Everybody in IT talks about processes. But how well do yours work, how do you know, and how do you make and keep them the best that can be?
For decades now, many have described success with IT as reliant upon a “three-legged stool” of people, process, and technology. For almost as long, it’s been an open secret that of the three, the process leg is often the shortest and most wobbly.
What’s Wrong with Most ITSM Processes?
They’re poorly documented, if at all.
They’re poorly enforced, if at all.
They’re rarely evaluated and updated or replaced as necessary, if at all.
Processes are exactly like every other IT and business asset. You can’t manage them, let alone optimize them, if you don’t know anything about them.
Process Excellence: 6 Things To Do Now
Catch them if you can. Wherever possible, document the processes your team and your business use today. As many as possible, whatever their state of deployment, enforcement, or known effectiveness. In fact, document those things about each process as well.
Learn from what you’ve got. Leverage Information produced by your current IT asset management (ITAM) and ITSM efforts and resources to help you map those current processes. How your IT assets interact to deliver specific features can provide a de facto map of the processes those features execute and support. If your business has a configuration management database (CMDB), start mining that information for clues about processes you may not have documented or know exist.
Step back. Triage and prioritize your captured and documented processes based on specific business needs and goals. For each, determine what needs and goals it is intended to support, and assess its effectiveness. Your criteria and methods should be driven by specific business needs and goals as well. Extensive collaboration beyond IT will be required.
Improve, then keep improving. Capture, promote, and extend the processes that are working. Fix those that can be fixed, and discard and replace those that cannot or should not. Implement processes for regular review and reassessment of your most critical processes, and for improving, repairing, or replacing those that need it in the future.
Leverage that CMDB. If possible, extend the information in your CMDB to include relevant links to and information about the processes that touch each of your IT assets. Set regular reminders to reassess and update your CMDB and the process-related information in it. And if your business doesn’t already have one, the ability of a CMDB to help your business discover, map, manage, and improve processes for ITSM and other functions can justify one.
Build a solid plan. This step is listed last, but is one most important at the start of and throughout your journey toward process excellence and continuous improvement. While widely adopted industry guidelines such as ITIL can help, your plan and strategy must be driven by the goals, needs, and constraints unique to your business.
Vendors and numerous online resources can help. If you’d like an accessible, vendor-agnostic starting point, check out the YaSM® Service Management Wiki. It of course promotes the fee-based products and services offered by Stefan Kempter and the worthy team behind YaSM (Yet another Service Management Model). But the Wiki contains and points as numerous useful resources, all available at no cost.
Process Excellence Starts with IT
Your ITSM processes are likely the most evolved at your business for linking technologies to operational tasks and business goals. As more and more of your business relies on IT to do business, it becomes more likely that those proven IT processes will be adapted for and extended to other parts of the business.
If those processes are lacking, those deficiencies will spread across your business as well. Nothing good can come of that, for you, your team, or your business. Now is the time to focus on improving and optimizing the processes that drive delivery and management of IT services at your business. So the only thing those processes bring to other parts of your business is success.
Virima: Your Process Excellence Partner
Virima’s discovery, ITAM, and ITSM solutions can help your business achieve and sustain process excellence, within and beyond IT. Virima solutions can automatically discover and map your critical IT resources and the interconnections that link them to one another, your applications and services, and your users. Virima solutions are easy to use and configure, and designed to work well with each other. They also produce useful, actionable reports about your IT environment and its contributions to and effects on your business operations.
These features can help you and your IT management team optimize the processes that drive your operations, creating a firm, flexible foundation for expansion of those processes across your business. Learn more about Virima’s IT and service management solutions online, or contact Virima today.