1 Case Study: California State University, Fresno Implements ITSM Without Breaking The Bank by Evelyn Hubbert with Peter O Neill and Lindsey Kempton Executive Summary When faced with austere budget challenges, California State University, Fresno (Fresno State), with a student population of 21,000 and about 2,300 faculty and staff, realized the need to integrate separate workgroups and become more effective in delivering IT services to the campus. IT needed to reorganize its previously distributed organization and adopt a service management approach to orchestrate resources across the campus and act as a coordinated point of contact for all consumers of IT services. The service management initiative refined several processes, such as closing the loop on incident management, and also required changes in behavior across the organization. The IT team effectively saved 60% of service management software budget year over year. Situation: silos prohibited efficiency improvements Fresno State is one of the 23 campuses of the California State University system, which is one of the largest systems of higher education in the world. The IT organization was not fully aware of service management frameworks despite a basic level of process maturity. A help desk was supporting the central workgroups, with groups of distributed staff supporting the colleges. A concerted effort was initiated to refine the structure, processes, and behavior of the IT group. The director of service management within information technology services provided leadership on these initiatives with effective participation from staff. Best Practice: the service desk as an orchestrator In past years, each help desk responded to user issues that arose in its environment. The reorganization transitioned the help desk to a service desk, and with this transition the IT team s responsibility expanded to support a larger user community and more of the service life cycle. The reorganization created opportunities to assess existing service pathways and alter call flows where customers could benefit from higher first-contact resolution (FCR) and improved response. In essence, the ITIL service desk encompassed those customer-facing roles who could raise an incident or submit a request on the user s behalf and who were then responsible for the life of the ticket. This reorganization forced Fresno State to find an ITSM solution that accommodated these maturing needs. At Fresno State the following key practices were introduced: Project management training. One of the first initiatives was to train many of the IT members on the disciplines of project management. The members of the team recognized what disciplines improved desired outcomes and became more results-oriented. Headquarters Forrester Research, Inc., 400 Technology Square, Cambridge, MA USA Tel: Fax:
2 2 Service management training. As the organization was changing from a help desk to a service desk, many good practices around service management needed to be better understood as a prerequisite to becoming a service desk. The training around service management allowed the team, for example, to understand the differences between incident resolution and request fulfillment. Training is a critical step before starting to change what people do since it increases their capability to perform the new behavior and reduces their reluctance to change. Reinforcement of consistent behavior across teams. Changes to behavior are required to successfully implement service management and ongoing continuous improvements. The members of the organization need to understand that they are part of a value chain and that the contribution, work, tasks, and steps they perform add value to a previous step. Staff learned the importance of working within and across teams to complete tasks and coordinate the flow of value to the customer. Staff worked within an orchestrated model where work was pulled from the queue to those qualified and authorized. All staff were part of the value chain and were responsible for the delivery of value to customers. Creation of shared central workgroups. Centralizing teams can provide a variety of benefits: avoid duplication of work, improve standardization of operations and processes, allow for better specialization, and cut costs. So Fresno State designed the new organization with central resource groups based on competence and capabilities. These teams leveraged efficiencies as they sought to deliver standardized services to the campus. The colleges and divisions each had one designated IT liaison who was responsible to act as the local presence of IT and be responsive to local needs. This organizational design sought to be agile at the edge and efficient throughout the core. The organizational structure addressed standard demand through these central teams and then provided local capacity to respond to domain specific and varied demand. Implementation of key service management processes. After looking at the existing incident, problem, and change management processes, the team members realized that they had to reevaluate and rework their processes. They modified the incident management process so that the owner of an incident was responsible for the entire incident life cycle from start to finish. They changed the problem management process to work with different folks on coordinating and eliminating problems that evidenced themselves in scattered incidents. Fresno State had already implemented a variety of wikis and knowledge bases, but a task force worked on a meta model to consolidate knowledge management into a single instance supporting multiple users. Standardization on one service management tool. To have better visibility of issues across the managed environment and to truly manage incidents and problems with a coordinated effort, the team needed to replace the existing help desk with a service management solution that allowed for the reinforcement of consistent behaviors across teams and support the service management processes, including incident, problem, knowledge, and change management.
