Bulls, Bears and IT Service Management

Bulls, Bears and IT Service Management

A recent review by the CBI (published 19th June) reports that we may be in for a Bear-like couple of years as we negotiate and re-align to Brexit and the post European Union reality. Further, the CBI reports UK Business Investment is going to be subdued and up to 20% less than pre 2016 trends suggested; 2016 forecast is now 1.6% declining by 2018 to 1.4%.

Why should we care?

Investment decisions drive change and innovation; the continuous drive for improvement we have all come to expect and which through Design and Transition make up much of the IT Service Manager’s daily diet.  More importantly optimism and confidence drive behaviour that gives space to experiment and innovate. In the IT Service Management (ITSM) arena pessimism, the Bear-like alternative, will see a drive to reduce cost whilst simultaneously showing intolerance of risk of failure; Right-first-time & High Availability on a diminishing budget. The big-wins of outsourcing, off-shoring have mostly become the norm and the promised nirvana of AI is still some way off so how do we adapt and how does our operational strategy need to change for the near future to weather and capitalise on this trend?

There is a lot written on how to manage pessimists, for me this quote from the Blog of Sean D Francis, a self confessed pessimist, sums it up:

React. Listening isn’t enough, you also have to take some form of action.  The action doesn’t mean buying into the pessimist’s vision but an attempt to demonstrate to the pessimist why these supposed points of failure are not a factor or are mitigated…..

Engage. The best technique is to turn the pessimist’s energy to the project’s advantage.  Ask the pessimist to come up with ways to mitigate the risk or develop a plan ‘b’ if the project does go off the rails at a point the pessimist predicts.

So, how do we translate this for our Businesses…. our Organisations and our Teams…. In an era of organisational-pessimism and conservatism building Trust and Confidence by Listening and Engaging can be the key.

Make sure we have and are known to have world-class ITSM processes and policies in place. Follow the 5 Must Do’s:

  1. Work holistically, embrace the Users view, the Project view and the Suppliers view; pessimism can often lead to intolerance and silo behaviour, stay open to ideas and challenge.
  1. Identify and put a crack team on supporting the next ‘major-change’ your Business is funding. Invest in the Business Success.
  1. Review and bolster your Disaster Recovery and Service Continuity Plans don’t ignore Legacy infrastructure – it’s a ticking time bomb, nor reinforcing the Resilience your business needs and Change poor or failing processes. In a time when the atmosphere is pessimistic, failure can trigger a panic reaction more quickly than in times where optimism is in the ascendance. Publish your successes – don’t expect Users and Managers to just “know” – be open.
  1. Ensure the Continuous Improvement pipeline is healthy, funded and supported by the Customer and Management Team – put it out there in plain English. Publish your successes – don’t expect Users and Managers to just “know” and keep on telling everyone; take a leaf from advertising – reiterate key messages, this works!
  1. Look for and protect value. The ITIL v3 definition of quality is “the ability of a product, service, or process to provide the intended value.” Understand and put a number on what you can. Don’t simply slash every budget, you increase the likelihood of failure which will reduce confidence, so target cuts. Think “Quality”.

If you follow the 5 Must Do’s you will be seen as part of your organisation’s defence and way forward in tough times.

If you would like to find out how iCore can help you with your IT service management requirements then please contact us on 0207 868 2405 or email info@icore-ltd.com.