Hi, I’m Nick Glaser, and my job at BMC is to understand what you want and need from BMC Remedyforce and to align you with the appropriate onboarding services from our team to get you there quickly, effectively and make your team successful.
In my last blog I discussed what I consider to be four good questions for preparing for a new ITSM implementation. Specifically, four things you should take into consideration before speaking with someone like me. By way of a brief recap those suggested steps are:
- Are we happy with our ITSM practices? – What do we want to do and how do we want to do it?
- Do we have the documentation to back up all the things we thought about in the first question?
- Do we have the ability to affect the changes we desire, not just in our support of the business but within the overall business itself? Are we prepared for this journey?
- What are we doing when we get there?
Today, I’d like to take a deeper dive into the first question: Are we happy with our ITSM practices? – What do we want to do and how do we want to do it? I’m going to recommend some useful areas to look at to answer these questions and provide some suggestions for getting additional data from both customers and staff.
Any time you have an opportunity for change in your environment you are being given a gift. Sure, change and transition can be challenging, but like most challenges they are also very rewarding when completed. You have to take an opportunity for change as a great reason to address challenges in your environment. The processes you’ve always wanted to implement can find their beginnings here. The annoying little “we’d fix that if we had the time” type changes can be folded into your new effort. Bring with you all the process pieces, workflows and elements that have pushed you forward and let go of the stuff you feel has held you back. Change is a crucible in which you can burn away the irrelevant.
But where do you begin evaluating what to change?
In my experience in scoping, designing and delivering onboarding services, I have found the following areas to be key elements in evaluating an organization:
- Priority - What’s important to your organization? From big to small most of my customers don’t effectively leverage prioritization in their existing environments. Setting the correct priority for your record, whether an incident, request, problem or change, is key in telling you the importance of any of these elements in your environment and sets your work order. You know what needs to be done first and where you need to focus resources. Start this conversation by identifying how you determine priority right now and assess how that determination is succeeding or failing.
- Status - What’s happening with this? Every process is a timeline with a beginning, middle and end. The status of something provides a quick way to understand where it is in your process; where it sits on the timeline from start to finish. Understanding how close something is to being done is critical for communication internal to your team, to communication with your customer and to provide information to a management team. You want to know how close the work is to being complete and understanding if there are any barriers to that completion (say a response from another team or even the customer). Look at your current statuses from multiple perspectives, your group’s, your management’s and your user’s. Assess if they clearly identify where they are on the process timeline.
- Category - Where does this belong? A category structure is all about grouping like elements together with two distinct goals: 1) getting the right work to the right group to handle it and 2) being able to report on the work that’s been done. Seriously, that’s it. So many customers I’ve seen heap so much more onto this process and it ends up broken. A good place to start on the first goal is to determine who is responsible for what in your organization - which groups own which products, processes or business services. For the second goal, ask your team and your management what information matters to you. There are lots of reports available in any tool but you want to assess which reports will mean the most to you and your organization.
Once you’ve started reviewing these elements you will have a stronger grasp on what you truly want to do as an organization and a good start on getting from where you are now to the place you want to go with your organization and its structure.
While these elements form a good beginning for understanding what works, what doesn’t and what you may want to bring with you as you transition from one process, method or tool to another there are a few other perspectives you should consider. I would recommend developing a series of discussions to get insight from: your customers, your staff and your management.
These discussions could include surveys, town hall conversations, focus groups or suggestion taking from each of these groups. The goal should always be a productive conversation around three key elements: good, bad, ugly.
- The Good: What works well? What are the successful elements of your current structure? Beyond just a pat on the back however, keep open ideas for improvements that make things that are good even better and remember, some will fear change so also consider that something may be liked because it is understood and not effective. Evaluate what works in addition to what is liked.
- The Bad: What doesn’t work well? Where are the real challenges? During these types of conversations it is often easy to be derailed into an unconstructive complaint session. Focus on what is not succeeding and not how unhappy that failure makes those involved feel. Establish clear points on the issue and identify the pain points.
- The Ugly: What doesn’t fit? Are there elements which no one has a good answer for when they arise? Making shifts in your organization offers a great opportunity to find those unusual scenarios in which no one has yet determined the best way to handle them. Take the opportunity to find those situations now, discuss them and develop a cohesive process around responding when they arise.
As I said at the beginning, these are some of the better ways I’ve found to assist customers who are beginning the process of making a change in their environment. Whether moving from one tool to another, updating an existing tool, modifying processes or bringing a new process online - I find value in leveraging one or all of these methods with my customers. Hopefully, you will be able to leverage some of these suggestions as you begin your next change.
If you’d like to find more detailed information about priority, status or categorization I strongly urge you to look at the white papers for Incident Management and Categorization on our community site.
Finally, keep in mind that the BMC Remedyforce Onboarding Services team focuses on creating services offerings that give you a place to start, and allow you to custom fit the approach to go down the road that’s right for you. Learn more about the journey to ITSM success at: http://www.bmc.com/it-services/remedyforce-services.html