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Is it Time for ITSM to be Counted as a Professional Discipline? Part 2

Posted By Barclay Rae, 16 June 2016
Updated: 15 June 2016

 

In Is it Time for ITSM to be Counted as a Professional Discipline - Part 1 I discussed how ITSM is still seen by many as purely ITIL-focused or relevant only to internal IT operations. In Part 2 I continue to explain why ITSM needs to grow up.

 

What Needs to Happen? - Continued

Here are some key areas for development:

The ITSM industry needs a broader definition of itself and the roles within – this needs to be supported with a wider range of education and training, plus ongoing professional development. The definition can also extend beyond IT – to include other ‘service’ areas, back office functions and departments such as HR, Finance, Marketing, Estates etc.

The industry must have a single, consistent approach that recognises people and organisations in competence and excellence. This should include organisational accreditation, career development in a number of areas and recognition of real experience as well as qualifications.

The ITSM world should work together to unify its various groups and organisations - otherwise it looks like an amateur ‘cottage industry’. There should ideally be a singular body who see themselves as a common community which spans technical, functional and process areas and also levels of management (including executives).

 ITSM needs to promote, explain and market itself as a distinct discipline much better and bring the different parts of the sector more together, with success stories amongst target markets with the active support of senior people.

The business case for delivering value from ITSM must also be clear to other parts of IT organisations, not just the ‘Service Management guys’. This is essential in order to achieve the value from collaboration and to really deliver ‘end-to-end’ service delivery.

The value of Service Management should be clearly articulated as (1) to manage delivery expectations for customers and (2) minimise risk for the service provider. It’s a win-win – or should be – for customer and provider.

 

What Skills are Needed Beyond ITIL? 

There are 2 main areas of expertise and knowledge required – these are some examples:

Market and industry-wide knowledge – awareness and skills in a variety of other frameworks, e.g

COBIT – this is a model for governance based around a wider set of processes than those in ITIL, although these are defined in a more systemised and integrated taxonomy. ITIL has more ‘stories and anecdotes for reference, whereas COBIT can be better measured and tracked.

DevOps/Agile – ITIL is often criticised as being too inflexible and slow. It is still couched in the 80s/90s IT world and agile methodologies speak to a younger audience, many of whom would not recognise a mainframe. DevOps is a fusion of Agile and a collaborative controlled approach and is gaining significant traction as a useful set of values rather than a rigid framework.

Lean/Kanban – these are additional alternative approaches to how to make change work – using principles for reducing waste and also for work management and prioritisation. These have been used for some time in ITSM projects and add significant value to the practical side of implementations. 

Prince2/PMP – ITSM requires change and this needs to be managed – there has always been a need for synergy with Prince2 and other Project Management models, although this has not been delivered with any formal structured integration. It’s essential however that anyone taking on an ITSM initiative must be able to manage a project and - ideally more than that – deliver organisational change.

IT4IT – this is a new initiative developed by strategic thought leaders in ITSM and service architecture, as well as being sponsored by some major blue chip organisations.  Like DevOps it recognises the need for an integrated and collaborative approach and sets out to look at transformation from a holistic perspective, based around business collaboration.

SDI/HDI – The Service Desk and Helpdesk Institutes in the UK and US provide a number of services and vocational standards for those involved in these teams. These organisations and their standards (individual and site based certification based on EFQM) have a defined audience (the wider ITSM world is more dispersed) and provide useful practical input to the industry – this could be further integrated.

SIAM – Service Integration and Management - this is a new concept, based on an old one – i.e. the need to co-ordinate and manage a number of IT suppliers in a single ‘supply chain’. The ‘new’ element is the idea that multiple outsourced suppliers need to be managed by one (SIAM) management layer, so that a single service view is managed and delivered across the supply chain. This uses ITSM concepts in a more commercially focussed way and is gaining credence and adoption.

