An IT manager called me the other day and says, “What can you do to help me achieve my IT strategy?” Great question, says I; tell me your strategy, and I will see how I can help.
The next five minutes I had to endure metaphors, vaguenesses, and I saw it was coming, “I do not have a defined and written down strategy” (aka, I have no idea what a strategy is but it sounded impressive didn’t it), realization moment. Can you say, “Awkward?”
How do you help someone who knows they need help, yet is unclear about why and how? You ask questions.
IT managers, on their quest for continual improvement, should be asking themselves weekly, “What do we need to do to achieve our IT strategy?” While we are all guilty of getting hammered by the small stuff and periodically missing the mark the achievement of business goals and coordination of resources is the bailiwick of the manager; so let’s figure this out.
In a small business, a start-up or in a large corporate environment – the questions remain the same, but you may be confused about what you need to do and what you can do. This confusion can be made worse by a lack of clarity from your executive team or something that’s not fully understood.
The success of your IT strategy is critical to management, marketing, sales, and finance. No longer is IT customer service and IT Help Desk isolated to helping internal staff get work done. Organizations are increasingly referring to themselves as IT driven. What I am saying here is, a lot is riding on you.
I have used some tools, assessments, and consultants who are dedicated to the success of IT Management to help clients. Some of these tools and assessments include:
Perform an ITSM Readiness Assessment
How do you survey the readiness for ITSM of your team and culture? If the business is not ready, then implementation of a new tool might fail. If you can understand why they are not ready, then you can deal with that problem first. Think about that and decide if the risk of proceeding is greater than the reward.
Execute a Situation Analysis
Take a good look at your current “state” to determine what’s working, what’s not and what needs fixing. Then pull the string to get to the bottom of issues. I have used a fishbone diagram to help get to the bottom of complex issues to great effect. The results of your Situation Analysis will inform your strategy and become the basis of the solutions that will reverse the condition.
Clear Business Expectations
Is the requirement from IT Management and IT Help Desk stated in the business plan or strategy? If it is not in the business plan then get absolute clarity from the executive team before you go any further. It is going to be your responsibility to make sure that you understand the long-term expectations of IT so ask lots of questions.
It does not take much, but my nice and simple strategy process of clearly stating the situation, defining the goals and purpose, and writing down your solution (2 pages max), will help to reduce confusion and improve the performance of your management team. (Remember, a strategy is not a plan.)
Are you ready to move to IT Help Desk? Here’s a test that will tell you if the time is now.
The ITSM Readiness Toolkit will help you strategically implement and succeed with your service desk implementation project. With this toolkit, you will receive a multi-page integrated spreadsheet survey and analysis tool that will provide you with:
- The list of the questions you need to ask your IT team,
- The spreadsheet you need to tabulate the results.
- The graphs required to analyze your data,
- Presentation graphics to help you communicate your findings.