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6 crucial factors for successful ITSM integrations

Integrating new ITSM software into a company is a crucial process. Successful implementations allow a tool to be used effectively, significantly affecting the longevity of the tool in the environment while preventing churn in the short and medium term.

With a lot at stake during ITSM integrations, it is wise to ensure that the following factors are reflected positively during the implementation journey.

Collaboration between stakeholders

Like any major project within an organisation, stakeholder collaboration is key to its success. This will ensure that the implementation runs smoothly and according to schedule, with the appropriate people performing their roles effectively within the project.

Flexibility

When implementing ITSM solutions it is essential to ensure this is a flexible process, tailored to business needs.

Each implementation requires a detailed understanding of the business need for the ITSM tool. No implementation strategy should be formed without this information, to guard against a rigid ‘one size fits all’ approach.

Long Term View

An ITSM tool, like the roll out of any company-wide software, is a long-term investment encompassing years of use after the software is put in place.

This long-term view should be present in the process of implementation and beyond, ensuring after-care, update support and maintenance of the software to ensure it continues to function optimally.

 

Training/people awareness

For the tool to be implemented effectively, users need to be educated and trained on its proper use. This will allow users to become self-sufficient in their use of the software and lessen the effect of staff as the tool is onboarded.

Senior Management Championship

The support of senior management is an important asset for any implementation. The last thing any implementation needs is the difficulty of wading through the murky waters of internal politics. With the sponsorship of senior executives, the implementation is given the credence needed for the project to be successful and unmarred by internal dissent.

Go live cake (preferably customised with icing)

Many have derided the use of the ‘Go Live Cake’ as an empty ploy or just an excuse to eat cake. But used properly (and with a sufficient quality of cake) this can prove a solid morale boost for staff exhausted and slightly delirious after a long implementation project and help forge bonds between the implementation team and the end-users.

It is also a marketing opportunity, to raise awareness of what has been done, how this affects the organization and what the future plans are. With all these ingredients in place, you can be confident of a successful implementation.

Author Bio

 

Richard is the Lead Service Management Consultant for Thebes Group.

Richard has over 15 years’ experience in Service Management, is an ITIL Expert, and has helped drive many organizations in their efforts to implement and imbed mature service management processes. This has comprised of numerous Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release Management processes, in a variety of environments.

His approach is always to look for pragmatic solutions, which provide clear benefit and help achieve valuable business goals.

Richard is also the chair of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG), and a committee member of the BCS Service Management Specialist Group (SMSG).

Richard speaks publicly, at a number of industry events including BCS, itSMF and Gartner conferences, as well as a number of webcast and webinars.

Follow him on Twitter @Richard_Josey.

 

Worldpay Charity Bike Ride

 

Thebes Group are proud to sponsor an upcoming charity bike ride organised by employees at our valued client Worldpay.

On the 29th August 2017 Dave Boardman, Tom McKirdy and Nick Stanton (under the collective banner of ‘Team Riot Club’) will begin their 1000-mile cycle ride from Land’s End to John O’Groats to raise money for The Prince’s Trust and the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

For more information on the wonderful work these charities do please visit their respective pages at https://www.princes-trust.org.uk/ and https://www.cysticfibrosis.org.uk/

Although on paper an arduous journey, the team describe the route in glowing terms as they prepare:

“We will start at Land’s End on the south-westerly tip of England and pedal our way through Cornwall, over Dartmoor and head north along the Welsh border, skirting the Lake District and into Scotland, via lochs and the highlands to the North Coast and John O’Groats.”

Team Riot Club have already raised a staggering £4,376.44 at the time of writing, representing a significant windfall for two worthy charities.

Thebes CEO Mike Hall has sponsored the cycle ride on behalf of the company, writing on their fundraising page “Good luck from Thebes Group!” All members of Team Riot Club will wear a Thebes Group branded shirt to acknowledge this support.

However, the team are still currently falling slightly short of their £5000 target, and would greatly appreciate any additional donations to help achieve this.

For more details and to give money to support the team please visit their fundraising page here: http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/showFundraiserProfilePage.action?userUrl=teamriotclub

4 features of great ITSM software

ITSM software can make or break an IT Service. But what makes one piece of software better than another? In a market flooded with options, these are four features (broadly speaking) to look out for.

