IT success isn’t about a deadline; it’s about a goal – the goal to deliver value to the business, whether in the form of improved support, better communications, reduced costs, or customer retention. In an article for Information Age, Chloe Green recommends a rewiring of our common associations with ITSM. From the typical technology-centered view to a perspective that recognizes the need to help people and change a culture, a fundamental shift in how IT regards ITSM is of major significance to the customer.
Value versus Vanity
First off, Green asks us to make the distinction between tangibles and deliverables. The first involves new technology, and consists of what the customer will encounter with their senses. The second category is more important, since this captures the actual value of each IT service:
Understand that an ITSM process and/or technology project is really a people project. Both types of ITSM change involve people. And the failure to cater for cultural or behavioural aspects, in moving from the status quo to the desired future state, will at best throw up delay-causing obstacles and at worst completely derail the project (or cause the 'completed' project to fail on 'real deliverables' as per the previous point). Again, delivering a new ITSM tool, that people don’t use, to time is not a success.
There are at least five ways to get beyond the tech-centered view to fulfill the value promise:
- Limit Scope: Controlling scope is mostly a matter of reducing speed, says Green.
- Deliver in Increments: This allows for continued improvement and wise use of resources.
- Be Honest about Capabilities: Resist the temptation to compensate for lack of operational capabilities by throwing money at the change.
- Use the Right Resources: Dedicate the right number of people with the right skills to get the job done – no more, no less!
- Factor in Future Requirements: Just because you’re working on Phase 1, doesn’t mean you can’t prepare for Phase 2.