Skip to main content

Achieving ITSM Balance

In speaking with colleagues and practitioners, I have found that one of the greatest difficulties for companies to overcome in a Service Management implementation is the desire to be more complex and unbalanced than is absolutely necessary. One of the most basic and underlying elements of good Service Management is the achievement of balance in how we approach the delivery of value to the customers and users through services. Balance helps us to find an equitable point that brings value to the customers and users without throwing out the efforts and actions needed to keep IT going.

When I speak of balance, I am referring to finding the middle ground between extremes. These include balances like the amount of time and effort spent between Incident Management and Problem Management; or perhaps the balance between flexibility and stability; or even the challenges of being proactive versus reactive; customer/service-centric versus technology-centric. There are a multitude of these types of balances and challenges that face an organization trying to use the best practices of Service Management.

An old adage states that “the squeaky wheel gets the grease”. This is true in IT as much as anywhere. We turn our attention to those things and tasks that make the most noise or those people who have the loudest voice. As humans we want to please others. It gives us satisfaction, praise and rewards. However, in simply trying to satisfy every need as quickly as possible in the easiest, most cost effective and timely way we are actually often throwing things out of balance. Sometimes it takes a hard choice to go down the “road less traveled” to find a more stable and effective, efficient and economical balance that brings the greatest value to the customers and users, but does not bring instant gratification.

We could spend all of our time doing Incident Management and resolving service issues and putting out “fires”. But this means a choice not to do Problem Management and gain the benefits of finding problems before they appear or stopping Incidents from constantly recurring. If we put all our time to finding root cause, we will have unresolved issues that impact the value we promised to the customers and users. So the best option is to find a balance between Incident Management and Problem Management that will allow us to resolve issues while spending some of our time being proactive with future potential problems.

To better achieve these benefits of balance we must do several things:
  • Identify opposing views or ideas or action sets that exist within our organizations
  • Determine the balance or middle ground between the extremes for our individual organizations
  • Identify actions we can take now to move towards that middle ground or balance point
  • Put those actions into place
  • Continually improve by looking for more balances to achieve


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and th

The Four Ps of Service Design - It’s not all about Technology

People ask me why I think that many designs and projects often fail. The most common answer is from a lack of preparation and management. Many IT organizations just think about the technology (product) implementation and fail to understand the risks of not planning for the effective and efficient use of the four Ps: People, Process, Products (services, technology and tools) and Partners (suppliers, manufacturers and vendors). A holistic approach should be adopted for all Service Design aspects and areas to ensure consistency and integration within all activities and processes across the entire IT environment, providing end to end business-related functionality and quality. (SD 2.4.2) People:   Have to have proper skills and possess the necessary competencies in order to get involved in the provision of IT services. The right skills, the right knowledge, the right level of experience must be kept current and aligned to the business needs. Products:   These are the technology managem

The ITIL Maturity Model

Most organizations, especially service management organizations, strive to improve themselves. For those of us leveraging the ITIL® best practices, continual improvement is part of our DNA. We are constantly evaluating our organizations and looking for ways to improve. To aid in our improvement goals and underscore one of the major components of the ITIL Service Value System , Continual Improvement .   AXELOS has updated the ITIL Maturity Model and is offering new ITIL Assessment services. This will enable organizations to conduct evaluations and establish baselines to facilitate a continual improvement program. A while back I wrote an article on the importance of conducting an assessment . I explained the need to understand where you are before you can achieve your improvement goals. Understanding where you are deficient, how significant gaps are from your maturity objectives, and prioritizing which areas to focus on first are key to successfully improving. One method many organi