Getting Started with ITSM

I’ve blogged previously about improving your success in an ITSM project here and here – mentioning setting yourself clear objectives, and resisting the urge to complicate things.

In this post I’m going to look at another ingredient – roles and responsibilities.

A colleague here at Serio tells the apocryphal story of a TT racer in the Isle of Man whose engine fell out at Windy Corner. When they got the bike back to their workshop, the two mechanics looked at each other and said ‘I thought it was your job to tighten the engine studs!’.

The moral of the story is, I guess, if you want something to be done don’t leave it to ‘the team’.

What you should do is define some clear roles and responsibilities. For instance, you might define the Incident Manager role, give it to a person and start to define the responsibilities thus:

Responsibility for documenting the Incident Management process (keep it simple though), ownership of and responsibility for the quality of Incident data, management of the Incident management team, production of monthly management reports listing issues and proposals for improvement…

… and so on. If you are just starting out, you’ll want to consider mapping both roles and teams out carefully, and try to define

  • A Service Desk Team
  • An Incident Manager
  • A 2nd-line Support Team (with a Team Leader)

and you can then expand this with other roles such as Problem Manager as required and as demanded by your own situation.

Remember it’s not enough to create a job title – staff being reorganised for IT Service Management need as much help as possible for them to understand what is required. Therefore each role should very clearly have something which specifies what is required and what the responsibilities are – in detail. Take the objectives and goals you started with and use these to shape your roles and responsibilities to deliver what you want to achieve.

Of course creating roles spreads the workload and gets others involved, but it does require a degree of shared understanding and commitment – something I’ll address in later posts.