Get to the next level to become an ITSM high performer

Blog post   •   Jul 09, 2013 14:17 CEST

Fit for purpose is a challenge in a changing environment, however you have to ensure that the organization with its processes is fit for purpose. This may be managed in many ways to ensure that improvements will be first-class, the traditional ‘plan-do-check-act’ approach is the most common; with this in mind, a maturity assessment is the thorough approach in driving improvements, because it will provide you with a roadmap outlining where you are at present and where you want to be in the future. Today, we are able to provide you with this roadmap for ITIL processes, using the TIPA for ITIL methodology, as well as for COBIT processes with its Process Maturity Assessment model.

The advantage of using maturity assessments to drive improvements, is the possibility to track and trace what you have achieved, using the maturity level as a measure. It also provides you with recommendations on how to improve by reaching a higher level; the recommendations are based on practical experience compiled into the ISO/IEC 15504 standard (spice), especially as this ISO standard is used as the foundation for both ITIL and COBIT.

The real value of process maturity is the capability to streamline a process to increase its performance. In using mature process, you are able to work with optimization, supported by controls and measures. However, the maturity assessment will not address how efficient the process is. Efficiency is something that has to be managed with the business perspective in mind; this requires a balance of people, processes, products and partners.

By using TIPA for ITIL as the framework for maturity assessment, you will gain an understanding of the maturity level of the processes you have focus on. In general, there is no use in assessing all ITIL processes, instead the normal and most cost effective approach is to pick the ones you feel need your attention. The way in which the framework is built provides the ability to customize the assessment, so that you only need to assess a maturity level that makes sense. In other words, if you are aware that the specific process is informal, why waste time in assessing it, it is already a well defined and established process.

My recommendations for an organization that is considering the use of maturity assessment to drive measurable improvements are:

  • Acquire an understanding of how process improvements can be driven in your organization. Sometimes there are cultural barriers in being measured and it is important to understand, a maturity assessment is not the same as an audit.
  • Start with a workshop to identify drivers for maturity assessment and get input from the people involved or affected by the assessment.
  • You shouldn’t assess maturity for all ITIL process with TIPA for ITIL; instead you should focus on the ones that will have an outcome for you. It is recommended to assess 3-5 processes the first time an assessment is made.
  • Additionally you should only assess maturity to a level that is relevant, don’t assess to the highest level of maturity, because it will be more extensive for all parties involved (assessors and interviewees).

A maturity assessment is not the solution to all challenges in an organization, but is an opportunity to drive change with measurable values. It is important that you also take people, products and partners into account when you look at the processes. Last but not least, you must not lose your customer focus in all of this, because that is where the real value is generated.

John Wallhoff
3gamma Sweden

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