When IT Service Management isn t What it Could Be: The Importance of Kaizen in ITSM

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1 SERVICE MANAGEMENT When IT Service Management isn t What it Could Be: The Importance of Kaizen in ITSM White Paper

2 2

3 Table of Contents What Are the Telltale Signs That Your ITSM Solution is Outdated, Inefficient or Both? 4 What s Making the Situation Complicated and What s the Related Impact? Let the Kaizen Mindset Guide You. 4 What Does Nirvana Look Like in the ITSM World? 5 Summary 7 3

4 Many organizations are coming to grips with an undesirable but indisputable truth: Their existing IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy and tools cannot meet the requirements of today s dynamic business environments. Global operations, cloud computing and the sheer volume of IT requests are revealing weaknesses in legacy ITSM software capabilities and related processes. This adds to IT staff workloads and degrades responsiveness and strategic service alignment. To get in front of this new reality, services need to be managed and delivered with factory-like precision. That s where Kaizen enters the picture or should, if your ITSM processes are not proceeding as planned. You likely know Kaizen as a process employed to continually remove all unnecessary steps every bit of waste from manual processes, like filling, preparing and shipping containers on a factory floor. The truth, however, is that the Kaizen mindset can be employed in nearly any process, including ITSM and the rewards can be significant. Recognizing that ITSM is in trouble is the first step in employing a Kaizen mindset to remedy the situation. So consider how your IT staff operates, how you can meet service-level agreements (SLAs) and deliver new services. Just as factory processes are monitored and adjusted to improve productivity and product quality, is there room for improvement in your service creation and delivery process? If so, best practices for ITSM combined with a Kaizen approach can be employed to root out IT inefficiencies and excess costs. Let s take a look at how to get started. Kaizen is a philosophy and a set of practices that enable organizations to continuously improve business functions and processes to remove waste and gain efficiencies. If it doesn t contribute, Kaizen says it must be removed. What Are the Telltale Signs That Your ITSM Solution is Outdated, Inefficient or Both? If your IT staff still uses time-consuming manual methods to address common service requests and IT requirements, the culprit is likely an older ITSM solution. One of the primary shortfalls of an outdated toolset is the lack of an automated Service Request Management (SRM) system. Without the automation of SRM, your team receives service requests through or voice mail and then must manually slog through a multi-step manual process to retrieve, enter, obtain additional user details as needed, and solicit approvals. Only then can your team deliver the actual service. A modern ITSM solution reduces related backlogs by automating - and by streamlining the process as only Kaizen can do. It does this by leveraging self-service capabilities. For example, an employee ordering a mobile phone can quickly reference an easily understood catalog with details about models, usage and costs. With all the information she or he needs, the employee can then submit a request that is automatically routed and approved based on pre-set rules and all this happens without one touch by your team. Another red flag is a current solution s inability to support IT reporting requirements. Are you able to easily collect the data you need, consolidating it from multiple sources? Or is the data trapped in spreadsheets if it s collected at all and housed in disparate systems that aren t integrated? With limitations like these, it takes your staff longer to provide the data necessary to help you better align service delivery with your actual requirements jeopardizing internal and external SLAs. Modern ITMS solutions provide dashboard capabilities that allow you to gain visibility into IT service performance without the delays associated with manual approaches. What s Making the Situation Complicated and What s the Related Impact? Let the Kaizen Mindset Guide You. With different approaches for addressing ITSM, there are bound to be complications. Let s look at two common scenarios and the effects they have on your IT service goals. 1. You have implemented a new ITSM tool in the past 12 months, but you re not achieving the results you expected. Buyer s remorse sets in, and you re left wondering if you ve made the right investment. 2. Your organization is stuck in the decision-making process and continues to rely on your suboptimal ITSM tool. Your team members are unsure how to justify the business case for a more efficient, lower-risk solution, and their current workload gives them little time to focus on this effort. 4

5 In the first case, you need to ask some fundamental questions so that you can truly move forward in ways that actually improve ITSM. Did you hit your operational savings? Did you hit throughput goals, or the number of incidents you can process? Has your organization fully adopted process changes introduced by the new tool? If the answer is no, that s where a deeper dive and Kaizen can come into play. In the second case, you need to fully assess the downside of ongoing ITSM practices and capture data reflecting the associated cost of managing and maintaining inefficient processes and systems. In either case, finding answers to, or scoping the extent of, your ITSM problems is easier when you apply Kaizen principles. Kaizen methodology enables you to work through operational tasks one step at a time to uncover what s not working, and then determine how much underperforming functions cost. You can then create an actionable, tactical plan to remove these inefficiencies either by improving how you re currently using your new ITSM solution or by making a better purchasing and implementation decision based on this knowledge. Likewise, you need to consider how to best implement change management during every stage of your solution rollout. Avoid a Rush to Judgment When Implementing Your ITSM Solution When you re making home renovations, do you run out to the hardware store and buy a tool before determining what problems it will help you fix or if you will even be able to use it properly? If you do, you could end up spending a lot of time and money, and still not get the job done. That s why you should avoid so-called experts who recommend an ITSM solution without demonstrating a full understanding of your environment and how their tools can be applied to get desired results. Instead, you need to have a real-world assessment of your IT service capabilities and limitations, so you can build a technology plan based on your organizational maturity. In this way, you can act to improve your long-term effectiveness using the Kaizen concept of continuous improvement. Once this has been accomplished, you can identify a solution that is both equipped to meet your needs and worthy of your investment. What Does Nirvana Look Like in the ITSM World? When ITSM is implemented for optimum benefit using a Kaizen approach, it enables you to run a well-orchestrated, data-centric IT operations department. It helps eliminate inefficiencies, delays, and cost overruns while allowing your IT staff to function in a preventative, proactive mode to keep service levels high. To achieve this, you need to follow a streamlined, straightforward approach with mechanisms to optimize processes and measure results in support of organizational alignment. The following steps represent the best-practice flow and groundwork that should be covered to accomplish this. Create Your Service Strategy This step is founded on ITIL principles. You need to know where you are going before you can get there, right? As part of your company s overall strategic plan, will you be virtualizing key systems to support cloud initiatives, embracing mobility, or employing other new technologies to drive growth? Have you met with your (internal or external) customers to confirm how related services will align to the needs of the people using them? How will you launch these new services to your market, even if it is an internal one? These are just some of the important questions that must be answered as you develop a formal service strategy for your future. Develop an Application Taxonomy During this step, you re involved in identifying the system (and service) components of your IT ecosystem and building a proper configuration management database (CMDB). Kaizen permeates this process as you develop an understanding of how the various components work together in the service delivery process. This will later help you measure and analyze/ evaluate how the performance or non-performance of each component impacts your business. 5

