Service Desk Institute 10 Steps To Successful ITSM Tool Selection

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1 Service Desk Institute 10 Steps To Successful ITSM Tool Selection

2 Introduction The one decision that really makes a difference for both consumers of IT and our service desk analysts is the one to replace the ITSM tool. Making the decision to change is usually the easy part but then you have to convince the management board to pay for it, explaining the return on investment and business benefits both quantitative and qualitative. The next stage is to produce a tender that clearly articulates your requirements and provides robust scoring measures. Before starting on your tender make sure you have fully examined the requirements of your customers and your business; clearly defined what it is you need to achieve with your new software; and identified any restrictions the software will be working within. Here are my 10 steps to a successful tool selection process. Karen Taylor IT Service Management Consultant Karen has over 25 years strategic and operational IT industry experience with a dedicated vision for improvement. An award-winning leader with a vast array of skills, Karen is passionate and committed with a proven track record for delivering service excellence. Karen now works for the Service Desk Institute as a Service Desk Certification Auditor and IT service management consultant.

3 Step 1 Understand your company Do you ever ask yourself why the company you work for was created and what its purpose is? Many of us know what we do but few of us really question why we do it. Revisit your company s vision and mission statements or have a discussion with someone from your leadership team. Understanding the ethos, culture, strategy, vision and direction of your company can ensure you only do business with suppliers who are a good fit for the business. Step 2 Understand your business requirements IT Service Management tools are much more than just IT tools that deliver a means for logging and tracking calls. They can support HR, Finance, Facilities and many more services, and if that is the case in your company, it is vital that you understand how each department s requirements differ and what their challenges with and experience of the current tool might be. Business requirements could include: A fully integrated ITSM tool to enable a joined up, holistic approach to service management and delivery Improve the customer experience when using the company s services Ability to demonstrate performance quality with clear evidence Ability to show value to all areas across the customer base Engender trust through the delivery of accurate and honest information

4 Step 3 Identify your critical success factors Clearly articulate exactly why you need a replacement tool and how you are going to measure the success of the implementation. Ensure you fully understand the scope of work, benchmark current performance and set realistic target measures. These can include the following end objectives: improved customer service, faster incident determination and resolution, higher first level resolution rate from the service desk and consolidation of the service desk as the single point of contact. Specifically you might identify factors such as: A shop front that puts the service desk at the centre of business operations Multiple access channels with an emphasis on self-service Full tracking capability for incidents and service requests Intuitive and automated handling of requests A Service Catalogue that enables customers to select and purchase service items with minimal intervention Consistency of approach and efficiency across all support areas Common procedures for call handling and customer care Common SLA methods and management Improved and consistent tracking and escalation procedures Improved operational efficiency Source of data from a comprehensive repository for all configuration items Greater control and visibility of assets and the service supply chain Consistent and effective release and change processes Control over financial and contract details Improved use of knowledge data Single central source of Management Information User defined service reporting and dashboards Ad hoc and scheduled reports Trends analysis of Incident / Problem types, locations, customers Roll-over analysis of Incident / Problem / Change trends

5 Step 4 Plan your journey for implementation Do your homework. Once you decide that a new system management tool is required you need to plan your journey. The mistake so many people make is to dive straight into writing the tender before planning how long it will really take to tender, procure and implement the tool. A successful procurement and implementation from start to finish could take years but done right could save you both time and money. Public sector organisations have stringent rules and regulations for tender and procurement processes. The tender procedure may require a supplier to submit an expression of interest before the bid. This is an initial stage of the tendering process that helps buyers to see who s interested in bidding and draw up a shortlist of possible suppliers. Following this, shortlisted suppliers will receive an invitation to tender or a contract notice inviting them to bid for the contract. The procurement procedure is just as complex, time consuming and can follow up to four different routes: the open procedure, the restricted procedure, the competitive dialogue procedure and the negotiated procedure. Private sector companies equally have rules that must be adhered to so do your homework and be thorough in understanding your procurement process. Step 5 Identify roles and responsibilities Setting governance and ensuring you have the right people involved in influencing the decision-making process at an early stage is paramount to the success of the project. In addition to defining the service desk strategy, objectives, measures and benefits sought, you also need to secure the buy-in of other support teams and your key customers. In today s world with the rise of the knowledgebase and self-service it is imperative that everyone is on side with the purchase. A good ITSM implementation may result in consolidation of a number of disparate systems in order to ensure one single source of the truth, with all technical teams utilising the same solution. It is therefore essential to identify and include key users of the system at this stage and ensure all system requirements are captured.

