Home > 3, 2, 1 Liftoff! Launching Your ITSM Implementation

3, 2, 1 Liftoff! Launching Your ITSM Implementation

Evaluation Completed: check Vendor Agreement Signed: check PO Issued: check We have service desk liftoff! Well...almost. Completing an IT service management (ITSM) evaluation is no easy feat, but selecting a new solution doesn’t mean it’s time to take your foot off the pedal. Transitioning to a new solution shouldn't be a burden or take away from your day-to-day responsibilities. Developing a strategic approach to tackle your ITSM implementation can help expedite your time to value and maximize your resources. Let's review fundamental questions and recommendations you can apply at any stage of your implementation to ensure business continuity and success.

Preparing for Launch: Outline Organizational Needs and Goals 

Prior to takeoff, revisit the list of needs that drove the selection of your new service desk. Pair elements of the evaluation with the broader organizational goals to ensure your initial configuration's outline is holistically aligned with the business. Kickstarting your implementation may seem intimidating but asking the right questions can help frame your project plan.

How can the new service desk benefit the entire organization?

To seamlessly introduce a new resource, it is paramount to assess the team’s culture and values. Understanding the organizational pulse, user behaviors, and employee expectations can propel your employee service strategy and pave the foundation for your implementation plan. Consider how the new service desk is going to impact productivity and how you can convey these benefits to your users. What headaches will the platform alleviate? Are there areas for improvement? Identifying existing service management gaps drives innovation, empowering you to see how and where your new ITSM solution can mitigate current challenges. Uncovering these opportunities shapes how you articulate the value of the new service desk to your organization.

How can you integrate the vision of the business with your implementation goals?

Spend time reflecting on the core values of your organization to refine your implementation’s targets. Has the business expressed a need to expand collaboration between departments? If so, how might your selected service desk help incite heightened collaboration? Coupling organizational objectives with the goals established in your service desk evaluation helps you think and work holistically when prioritizing your implementation initiatives. This enables a scalable setup encompassing configuration beneficial to all internal service providers, not solely concentrated on what works for IT.

The Force: Establish Your Team and Your Timeline

Half of a successful launch is choosing the appropriate vessel—the other half consists of human resources and timing. It’s crucial to appoint a team with the appropriate skills who will plan and execute the implementation. Beyond the tactical setup, this team is accountable for communicating the progress to stakeholders and senior management. Let's explore how you might delegate responsibilities and define an effective timetable for a smooth implementation.

Who will be leading the implementation and how will you allocate resources?

The individuals who led the evaluation and initial testing often make up the implementation team. With their experience and knowledge of the selected ITSM platform, they can effectively spearhead project planning. Often these team members will assume ongoing management and enablement for the service desk following the implementation period—helping make updates while ensuring both technicians and requesters are well educated on the platform. As you identify your team, review your users’ skill sets and responsibilities. Will all those involved in the implementation be working in the same areas of the platform? Perhaps some users will only manage inventory and the CMDB, in which case they may only be involved in one phase of the implementation to set up asset management. Others may be responsible for configuring workflows, roles, categories, and routing for IT, which would likely require a higher level of involvement across the entire implementation’s lifecycle.

Do you have a desired go-live date for your new solution?

Before your staff kicks off their respective work, set a target date to have the implementation completed and the service desk publicly available. A deadline allows the team to map out the milestones of the project, including what tasks are involved in each phase and what human resources are needed to adhere to these timelines. Appointing a group and establishing a go-live date helps map the flow and duration of the implementation. Taking these steps also empowers you to plan how and when internal communications about the new solution will be shared, and ultimately drives faster time to value for your business.

The Blueprint: Creating a Plan With Your Team and Your Vendor

The goals for the mission have been set, the team has been assigned, and timeline for the launch has been scheduled. All that remains is defining the phases leading up to the launch date and alerting the media. A project plan aligns expectations and enhances visibility across the implementation team, maximizing collaboration efforts. Weave these questions and considerations into your implementation for optimal execution.

What is the full scope of your project?

Knowing your implementation deliverables won’t all be completed at once, it's imperative to define the segments within your approach. Uniting your team’s understanding of the new ITSM platform, the business’ goals, and your agreed upon timeframe can help mold your implementation’s phases. Try to address the following:
  • What’s essential to have a sound, foundational setup?
  • Will you be migrating data?
  • What modules of your service desk must be configured immediately? Are other modules secondary or in your long-term plans?
  • How will you announce the availability of your new service desk?
  • Will you provide training and education to your employees?
Perhaps your team’s immediate goals with the service desk are comprised of incident management, service request management, knowledge management, and you plan to have a web-based service portal. To streamline incident and service request management, what basic setup is required? As you nail down the configuration minutiae, it’s also important to consider how you intend to educate users on the new ITSM solution. Will there be ongoing training and feedback channels? While it may seem like your list of questions and to-do lists are growing, don’t get overwhelmed! Your goals paired with your vendor’s recommendations can help contextualize what work needs to be done, what resources are best equipped to execute those tasks, and the order in which it can most effectively be completed.
Liz Beavers
Like many IT professionals, Liz’s entry into the tech industry was unconventional. With plans to pursue a career in public relations, Liz’s career quickly took…
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