Viable software vendor

When a company buys an ITSM product they are also investing in an ITSM vendor, a relationship that doesn’t end when the tool is implemented.

This is a long term partnership so you need a vendor that is reliable to contact, preferably in a period of expansion, and will stay in business for the foreseeable future to allow scope for future development and ongoing product support.

Before investing in an ITSM solution it is wise to consider if the vendor, as well as the product, will be a worthwhile investment.

Strong Implementation

Implementation can make or break an ITSM tool. Key to this is a strong implementation team providing ITSM integrations into the business, either through the vendor or their partners.

Enticing features in an IT Service Management product mean nothing without the implementation know-how to put it in place.

Ease of use

ITSM software that is easy to use empowers staff to utilise it effectively. This minimises the training time needed for users of the tool and lessens the frustration of staff during this time due to a swift and productive learning process.

Key to this is how easily the software can be embedded into existing processes. A tool that is easy to embed into operational processes quickens the uptake of staff as they adapt to a new way of working in tandem with the new tool.

Tools that are difficult to use and incorporate within existing processes decrease user morale and slow down productivity as users are bogged down in the learning phase, leaving staff unable to use the tool effectively for long periods.

 

 

Flexibility

This is a less straight-forward feature. The level of flexibility should suit a business’s requirements, as flexibility in tooling can be a blessing or a curse.

A highly flexible tool is adaptable and allows for a large amount of customisation but the cost is that it will usually be harder to use. On the other hand, a tool with less flexibility is often easier to use due to the lower level of customisation but will be less adaptable.

Similarly a more flexible tool, while it can provide a solid ROI if a range of functions are used, can often prove costly and time consuming to maintain.

When choosing an ITSM tool, the level of flexibility should be carefully considered to ensure you are getting the right level of flexibility for your company. A tool needed to perform a wide variety of functions will need more customisations, whereas if it is to be used for the a single process then the opposite applies.

Conclusion

With these four features covered you can be confident that your new ITSM tool will prove an asset to your company.

Software attached to a viable vendor gives you security going forward. Equally, the backing of a strong implementation team or partner allows the tool to be put in place swiftly while minimising internal churn.

An easy to use tool empowers users and speeds up the learning process. While an adequately flexible tool allows for sufficient customisation without making the tool needlessly complex.

With these features in place for your new ITSM tool, you can’t go far wrong.

Author Bio

 

Richard is the Lead Service Management Consultant for Thebes Group.

Richard has over 15 years’ experience in Service Management, is an ITIL Expert, and has helped drive many organisations in their efforts to implement and embed mature service management processes. This has comprised of numerous Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release Management processes, in a variety of environments.

His approach is always to look for pragmatic solutions, which provide clear benefit and help achieve valuable business goals.

Richard is also the chair of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG), and a committee member of the BCS Service Management Specialist Group (SMSG).

Richard speaks publicly, at a number of industry events including BCS, itSMF and Gartner conferences, as well as a number of webcast and webinars.

Follow him on Twitter @Richard_Josey.

The 3 real reasons companies change ITSM tooling

The time has come. The wheels are in motion. Your company is changing ITSM tooling and there’s nothing anyone can do about it. You’ve been a loyal user of ‘X’ software for a number of years but enough is enough! It’s time for a change.

It’s an all too common scenario taking place, on average, every three to five years. Like a herd of giraffes seeking a new watering hole, businesses migrate their ITSM tooling to an alternative vendor. But there are risks associated with this change. While migrating giraffes risk exposure to predators and exhaustion, companies transitioning to a new ITSM solution risk the adverse effects of tool churn.

Tool Churn

ITSM tool churn results in decreased productivity during the interim period of a new tool’s implementation. Staff must be trained to use the new tool effectively, the time to resolve problems is reduced, creating a backlog and the whole team may suffer from a number of inevitable teething problems or glitches.

So why go through this process? What possible reasons are worth months of decreased efficiency? We asked Thebes’ IT Service Management specialist, Richard Josey, for the main reasons why companies change tooling.

Reason 1: Internal politics

Consider this scenario: your company is in the process of a merger. Your parent company and the other business use different ITSM software. What tooling will the merged company use?

There are three main options:

One: The merged company settles on one of the tools currently used (perhaps the small company in the merger will adopt the larger’s ITSM solution.)

Two: Both companies continue using their separate tools.

