Keeping the Momentum Going

The Continual Service Improvement publication describes the Continual Service Improvement model. One of the questions asked in this model is “How do we keep the momentum going?” This question becomes especially important when your ITSM implementation efforts have been in place for a significant amount of time. The question then becomes more one of “How do we stop from losing the momentum and effort invested up to this point?” Or perhaps “How do we avoid from returning to the old ways?”

For all our efforts to become efficient, effective and economical there is a potential danger that we will fall into comfortable, yet poor habits. So how do we ensure that we do not fall into bad habits such as taking shortcuts, pushing aside process, and just “getting things done” instead of following established methods and processes and doing proper planning?

We must begin by being confident in the strides we have made to this point. If we have followed the Continuous Improvement Model faithfully over time then we will have taken the right steps and established a successful implementation. Once we begin to question the steps we have taken then doubt creeps into our minds. When doubt appears then we will struggle to maintain momentum. By remaining confident in our choices and decisions we can forestall doubt.

Next we must prepare for the future. Building a strong strategy, conducting effective tactical planning and establishing operational approaches and methods can help to pave a smoother road for your efforts at implementing ITSM. If we try to deal with things as they come at us in an ad hoc and unplanned manner, we will struggle to find effectiveness, efficiency and economy. An important part of avoiding old habits is to have the tools, skills and methods in place to deal with roadblocks, barriers and other pitfalls that we may face as we move to higher levels of maturity in ITSM.

Another consideration for avoiding the loss of momentum is to recognize early enough the slowing of your momentum. Look for signs or listen for statements that indicate that people have lost the “spirit” of ITSM. Analyze your metrics to determine if any unexpected changes or trends have occurred with your processes. Have the number of incidents slipped for no reason? Have unauthorized changes been on the rise despite the maturity of your process? Have the amount of suggestions for improvements declined? If you notice that the “spirit” of service management seems to be declining, that is when you must make more effort to re-invigorate people.

The final aspect of keeping the momentum going is to ensure you have the data, information and knowledge available that provides the evidence needed to identify potential improvements. A key part of the momentum of ITSM is the whole idea of improvement. A mindset of making things better for the customer and delivery of value is vital to ITSM. You must use evidence to show the benefits that can be gained from ITSM, as well as to instill a mindset of continual improvement.

There are any number of ideas you can use to ensure that you not only keep moving forward with improvement but also that you did not slip backwards and into ways and means that provide no value. Spend some time thinking about how your own organization might ensure that the cycle of improvement continues.

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