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Implementing ITSM Best Practices – Getting the IT Team’s Buy-In

Finally, the management has supported the proposal for ITSM implementation, and has decided that it is necessary to provide cost-effective services and to retain satisfied customers by providing consistently superior services in today’s competitive world.

Now it is up to the IT manager to convince the IT team of the importance of ITSM and how the team needs to change their focus. Any change, as we all know, leads to some form of resistance and many objections. The typical IT team dislikes additional documentation and changes in process unless they can be convinced of the benefits at the individual or team level. If the ITSM implementation is to be successful, there must be acceptance from all team members who must believe that the benefits of adopting ITSM surpass any extra effort required by them to follow the guidelines.

Of course there are many benefits of following ITSM guidelines and a deep understanding of ITSM is needed to understand and appreciate this. This article attempts to highlight a few points associated with ITSM which are likely to appeal to the IT staff.

The following are some core or underlying concepts of ITSM which, when explained, can have an immediate impact and help the team to quickly grasp the importance of ITSM.

1.      The focus is on superior customer service, not just technically sound IT solutions.

The primary focus will be on customer satisfaction and not just meeting internal technical standards or norms followed by the team or organization. This needs a change of focus; the IT team needs to understand the customer and their business. Keeping the business performing and providing services based on agreed SLA’s or OLA’s is of utmost importance. This is where incident management and offering a work-around comes in. The IT team will have the opportunity for out-of –the box thinking to come up with a quick work-around while the problem is being solved in the usual way. The team may have been doing this already to some extent but the opportunity for recognition of this activity and the contributions of the team in this regard will have an encouraging effect on the team.

2.      Emphasis on cost effectiveness, not reduced costs

ITSM guidelines emphasize that reducing costs is not the prime objective; investing appropriately in IT to derive optimal results is important. The IT team can hope for improvement in the IT infrastructure and its maintenance, if supported by the business.

3.      Introducing changes and new services can be smooth and painless.

Any IT person will react strongly to this statement! Change management has always been a difficult part of any IT professional’s life. Frequent changes in specifications by the customer, inadequate testing before release, expensive reworking of the solution and the consequences of stretching the time and resources budget is a nightmare faced and dreaded by the typical IT team. The team will be happy to consider following ITSM practices which ensure that change management is smooth with adequate testing and controls at each level.

4.      Continual service improvement may mean new opportunities and better work environments.   

According to ITSM Best Practices, service performance has to be analyzed and improvements have to be made to the organization, processes and technology on a continual basis. This opens the door to improvements and opportunities in various areas such as training, technology and processes to name just a few.

Obviously, the IT Manager needs to explain the origin of ITSM and that it is a set of best practices to design, plan, deliver and manage IT services that have world-wide acceptance. The team will receive the opportunity to undergo appropriate training and attain certification in line with their roles and responsibilities. This should act as an exciting incentive to the IT professional.