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A Doctor's Approach to ITSM Implementations

Mar 16, 2004

ITSM Watch Staff

By Jan Vromant

Although most IT Departments have not categorized the different types of pain, IT people know the signs of what is wrong. Thus, one of the first tasks in an IT Service Management assessment is to list the different symptoms.

By classifying the type of pain, it will be easier to prescribe the remedy. Similar to the medical doctor, the strength and the kind of medicine varies according to the seriousness of the ailment and its symptoms. The remedy should alleviate most of these, but the important aspect of the healing is the removal of the root cause of the sickness.

All too often, when an IT department faces a certain problem, such as bandwidth latency, the typical solution is to add more network power or yet another server, without identifying the root causes. In this example, the root cause might be poor communication between application development groups who are unnecessarily creating excessive network traffic. The added bandwidth does not cure the disease.


You can group IT "remedies" into three types of medicines

Stability Medicine
Remedies used to heal the stability within an IT environment include the amalgamation of your tools including basic performance and monitoring tools, training your staff and implementing ITIL Service Support processes (Incident, Problem, Change, Configuration, and Release Management). This is the prescription for the basic level of support of an IT organization. These are operational remedies.

Quality Medicine
The ITIL Service Delivery processes; Service Level Management, Financial, Security, Availability and Capacity Management, Business Continuity Planning and control of the Enterprise Architecture are the remedies where a proactive IT shop is essential to serve the business goals. They provide the necessary elements to bring quality to the IT services and are more tactical.

Commitment and Communication Medicine
These are the organizational remedies and include leadership and CxO level commitments, communication plans, management of change, corporate culture, and the strategic alignment between the business side and IT.

Routinely dismissed as the "fuzzy stuff" and ignored, these strategic ingredients are essential and are the framework for the IT activities. The famous gangster Al Capone once said, "You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone". The "gun" is an indispensable ingredient.

Understanding the Remedies is important as they broadly match the Pain symptoms.