By Dick Stark
This week, RightStar finished up an ITIL process Assessment for a RightStar customer. To win this business, we beat two formidable ITSM consultancies in the ITIL space. Of course, this customer, like a lot of our customers, needs significant process improvement. Unlike, most customers, they realize they need help and were willing to invest in an ITIL foundation that will eventually improve customer satisfaction, lower the cost of service management, and increase operational effectiveness. Does an ITIL process assessment matter, or should a customer just purchase a new toolset, like ServiceNow?
As an avid golfer, I often compare a new ITSM toolset to a new set of golf clubs. New clubs with the latest technology promise extra distance off the tee, more accuracy, and a lower score and handicap. This is an excellent sales pitch, as most would prefer to turn to technology, rather than spend extra hours on the practice range, or pay for lessons. Golf however, like IT service management is not easy. It takes hours of instruction and practice to improve. Unfortunately, there are few easy fixes. All golfers quickly learn it is not the club that makes the real difference, but rather the “clubee.”
It is common to see organizations blame their poor to mediocre IT performance on their toolset, rather than their processes, and invest in new technology only to discover, that a new toolset may make them only slightly better off. Plus, an ITIL assessment or process improvement, like taking a golf lesson is not fun. Who wants to really see what their golf swing looks like, or learn how their organizational IT performance compares to good practices.
In our ITIL assessment, we examine several service management processes such as incident, request, access, problem, and service level management. We compare and score each process against an ITIL good practice, and then recommend steps to improvement. Takeaways often include: ITIL training and adoption such as instructor led and simulation training like Apollo 13; baseline and benchmark metrics and KPIs using tools from MetricNet; better knowledge management; and CMDB improvements.
In a DevOps world focused on agility, ITIL’s focus on stability is now perceived as old and clunky. But Agile ITIL, or ITIL v4 is right around the corner. This particular customer understands the value of a process framework and continual improvement. And as they consider a new ITSM tool, likely ServiceNow, having a strong foundation and plan for a new ITSM rollout will ensure that they get off to a good start and successful transformation to digital IT service management.
So yes, an ITIL process assessment does matter.