Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Shut up and drive!

ITSM is a complicated beast. There are multiple disciplines all interlinked and a general lack of understanding from those outside the industry as to what it is and why they should care.

The big issue is that ITSM practitioners very often feed into this confusion by using too much jargon and too many promises of service excellence without articulating just how it will happen.

As ITSM consultants we need to do a better job of understanding the viewpoint of our customers. For example, if I am paying the bill I don’t want to necessarily be promised “Service Excellence”. Service Excellence sounds expensive and do I need excellence or is there an option to offer superior or right-sized levels of service? If I’m purchasing a car for example, do I want to but the fastest car on the market or do I need to balance my wants with my needs and my available budget?

We also need to do a better job of not over-complicating what IT Service Management is. The first conversation should not be about configuration items or integration between the incident management process and the service catalogue although you better be able to explain these concepts if the customer is interested.

Back to my car analogy; I don’t really care about every component and how they work but I do care that when I need the car to work, it starts, operates safely and can facilitate me getting from point A to point B in an efficient manner. I also like to know that if I have an issue that I have a trustworthy mechanic available to restore the service and hopefully spot issues before they occur through regular maintenance.

If ITSM practitioners can concisely describe the concept of managing IT services in business terms then I think the industry will be recognized as an enabler rather than a misunderstood expense.

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