6 Run and Analyze Service impact management is the study of how individual services influence business systems and processes. The purpose of the run and analyze step is to allow service impact management to work so that you can determine how service is driving revenue. To do so, each SLA is assessed by a green, yellow, or red status, which depicts its association to revenue. For example, if an internal collaboration application goes down, there s a lower impact than if the e-commerce engine on the website is out of commission. To get a complete picture of your service performance and impacts, you must also be able to identify system interdependencies. This requires mapping services to all the applications they re affecting. By doing so, you re not blindsided when routine maintenance downtime for one application takes down a customer-facing website in the process. Having this knowledge is essential to maintaining service levels from a lifecycle management perspective, as well. In addition, you need to identify and analyze any gaps within the business processes themselves to understand why certain tasks aren t being done. Subsequently, you need to know how to find and collect the relevant data. Create the Roadmap Armed with an understanding of interdependencies and process gaps from the previous step, you can begin planning desired changes to your technology processes, organization, or both. Doing so effectively calls for careful mining of the data you ve collected for anomalies that can lead to actionable insights for improving service management and alignment. On the Road to Service Alignment A Use Case As the manager for your company s service, you ve determined that you need to offer via mobile devices to support a growing number of remote and mobile employees. You ve defined the service, but what comes next as you create your roadmap? To provide the best possible service level, it helps to view IT like a factory what is the right mix of inputs (service or system components) to the process, where are the redundancies, and what metrics can you establish to monitor product quality? The more you understand about how people get , the features they use, how it s backed up or archived, and the source of end-user complaints, the greater your ability to evaluate and optimize related processes. Once this is achieved, you can establish a plan for synchronizing mobile device access to an already improved corporate system. Extract and Analyze Service Data To optimize service-related processes, you first need to obtain useful data. Data that is derived from your ITSM tool can be captured within service-level management, as well as ITIL discipline, or scorecard, data. In addition, you can also collect data and gain insights by analyzing ticket volumes and applying problem-management techniques. As you capture all this data, you need to look at it from an end-user, or persona-based, point of view. When you do, you ll be better able to develop and align services with the actual requirements of specific roles within your organization. 6

7 Implement You ve captured, analyzed, and gained insights from all this data identifying service-related revenue impacts from gaps and inefficiencies. Now you can consolidate this information into a solid business case that supports optimizing specific IT services, as well as creating and delivering new services that map to emerging persona-based needs. Using a Kaizen approach, related plans can recommend how to incrementally roll out, then continuously monitor, the improved or new services to minimize risk, drive ongoing savings, and support revenue growth. Summary The goal of ITSM is to align your service offerings with the needs of the people consuming them while delivering them as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible throughout their lifecycle. Accomplishing this methodically using best practices and a Kaizen approach will give you a way to continuously capture details on service performance, make necessary adjustments, and identify new service requirements. Ultimately, you ll be able to move from maintaining and treading water to creating a proactive service strategy and implementing a service management approach that improves how IT supports business operations from both a service and revenue perspective. Edge Service Management by Unisys Turn insight into action with Edge Service Management by Unisys. Drive increased value through a cloud-based pre-built, proven, and business ready solution powered by BMC and advanced by Unisys. Use real-time analytics to accelerate problem resolution, proactively improve and gain competitive advantage through enhanced support for people, operations, and business. About the authors Dan Huberty is the CTO and VP, Solutions Portfolio Management at Unisys. He crafts the overall Global Managed Services portfolio strategy and client solutions. Mr. Huberty is ITIL v3 certified as well as a Six Sigma Black Belt and is an industry expert in the areas of service management and IT operations. Previously he was the Director, Enterprise Strategy and Planning, Office of the CIO for the Carlson companies. Mr. Huberty is a graduate of St. Mary s University of Minnesota. Andrew Harsch is the Director of Portfolio Marketing at Unisys. He focuses on the Global Managed Services portfolio and the disciplines of ITSM and IT operations. Prior to joining Unisys, he was the Senior Manager for the Remedy ITSM suite at BMC Software. Mr. Harsch is a graduate of Iowa State University. 7

8 For more information on Unisys ITSM solutions visit Unisys Corporation. All rights reserved. Unisys, the Unisys logo, and Edge Service Management by Unisys are registered trademarks or trademarks of Unisys Corporation. All other brands and products referenced herein are acknowledged to be trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective holders. Printed in the United States of America 03/

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