Something has to be broken for someone to fix it, but there is a caveat to this when it comes to ITSM… An organization might just be moving towards a higher level of maturity in Process definition and execution when they take up Service Management initiatives.
Some of the initiatives that are done not to “fix” defects but to mature:
1. Improve Quality of Change to the environment – better change planning, increase use of CMDB, better conflict management, reduction in both planned and unplanned downtime
2. Introduce a standard governance model for ITSM – assigned roles to work on process maturity and adoption, continuous service improvement opportunity identification, focus on identification of training needs in case of process adoption and compliance issues
3. Strengthen Measurements and Controls – take date driven actions, know what to fix and what to leave, assess maturity and performance
4. Graduate to being Proactive from just being reactive – do trend analysis and find problems before incidents occur, introduce processes like event management to monitor health of IT real-time and raise events, strengthen knowledge management systems
5. Have a road-map, both Short term and Long Term – Assess the as-is state, document the to-be state, find what it takes to sustain what is there currently and establish what would it take to reach the desired or the to-be state
Craig Symons in this Forrester Whitepaper has summarized the 5 key metrics that should be used to Manage IT.
Craig suggests that the CIOs must create a scorecard that is
1. Understandable and relevant to business executives
2. Connected to business outcomes
The metrics that should ideally form the core of an IT scorecard are then defined as :
Metric #1: Alignment Of IT Investments To Business Strategy
The size of the circle represents the amount invested
Discretionary Investments are not mandatory
Metric #2: Cumulative Business Value Of IT Investment
Metric #3: IT Spend Ratio — New Versus Maintenance
Metrics #4: Critical Business Service Availability
Metric #5: Operational Health
All images are from the Forrester Whitepaper
A good set of processes is like a parking lot…
Every process which is written keeping in mind the best practices, with usability, auditability, accountability etc is like a good car…
But a car performs well on the road, when its liked. Just because a car meets all safety standards, or maybe reaches 200mph or shows you 15 different numbers on the dashboard, or connects with all sorts of 3rd party devices with most ease, does not make the car a very popular one.
There would always be a set of people who would like to buy a car for
1. The value for money
2. The ease of use or drivability
3. Adaptability to other devices, ipods, usb etc and volume of built in smaller things it has, gps, integrated amplifier etc…
and Ditto is the case with ITSM Processes, ITIL is a parking lot, and the processes are the cars… The only way they can move out of the lot and be driven with ease is when
1. You have advertised enough (Communication at all levels)
2. People understand its value for money (What do I save when I invest my time and effort in the process or what do I gain when I spend my time and effort in the process)
3. People understand its worth (What does it cost to do this)
4. People are trained to use it (Enough training and hand holding has happened for them to be able to drive around on their own)
5. People are given a destination to reach and there is a way to measure progress (Benchmarks, and measurements are defined)
6. There is an award at the end (Good performers are acknowledged, advocates for success and adoption are identified, the not so good performers are motivated)
A good read on defining IT services for an Organization.
The key steps which are mentioned in the Workbook are :
Step 1: Select an Enterprise Product and Identify Supporting Services
Step 2: List All Related IT Systems
Step 3: Mark IT Services as CFS(Customer Facing Service) or RFS(Resource Facing Service)
Step 4: Map RFSs to CFSs
Step 5: Identify the Resources that Make Up the Resource Facing Services
What the workbook/document does not take into consideration are the Business Services which an organization provides to its customers. This makes it a total of three layers…
1. IT Infrastructure Services (what this document refers to as Resource Facing Services)
2. IT User Services (which this document refers to as Customer Facing Services)
3. Business Services – which are the services that are extended to a customer of the organization.
You could download the workbook from here (Registration required).
Images courtesy : EMA Workbook
I am not sure ITIL is “only” about saving money… most consultants would claim that there are huge investment savings over a period of time…
Having a process implemented in your IT environment should also
- Felicitate the Operations
- Bring business and IT closer
- Increase ability to translate requirements and business goals into actionable IT plans
- Ease out the pain areas in execution of activities
- Empower business to improve and plan ahead
- Make the organization people independent and role dependent
and so on…
All of these are not directly tied to any $$$ savings directly, but would ultimately lead to it with time.
There are times when the potential high savings that are projected would not really be achieved… take for instance a business case for upgrading to Windows 7 that I came across… The logic was that Windows 7 loads on an average 5 minutes faster than the other existing Operating Systems on the end-user systems.
Multiply this number to the number of users… lets say a ballpark figure of 1000, which means a saving of 5000 man-minutes everyday… How many $$$s does that save?
Lets assume an hourly rate of about $80 per user which roughly translates into $1.3 per minute… And the total figure of $$$ saved everyday would be about $6666.67 and for a month with 20 working days, the figure would be well over $100,000… Mighty impressive!
But does that really justify upgrading to Windows 7 for the entire organization? In theory, an Emphatic YES! in the real world would I see $100,000 worth of productivity gain every month from an organization of 1000 users? Anybody’s guess!