Getting the basics right
Marketing and Improving?
We need to sell what we are doing and keep on selling it. Why do big successful corporations still advertise, when we know about their products? – we need to keep value in the customer’s mind and keep ahead of the game – we are only as good as our last service, so we need to keep reminding our staff and customers of this.
We also need to ensure that we have the right culture of ongoing improvement and development to ensure that we don’t fall behind and that our services keep current and optimised. So our reporting and cross-departmental statistics are essential as the catalyst and starting point for new improvement initiatives.
However both marketing and continual improvement shouldn’t just be separate activities – they should be embedded in everything we do. You see this in really successful organisations, where the culture is tangible as an open and self-aware approach and where everyone knows that they have to be thinking about image and perception as much as actual technical service.
So everyone in the organisation needs to have a sense that
(1) they can make a difference in improving service and
(2) that they are expected to do so.
So as part of every project meeting and discussion, we should be asking ‘ how can we make this better, how do we ensure that our services and operational activities are co-ordinated ‘and what will be the impact to our customers and how will they view this?
So our approach to Service Level Management must be also co-ordinated with a strong Business Relationship Management process, roles, and accountabilities. We need people who can represent IT and the IT organisation to its customers and vice versa and who are able to make change happen in their own organisation to improve service and efficiency.
So the whole ITSM and ITSM Goodness approach is about engaging and developing customer relationships, using that to drive IT goals and then using performance results to then drive on improvements – ideally a virtuous circle.
It’s the relationship that will make this work – and that is between people – not just about processes and SLAs.
- The Relationship is key, so build on that – SLAs etc can follow but aren’t the main driver
- Staff should be encouraged to be marketing and perception aware in all that they do
- Keep asking the improvement questions – how can we do this better/faster/cheaper
- In IT we like to build models, tools + processes rather than just managing people + issues
- ITIL is documented in common sense, which is still a rare commodity. It also needs good management to make it successful
- Culture eats strategy for breakfast, lunch, and dinner’
- Let’s move our IT organisation from providing systems to delivering Services
- IT is + should be part of the business, not a separate (necessary evil) function
- Let’s not think of running IT ‘as’ a business but ‘like’ a business – + part of it
- It’s the (project) process that counts with SLM – i.e. talking/listening to your customers
- Your communications style – and appreciation of others’ – is a key tool in resolving issues quickly
- IT organisations must function as a service supply chain – not a group of great technical teams
- A glossy brochure version of your service catalogue might help to sell the bigger SLM picture to the CIO + business
- Processes don’t happen or work by themselves – if there’s no governance then they’re a waste of time
- Documentation is good – but engagement, empowerment, and attitude are even better
- Understanding technology is good, but understanding people and culture is even more useful