ISO 20000 / 9000 / 38500 – these are various certification standards for organisations, with ISO/IEC 20000 being based on ITIL, plus some areas of management and control. ITIL is often confused as a standard which can be ‘implemented’ and ‘certified’, although this is not the case. ISO2000 has not achieved the levels of adoption that were expected although it remains the nearest any organisation can come to being ITIL ‘certified. The ISO 9000 series is centred on customer service and as such a useful starting point. ISO38500 is a governance model for organisation around IT and is a useful model for the integration and fusion of business and technology goals, as well as being an executive blueprint for the management of an IT function.

 

Personal and Management

Overall ITSM requires strong people skills in order to drive through change and make it sustainable – management, organisational skills, influencing skills, communications, project management, business understanding and focus.

ITIL has tended to define roles in operational terms rather than those required for the transformation, and often the change roles were given to those better suited to operational/business as usual functions – often not enough to really affect change.

Other key skills needed

Presentation and promotion – Organisational ITSM change requires a number of people to make e.g. small changes in the way they fill out forms, or communicate with customers. The best way to make this work is by presenting and motivating them to do it and not by bombarding them with directives, processes and documentation. ITSM projects also need to be well communicated across organisations with a good focus on message and target audience, not technical detail.

Sales and marketing – these key skills are needed to define benefits and ‘sell’ these to business leaders and users across organisations. Normally this is not a natural skill for IT people and many ITSM initiatives fail due to lack of clear focus on message and communication of expectations and results.

Business and Financial Management – there is a need to define business gaols and build these into business plans and budgets.  This can also be an area where projects fail, not because of lack of need but lack of presentation of need, risk, value etc. Good commercial skills are also needed for developing, negotiating and managing external suppliers and contracts to deliver a successful ‘joined up’ service, rather than a sum of parts.

Management, Relationship & Interpersonal skills – Influence and motivation are essential elements in successful ITSM – this can’t simply be based on autocratic management. Managing and developing people to want to deliver better service is the goal and this needs keen skills in team building, personal motivation, influencing and collaborative working 

Project Management – budgeting, planning & personal effectiveness skills are needed to make change happen, this also needs a strong sense of self-motivation, self-confidence, time management, leading by example, organisational skills etc.

Successful ITSM requires participants to have good understanding and knowledge of their own organisation, key contacts, stakeholders and sponsors, as well as having a good amount of ‘clout’ and respect across the organisation. They need to be experienced in perhaps more than one area to be able to really see how to deliver ITSM. 

 

Summary 

Many organisations are using ITSM for work management beyond IT. In these cases the IT organisation is becoming the department that says ‘yes’ – a solution provider not a blocker.

In this way IT can further transform itself and add value – if this is not grasped then ITSM will become another obsolete museum piece.

ITSM is actually a potential game changer for IT, not an albatross around its neck…!

The challenge for individuals working in ITSM is to step up – develop their skills beyond ITIL and the ‘silo’-based department, stop seeing other teams, departments and industry areas as ‘them’ and start to engage and work together in positive collaboration as ‘us’.

The challenge for the industry is to unite and see the real potential for ITSM as a business enabler, not a best practice.

We need more practical and enlightened collaboration across frameworks, training organisations and established communities to support this move.

We need as an industry to move away from ‘them and us’ – IT and ‘the Business’, Operations and Development, Service Desk and other support teams.

If we must have ‘them and us’ – then let that involve natural selection. Let ‘them’ (competitors) have best practice, whilst ’we’ (our whole organisation) deliver business value.

 

Click here to find out more about our plans to develop and advance ITSM as a professional discipline.

 

 

 

 

Tags:  PSMF 

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SIAM and How to Deal with the People Side of Organisational Change

Posted By Administrator, 08 June 2016
Updated: 07 June 2016

 

Posted on behalf of the SIAM SIG – People and Change Working Group

Here in the SIAM SIG we've been working on a new project. We wanted to know what the key issues are that SIAM practitioners face today. 

We canvassed our members and had fantastic feedback. Overwhelmingly the response was that the big three issues for ITSM organsiations are: 

·      business change

·      managing the people side of change impact

·      achieving culture shift 

To research how much impact these issues have and how organisations can deal with them, we created the People and Change SIAM SIG working group.  

