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.
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:
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.