At the upcoming itSMF UK conference I’ll be presenting a session on enterprise service management – the use of IT service management (ITSM) principles, practices, and technology by other lines of business such as HR, facilities, and legal. I’ll be offering a number of helpful tips for starting the enterprise service management journey, one of which is:

Don’t try to help other corporate service providers before helping yourself.

It sounds sensible, as it’s somewhat foolish to propagate suboptimal processes and practices throughout your organization. So it’s good to ask yourself “How good are our IT department’s ITSM capabilities?” and “Are they good enough to share enterprise wide?”

Assessing your company’s ITSM capabilities

There are many maturity models out there, ITSM-related or otherwise, that often build on the work of the CMMI Institute, a subsidiary of ISACA, and its Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) program.

For instance, AXELOS – the custodians of the ITIL ITSM best practice framework – offers two different CMMI-flavoured ITIL maturity models: a high-level self-assessment service and a full self-assessment service. Both of which utilize process-based scoring using a series of pertinent questions. And Gartner – the global research firm – offers an alternative, process-based view of ITSM, okay ITSSM (IT service support management).

But whether this is the best measure of your company’s ITSM capabilities, and thus readiness for enterprise service management, is debatable. Why? Because it can be a very inwardly looking, process-based view of the world that might easily overlook how both IT and end users feel about the corporate ITSM capability. Think about it – the IT department is probably scoring itself based on what it, or a small group of people, thinks it should be doing instead of what everyone else might actually want and need.

Taking a different, customer-centric, view of your ITSM capabilities

Enterprise service management is about providing employees with consistently high-quality services and support, no matter the line of business involved. Thus, if we want to extend IT’s approach to providing services and support to other business functions, surely we need to be checking that what the IT department provides is actually meeting customer and end user needs (within sensible operational constraints)?

So while your company’s last ITSM maturity assessment will provide interesting insights into different ITSM capabilities, the real assessment of the suitability to other lines of business lies with your company’s employees.

Thus there is a need to:

  1. Canvas employees on how well your corporate ITSM activities are doing from the “consumer”, rather than provider, perspective – which is so much more than post-incident customer satisfaction questionnaires
  2. Identify a prioritized list of improvement opportunities
  3. Be open with other lines of business as to what currently works well and what is potentially improvable from the employee perspective
  4. Make limited initial changes where practical – as changing too much might unnecessarily delay your enterprise service management activities
  5. Plan for additional changes, which might not need to start within the IT department – as other lines of business using enterprise service management will open up additional opportunities to test different ways of working.

Finally, don’t assume that IT has all the answers and all the best processes – other business functions might have processes in place that would benefit IT over existing ITSM best practice. Importantly, the goal here is business improvement, not to impose IT’s way on the rest of the organization.

Find out more at ITSM16

If you’re attending the event (you can book your place here), then hopefully you’ll be able to attend my session – “Enterprise Service Management: It’s Time to Share ITSM Best Practices Outside of IT” – where my three key takeaways for attendees are:

  • Understanding the common issues and opportunities across corporate service providers such as IT, HR, and facilities, and how enterprise service management can help.
  • Coming away with an appreciation of what enterprise service management entails and how ITSM processes and technology can support other business functions.
  • Receiving practical tips on how to best start out, plan, deploy, and succeed with enterprise service management.

Hopefully I’ll see you there.

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Principal Analyst and Content Director at the ITSM-focused industry analyst firm ITSM.tools. Also an independent IT and IT service management marketing content creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT service management professionals.
 
Previously held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester and the UK Post Office), IT service management consultancy, enterprise IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and product marketing for a SaaS IT service management technology vendor.