The group consists of SIAM practitioners, SIAM vendors, consultants and clients from across the ITSM sector.

In February this year, after pulling together their own experiences and knowledge of managing change and the resulting impacts, the group presented back to the SIAM SIG. 

Below is a write up of that presentation.

 

Managing Organisational Change

ITIL suggests that we put our people first. And rightly so.  All SIAM implementations involve a level of transformational change. Without the support of its people, a SIAM programme may not achieve its goals. 

There are many methods to deal with the impact on people as a whole. But these methods can lack understanding of the impact on individuals, and of the organisation’s underlying corporate culture.

A key message in managing organisational change involves understanding the individual impact of transformation change such as that required in SIAM.

The message is well presented in Spencer Johnsons book “Who moved my Cheese”. There is also a video on YouTube you can watch which sums up the message from the book 

 If you're short on time then start from about the 7 minute point.

After understanding this key impact upon individuals, implementing Organisation Change Management by adopting methods such as Kotter’s 8 steps can be more effectively undertaken. 

Once we have established a team for change or a team to be part of a new SIAM model, we should concentrate on building a new effective team. As part of this process we can leverage techniques such as “service animals” or “what Colour am I”. In essence it’s about understanding. Know your people, know your goals and be successful.  More details of these techniques are available for those who attended the SIAM SIG event on 29th Feb on the DropBox link which was distributed after the event.

 

ITSM People and Change

In the afternoon of the SIAM seminar, the working group facilitated a Work Café session on people and change. It was a great afternoon, and everyone was willing to get involved and add their own experiences and suggestions. The aim of the session was to look at the impact on people across the 4 understood operating models of SIAM:

·      retained SIAM

·      outsourced to Independent provider SIAM

·      hybrid SIAM (retained + independent)

·      tower led SIAM

For each model we looked at the biggest challenges, but also potential solutions and ideas to mitigate against these challenges. We also looked at other considerations that didn’t fall in to any of the 4 models. Moving from one model to the next, everyone had the opportunity to contribute to the observations and ideas. At the end of the session, we all had 3 votes to nominate what we felt were the greatest challenges, and a vote to nominate the best idea.

Of all the issues discussed the top 3 were:

  • Lack of understanding of roles and responsibilities. (Particularly highlighted for Hybrid and Independent models but noted as an issue affecting all SIAM implementations)
  • Retention of staff during times of uncertainty
  • Inappropriate contract negotiation and exit criteria

 There were some great ideas & suggestions, but unsurprisingly, the idea with the most votes was:

  • Clarify roles against industry standard definitions and develop a RASCI matrix. (Responsible, Accountable, Supporting, Consulted, Informed)

After a great event, the People and Change working group are looking to develop guidance around the issues and ideas identified on the day including how to achieve culture shift.

 

Stay tuned for more from the working party and the SIAM SIG soon.

Attending the SIAM SIG and benefiting from the great work they do is a member benefit. Click here to find out what other benefits you could receive as an ITSMF UK member. Alternatively, if you'd like to give membership a try contact the office on 0118 918 6509 and talk to us about our free six week trial.  

 

Tags:  business change  Organisational change  SIAM 

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Will We See You at SITS16?

Posted By Barclay Rae, 08 June 2016
Updated: 07 June 2016

 

This week ITSMF UK will be at the SITS show – we look forward to meeting many ITSM people there – it’s always a great business and social event.

 

We will be promoting our new PSMF (Professional Service Management Framework) there – come and hear about it on our stand. This is our high level framework which sets out the bigger picture of the competencies an ITSM professional needs – much more than just technical or process. This is a useful tool for organisations and individuals alike to build solid and rewarding career paths and clearly define our profession.

 

We are also presenting this on Thursday as a plenary session in the keynote theatre at 4pm. This will include a representative from CGI who are the first organisation to be endorsed by ITSMF UK in this scheme – read the Press Release here.  

 

I’m also pleased to say that over the last few days I’ve met several other organisations who have started simply using the free content from PSMF for their own people development.