3 3 Fresno State selected Cherwell IT Service Management Software as that solution. 1 The solution is easy to personalize with its Codeless Configuration Environment, and important for Fresno State the solution could be up and running in two to three weeks. Refinement of service pathways and call flows. The reorganization provided an opportunity to assess customer call flows for service requests and IT pathways to deliver the service. There was an opportunity with some areas to move toward a single point of contact through the help desk. However, in some cases it was effective to allow for customer call flows through either the help desk or the IT liaison. The guiding principle was effective delivery of service balanced with the effective utilization of resources. Initial creation of a service catalog. The team created a service catalog with Cherwell Software that contained a few IT services for the university members. However, the team recognized that it needed to improve this effort with the creation of a substantive, central service catalog. This project is part of the future road map. Next Steps: Formalizing The Service Catalog And Extending To A Self-Service Model Today, the primary means by which the IT team interacts with the university is via the service desk or the local IT liaison. Fresno State will further refine and formalize its service catalog to improve service delivery and management reporting. The service catalog will become more actionable as it provides a mechanism for interacting with and coordinating within IT. The team has a variety of additional areas where it plans to improve its ability to support and deliver service to meet service levels: Improvements in self-service. Fresno State will begin using Cherwell s Self-Service Portal so that customers can submit and track the status of their requests. Improvements to service-level agreements (SLAs). Fresno State will continue to benchmark service delivery performance. The results will form the basis for reasonable SLAs. These will initially be used internally as performance expectations. Then IT can collaborate with its customers and publish these SLAs based on what is reasonably achievable. Improvements around knowledge management. The team is working to migrate off of old wikis and centralize knowledge within fewer repositories. The team continues to seek the balance to document just enough to coordinate work and meet basic business continuity requirements. Improvements to service delivery practices. The team plans to examine additional best practices and to effectively share these practices and their supporting infrastructure across a broader scope of customers.
4 4 Best Practice PRINCIPLE: VISIBILITY and MOVING BEYOND DISPATCH MODELS The team realized early that success would require better visibility across workgroups and with customers in order to improve the effectiveness of the service delivered to customers. Visibility meant that: 1) all teams could see all of the information related to any incident or request, and 2) teams could see the status of all incidents and requests for their workgroup. Much of this visibility was achieved through Cherwell s dashboards and reporting and allowed the teams to move beyond service dispatch models, siloed workgroups, and misplaced tasks. Central work teams began to pull requests from the queue based on competence and connection with an area rather than to rely on and augment what could be high-overhead dispatch models. This principle is also driving the implementation of the self-service portal so that customers can better pull service from IT. This visibility is what leads to the demand to improve the service catalog and make it more meaningful and actionable. Best Practice PRINCIPLE: prioritization, categorization, and ownership Through the ITIL training the team learned the value of differentiating incidents and requests. Guidelines were established to prioritize incidents and service requests. The categorization of these incidents and requests determined the severity of, guided the response to, and affected the assignment of the work. The team also became responsible for incidents and requests throughout their life cycle. Everyone who participated in the delivery of the service was responsible for the value delivered to a customer and the results required. Best Practice Results: More Effective delivery of services Through the implementation of service management across multiple areas the team has achieved a variety of results: Improved team responsiveness. The creation of a shared central workgroup significantly improved team members ability to respond in a quality and timely manner. Local and central resources are balanced to effectively support the university. This redesign of the service organization accommodated the recent budget reductions so that fewer personnel could deliver similar services. Improved service capacity. After assessing existing service pathways, the team refined the pathways so that in certain cases the call flow required a single point of contact and in other cases a bifurcated approach. This analysis and adjustment of pathways led to increased service capacity in colleges affected by staff reductions. Fresno State will leverage this capacity and further improve FCR by increasing use of remote support.
5 5 Improved first-contact resolution. Initially FCR went down because the service desk was not as familiar as formerly distributed technicians. The drive to use the service desk for call flow was a function of capacity (only one IT liaison per college). In the future, the service desk team will be using remote support and continually improve FCR. Improved response to project and planned work. The larger benefit for the service desk team was that a central service pool can better attack project or planned work. Additionally, the central pool can deal with variations in demand across the colleges so that their resources can shift based on variations in customer demand. Improved customer satisfaction. The customer satisfaction score at Fresno State is 84% satisfied with the service they are receiving. The reorganization of the group and the introduction of Cherwell Software assisted in retaining high customer satisfaction. Improved service availability through reduced unplanned outages. Fresno State s implementation of change management reduced unplanned outages by more than 50%. Simply getting disparate groups together to discuss interdependencies and provide forward notification of changes has significantly improved the availability and reliability of services. Improved awareness of the characteristics and shape of service demand. The central and shared service management system, Cherwell Software, has improved Fresno State s understanding of the nature of customer demand. It now becomes possible to observe trends and spikes and to resource accordingly, offload demand through training, remediate problems causing demand, and restructure work to meet resource availability. ENDNOTES 1 For more information visit the Cherwell Software website: (http://www.cherwellsoftware.com). Forrester Research, Inc. (Nasdaq: FORR) is an independent research company that provides pragmatic and forward-thinking advice to global leaders in business and technology. Forrester works with professionals in 19 key roles at major companies providing proprietary research, customer insight, consulting, events, and peer-to-peer executive programs. For more than 27 years, Forrester has been making IT, marketing, and technology industry leaders successful every day. For more information, visit Forrester Research, Inc. All rights reserved. Forrester, Forrester Wave, RoleView, Technographics, TechRankings, and Total Economic Impact are trademarks of Forrester Research, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. Reproduction or sharing of this content in any form without prior written permission is strictly prohibited. To purchase reprints of this document, please For additional reproduction and usage information, see Forrester s Citation Policy located at Information is based on best available resources. Opinions reflect judgment at the time and are subject to change
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