By Chris Gordon, ITSM Managing Consultant, Logicalis US

This is another installment in a series of blogs that gives IT leaders a better understanding into the realm of possibilities enabled by an effective IT Service Management (ITSM) strategy. Each of these blogs offers ITSM best practices that can help you innovate and improve your IT processes and strategies so they align to the needs of the business.

In this new era of digital disruption within IT, can you identify the Chief Culture Officer in your organization who will help influence a smooth transition to a Service-Defined Enterprise?

If you are a thought leader in your organization, you know that someone who fulfills the role for being a positive culture-change agent is a critical resource to have on staff. One example where such an agent could be of benefit is within an ITSM transformation effort.

Implementing the right ITSM solution is where many CIOs are putting forth a big investment. For instance, many are replacing older ITSM tools with more agile, Web-hosted and feature-rich SaaS products like Service-Now to leverage strong but flexible processes. Where better strategies for process improvements, tool integrations, or even automation to streamline operations are on the CIO roadmap, the adoption of new process and responsibilities should also be a priority.

For CIOs or practice managers in the ITSM space, I highly recommend addressing this issue by considering how you communicate your policies, guidelines and process objectives across IT Operations. One of the most important areas of communication within the organization is the training program for how to follow good practices and become advocates for process excellence.

Most IT Operations teams fall short in the critical area of training or culture change. I often see old and outdated training materials lying around the workplaces I visit. It gets the best of my curiosity to take a glance to see how useful these old manuals are. When I ask how often training is provided—or ask how easy it is for an IT manager to locate the schedule for upcoming training on ITSM processes—I tend to get a response of “I don’t know” or the friendly shrugging of shoulders gesture.

If you are a leader or influencer in your ITSM initiatives, then consider taking a new approach for training your staff on ITSM processes. Providing a new spark in how training and awareness can be supplied across the organization will help foster curiosity and an open mind to review what’s new. Your thought leaders can look at fresh, new tools and techniques that are widely used in other industries for training.

Below are three useful areas to improve process training for ITSM:

  • Contextual Learning: In the growing world of social media, user experience is the key focus to foster customer engagement. The same also applies when teaching ITSM practices to your organization. Create scenario-based stories and simulations in which you can engage a classroom to act in various corporate roles (not just their role). This helps them understand the experience from all perspectives. This mode of learning is also fantastic for teaching problem-solving and applying critical thinking as a group in a collaborative setting.

 

  • Learning Management System (LMS): No one wants to print out a 35-page document with plain text on how to follow a process—stuffy manuals are not an effective way to engage your IT Operations audience. But an online LMS offers a way to develop training materials that users can read while also viewing visual examples. They can then be challenged to test their knowledge at the end of each module to reinforce what they learned. A wide variety of LMS solutions are available that make it easy to curate training content, keep it up-to-date, and share it across all company locations. The other benefit with an LMS is that many programs are offered on a self-study basis where learners can proceed at their own pace. Such an online system also makes it easy to track who has completed the training, which can also help meet compliance requirements for auditors.

 

  • Infographics: I am a big fan of visuals that are eye-catching and spark curiosity or interest. Infographics are used across social media in advertising but are also useful in many other ways to quickly educate and share information. To compliment a good training class, it is always wise to provide a one-page “Quick Reference” for users to glance at and get a refresher when they are in need of a quick answer. Consider working with your marketing department to create a visually-appealing, easy-to-reference infographic that has simple steps to follow and reinforces that a good process should be intuitive.

Remember too, that in the Service-Defined Enterprise of the future, ITSM plays a leading role from both a technology perspective and from an execution perspective in helping you follow the process with both hands on the wheel. If you are leading up your ITSM practice area, effective process training should not be an afterthought—it should ensure consistency and harmony when IT is following ITSM processes and delivering services to end users. The training component must be an important part of your overall ITSM program.

For more information on ITSM strategies and best practices, contact Chris Gordon at Chris.Gordon@us.logicalis.com.

To view of all of Chris Gordon’s ITSM blogs published to date, visit https://logicalisinsights.com/categories/chris-gordon/