So you have decided to ramp up a few processes through a Continual Service Improvement (CSI) initiative. As part of that activity you have identified the current status of the following through a maturity review:
- Problem Management
- SACM – Service Asset and Configuration Management
Repeatable and Defined
- Service Request
- Incident Management
- Change Management
The direction that you have been given from leadership is “to do more with less”. In other words, there is no money right now to do these improvements, but if we could prove out the value through initial actions we might be able to scrounge something up for resources or tools down the line.
The first thing that we need to do is to define “what is the scope for this phase of the CSI initiative”. This is critical because scope creep can spiral this work out of control. Keep in mind we are working with limited resources, and let’s face it, you aren’t dropping your regular workload to work on this so your time is precious.
The scope in this example will be to formalize the Problem and SACM processes. You might not have any resources right now, but that’s OK. We have already identified that these are currently ad-hoc. So step number one will be to formalize the process by putting it down on paper, as it was. The process documentation does not have to be complicated or pages long. What it does need to indicate is:
- Who owns what within the process. If we are using people with existing ownership ensure that this has buy in.
- What the process entails, steps and activities
- Inputs and outputs of the process
Despite the fact that you will be working closely with some IT Stakeholders you will still need to keep them and your leadership informed on the progress you are making. This can be accomplished with weekly status updates to stakeholders. Include such things as timelines, successes and roadblocks
As we identified earlier, you don’t have any people who are solely allocated for this work, so we have had to user other resources from our more defined processes own them at the moment. A resource(s) from Incident Management will manage Problems and Change Management will own the SACM process. Remember the scope is small, your SACM could be 10 key services and Problem Management may be a weekly review with your Incident Managers to determine recurring issues.
As part of you scope you should determine at what point you will be ready to implement the next phase of your CSI initiative. Since we are still working under the premise that we are not allocated any funds (or very little) we can either say “after x months”, or at which point we are repeating the process with little effort, or a combination of the two. It will be at that point where you will begin the CSI process again.
You may find that you reach an point where you will need to allocate resources or implement tools. This is where you will be able to review the ROI on the processes you have implemented and be able to quantify the value they add now, as well as the increased value you can expect going forward.