Building a Pathway to the Future: The Service Management Roadmap
The most common question relating to implementation of ITIL-based IT service management initiatives tends to be: “Where do we start?" It can be a bit overwhelming, feeling the need to align IT services with the greater needs of your organization, but not quite having a grasp on how and where to begin to implement alignment. In many cases, beginning without a clear roadmap can create change that moves your organization in a less productive, less desirable direction.
Creating a service management roadmap is a great way to begin the process of implementing ITIL-based service management initiatives. At its most basic level, an ITSM roadmap is a document that outlines your organization's status regarding IT and where you’d like to be in the future, with a set of agreed-upon steps to move you in the right direction.
A service management roadmap can, of course, be as graphically appealing or utilitarian as your organization may require, but it must include action items, protocols and a goal. That’s all you really need to begin the process.
Where Are We Now?
It can be tempting to begin with a complete assessment of your organization’s current status, and your need for improvement. Unfortunately, beginning in this manner can be counterproductive. Instead, start by investing some time examining your organization, but do so in an effort to identify the areas you where need the most improvement, as well as the areas where you need to improve the most rapidly.
Once you’ve identified the areas that you’d most like to improve, perform a thorough assessment of your current organization's capabilities within those areas. Doing this work is crucial to the overall success of your efforts, and gives you the starting place for your service management roadmap.
Where Do We Start?
Next you will want to focus on the gaps highlighted by the assessment. In this stage, you’ll want to dive deeper into the areas causing the most significant points of pain in terms of quality, efficiency, cost, and customer satisfaction. These will be the stops along the way in your ITSM roadmap.
Invest the time and energy into identifying what needs to be done, and how you will measure the impact of each change you are implementing.
Where Would We Like To Be?
Understanding where you would like your organization to arrive and when is crucial to the implementation of the change identified in your service management roadmap. You will want to determine your ideal desired state as an organization, and a timeframe by which to achieve that state, as well as how you will measure your effectiveness to determine that you have arrived at the destination on your service management roadmap.
Having a strategy for how to overcome your organization’s shortcomings will be critical in gaining the support and funding you will need from your organization to implement a successful strategy as outlined in your service management roadmap or ITSM roadmap. Putting in the work to identify where your organization is currently, where you’d like to be and by what target date, and how you intend to get there will pay dividends when it comes to implementation.
This strategy can be presented directly as a service management roadmap of related projects, each addressing specific gaps, and all aimed at the following accomplishments—increasing organizational understanding and acceptance of ITSM, implementing and integrating highly effective infrastructure processes, enabling processes and increasing efficiency through automation, and increasing overall customer satisfaction through the delivery of high-quality and cost-effective services.