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How to Provide Support for VIPs

IT Service Management is essentially the organization and facilitation of successful rules and structure. It's hinged on the ability of an organization to react the best way to each situation, and each reaction is built on an understood sequence of processes and practices. A common monkey wrench encountered in an otherwise smoothly operating ITSM organization is the VIP. Clients enjoy the idea of having a regimented process – just as long as they can completely uproot it for a VIP issue, that is. Simon Morris has two thoughts when it comes to dealing with the idea of a “VIP issue”. The first is more along the lines of a purist: Firstly IT Service Management is supposed to define exactly how services will be delivered to an organisation. The service definition includes the cost, warranty and utility that is to be provided. Secondly, there is a difference between the Customer of the service and the User of the service. The Customer is characterised as the people that pay for the service. They also define and agree the service levels. The purist side of Morris' mind sees it as an agreed to support ““ for everyone in the organization. However, the pragmatic side understands that beneath every SLA or contractual signature is a person. If you turn down a CEO's request for another because of a strictly black-and-white definition of what your contract says, you're going to have a tough time renewing the contract. Morris then points to a more reasonable solution: a mix of both the purist and pragmatist, scaling support, and having the customer understand how a VIP can halt the everyday IT Support provided.


Comment 1
Comment ID: 42
Comment Date: 2012-03-21 01:19:25
Comment Author: Shashi
Author Email: shashiraj.sp@gmail.com
Author Url: http://shashisp.blogspot.com
Author IP: 122.181.179.34
Comment Text:
An article well thought out. As Simon rightly says, there can be a purist and pragmatic approach. I would say we need to merge requests from senior management into a purist approach and then stick to the process around that. Compromising on the process has its own drawbacks. If after implementing a senior management request, something goes wrong in a system, who is to blame for it? You may counter question what if the CEO is a SME. But how many CEOs we know are exactly that?


Comment 2
Comment ID: 43
Comment Date: 2012-03-21 06:56:06
Comment Author: mlkabik
Author Email: matthew_kabik@compaid.com
Author Url:
Author IP: 199.26.230.102
Comment Text:
Ah, that's a good point Sashi – if the CEO is an SME, perhaps the relevance or the “willingness” to do the support is heightened. However, as you state, it's unlikely that this is the case. Even if it were the case, you'd still have to decide if they get their work done faster or if they go into the same line as anyone else in the company due to the process?

About Anne Grybowski

Anne is a former staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success, with a degree in Media Studies from Penn State University.

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