Enterprise service management is about applying a service-oriented business model to the way your organization works. In terms of the “mechanics,” it’s the use of IT service management (ITSM) thinking, principles, best practice processes, and technology in other business functions such as human resources (HR) and facilities. You might be thinking “Why would we want to do that?” It’s because many business functions, within an organization, still waste time, money, and effort using ad hoc, manual ways of working and multiple, separate systems for similar tasks. Ultimately, enterprise service management is about taking the lessons we’ve learned in IT – in particular about service delivery and support – and applying them to the rest of the organization.
Interested? To help, this article offers up four tips for getting started with enterprise service management.
4 tips for getting started with enterprise service management
- Ensure that your organization has a suitable plan. “Duh?” I hear you cry. To be clear I don’t mean a project plan for deploying ITSM-based capabilities in HR, say. There’s a need to create an enterprise service management roadmap, and ideally, an overarching strategy, such that you’ve got a structured approach to take across your organization. What does this look like? Sorry, but there’s no fixed route to success. I suggest that you look at what has the potential to add the most value in the shortest amount of time. There are also different delivery approaches. Ultimately, you know your organization best. So, go for the approach that best fits your organization in terms of balancing capability, agility, and appetite for risk. Example approach elements include:
- A phased approach, tackling each business function sequentially or delivering an important capability across all business functions first. For example, a self-service portal.
- Addressing departments with the greatest need first. For example, business functions with severe pain points that can potentially be fixed quickly.
- Using a pilot approach, where working with “friendly” departments is a low-risk approach to bring in enterprise service management.
- Taking an all-at-once big bang approach. It’s the riskiest approach but also the one that will potentially deliver benefits more quickly.
- Look enterprise-wide in identifying all your enterprise service management candidates (rather than planning it one business function at a time). Importantly, enterprise service management isn’t just about sharing the ITSM tool. Instead, it’s more about creating standardized capabilities and a consistent way of working – where everything has a similar look and feel, and processes are more polished, professional, and capable of increasing value. Look to the following business functions and opportunities to benefit from enterprise service management workflows, automation, and approvals:
- Facilities – automate facilities workflows and tasks such as maintenance requests, office moves, replacement furniture, work orders, or facilities FAQ capabilities.
- HR – your request fulfillment model can be used to onboard new employees, manage requests for training or for vacation, make changes to health plans, deal with questions, and salary inquiries.
- Legal – automate legal FAQs, requests for standard contracts and forms, document certification, whistleblowing, the review and approval of documents, and audit advice.
- Marketing – automate request models for branding and new campaigns.
- Information security – digitize security training, managing access changes, on-boarding new employees, and conducting security checks and audits.
- Accounting and finance – automate the processes for requesting yearly accounts, submitting and approving expenses, and sending invoices.
- Purchasing – automate quotes, authorization for discounts, processing purchase orders, and managing vendor correspondence.
- Office administration – automate the requesting of office supplies, printing services, management of meeting rooms, and booking travel/accommodations.
- Focus on the available quick wins. If your organization still has business function departments that are reliant on paper-based or email-based processes, then they’re great candidates for help. Work with each of them to understand how they currently work and then use your ITSM model to help improve and automate their operations and outcome. Examples include eliminating:
- Inconsistent, ad hoc ways of working that lead to mistakes and rework
- Requests that get lost in a paperwork or email mountain
- Team members working in their own bubbles (or silos) that miss opportunities for improvement
- Duplication of effort and the need for rework
- The push-based system that causes bottlenecks and delays.
- Identify and sell the benefits of enterprise service management. Introducing enterprise service management boosts productivity, consistency, and professionalism while breaking down backlogs and silos. A few of the common benefits to help sell enterprise service management to the rest of the organization include:
- Reduced operational costs and speedier outcomes
- A big bump in employee productivity (for those who serve and those who are served)
- Increased consistency and quality of workflows, work, and outcomes
- Greater support for governance
- Breaking down work silos once and for all.
Are you already using enterprise service management or starting to use it? If so, what have you achieved and what tips would you offer to others? Please let me know in the comments.