Factors Impacting Service Management Implementation – Part I

This is first of two blogs that we will have on the factors that impact business service management implementation. As discussed in my previous blogs, business service management implementation is more about cultural transformation than anything else. It is a major shift in the way IT organizations plan, produce, deliver and manage their products/services.

Some of the critical success factors that impact business service management implementation include:

  • Senior business and IT management commitment: Cultural change is not easy and requires strong leadership. Therefore, senior management commitments are the most critical factor in achieving successful implementation of business service management.
  • Return on Investment: Business service management implementation requires significant investments and successful business leaders don’t make investments in which they don’t see reasonable or justifiable returns. Big-bang is not going to work. IT improvements that don’t actually impact the value that businesses/customers receive are not at all wise investments.
  • Communication, communication and communication: Marketing and communication are the most critical components of trying to implement business service management. IT has traditionally been weak in sharing the success stories. Businesses/customers only get communications when something breaks down. Communicating good as well as bad to the customer is critical. Most of the time, we are focusing on only bad and leave the good out. As IT organizations embark on making improvements to products/services that they produce, communication planning and execution is critical. Service Level Management process provides means and ways in which service target achievements should be shared. In addition, business relationship or account management functions can prove very useful in communicating with the businesses and customers, identifying and defining services, and negotiating service level agreements. Scorecards, dashboards, heat-maps, and other displays must be made available to customers all the time. This is critical to maintaining IT credibility.
  • Business drivers and needs that actually require IT organization to improve the way it delivers its services to the businesses. This will require IT organizations to make major investments in improving the quality of services that they provide.
  • Objective self-assessment: Realistic IT self-assessment to establish current state service management and process maturity is critical. This will enable the leadership and service management project teams to make better estimates on the levels of investments required prior to pursuing business service management project.
  • Personnel performance management: Key performance indicators and metrics should be very thoughtfully established. Such performance metrics should be introduced that encourage IT personnel to be responsible for the delivery of end-to-end services. Such metrics will encourage cross-organizational teams to collaborate and work towards common objectives.

To learn more about ITIL, check out Learning Tree’s course, Putting ITIL® into Practice:  A Roadmap for Transformation.

Ahmad K. Shuja

*ITIL® is a registered trade mark of the Cabinet Office

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