Three: The newly merged company adopts a neutral solution (i.e. one not previously used by either company.)

The first and third option will both invoke the negative effects of tool churn as the newly merged company (or section of the company) is forced to adapt to the use of a new tool.

Only the second option manages to negate the tool churn entirely, though this leaves two separate areas of the same company doing an identical job. Through such mergers we can see the drastic effect internal politics can have on ITSM tool selection.

Reason 2: Unjustified bias

Dissatisfaction for the current ITSM tool is the main push factor causing companies to seek alternatives. A recent survey on ITSM.tools confirmed that 18% of those surveyed voted “Tool Dissatisfaction” for their biggest factor behind changing tool, the most popular response.

But what fuels this dissatisfaction? Are most ITSM tools not fit for purpose?

Commonly, this dissatisfaction has no root in the tool itself, and is created through the accumulation of unjustified bias against the existing tool. This can be the result of a number of factors.

Lack of training/ skills

Inadequate training results in users not understanding the full potential, or even the basic operations of the tool.

With improper training, users of the tool can be prone to disillusionment, perceiving the tool as difficult to use or misunderstanding its function in key areas.

This issue can be compounded by a company’s reluctance to hire a specialist in the tool, leaving the organisation lacking in the necessary skill-sets to utilise the tool effectively and embed the tool within sound internal processes.

Strategic ITSM resourcing can be a strong solution to this problem, allowing the hire of a tool specialist able to train employees in effective tool use and map out an ITIL informed process with appropriate ITSM integrations.

Poor Implementation

A poorly implemented IT service management tool leaves a bad taste in the mouth of the buyer and prevents the tool from functioning effectively, despite its potential.

Successful implementations are key to the longevity of a tool. Implementations projects that go awry encourage knee-jerk reactions as senior management look for a quick fix. Paradoxically this may involve the implementation of yet another tool; leading to more tool churn and potentially the same implementation difficulties repeating themselves.

Reason 3: Outgrowing tool

Another common reason pushing businesses towards a change of tool is a company outgrowing their tool.

The circumstances of your company have changed; rapid expansion has enlarged your company to the point where new ITSM software is needed to properly accommodate this larger workforce.

On the other hand, perhaps your company has downsized and a tool implemented for a vast IT service desk is no longer needed.

Conclusion

Of the three reasons for ITSM tool change covered, one and three are, to a large extent, unavoidable.

A company’s growth can’t be halted for the sake of retaining an ITSM tool and mergers aren’t often scuppered in favour of tooling consistency.

So is tool churn inevitable? Not by a long shot.

Reason two is the most common reason companies discard their old ITSM tooling, a result of tool dissatisfaction and unjustified bias.

In this scenario, consider how your tool can be utilised better.

Does your team need better training on using the tool? Perhaps a specialist could be hired to offer tailored ITSM consulting, aid proper usage of the tool, and even heal wounds left by a poor implementation.

In some cases, ITSM tool churn is unavoidable, but if an existing tool can be utilised more effectively it saves companies and their customers from the grim, unproductive reality of tool churn.

Author Bio

Richard is the Lead Service Management Consultant for Thebes Group.

Richard has over 15 years’ experience in Service Management, is an ITIL Expert, and has helped drive many organisations in their efforts to implement and embed mature service management processes. This has comprised of numerous Incident, Request, Problem, Change, Configuration and Release Management processes, in a variety of environments.

His approach is always to look for pragmatic solutions, which provide clear benefit and help achieve valuable business goals.

Richard is also the chair of the BCS Configuration Management Specialist Group (CMSG), and a committee member of the BCS Service Management Specialist Group (SMSG).

Richard speaks publicly, at a number of industry events including BCS, itSMF and Gartner conferences, as well as a number of webcast and webinars.

Follow him on Twitter @Richard_Josey.

Cherwell House of Commons Event

Our partner Cherwell is holding an event in the Houses of Parliament on April 5th.

 

 

The impact of Brexit on the IT industry will be discussed, along with talks from a selection of enterprise clients on their Service Transformation/Digital Transformation journeys.

Venue:                The Houses of Parliament
Location:            The House of Commons, London, SW1A0AA
Date:                   Wednesday 5th April 2017
Time:                  12:00 PM

Click here to see the event flyer

 

Cherwell Partner