ITSM, or Information Technology Service Management or IT Service Management, was a new and emerging buzzword a while back. It is now considered to be the go-to solution for all IT-related issues. Whenever there is an issue, minor or major, in any department or vertical of your IT business, you will invariably be told to focus on ITSM implementation to solve the problem. Is ITSM really the answer to all your IT-related problems? What are the negatives of ITSM that you need to be aware of before plunging into the world of ITSM?
Ugly truths of ITSM
These are some of the ugly truths of using ITSM incorrectly and without proper understanding of the approach and what it involves:
#1 Taking on too much work:
ITSM can help streamline processes and optimize the use of your organizational resources. However, this can at times make it seem as if you have more capacity for taking on work than you actually do. This might result in you taking on so much work that eventually, you fail to deliver quality and timely results to your customers.
You need to actually take a step back before taking any major decisions about workload and look at how much you can realistically deliver to avoid situations where your organization looks bad and can lose customers and credibility.
#2 Poor CSFs leading to poor KPIs:
ritical Success Factors (CSFs) are various activities that an organization must perform to reach predetermined goals using ITSM. Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) are indicators of the level of success of various CSFs. KPIs help track CSFs and ensure everyone is working toward the same goals and objectives.
Many organizations use KPIs without having measurable CSFs in place. CSFs keep the entire team on the same page and everyone knows the eventual goals to be achieved. Without CSFs, the effectiveness of KPIs is greatly reduced and makes KPIs unreliable to measure success.
#3 Poor communication and knowledge of terminology:
Poor communication in any organization setup can be disastrous. In a multifaceted working environment such as the ITSM approach to manager services and delivery, the importance of proper communication multiplies multiple times. If all the employees are not on the same page about goals and tasks, it can lead to chaos.
Organizations using ITSM tend to use a lot of terminology and jargon in everyday communication, and this can cause a lot of communication problems if everyone is not well-versed with various ITSM terms. Miscommunication can lead to loss of information, rework, delays, and a lot of confusion, affecting quality and timely delivery of services to customers. A service desk with trained professional can help reduce internal communication issues.
#4 Poor research and testing:
Research could refer to best practices, trends to follow, or solutions to implement. It is essential to not make any decisions without thorough research and review of all available data. Without adequate research, you can end up making grave mistakes that can cost your organization money, customers, and your credibility in the market.
Another important factor in this context is testing. It involves understanding what the client requires, looking at the market conditions, and getting the right information form the clients. Rushing into a new project without adequate time for testing can mean that you do not have adequate information to deliver quality services, which will ultimately lead to delays in service delivery and poor customer satisfaction.
#5 Poor change management and OCM:
Managing change well, with customers and internally within the organization, is critical to ITSM, and therefore organizational, success. Poor change management can result from ineffective communication, inadequate time, lack of information, and poor planning. This, in turn, can lead to myriad problems for the organization, including grave legal issues with customers.
Organizational change management (OCM) is a major cause of poor change management. When employees and entire teams do not know their goals or do not understand the task at hand, it can lead to delays, confusion, and poor implementation. Better training, enhanced communication, and a high level of monitoring of processes and activities can help avoid major change management issues.
#6 Decisions made knee-jerk reactions:
At times, especially when there is a match in planning and execution, or when there are other factors at play, the actual results may vary considerably from expected results. Many organizational leaders make the mistake of taking decisions on the spur of the moment in such situations. However, such rash decisions can result in disaster if they are not backed by common sense, sound reasoning, and logic.
At such junctures, it is crucial to take a step back and view the problem at hand objectively. It may make more sense to provide a temporary solution while you look at all the available data and information available. You can confer with your team and make a decision to fix the problem at hand instead of rushing into it.
Some positives about ITSM
Do not be discouraged. ITSM is not all bad, and it can actually be quite useful to your organization as long as it is used and implemented well.
- Improved efficiency of services: There are various ITSM tools that can help improve efficiency by making communication and coordination easy among employees and teams within the organization as well as with external clients.
- Enhanced clarity and communication: A functioning service desk with the right service desk software and trained employees to manage the desk ensures proper and timely communication internally and externally. Good communication can, in turn, lead to better clarity of tasks, goals, and timelines.
- Highly streamlined processes: There are a number of ITSM software that is specially designed to identify various ITSM processes and activities and assist in streamlining them for the better overall functioning of the organization. This leads to timely service delivery and minimizes wastage of organizational resources, be it personal, finances, time, or physical assets.
- Greater accountability and measurability: Accountability in business need not always be externally controlled and monitored. Organizations can have mechanisms in place internally to monitor tasks and usage of resources ensure minimal wastage. ITSM allows for organizations to have such accountability checks in place. Having measurable goals, timelines, and targets, enabled by using ITSM approach to service delivery, can help track progress, results, and eventual success.
It is important to be aware of the downsides of ITSM before making it apart of your organizational plan. Understanding ITSM and what it entails well will ensure you avoid the ugly side of ITSM and ITIL (IT Infrastructure Library), the most popular framework used to implement ITSM within organizations. Exercising caution, being vigilant, and using sound reasoning can help avoid most pitfalls of ITSM.