The Ultimate Guide to ITSM Best Practices

ITSM or IT service management is a collective term used to describe the processes followed by organizations to design, plan, improve and deliver IT services they offer. It has become a standard procedure for organizations around the world to come up with a business-specific ITSM framework that aligns IT services and processes with organizational goals.

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 Though many organizations use ITSM tools and ITSM software to manage service delivery, ITSM focuses more on the process part rather than the technical aspects. From helping keep a tab on operational costs to boosting the efficiency of your help desk teams, ITSM can benefit you in more ways than you can imagine. Designing efficient ITSM processes is more about following a framework than investing in expensive infrastructure. To help you get started, we in this article, discuss a few ITSM best practices . Take a look.

1.Streamline your incident management process: Your teams receive a number of incidents every day. Recording these incidents is important for future reference. Make sure to generate a unique number for every incident. When recording the incident, specify its nature. Next, your incident managers must categorize and prioritize incidents based on their urgency and impact. Break down your incident management process into 4 steps.

1.Preliminary diagnosis: In the first stage, define the problem. Based on your understanding of the problem and past experiences, make a list of tools that can help address the issue at hand.

2.Investigate: Investigate the ticket as it passes through different escalation stages.

3.Solution and recovery: Once you diagnose the issue, come up with a resolution keeping in mind all possible scenarios.

4.Ticket closure: After the incident is resolved, your troubleshooting team must send the ticket back to the service desk team for closure.

2.  Educate your stakeholders: Its human nature to resist change. When you come up with a plan to implement an ITSM framework., you may face some resistance from your business’s stakeholders. To ensure your stakeholders’ reluctance to accept change is not a roadblock, educate them about the benefits of implementing ITSM processes. To spread awareness, conduct seminars, workshops, and meetings.

3.Determine and monitor key performance areas and critical success factors: To ensure successful ITSM implementation, you need to monitor your IT help desk’s KPIs. ITSM tools come with in-built reporting capabilities that you can use to generate performance reports. Use these tools to constantly monitor important KPIs and matrices such as incident response time, reopen rate, problem resolution time, and change success rate.

4.Choose ITSM tools wisely: Many businesses commit the mistake of choosing high-end ITSM tools that are not only difficult to understand but are loaded with features their teams rarely use. To ensure the success of your ITSM operations, choose tools with functionalities that align with your business requirements. Look for user-friendly tools that can be easily integrated with other IT management tools. Most importantly, determine your budget and never overspend.

5.Study your customer portfolio: When implementing ITSM, rank your customers depending on different parameters such as the duration of your association with them and the total value of the business they have given you till date. Focus on the lowest ranking customers and determine the ways in which you can help them achieve their goals. Analyze your ITSM framework to identify processes that can help you serve your customers better.

6.Listen to your stakeholders: Effective ITSM frameworks evolve over time. Your job does not end with successful ITSM implementation. To ensure your ITSM is aligned with your business goals, you must take regular feedback regarding functionality and pain points from stakeholders. When designing a survey, avoid ambiguous questions. Encourage your end users to provide suggestions at the end of the user feedback form.

7.Audit your ITSM framework regularly:  To ensure your ITSM framework stays relevant, you need to audit it regularly. Analyze the ITSM processes and talk to teams responsible for implementing them. Be careful when determining the workflows. Examine your recovery strategies and tweak them at regular intervals to ensure they align with your current business needs.

8.Come up with a continual service improvement plan: Looking for ways to improve your service delivery must be an ongoing process, not a one-time activity. Use different metrics to analyze the impact of your service improvement efforts. Assess your customers’ needs at regular intervals and talk to them to find out their short term and long-term objectives. Ask yourself what your contribution has been to help them achieve or get closer to these objectives. Conducting the exercise regularly will give you a realistic and accurate picture of what you need to do to improve your service delivery. Review your IT services and evaluate processes at regular intervals. Review your continual service improvement activities regularly and fix loopholes, if any, in the continual service improvement plan.

Change can be overwhelming at times, but it is also inevitable. To win your stakeholders' trust, adopt a transparent approach and educate them about the benefits of ITSM. Provide them with all the support they need to take the leap. Get consultants who can not only help you with implementation but also answer your stakeholders' questions on-board.

Vaishali Gopi

Cmms | 15.11.2018

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