In the many classic infomercials advertising the Ronco® brand rotisserie oven, host Ron Popeil breathlessly touts his star appliance as a tremendous timesaver, his audience shouting with enthusiasm, “Set it....and Forget It!”
Unfortunately, this approach is far more useful for creating juicy chicken dinners than it is for a company adopting new IT services, or process improvements. Having worked with a multitude of companies, I’ve seen countless well-managed companies make this very simple mistake. Having adopted a new software or process, it’s easy to assume that the “project” or improvement has been completed, and can be crossed off the list.
The most successful improvements, however, are the ones which are adopted and then continually checked, reviewed, and evaluated after implementation. It’s important to have a plan in place which allows for continual review of a new IT service or process--after three months, after six months, and so on--in order to ensure that it is performing within the larger organization of a firm. The CSI process (short for Continual Service Improvement) will help you to analyze the effectiveness of your processes, new and old alike, allowing companies to retool and redeploy as needed.
The following elements are a part of the ITIL V3 core discipline Continual Service Improvement (CSI):
Process Objective: To evaluate service quality on a regular basis. This includes identifying areas where the targeted service levels are not reached and holding regular talks with business to make sure that the agreed service levels are still in line with business needs.
Process Objective: To evaluate processes on a regular basis. This includes identifying areas where the targeted process metrics are not reached, and holding regular benchmarking, audits, maturity assessments and reviews.
Process Objective: To define specific initiatives aimed at improving services and processes, based on the results of service and process evaluation. The resulting initiatives are either internal initiatives pursued by the service provider on his own behalf, or initiatives which require the customer’s cooperation.
Process Objective: To verify if improvement initiatives are proceeding according to plan, and to introduce corrective measures where necessary.
Also, it is important to note that one should not wait until after deployment to think about (CSI) Continual Service Improvement. While in the Define phase, where you are determining the improvements you wish to make and how they will align with the business needs, it is at this point you should be thinking of the following:
“How will I maintain a certain level of quality and functionality of this process or enhancement?”
“How can I best use my tool sets to support this process or initiative?”
“Will I need different people resources or can I educate my current resources with what they need to get the job done?”
“What types of reporting will I need to check the health and functionality of the process?”
Answering these questions will help establish the initial framework of your Continual Service Improvement needs, while at the same time you are building or modifying the specific service or process.
Optimization is an ongoing process, not a one-time chore. While it’s not quite as easy as “Set it and Forget It“, adopting a Continual Service Improvement approach to IT service changes, process improvements, and new product implementations helps a business to truly optimize for maximum efficiency in a manner best suited for its unique culture, strengths, and challenges.
Added by admin August 18, 2011 (3:03PM)
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