 

SITS is a milestone in the calendar for the industry and we are also working hard to plan towards our own conference in the autumn, where we will feature professionalism. This is a big year for ITSMF UK as we move to re-define our position and proposition for the industry, backed up by a variety of new services.

 

It’s also a big time for our ITSM industry. ITSM is at a crossroads – it’s no longer just about ITIL - or any specific framework, with a number of new approaches DevOps, SIAM, BRM, IT4IT etc. How do existing practitioners evaluate and absorb new ideas into 'traditional' operations and service delivery? It’s a tough call and there is also too much confrontational marketing hype around 'xxx' is dead', or 'ITSM vs xxx'

 

What is clear is that our (ITSMF UK) role is to promote a clear definition of professionalism and recognition in Service Management. We need to incorporate new skills and roles within the world of IT. The changing market require s a wider definition of Service Management than just process or tech. We need a clear definition of a much wider set of skills and capabilities that are required to make IT service delivery successful.

 

We also require a grown up approach to understanding and incorporating the best of new and older practises... So we need to understand what is offered by new models and act positively to make these work – as and if they are appropriate. Our role is to present and investigate new ideas and models as they appear and to help professionals evaluate what is best for them.

 

ITSMF UK are no longer the ITIL user group* – rather we are independent curators, presenting and analysing the wider world of ITSM.

 

Enjoy SITSs and we hope to see you there…!

 

 

*other than selling some publications, we have no formal links to ITIL

Tags:  CGI  ITIL  PSMF  SITS16 

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Is it Time for ITSM to be Counted as a Professional Discipline? Part 1

Posted By Barclay Rae, 02 June 2016
Updated: 02 June 2016

 

ITSM is still seen by many as purely ITIL-focused or relevant only to internal IT operations. It is time for ITSM to stand up and be counted as a professional service discipline. Based on discussions with members across the country and the work of a thought leadership group, Barclay Rae outlines a future path for ITSM.


A Grown-up ITSM Industry 

ITSM needs to grow up – we need to look at ourselves and professionalise our industry and approach.

This means re-positioning as a more strategic and business-relevant function, with demonstrable business benefits, supporting organisational and customer expectations. In the past this has been too narrowly focussed on internal IT functions, projects and costs. 

ITIL has been the ‘de facto’ training and development approach for the last 10 – 15 years, yet those involved in delivering it know that ITIL is not enough – success requires much more than knowledge of a process framework.

IT and ITSM also needs to be viewed and appreciated more in a business broker role, more able to react quickly and be a solution provider rather than a ‘blocker’ - or the guys who always say ‘no’.


Tweet: For #ITSM to succeed we must show that it is professional, business-like and valued at the C-level - @barclayrae


Without a significant change in speed of delivery, quality and perception of service and demonstrable value, many IT internal departments and external IT companies will become more and more exposed as obsolete, and ultimately, redundant.

The ITSM industry itself also needs a make-over, with fresh and accessible content, some new and contemporary framing and messaging, in order to remain attractive and relevant.

In order to succeed with this we need first to take steps to improve the image of the industry, and the extent to which it can be shown to be professional, business-like and valued at the C-level. 

 

ITSM as a Discipline?

One problem is that ITSM is not seen as a discipline. There are several models for organisational certification (ISO20000, based on ITIL, SDI/HDI for Service Desks, COBIT as a governance model). Yet there is no central point of convergence or clarity about how these relate or are jointly relevant to support businesses. There is a growing but relatively low take-up of most of these models, which is disappointing since this would provide evidence that the ITSM programmes are working.

There are several industry organisations in this space that have members and forums, produce content, run events and in some cases set standards – yet these tend to exist as standalone niche bodies. Memberships have declined from initial high levels as the market has become saturated and knowledge and content has become more freely available online.

There is a large gap in the body of knowledge around ITSM – ITIL is primarily focussed on process, whereas successful ITSM requires a much wider portfolio of skills and capabilities. ITIL does not define organisational change, human interaction or customer experience, all essential for success.

