Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes

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Imagine if you will… You’re upgrading your service management processes and tools to deliver better outcomes to the business. You’ve selected a software vendor and perhaps hired a professional services firm to help. The consultants have called everyone into a meeting to discuss the new processes. They proceed to launch the new tool then ask the room, “So here is your out-of-the-box tool. How do you want it configured?” Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes Unfortunately, this is not a bad dream; it’s a scene that’s played over and over in hundreds, if not thousands, of companies around the world, maybe even yours. And while it may sound like an efficient, even agile way to proceed, it almost always ends in failure, re-work, and cost overruns. Except for the case of small companies, ones with little to no process maturity, this approach rarely works. The flaw in this method is that it is more fixated on the tool and ignores the business problem the tool is supposed to solve. More often than not, it results in a replication of existing processes in a new product, with little to no improvement. Where is the value in that? Read More...

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes As someone who has made a career of “process,” I sincerely believe that process design is a lost art. We have lost sight of the fact that effective process design is about first and foremost engaging the business, understanding their objectives, and translating that into repeatable processes, supported by tools and technology. Based on my experience, practical process design comes down to five things, which I like to call, my process for creating a process: Understanding Collaboration Simplification Implementation Sustainability

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes Step 1: Understanding This important step refers to approaching process design from the perspective of the business. We don’t create processes for the sake of process; we do it to improve business outcomes. It’s no accident that companies such as Starbucks, Apple, and Amazon consistently deliver an exceptional customer experience. Why? Because they take the time to understand their objectives and translate them into processes that produce results. In many cases, their methods are so good that the customer doesn’t even realize there is a process in place. Think of it as the difference between designing an adequate customer checkout process or developing one that drives more sales and keeps the customer coming back. Read More...

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Step 2: Collaboration The only way to understand what the business is trying to achieve is to engage them. You cannot design a process within a vacuum of information. Engaging your stakeholders can be difficult. Often, they claim to be “too busy” to get involved. That is where your powers of persuasion become critical. As Simon Sinek says in his book, Start With Why, you need to communicate the value of engagement. Read More... Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes Step 3: Simplification You can’t follow a process if you don’t understand it. Over the years, I’ve seen a lot of process documentation, some good, most of it bad. I’ve seen process flows that look like a bowl of spaghetti or are so complex that they have to be blown up to wall size to read. I get the fact that some processes are complicated, but that doesn’t mean you have to create complex documentation. There is one thing I know for sure if you make your documentation overly complicated, people will either misinterpret the process or ignore it. There are a few best-practices that I’ve adopted over the years. First off, create a standard way to document a process. Standardization will simplify the learning curve for your readers. Read More...

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes Step 4: Implementation Implementation involves the development of user stories to drive requirements. Ultimately your process must be implemented in a tool. For that, you need to understand the technical requirements of doing so. One of the best ways to do that, from my experience, is to borrow from Agile development practices and to create user stories. User stories must be presented from the perspective of the user and told in non-technical terms. The construct for a user story is “As a <persona>, I want <feature>, so that <benefit>.”  Here are a couple of examples: As an unauthenticated user, I want to see the login link in the upper right-hand corner of each page so I don’t need to navigate back to the homepage or some account page to login. As a sales associate, I want to be able to pull up my current active leads, deals, and tasks on my iPhone so that I can still follow up with clients and update deal status while travelling. Read More...

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Lost Art of Process Design - IT Service Management Processes Step 5: Sustainability It takes a lot of hard work to develop and implement a process. All of that effort goes out the window if the process is not sustained and improved over time. There is a story I like to tell about the IT department of a large telecommunications company. I was a vendor field technician at the time, called upon to resolve hardware issues. I was always intimidated by this client. Why, because they always seemed to know what needed to be fixed before I did. Read More...

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Summary: Imagine if you will…You’re upgrading your service management processes and tools to deliver better outcomes to the business. You’ve selected a software vendor and perhaps hired a professional services firm to help. The consultants have called everyone into a meeting to discuss the new processes. They proceed to launch the new tool then ask the room, “So here is your out-of-the-box tool. How do you want it configured?”

Tags: business process analysis it organization bpm solutions professional development

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