In an organization, IT is rarely the only group that offers services – whether to employees or customers. But not every group has an organized system for service requests. It’s likely if you’re not using Enterprise Service Management (ESM), that every department – from HR and finance to marketing and facilities – has its own system.
In most cases, groups or departments outside of IT rely on emails, phone calls or merely stopping and chatting in the hallway as a way of communicating requests – and these requests can be anything, including:
- Request a name change from HR.
- Request creative assistance from Marketing.
- Request catering for a meeting.
- Request help from facilities for a broken lightbulb, etc.
Work Better Together
While these email requests or other systems may get the job done, you should consider what can be lost when a formal service management process isn’t in place, including:
- Accountability – Who is responsible for what? Are requests being completed on time? Without proper assignment and tracking processes, answers to these questions get very blurry.
- Visibility – Staff members seem busy and appear to be meeting responsibilities. But it is challenging and time-intensive to stop and precisely identify what is complete and what is still outstanding or even past due.
- Clarity – Lack of clarity can lead to over-committing and, ultimately, disappointing stakeholders.
- Paths Toward Improvement – The status quo stands a high chance of going unchanged when there is not a clear view of what is working versus what is not. It often takes highly visible process breakdowns to identify areas of improvement, leading to a perpetually reactive environment.
Additionally, without a single tool in place for service requests and management, you’re likely missing out on key knowledge that could be useful for the organization. When you have an ESM tool in place you can create a shared knowledge base that can act as a central repository of all company information, departmental information, forms and other reference documents can save considerable time. Now, instead of answering the same question over and over again, teams can point to these articles and direct people to the information they need without having it take up time.
With Enterprise Service Management you can address these gaps and foster better visibility and collaboration across departments. This, in turn, can lead to higher efficiency, lower operational costs, improved service levels and increased satisfaction.
For Successful Adoption, ESM Needs to Be Easy to Use
To successfully implement an ESM platform throughout an organization, you need to think through use cases for each department and not assume everyone uses the same language and processes.
To be successful, each group or department needs a purpose-built portal that incorporates their specific needs using a unified ESM tool.
Simply taking an ITSM platform and trying to duplicate it in each group will not work. Each department needs to be able to ideate and create its own service solution WITHOUT dependency on IT. For this, you likely need a platform that is codeless.
If marketing wants to add a new service to the catalog, or a new request type or wants to create new content in the knowledge base – they should be able to do so without using IT resources. The goal of a good ESM platform is to be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate.
Good ESM platforms provide:
- Ease of use – Each department can manage its own service requests, content and workflows without the help of IT resources.
- Dashboards – A specific view for each user type is helpful. If you are managing events and projects, you need to have a specific view of that versus someone managing work orders for facilities, or onboarding requests in HR.
In short, ESM gives companies the tools and mechanisms they need to ensure they’re solving customer problems efficiently and productively.
The goal of a good ESM platform is to be easy to use, easy to own and easy to operate.
How to Get ESM Buy-In
Here are a few practical dos and don’ts for implementing an ESM solution across your organization:
- Don’t just take an ITSM platform being used within your IT department and try to scale it across each group. It won’t work.
- Do meet with each department or group prior to implementing an ESM solution and settle on the processes and functionalities they need.
- Don’t assume that each department has the same language as IT for each process. Marketing might not use the terminology “submit a ticket” for example.
- Do ask each group or department for a list of their commonly used terms and how they correspond to the actions they’ll be taking when using the ESM platform.
- Don’t over complicate or try to over-process the ESM platform.
- Do make your ESM accessible and easy to use. For an ESM implementation to be successful, you’ll want departments and groups to be able to fully utilize the platform WITHOUT reliance on IT for support. Implementing a codeless ESM platform can be a great way to free up IT resources and empower departments to manage their own portals.
Rolling Out ESM to Your Organization
At Johnson County Community College (JCCC) Tom Pagano, Chief Information Officer, said his group had numerous requests to use TeamDynamix outside of IT, “We’ve had a huge demand to further implement it from other departments, such as the marketing department and other departments that work off a ticketing request and project system similar to ours.”
In terms of advice for other CIOs and their teams wanting to move to ESM, Pagano stresses that it is important to understand the culture of the department you’re working with, “Not every organization is prepared to put in the necessary work.”
And, change can be a hurdle, “It can be construed as a scary or threatening type of thing because, at the end of the day, it takes everybody [to get onboard],” he said.
To combat this, it’s critical to get everyone on the same page, “If you don’t have the right mindset in the culture you won’t get buy-in,” he said. “People will feel threatened by it. But by meeting with small groups over a period of months, I was able to turn that around and it went from fear to questions about how to use the system and make it better. As a result, there has been a real change in the culture at JCCC.”
Don’t Shy Away from Incentives for ESM Use
When Florida Atlantic University CIO Mehran Basiratmand expanded service management across the FAU campus, he worked hard to create a positive culture around the move. His campus has 15 IT departments outside of the central IT and around 75 employees using the platform, “As you can imagine, it is daunting to get anything done at the institutional level,” he said.
So, when the decision was made to scale their ITSM into ESM he needed to establish a culture that embraced using a single tool to enhance technology – bringing project management together with service management.
To do this Basiratmand and his department agreed to cover all costs associated with the platform for all groups using it across campus, “We have had so much success, now we see groups asking us, ‘can we set this up for asset management or for tracking student success?’ So now, it is going beyond where we had originally intended.”
You can hear more from Basiratmand in the video below.
Want to learn more about Enterprise Service Management? Check out Enterprise Service Management – Key Lessons and Best Practices.
This article was originally posted in January 2021 and has been updated with new information.