Many organisations have expected ITIL to deliver results way beyond its capability or remit, seeing ITIL itself as the solution and ignoring these other factors. The result has been a lot of failed or incomplete ‘ITIL projects’ – these have burned cash and resources with little positive results – leaving the brand names of ITIL and ITSM damaged.

Without a central body to manage these issues, each area of the industry has continued unilaterally to deliver point solutions with limited success and restricted commercial penetration.

ITSM is therefore not a properly codified discipline. In its current form it will not be sustainable and the industry needs a new and wider definition, vision and structure. This must include e.g. a broader definition and portfolio of skills and capabilities, body of knowledge, organisational standards, plus clear career development paths, higher education qualifications and a code of conduct.

ITSM needs to be clearly positioned and presented as a business approach both within and beyond IT organisations. This is a growth area as many organisations are now using ITSM processes and tools to deliver wider collaboration and work management functions. C-level value propositions must be universally promoted around ITSM as an enabler, broker, orchestrator, rather than administrator.


Tweet: In order to survive, the #IT & #ITSM industry has to move to the next level of maturity. We collectively need to grow up - @barclayrae


All stakeholders need to engage and play their part in the delivery of Service Management - it’s a team game. We need to move away from thinking that ITSM is ‘just what the Service Desk do.’ 

In other words, in order to survive, the IT and ITSM industry has to move to the next level of maturity - we collectively need to grow up.   

 

What Needs to Happen?

What do we need to do as an industry to improve and broaden our skills and reflect that in training and development?

  • The view of (IT)SM from an executive perspective must be that it is a unifying and enabling discipline that brings together a number of functions, people and processes – we need to work harder to get that clear message across in suitable language.
  • From a messaging perspective ITSM has to be seen as the enabler of great customer experience as well as delivery of business outcomes/results.
  • We also need to get the message to the (IT) SM industry that we can’t do this simply by ‘doing’ ITIL – we need to get the people part right, plus the right use of governance and other tools, automation and frameworks to be successful.
  • The industry needs leadership to draw these ideas together and to normalise the needs for integration – ITIL is only part of the solution and more skills need to be developed and promoted.

 

Click here to find out more about our plans to develop and advance ITSM as a professional discipline and tune in next week to find out what Barclay thinks are the key areas for development and what skills are needed beyond ITIL.

 

This article was first published in the Summer 2015 issue of Service Talk which is a benefit of ITSMF UK membership

 

Tags:  PSMF 

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9 Top Tips to Create an Awesome Service Catalogue

Posted By Rebecca L. Beach, 31 May 2016
Updated: 31 May 2016

 

Some people will tell you that your Service Catalogue is the most important step in the journey of your ITSM organisation. That’s a lot of pressure.

There’s no denying it’s hugely beneficial to the business (that includes IT!) as it can improve communication between service providers and consumers, increase demand awareness and service visibility. The problem is that when there’s that much pressure it makes it difficult to know where to start.

 

At ITSMF UK we’ve been developing a new set of workshops and masterclasses and while working on Service Catalogue I started thinking about what my top tips might be to get started. Then I thought why stop there! So I asked some of my favourite ITSM experts what their top tips would be. Check them out below. 

1.     Ian Connelly, Chair at BCS Service Management SIG

The one tip I would suggest is not to try and boil the ocean… Very simply, start small. Either a limited scope (part of an office, datacentre etc.) or selected attributes from each CI, then expand it out.

Too many initiatives have attempted too much too soon, which leads to a feeling of climbing a mountain with the task.

  

2.     Barry Corless, Business Development Director at Global Knowledge

Service catalogue implementations that fail often do so because we are unsure of the objectives that service catalogue management (the discipline) is aiming to meet.  This leads to building and implementing the wrong tool.

For example, there is a big difference between what a vanilla service catalogue (a list of services) and a service request catalogue (used to drive self-service and automated workflow) will deliver.  Both outcomes are eminently possible using modern toolsets but we must concentrate on what we want service catalogue management to do before rushing headlong into a toolset implementation.  In many respects, the throw backs and similarities to the early days of configuration management and the lust for a CMDB should have taught us valuable lessons.  

