5 Key Questions to Refocus your ITIL Approach
ITIL is the go-to framework for most organizations in an IT service management (ITSM) environment, but just because something works doesn't mean it can't be revised and improved. Especially as business requirements change, just like ITIL in 2019. Here are five questions to ask yourself and your organization when reviewing and reorienting your ITIL approach.
Question # 1: How are we doing?
One of the first activities of any improvement plan should be to perform a basic exercise. Reach out to your customers, support teams and suppliers to ask them what's working, what needs to be improved, and what else needs to be done so that your IT department can continue to maintain and improve agreed upon service levels. Ask your IT service desk what issues they encounter day in and day out and review your customer satisfaction feedback for any common issues.
Question 2: What has changed?
Another question to ask is: what has changed in the past year? Your organization will be flexible and adapt to changing market requirements, so IT must do the same to stay relevant (and let's face it, to keep up). Ask yourself: what new challenges is your company facing? What has become more important? What does senior management focus on (and what keeps them up at night)?
Things to watch out for include:
Expansion - more people are being hired and new sites are being built
More governance and compliance activities - for example SOX
New customers with new requirements
New suppliers and partners.
Question 3: When was the last time you checked the customer's requirements?
Things to consider here include:
Availability and uptime. Just because the Service Level Agreement (SLA) says 99% uptime doesn't mean you won't be absolutely ripped apart at a service review meeting if something fell at a particularly critical time. In particular, ensure that availability requirements are regularly reviewed for business-critical services.
Capacity and performance. How an application behaves is absolutely essential to the customer experience. We've probably all heard about the three-click rule, but other things to look at include page refresh rates, transaction speeds, server capacity, and application load times. It's all about the details.
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IT security. Keeping systems safe and ensuring security obligations such as regular security patches and user training are carried out.
Self-service and self-help. By enabling your customers to access self-help, you reduce the time it takes to solve simple problems such as resetting passwords, and also frees up the service desk to focus on "the most important things" .
Question # 4: How can we bring in the new?
Just being good enough is no longer good enough. Staying relevant is more than just surviving, it's about bringing you A game. See what's happening in the best practice community and see what you can incorporate into your daily activities with relative ease.
Things to consider include:
Using eXperience level agreements (XLAs) to track and improve customer experience and satisfaction
Using Kanban boards to streamline your change management process - replacing or reducing the need for lengthy change advisory board (CAB) meetings
Developing templates and models to handle the most common incident and service request tickets
Using the Kaizen approach to conduct short, targeted bursts of continuous improvement activities.
Tip # 5: How can we go "more about value"?
The reality is that IT today is all about delivering value. Value to your customers, value to your end users and value to the business. A key concept in the new version of ITIL (ITIL 4) is the service value chain that describes six activities that work together to process incoming demand and requirements to create value through the IT products and services that enable the business.
By integrating such value stream activities into your ITIL approach, you put the business at the center and the improvements you make are visible to everyone.
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