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ITIL's Top 10 Quick Wins

Apr 27, 2007

Graham Price

6. Start Documenting Requests For Change (RFCs)

Establishing complete Change Management is a very worthwhile and significant project. You will see benefits from simply recording the fact that changes are happening, even if you cannot stop them or control them.

Create a log of changes, when they happened, what was changed, who was responsible for the change, and whether the change was successful, i.e. ,were any incidents triggered? It is a worthwhile first step that will help with analyzing trends and defining your problem’s scope with “out-of-control” changes.

5. Get Buy-In From Application Development

ITSM is all about operations, and within ITIL there aren’t many opportunities for application development staff to get involved (Change Management being the obvious one). Get them engaged and at least raise their awareness sooner.

Kotter teaches us that people become resistors to change when they are excluded and have no opportunity to get involved when plans and decisions are being formulated. Your job will become much harder the longer you wait to include any staff, not just application development.

4. Start Talking “Service” Instead Of “System”

There are still too many people in IT who think their job is “to make the systems run” instead of “to help sell insurance policies” (or whatever it is your organization does). Sure, we need the systems to work. That’s what enables the service, but service is the priority.

Here is the reality check: If systems are fine but services are out, customers are unhappy. If some systems are out or under stress but services are fine, customers are happy.

This is what is meant by “talking service instead of system”. The quick win here is that IT staff start focusing on the right things and this immediately results in improved service quality.

3. Think “Bottom-Up” Not “Top Down”

No one disagrees that executive buy-in is crucial for a successful process initiative just as in any organizational change program. But real change is embedded into the rank and file organization one event at a time: one change, one incident, one problem, one release.

Gradually, there is a simple belief at the grassroots level that the “new” way is not as bad as first thought. Rather, the “new” way really seems to have some “legs”.

Can you remember not having a fax number or an email address on your business card? Can you imagine doing your job today without email? It is Malcolm Gladwell’s “Tipping Point” that we seek in the world of process improvement, when the critical mass moves toward process and not away.

2. Start Open Reporting

There is a lot of talk about metrics, and monitoring and measuring performance. Assuming this has happened, which is a big job indeed, where does all that data end up? Who collects, processes, analyzes, formats and distributes it? Who acts on it? And does it end up being “secret” data?

Can the average IT person begin to understand that all these processes that are changing their lives are really having a positive impact on the organization?

It is essential that we measure in order to improve but, it is just as important to communicate these results to everyone involved in order to maintain the momentum once things start to move in the right direction.

1. Get The Boss Excited & Involved!

The boss can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. Do not wait too long to find out which one!

Remember, a key challenge for CIOs, IT directors, project managers, process owners and change agents is to identify early successes as part of the overall planning process. Quick wins have to be created by deliberate planning and action and must be:

  • Visible to everyone;
  • Meaningful; and
  • Achieved within a short period of time.

    Want To Learn More?

    Read the following books by John Kotter, Leading Change and The Heart Of Change (. Both of these books are bestsellers, and are readily available anywhere business books are sold.

    Graham Price is manager of Consulting Services at Pink Elephant, an ITIL consultancy.