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The Help You Need to Adopt Continual Service Improvement

By | November 10, 2015 in ITIL

The Help You Need to Adopt Continual Service Improvement

Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is one of the most important concepts in ITIL, but very few IT organizations put anything in place to make it happen. Everyone knows that they need a service desk, and that they need incident management and change management. An IT organization without these things would deliver terrible service and have customers that are completely dissatisfied. I think that the same applies to CSI. If you aren’t continually improving your services, your processes, and your technology, then at best you will stagnate, while your competition gradually leaves you further and further behind. Staying still is not an option when everyone else is improving; it’s just a way to gradually decline into irrelevance.

It’s fairly easy to get started with CSI and it can make a huge difference to the value you create for your customers. In this article I’ll give you some practical suggestions of things you can do to make CSI work for you.

Why Do You Need CSI?

When you design a new service, or a new process, or some new infrastructure, it’s never 100% perfect. If you spent the time it would actually take to eliminate all errors and inefficiencies, it would take so long that every project would be delivered too late to have any value. This means that whenever you create a new (or updated) service (or process) it already has things wrong with it even before you get started. If you have CSI in place then this won’t matter, because you will immediately start monitoring and improving things, so that they gradually approach the perfection that you’d like to offer your customers. You won’t ever achieve perfection, but you can keep getting closer.

Don’t think that CSI is just about processes, or just about the efficiency of the IT department. CSI should help you to achieve things that have a direct impact on your customers. CSI can help you to:

  • Review and improve your service portfolio, to ensure that you are delivering the services that your customers need, not just the services you’ve always delivered in the past.
  • Review and improve every service, to ensure that it delivers what your customers expect, not just what you thought they needed.
  • Review and improve your technology, to ensure that it underpins your services, helping you to deliver high quality services that meet customer expectations with minimum cost and maximum flexibility.
  • Review and improve your IT service management (ITSM) processes, to ensure that they underpin delivery of the services, that they help you to meet customer expectations, and that they help you work efficiently to minimize the cost of delivering services.
  • Review and improve the skills and competence of your people, to ensure that IT personnel have the right skills and competence to manage the technology, execute the processes, and deliver the services.

CSI won’t instantly make all of these things perfect, but it will help you to continually improve them, so that you can keep up with ever increasing customer expectations, and so that you can stay ahead of your competition.

If you'd like further information and need that extra push to get started with CSI, please go ahead and download my 7 tips, which begin with thinking about attitudes, behaviour, and culture.

Please share your thoughts in the comments or on Twitter, Google+, or Facebook where we are always listening.

Stuart Rance

About Stuart Rance

Stuart is an ITSM and security consultant, working with clients all round the world. He is one of the authors of ITIL 4, as well as an author of ITIL Practitioner, ITIL Service Transition, and Resilia: Cyber Resilience Best Practice. He is also a trainer, teaching standard and custom courses in ITSM and information security management, and an examiner helping to create ITIL and other exams. Now that his children have all left home, he has plenty of time on his hands for contributing to our blog - lucky us!

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