IT Governance

CSI Not Miami: How to Create a Culture of Improvement

While the abbreviation “CSI” may be more publicly associated with the string of cop procedurals on TV, it stands for something very different as a part of ITIL processes. Continual service improvement, IT’s CSI, requires a group of individuals whose goal is to make the process work. Instilling in them the desire to do so is another matter entirely. In his post at Axelos, Richard Josey gives some pointers on how to create a culture of improvement:

  1. Assign a CSI manager.
  2. Form a coalition.
  3. Have a knowledge base.
  4. Have a structure.
  5. Leadership must lead by example.
  6. Seek ITIL certification.

Giving CSI a Try

CSI remains challenging because it requires setting up a culture that is accepting of the new system and showing employees that there is a higher motivation for this process’s success. Traditionally, success has been rewarded through money alone. Nowadays there has been a shift to cultural and interpersonal rewards for success on a project.

According to Josey, the first step to creating this healthier culture comes from the attitude of the CSI manager:

This is not purely about the role but the “bandwidth”. Create space for the activity with particular focus on the problems. This may be a full time role or a part of a leadership role, but it needs to be taken by someone who can actually focus on the initiative. Realize that CSI is not something that one person can achieve and find people in each team who are inclined to make improvements – champions to champion your cause.

You can also form a coalition of senior leadership to demonstrate how seriously you’re taking this new culture. Having a solid knowledge base can help guide you through these changes. There is an established structure in place to properly outline priorities and plans of action. Once set up, these processes will eventually flow naturally. Leaders should further reinforce that they want to see improvements and that they expect people to lead by example. New employees will mimic their behavior, allowing it to become a more integral part of the culture. And finally, gaining ITIL certification can give some perspective into how this process plays into the bigger picture.

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