Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Real ITSM in the Real world

Just been to a session on Real ITSM in the Real World, a personal story about the Service Management journey at Newcastle University.

Have IT teams based in departments with their own processes etc, but are all now part of same central department.

Different levels of digital literacy. A couple of good examples. One caller phoned service desk with an intermittent problem printing. Found out it was only while they were having cup of tea. Problem solved by identifying that they were unplugging the printer to plug the kettle in. Another user phoned Helpdesk and when asked if the network cable was plugged in, he said he didn't know because he was only a brain surgeon! Teaches you not to make assumptions about what people understand when you are communicating with them.

In the early days of their ITIL journey, they documented processes, and published good practice guides. Then had a departmental reorganisation, and got a dedicated service management team. Defined roles for service owners and service leads, drew up a service catalogue, made people think about things from a service perspective, not a technology perspective.

Drew up ITSM roadmap, put in place incident management process, and held incident reviews. Recently replaced ITSM system, and introduced self service so calls could be tracked. Now introduced change and problem management for first time.

As a result, have seen benefits including learning from major incidents. Identifying causes of major incidents. Biggest cause was implementation of changes, which helped them introduced change management. Next biggest was electrical contractors causing power problems. They publish operational reports for managers, including the date of oldest open ticket. In two cases, customer had died before the problem had been resolved!

Department is now much more focused on the customer. They think more about impact and communication.Technical teams have gone from causing incidents by making unplanned changes from home on a Saturday evening, to piloting the change management process. Everyone is less defensive, incident reviews are blame free with a focus on learning.

Personal learning has included:
  • Adapt. Understand your environment and adapt to your organisation's requirement, don't just blindly implement ITIL. Embrace the culture and get allies wherever possible.
  • Improve. Start somewhere, then improve. Balance idealism with pragmatism. Evolution not revolution.
  • Don't forget the people. Engage early and engage often and give constant reaffirmation. Set a good example, explain why and make it easy to do the right thing.
  • It's a never ending journey. Break it into chunks to make the big changes seem less daunting. Focus on issues causing problems. Build on your successes, and accept there's no final destination.
  • Never stop learning. There's always more you can learn. Talk to people - we're lucky that in HE we have a very collaborative culture. Use free resources, especially social media.
Enjoyed this very personal talk. We've implemented already some of what Newcastle have, but the learning is very applicable across the board.

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