6 Step 6 Research, research, research The market is saturated with ITSM tools in a complex and competitive supplier market but help is on hand to aid you with your research via a number of different channels. Let s start with The IT Service Management Show (SITS). Held on an annual basis SITS is the UK s trade show for ITSM professionals. Every year the event attracts over 4,000 IT professionals who come to discover new tools, skills and connections, but more importantly to meet an array of ITSM suppliers who are showcasing their products. Next to consider is the Service Desk Conference from the Service Desk Institute, which is also held annually and likewise provides a fantastic opportunity to engage with hundreds of service desk professionals, meet software suppliers and listen to inspirational expert keynote presentations. There are also a number of independent ITSM tool research sites. One in particular is PinkVerify from Pink Elephant; an IT service management tool suite assessment service. PinkVerify is a seal of approval that provides an independent certification against ITIL terminology, definitions, functionality and workflow requirements for 15 ITSM processes (although be aware that the supplier pays to be verified). SDI s IT Service Buyers Guide is designed to capture both product specifications and customer case studies. In addition to the IT Service Buyers Guide SDI also hosts a number of software showcase events designed to make your search for the perfect ITSM tool easier. At these events vendors provide live software demonstrations and attendees have the opportunity to engage with fellow service desk managers who are also in the market for a replacement tool.

7 Step 7 Engage with the experts With so many ITSM tools available, choosing the right one for your needs can be extremely time consuming and even an overwhelming experience. You may only get one chance to get this right, so make your task easier and reduce the risk involved by seeking expert advice. SDI offers a variety of options to support you across the various stages from research and tender creation to tool selection workshops and full implementation Project Management. The tool selection workshops provide completely vendor independent advice on the complexities of the procurement process and give you recommendations on the options that are most suitable for your unique specifications and requirements. A range of online forums are also available providing useful information and tips from peers including the SDI LinkedIn group. SDI can also put in you touch with other organisations that are using ITSM solutions you may be interested in; they can even arrange site visits for you. There are also a large number of independent ITSM consultants who offer their services to help with the different stages of tool selection.

8 Step 8 Create the right tender I have spoken with many ITSM suppliers and the one area they would like to see improved is the quality of the tenders they receive. Here are my top tips: 1. Get advice from your legal and procurement teams - they will provide expert guidance and a template for the procurement document 2. Clearly articulate your procurement timetable including details on: Issue of tender Submission deadline Evaluation date Dates for demonstrations Notice period Standstill period Contract award date Go live date 3. Contextual statement provide background and context to your requirements. Include vision and mission statement, accreditations and future intentions 4. Provide a current overview of your service including details on: Structure and operating hours of service desk Current ITSM systems and system integration requirements Service Level Agreements Service performance metrics / growth targets Data migration and support requirements 5. Supplier ability - confirm the supplier s commitment to market and details of their account management approach 6. Functionality - list the modules that you require but don t get bogged down with detailing the fundamental functions for each module. Refer to PinkVerify Certification and only detail your above and beyond requirements 7. Detail your licence requirements - length of contract, number of licences, whether they are concurrent or perpetual and clearly state if you require cloud based or on-premise solution 8. Provide details of what you require from the onsite demonstrations - set boundaries including how long the demonstrations will be. Ideally you want all vendors

9 to demonstrate the same functionality so you can score them evenly 9. Scoring - ensure you can score consistently and compare like with like. You could set pass/fail criteria to ensure you only score vendors that can demonstrate they have, for example, the right number of PinkVerify processes; system integration capabilities and the right value insurance in place Step 9 Getting the most out of the demonstrations Within the tender you have provided details of what you require from the onsite demonstrations; making it clear, setting boundaries and stating how long the demonstrations will be. When it comes to the day of the demonstrations it is crucial to ensure you have the right people in the room and that everyone knows what to look for and how to score against each of your criteria. A great tip is to time each section of the demonstration, this way the suppliers know they have to clearly articulate and demonstrate their product. Don t forget it s not just the functionality you want to see, you should also probe the vendor on their market commitment, escalation routes if you run into difficulties and how they will support your company s aspirations and growth in the future.

10 Step 10 Prepare for implementation So, you have conducted your research, attended relevant events and engaged with the experts. You successfully navigated the tender process, shortlisted your top 4 vendors and finally awarded the contract to your preferred supplier. Now starts the next chapter in your journey - you are ready to start your implementation project. There simply isn t space here to address the implementation stage in all its complexity. However, having been so thorough in your efforts to select the right tool for your service desk, it is of course crucial that you take the time to fully plan and prepare for implementation without losing momentum. Here are a few key questions to think about to help get you started: How will you assign roles and responsibilities for the project? What project management framework or methodology will you employ? Who else in the business needs to be consulted or involved? What timescales are you working to? Will you need additional resource or consultancy? Is there any budget assigned specifically to this project? How will you assess the success of each stage of implementation? How will you forecast the impact on or disruption to service levels? Will analysts and / or end users require post implementation training? With the right preparation and a clear plan, you can ensure that selecting the right software is just the beginning of a brilliant new era for your service desk.

11 About SDI The SDI company mission is to inspire service desks to be brilliant. To achieve this mission SDI has developed a set of goals by which it aims to inspire service desks to: Embrace: To raise the quality of service delivery by valuing best practice Engage: To create an inspiring and engaging customer experience Invest: To empower their teams to be inspired, take action and be better Shine: To demonstrate and deliver exceptional business value SDI sets the globally recognised best practice service desk standards that provide clear and measurable benchmarks for service desk operations and professionals. The standards are designed to encourage service desks to embrace and value best practice in order to raise the quality of service delivery. For more information about SDI please visit Contact SDI Service Desk Institute 21 High Street Green Street Green Orpington Kent BR6 6BG +44 (0)1689 servicedeskinstitute.com

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