IT Governance

Building Your ITSM House

A finished ITSM implementation is an incredibly gratifying accomplishment. But like building a house, there’s a general procedure that must be followed. After all, you wouldn’t build the roof before you’ve even laid a solid foundation! Joe the IT Guy, an ITSM construction expert of sorts, discusses the process of designing for ITSM as if you were building your own home.

A lot of well-meaning IT service specialists want to jump ahead to implementing a customer service level agreement (SLA) to establish service expectations with the business, or to build a customer management database (CMDB) for anticipating and managing changes. But the reality is that ITSM consists of interconnected and supporting processes.

A House for IT Service

Try applying the act of home ownership to the process. Before you know it, you’ll be thinking about your organization’s appetite for implementation and brainstorming about who might possess the knowledge / skills to aid you. In fact, there are roughly six important questions to ask before you even get started.

  1. How much can I afford?
  2. Where do I want to build?
  3. What style do I desire?
  4. What features and amenities will it have?
  5. Who will build it?
  6. When will the move take place?

Much like a house, which must build to code, conform to a set of blueprints, and requires financing, the ITSM implementation will need a CSI model, a business case, an organizational change plan, and so forth. This is your planning phase. In the laying of a good ITSM foundation, you’ll want to cement the “Iron Triangle” processes of change, incident, and request. You’ll also need to establish a service desk and a BRM. In the structure of your plan, you’ll want metrics and measurements, a continual improvement system, etc. Only then will you want to roll out your “roofing” – SLAs, a service catalogue, and the like. Finally, “moving in” requires a CSI register, and regular maintenance is accomplished by the service portfolio and a continual improvement initiative.

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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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