’s been updated every six months. You Mr. change manager are responsible for making sure the CAB happens every week. I have the authority to make you do that. The augment role, make sure people do it. The coordination role helps pull together the evidence that it’s being done. The monitoring role, make sure that’s being done and of course the user or the provider is the people who typically do it. Everyone can play a role in governance and it sounds onerous and it sounds complex but it can save you a lot of time when the auditors come and start asking you these questions and instead of a fire drill you can come back and say ‘here is how we set things up.’
One approach that we use is to make sure that for every process we have a series of controls that map to them. Change management has standards and procedures, assessment and authorization, emergency changes, tracking and reporting and change closure and documentation. These are controls right out of the Cobit framework. If you want to make sure that your emergency changes as a control is being performed, what we do is we suggest that tasks are assigned to roles to ensure that that control is being met, and those tasks have evidence. If the task is to give me minutes of the tab, the evidence is a copy of the minutes, and one of the things we’ve tried to do with the Navvia toolkit is automate the collection of all that evidence and the assignment of the tasks and dashboarding of the attainment of those tasks. You can do this manually, you can do this through spreadsheets and this is a very structured way for making sure change management is being followed. If someone from a prescriptive role said that those controls need to be followed, then it’s up to the individual roles of the process owner, the process manager and the change coordinator to make sure that they are getting performed on a periodic basis.
I call this the shark effect. I’ve seen organizations who take their eyes off the ball when it comes to processes so what happens is the process decays over time or degrades over time to such a point there’s a crisis, and then a lot of attentions put, and then maybe it decays over time, there is a crisis and you’re always fighting fires; I’d rather have this consistent level of service here than the occasional peaks and valleys. A consistent level of service is what you really are striving for. Yes you would like to move the overall level up over time but you don’t want this varying degrees of service levels and that’s what a bad process that’s not being governed will provide. When you have situations where that incident was caused by someone not putting in the change request and it took us two hours to figure out what went wrong and back it up; are we going to call that person on the carpet for it? No, that’s John, he came in at fixed it, he’s the hero of the day. We’re not going to slap him on the wrist for not putting in a change request even though maybe if that was done someone would notice a lot soon and got the systems back up quicker. I think a lot of the problems we have in service management is ourselves shooting ourselves in the foot. We have a process but we don’t ask people to follow it but we don’t insist they follow it and that’s what compliance and governance does in my opinion.
In governance, you define the controls, policies and standards, you define the governance structure, and you define the controls and the frameworks. Governance is your key to continual service improvement. Governance of Cloud applications as well where more and more people are going in that direction can’t be neglected. Just because you’ve given salesforce.com or another vendor responsibility for your Cloud apps doesn’t mean you have some responsibility to make sure they’re following controls. You can extend this governance out into the Cloud as well. Remember you’re still accountable for all this stuff.
We are at the top of the hour and I just have a couple of slides if you will bear with me. Just a recap. The three steps to success in any service management program is assessed to see where you are and as a catalyst for improving, designed to make sure you’ve captured all of those issues and concerns and you put them into effect in a new set of revised and revitalized processes and then governed to make sure people follow them. When your boss says ‘what’s the value of this crazy service management program that we’re spending all this money on’; ‘we’ve improved the process maturity by this amount, we’ve reduced the number of incidents by this amount, we’ve actually decreased the cycle time for a service request from X to Y, we’re handling more service requests and more incidents with the same or less number or people.’ If you don’t measure all this stuff, you’re not going to get that information back. Asses, design and govern is a great way of being able to show the value and to drive the value of your service management program.
We are on social media. If you want to follow our company, it’s goNavvia@twitter, we’re up on Facebook at Navvia, LinkedIn on Navvia and SlideShare where we have a bunch of these presentations. You will see it up there on goNavvia. I think we also have a few other social media channels but Raph if you could just take those social media channels of hours and just push them out to the chat pane and if people want to follow us who know those venues, they can, and I think that’ll also be included in a following e-mail to you folks.
The other thing is this is our 8th annual ITSM industry survey. For the last seven years we’ve asked a number of questions about the maturity, health, and effectiveness of a service management program, brought all that information together and then we share the results with everyone who participated both as a document that provided back as well as a webinar where we will present the findings. I am not expecting anyone here to type in this URL but Raph will put that URL out. If you haven’t taken the survey and you feel like it’s something you want to participate in, it takes about 7 or 8 minutes, I would really welcome that if you did, and if you’ve already done it I want to thank you for doing that. We are looking to get about 250 responses and we are two thirds of the way there, and once we get up to that number we’ll feel that we have a good sample size and we will share that information out with the general public.
I want to thank you. I love having an opportunity to dialogue with folks. If you want to get a hold of me, there is my e-mail address DMainville@navvia.com. If you want to follow me on Twitter, I’d appreciate that. If you want to see a bunch of these recorded webinars, articles and different service management content that we’ve created over the years, you can find that up at Navvia.com/resources.
I’m going to switch out here and take another look to see if there are any questions that have come in.
I’ve got a question from David, ‘can you integrate into business intelligence and sales forecasting? How do you integrate into external DBS?’ I guess this question is specifically for the Navvia toolkit.
The way that the Navvia toolkit works today is most of the information is built and maintained in our system then pushed out in a variety of formats. We can push information out as spreadsheets, documents, and raw Excel files. I don’t want to give the impressions that’s a tight integration by no means, but one of the things we have done with our portal, and we’re able to help people with, if you have a service management tool and you want to make the incident management process argumentation available right from within that tool, there are ways to integrate the URL that you have; so if someone is opening a change ticket and wants to see the entire set of process dock and procedures, they can click on a link that would be embedded in a service management tool. Hopefully that answered that question.
What I like about the tool is we’ve taken our entire methodology of survey, design, verify and learn, put it all together in a toolkit that’s used by over 120 organizations today; organizations of financial services, credit card companies, manufacturing companies, distribution companies, a ton of healthcare organizations and other commercial enterprises. We’ve taken that knowledge and we basically said ‘here’s everything we know about ITSM, and we will teach you how to fish.’ For some organizations, that’s a great way to do it, and if they can’t because of lack of resources or just don’t have the skill sets, we also can come in and help folks. It’s a $12,000 a year subscription, unlimited ITIL training, unlimited training in a variety of other areas, the process modeling engine, the design engine, the verification tools which I didn’t even show you which automates the collection of compliance as well as a survey engine; very affordable and a great set of tools for the program office. I know that’s a blatant commercial but I am very proud of this toolkit and it’s getting some buzz and it’s getting a lot of traction these days. I am the evangelist for it so I’m really looking to have more people learn about it.
Once again I want to thank you all so much. We try to do these webinars every month or so. One of the next ones is coming up that I’m really excited about is called ‘Social Media and the Workplace – A Manager’s Perspective.’ As a manager of our company, as someone who is trying to use social media in my own business, as someone who is trying to use it as a marketing perspective, someone who uses it as a personal guide, I’ve learned a lot over the last year and I wanted to take an opportunity to share it from the perspective of someone who thought it was all a waste of time; until now I think this stuff has a lot of potential. That’s one of the upcoming webinars and we have some other great ones coming up. I think we are going to be doing one on CNBB in the not-too-distant future and we are going to be doing something very focused on the higher education marketplace.
Thank you all. Goodbye from beautiful Santa Cruz. Hope to see you guys again soon take care and bye for now.