By Dick Stark
RightStar’s sixth annual customer appreciation cruise, held Thursday on the Potomac River in Washington, D.C., drew a large crowd of more than 100. John Richey, Senior Director in the Service Management Office at BMC was the key note speaker. His discussion topic was the 7 Critical Success Factors of BSM. Here’s a short synopsis:
1. Establish the Service Management Office (SMO). John heads up the SMO at BMC and has a strong mandate from the CIO and BMC management team. The keys to success have been BMC’s executive support, their process investment and an emphasis on ITIL good practices. John mentioned that at BMC, “Perfect is the enemy of good.”
Dick Stark and John Richey
2. Dedicated BSM Enablement Team. John explained that several years ago IT was isolated from the business. By having dedicated and accountable Service Managers and Process Owners, IT is now the “face of the business.” These relationship or service managers meet with the business leaders and hold formal quarterly business reviews to ensure that IT is properly aligned.
3. ITIL Training for All. ITIL is a job requirement for all IT employees and according to John, “what a difference that has made.” And IT jobs at BMC are evolving rapidly. As IT automates, former system administrators are becoming “workload automation specialists.” At BMC, the objective is not to drive people out as a result of labor saving automation, but instead to retrain and refocus them on more challenging and strategic responsibilities.
4. Building and Maintaining the CMDB. John recommended that IT organizations, “ease into things; don’t try to boil the ocean.” He also pointed out that configuration management is a “game changing good process” that can provide a tremendous ROI to the business. He admitted that BMC followed several cycles of service improvement before they were satisfied with their own CMDB, and its structure continues to be evaluated, updated and improved on a regular basis.
5. Constructing a Service Catalog. At BMC, a service catalog is more than a “list of services.” John described what BMC has accomplished through standardization, i.e., “the more things look the same, the easier they are to support.” He also stated that BMC recognizes the need to be flexible and to support and track employee devices that are capable of running corporate services and applications.
6. Keeping Score Internally and Externally. Transparency is a critical success factor at BMC. John supports this by publishing a regular IT Operations report and by tracking costs using BMC’s IT Business Management service costing software.
7. Encouragement from All on Internal Business. This encouragement comes from both inside and outside of IT and helps drive behavior.
John concluded by describing how much BMC’s focus on using their own products and how this investment in BSM has paid off—to the tune of about $20M in reduced costs of operations.