Useful IT Service Management Software Tips

An integrated IT service management software suite is a complex entity. The versatility that makes it suitable for a range of organizations also means that time must be taken to implement it carefully, ensuring that the versatility is best exploited to match the IT service management software implementation to the organization’s needs, circumstances, and constraints. However, as with all software implementations, there are some generic concepts that hold true and add value to any IT service management software implementation project.

Exploiting Versatility Requires Compromise

One of the key benefits of an IT service management software product is the way that it integrates a range of ITSM processes, most notably through a common user interface and shared data. This means it is implemented across a fairly wide swathe of the organization and for a significant range of people to use. This range may well include ITSM staff, other IT staff, end users and customers, and perhaps suppliers.

With this wide range of interests and stakeholders, it is important to gather all inputs and requests. Quite possibly it will not be possible to meet all their wishes, and that some compromises will have to be made. As with all compromises, involving people beforehand, and during the decision-making process, allows them to see the range of requirements and hopefully makes them more amenable to accepting final decisions.

Inclusive Planning Facilitates Success

In addition to helping with compromise, the widest possible range of input before the IT service management software implementation will ensure that good ideas are captured and exposed to other types of users or stakeholders. This cross-fertilization can often generate unexpected advantages in adapting one team’s ideas to another’s circumstances.

Inclusive planning might also include possible future use cases for the IT service management software product. For instance, the use of the IT service management software in non-IT scenarios such as supporting the service management activities of the corporate HR, facilities, and legal functions.

Don’t Expect Immediate Perfection

With such a complex and multifaceted application as IT service management software, there is every likelihood that its implementation will not go perfectly first time. Use this knowledge to generate corrections and improvements before final implementation, through techniques such as service rehearsals, pilots in chosen parts of the organization, and early reviews. Take staff dissatisfaction and complaints seriously and be seen to act on it – the more people that use the IT service management software, the greater the benefits it can bring to the organization.

Make Sure That It Lasts Against Changing Business Needs

As well as getting the IT service management software matched to current situations and immediate needs, seek input from every kind of user of the software on how they expect their part of the organization’s needs to change over the next 18 months. Wherever possible, implement the IT service management software in such a way such that it will adapt to those changes as they arise. Having established those expected future trends, actively monitor each contributor to check on how those anticipated developments actually do develop and assess the impact on the IT service management software.

Don’t Overcomplicate Things

Modern IT service management software is capable of considerable sophistication and level of detail. It is, however, rarely justifiable or appropriate to push it to its limits, because these limits are almost invariably beyond the sensible level of detail for ordinary organizations. Instead, be driven by human-sized IT service management software modifications and solutions. For example:

  • Initial categorization for issues is usually selected from drop-down category lists. There is a tendency to just “pick and use one at random” when things get very busy on the service desk. Try to keep these lists relatively small, ideally all visible on one screen. Over complication slows data entry considerably and leads to entry staff confusion.
  • Configuration databases of much more than four levels can be very attractive to configuration management specialists, i.e. configuration geeks, but it makes it very hard to maintain or to quickly see trends.

Look For the Next Step

Be aware that, for most organizations, there is always a next step towards broader coverage and support from IT service management software. Some companies will start with incident management and change management, or change management and configuration management, and then add in more capabilities as these new processes bed in. So develop a road map of progress, including what new processes you might go for with the IT service management software, where improvements are intended, etc.

Do not be frightened to maintain, adapt, and restructure this next-step list as reality informs you. The list will serve not only as documented ambition but will also prompt continual service improvement on which processes to focus on.

Develop Internal Training Where Possible and Appropriate

Initial training in IT service management software usually comes from the supplier as a part of the implementation package. Plus follow-on training for new staff is available from them too, as needed. But consider also using the initially trained staff to pass lessons on to newcomers. This more-flexible approach keeps knowledge spreading quickly across the organization and matches the training to the specific implementation and needs that your organization has. Besides, sharing knowledge, and appearing knowledgeable, always makes good operators feel special. Alternatively, look vendor-provided online training and communities for additional training resources as needed.

Seek and Support Fellow Travelers

There will be a range of customers that use similar IT service management software to yours. There may be formal user groups for the IT service management software. If so, take advantage and get involved. Each organization is unique, but will still have much in common with others.

There is no need to make all the IT service management software implementation and use mistakes yourself, when those who have made them elsewhere are willing to share with you. And, in turn, contribute with your lessons learned. If you are the kind of organization that has partners or is not competitive (such as government), you may find others using similar IT service management software that you can swap war stories with, even if no formal user group exists. An example is the Facebook Back2ITSM group where all sorts of ITSM questions are raised and answered by peers.

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