  

3.     James Finister, Global ITSM Strategist at Tata Consultancy Services

Check and double check that the services you put in the catalogue are recognisable to senior managers in the business

 

4.     Stephen Mann, Writer at Quick Content Ltd

Involve the service catalogue's customers from the outset. It’s clichéd, but getting the right people involved is key. Remember that this is the business’ service catalogue, not IT’s. Thus IT shouldn't drive the look and feel, or content of the service catalogue – the business should. And it’s not a one-time consultation – keep them involved from design through to delivery.

Plus, given the growing pressure on corporate IT organizations to keep up with employee's consumer-world experiences and expectations of technology and service, the user experience and customer experience aspects of self-service and service delivery will be key to service catalogue success. With those responsible for the service catalogue needing to differentiate between the sexy-looking technology, with its great-looking user interface (UI), and how end users actually use and experience the technology and the service it provides. 

  

5.     Steve Morgan, IT Transformation and SIAM Consultant at Syniad IT Solutions Ltd

Ensure that you understand the business outcome that you expect the Service Catalogue to achieve.  Failure to “begin with the end mind” can lead to huge amounts of time being spent developing massive spreadsheets, that are never used.  For example, the term Service Catalogue can be confusing.  Ensure that you understand whether it is a “request” catalogue or a “business service” catalogue that you’re developing, and ensure that all of those involved in its development understand the definition, to avoid the risk of you veering off track, or producing a document that doesn’t hang together as a single entity.

Be very wary about trying to build a paper version of your CMDB under the guise of a business Service Catalogue.  It may be better to build a data model within your Service Management tool, and build a prototype directly into the tool, rather than trying to import a few thousand lines of Excel!

 

6.     Barclay Rae, CEO at ITSMF UK

Collaboration and close working will sort out more problems than a perfect design

 

7.     Stuart Rance, Service Management and Security Management Consultant at Optimal Service Management

Don’t confuse a service catalogue with a request catalogue

Many service catalogue projects fail because IT organizations are confused about what a service catalogue is, and what it should be used for. Every company needs a catalogue to help customers understand what services they offer, and IT is no different. You should create a service catalogue to help your customers understand what services you can provide and help them choose what will be available for their users.  Don’t confuse this service catalogue with the request catalogue that you make available to users so that they can order components of a service. For example, a customer may choose “mobile user support” from your service catalogue. This service could provide phones, tablets, connectivity, an app store and many other things needed to support a mobile workforce. If the customer chooses this service, then you will need to add specific phone models and apps that a user can select to your request catalogue. You need both types of catalogue, but make sure you know which you are trying to create and why.

 

8.     Matt Hoey, Chair at ITSMF UK Service Transition SIG

One of the difficulties in creating a Service Catalogue is the daunting amount of time it could take.  Tasks such as getting agreement on what goes into it and writing the definitions all take time when you are starting from scratch.  This can lead to a large amount of time elapsing between starting out and customers and Service Management teams getting value from it.

Taking an agile approach (in a nutshell: early minimum viable product and then iterating incrementally through feedback) can help you get something out sooner.  Make a first pass at the catalogue picking out the easily identifiable services, some basic information and put an early version of the catalogue out there.  You may not have all the services identified, or all the definitions written or even all the fields for the definition identified, but why not start using what you have rather than waiting for it to be complete?  In other words, don’t lock away that value whilst you wait for the finished product.  You’ll also get feedback from customers and Service Management teams from the early use which will help you with the further work on the catalogue which you can continue to do incrementally until you’ve built up your catalogue.

 

And my tip?

 

9.     I see many people creating what is, in effect, a repository of services. Having a centralised area for this information is good but if that’s all you’re creating it’s a waste of time and effort.

Create your Service Catalogue like you’re going to use it! Think about how and why IT and the business will be using this information and design it accordingly.

 

What’s your tip for creating an awesome Service Catalogue? Comment below or why not share with the ITSMF UK community on Twitter.

 

  

Tags:  Service Catalogue 

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