So, you’ve made the decision to do an IT Service Management assessment (if you haven’t, read this), but how do you choose between vendors? We’ve got some ideas! The following is an incomprehensive list of things we think make our assessment the best – better than the competition, and worth the investment of your precious time and money.
Our assessment is extremely comprehensive.
There are three critical components to consider in any improvement effort: people, process, and technology. Over the years, we’ve developed an award-winning (no kidding) approach that takes all three of these elements into account, giving you a complete set of thoughtful recommendations. Here’s how we go about it.
Most issues faced by organizations come down to people and how they work. That’s why, in every assessment we do, we examine these components first.
Surveys. We start by sending surveys to key staff across IT to assess their understanding of processes and how those processes are working for them. This gives us a sense of how well the existing process is communicated, followed, and whether it actually helps people get work done. Results are tabulated and reported, providing us an initial data point.
Interviews. We then meet with IT staff either in person or virtually, individually or as part of a group, to validate survey findings and gain a deeper understanding of how things work across the organization. This step helps us unearth areas that are working well and those that aren’t. Often, we also speak with IT’s customers to understand their experience and get a different perspective on how things are working within IT.
Observations. Lastly, we observe how people work. We may sit with the Service Desk and see how calls are being handled, for instance. Alternatively, we may attend a weekly Change Advisory Board (CAB) meeting to see how changes are managed within and across teams.
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After we have a thorough understanding of the people aspect, we review process documentation (if it exists) and compare that with our observations of how people actually work. This step helps us understand how well any documented processes are followed, where bottlenecks or gaps are located, how well everything aligns with industry “best practice”, and which areas need improvement. Having a great process is about finding balance. You want enough structure to ensure people are working consistently in areas that matter, but doesn’t bog them down with too many unnecessary steps. Our goal is to find where your processes are out of balance.
We all depend heavily on our software tools, which makes sense because when used effectively, they make us much more efficient. Many times, though, we aren’t leveraging our tools properly, aren’t receiving the information we need from them, or have simply outgrown them to the point they can no longer achieve what is needed. Our assessment takes a look at your supporting technology to see how it’s being used. We do this by performing a “ticket analysis” to see how, for example, the Service Desk is classifying tickets or how data is trending. We then use that information to uncover any issues
Finally, we combine all of our findings into an executive briefing presentation, which includes recommendations that can be easily shared with IT leadership and teams.
The report is immediately actionable.
Some consulting firms will come in, look at your organization, and leave you with pretty vague advice for improvement. That’s not the case with us. We create a tailored assessment roadmap with practical advice and action items that can be immediately implemented by your team. We categorize these recommendations into three tiers, so they’re easy to consume and plan:
- Short-term recommendations: These are action items you can begin implementing right away (0 – 3 months)
- Medium-term recommendations: These should be tackled in the next 3 – 6 months
- Long-term recommendations: These should be completed in the next 6 – 12 months
This approach provides your team with some quick, easy wins, which can be built upon later as the organization matures. It also gets everyone focused and moving in the right direction. We use CMMI process maturity scoring to provide a benchmark against which you can track future improvements. This scoring also makes it easy to track your progress against how you’re doing today – and to celebrate achievements as you go.
The whole process, depending on the scope, generally takes four to six weeks from beginning to end. Our goal is to allow your team to get moving quickly and spend more of their time implementing improvements rather than trying to uncover and understand them (more on why to use a third party to conduct an assessment here).
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