ITIL Practitioner focuses on nine guiding service management principles that distil the core message to facilitate improvement and success at all levels. The principles not only guide providers who want to adopt a good approach for successful products and services but can also be applied to ensure our day to day success. Yes, that’s right! These principles could be applied to buying a car, ordering food and more.
Example: I want to purchase a car.
1) Focus on VALUE- I need a car but I don’t want to exceed my budget for this. Value for me means awesome performance and that this car looks amazing. It must be a good fit and be cost effective. Good luck, right? Value is determined by price but also by performance and perception.
2) Design for Experience – Here I would be looking for something that is durable, has lots of techno gadgets built into the dash and if it is luxurious when I get into it… even better. If it just looks good but is not functional than it is not fit for the experience. The provider of this vehicle will have to know their audience and who their customer base is. They will have to know the customer needs for such a car and ensure that they are able to meet them viewing the customer experience holistically. Value can only be determined by the consumer, NOT by the designer or the sales rep.
3) Start Where You Are. – Leverage what is already available. ITIL sayslLook objectively at the current state. Of course I will have to look at any risk involved too. The Engine, carburetor, and overall functionality is a must but I should also have the color and model that deliver value to me.
4) Work Holistically – All elements must work harmoniously together to deliver results. As with any service the outcome must be fit for purpose and fit for use. Addressing only one element without looking at the overall product with features could result in a very expensive frustration. I must focus on the bigger picture rather than just one element. If I have a great engine but the vehicle is rusted and ugly, that is not an option. Example: Let’s say that I have selected a great performing vehicle and then decide that a sun roof is a required element for me. If the reviews show many consumers are unhappy due to leaks from this then the warranty or assurance of value from that overall vehicle is diminished; even if the engine, carburetor, and all other functional requirements are there. I not only want the functionality of a good performing car, the beauty and warranty or assurance that it will not cause trouble must also be there to deliver true value.
5) Progress Iteratively- I have the big picture now and the look I am going for. OK so maybe I won’t be able to get all of the nice to have features or all of the techno gadgets. Price matters. I will need to separate my must haves from nice to haves. Once that is done then I can begin to add elements accordingly to complete this vision. My minimum viable product is the functionality of the engine, good gas mileage, and performance.
6) Observe Directly – While it is true that some things can only be understood through observing and measuring, direct observation is the first and preferred option. Although the car that I have now selected looks right I know that I am going to have to take this for a test drive to observe how it feels and runs on the road. The reviews and historical data (metrics) alone might not give a true picture of what I thought this car really is. I do not want to make assumptions here. Try it on for size.
7) Be Transparent – Best practice for service providers state that leaders at various levels should provide appropriate information relating to the quality or the improvement in their communication with others. Therefore, I am bringing with me my friend the mechanic. Before I invest I want a qualified recommendation from someone I know will be open and transparent.
8) Collaboration – Although I value the input from others, my preferences and perceptions must be considered so that the end results are a win/win. Another aspect of transparency and collaboration is that accomplishments are communicated and celebrated so I am sure we will have to leave the dealership and celebrate our decision. This will emphasize the importance and value of my friend and a sense of pride for participating.
9) Keep it Simple – As an IT Service provider we know that when analyzing a process, service or improvement, we have to consider “Does it create value?”. As it relates to purchasing a car, if I get sidetracked and start looking at too many features in lieu of the functionality and performance that really deliver value I will regret this purchase.
OK, buying a car not your thing? Take these nine ITIL practitioner principles and apply them to any purchase or day to day service. They work. You might want to have fun and ask your staff to do the same. It is a fun way to embrace these simple yet critical principles for the provisioning of services.
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