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Performing ITSM Self Assessments – Don’t Wait Too Long

Anyone who drives a vehicle knows about that pesky blind spot in the rear-view mirror. In a similar sense, every IT service has its blind spots that go unnoticed without a quick ‘look over the shoulder’ to check for missing information. IT consultant Ryan Ogilvie offers some advice on how getting that additional feedback can improve your IT service in his blog Service Management Journey.

Beyond Adequate Service

Oftentimes businesses are satisfied to deliver “adequate service”. In the absence of negative feedback, it can be easy to neglect a robust improvement model. As Ogilvie suggests, one measure that can be taken in the absence of feedback is an IT disaster recovery plan aligned with a business continuity plan:

The first test should be to see how we would handle such an interruption and identify where gaps may exist. Performing these drills or tests where appropriate allows us as an IT organization to ensure we know what to do in the event of an emergency and where some adjustments to our plan could be made. Just like a fire drill.

Other steps can be taken to test your service delivery such as peer and customer reviews. Peer reviews are an internal form of self-assessment. Having managers review each other’s roles will prompt them to ask questions and to learn about what the other is doing and about the delivery process as a whole. Customer reviews are the external counterpart to peer review. If IT measures only itself, it will only get a one-sided assessment. Admittedly these reviews can be tricky, since customer feedback is easy to collect when the IT operation is performing poorly, but difficult to garner when service is adequate.

Invisible Problems

Ogilvie offers the equation: adequate service – dialogue = no service improvements. He asserts that the true challenge may lie, not in a standard assessment of services, but in identifying the invisible problems that arise outside of the organization’s culture. This is the reason one should be wary of self-assessments.

Read the full article at:

About Eric Anderson

Eric Anderson is a staff writer for CAI's Accelerating IT Success. He is an intern at Computer Aid Inc., pursuing his master's degree in communications at Penn State University.

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