2 min read

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management Named Industry Leader By Gartner

By Praecipio on Nov 15, 2022 9:57:28 AM

802x402 - Blog Featured (7)In their 2022 report, Gartner named Atlassian’s ITSM platform, Jira Service Management or JSM, as a leader in their Magic Quadrant for ITSM. Gartner releases its influential reports each year using qualitative data to evaluate various tools and systems and help business leaders make the right decisions when they invest in platforms. 

Jira Service Management is the fastest-growing ITSM product for the second year in a row, with over 45,000 customers leveraging the platform to power their organizations’ internal and external service delivery. The reason for such tremendous growth in customers comes down to Atlassian’s substantial investments in the ITSM space – especially their recent acquisitions of tools like Insight, OpsGenie, ProForma, and Halp – making JSM a central hub for requests, incident reports, configuration, and asset management. 

Gartner Magic Quadrant Screenshot

Gartner praises Jira Service Management and Atlassian for their commitment to continued enhancements and expansion of platform capabilities, as well as their dedication to research and development to continuously improve their platforms and better support customer needs.

What does this mean for you?

In today's fast-paced business world, teams everywhere are experiencing growing pains due to disparate tools and delayed decision-making. Jira Service Management was designed to help organizations of all sizes across all industries deliver value fast, make work visible, and connect technical and operations teams.  

From the world’s largest Beverage and Brewing Corporation to a local Public Utilities Company, Praecipio has helped organizations improve collaboration and cultivate a customer-centric mindset among service teams with JSM. As an Atlassian Platinum Solution provider, we can help you get the most out of Jira Service Management by customizing and integrating JSM tools with your existing software and processes. We’ll help you keep your business moving forward and allow you to focus on the work that matters most. 

Read the Gartner Report 

Ready to learn more about JSM? Explore our eBook, Unlocking Enterprise Service Management with the Atlassian Platform or reach out for a technical assessment.

Topics: atlassian itsm jira-service-management
3 min read

Incident Management Best Practices

By Charlotte D’Alfonso on Nov 1, 2022 12:00:20 PM

A company's users cannot access their reports. A company's website is down for 40% of their users. A new firewall rules causes integration with a channel partner to fail. A user can not change their address in their profile. Incidents don't just impact your users. Your bottom line also takes a hit with lost data, employee time, and loss of revenue. What is going on and how do we stop it? The answer begins with having a strong incident management process.

What is incident management?

What are incidents? Incidents are unplanned events that disrupt or reduce the quality of your service (or threaten to do so).

A major incident is a critical disruption to a service that requires an emergency response. It has high impact, and involves many people to resolve. A minor incident is low impact and a front-line customer service agent can resolve.  

Incident management is the process of responding immediately when something goes wrong and restoring service to its operational state. This is one of the core IT Service Management guiding practices. Effective incident management requires a strong team culture, an incident management guiding practice and tools such as Atlassian's Jira Service Management which can be integrated with other third party tools.

Challenges of incident management include:

  • Frequency of major incidents and outages
  • Use of multiple ticketing and monitoring systems and communication outlets potentially preventing effective automation, possible data loss and difficulty in learning from the incident
  • Alert overload potentially leading to long and undetected outages
  • Configuration management difficulties leading to long diagnostic cycles
  • Poor communication and visibility

Best Practices and Incident Management Life Cycle

  • Have a single source of truth.
  • Follow a process.
  • Utilize a workflow where you can put safeguards around each step.
  • Have a response team designated in advance so work is delegated to the right person/people.
  • Automate any activities, notifications, alerts that will help shorten the process.

The Lifecycle with tips to improve

1. Detect - Use monitor and alerting tools that will automatically detect and inform your team about an incident before your customers even notice.

2. Classify and respond - Assess the impact and classify it to help in the response by the appropriate team. Prioritizing and categorizing the level of incident into major/minor allows you to escalate the incident to the right people immediately if it needs a swarm of people to tackle the issue.

3. Communicate - Communicating quickly and regularly about incidents helps to build trust with customers. Automating communications can deliver a consistent message.

4. Investigate and diagnose - Leverage a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) for a faster resolution. A CMDB helps the response team understand the interdependencies and relationships within your IT infrastructure. Knowing this not only allows you to better diagnose potential causes of the incident but also correct any domino effects of the incident. Set up a an internal communication channel so that your response team can work together. 

5. Learn and improve - Determine what can be done to prevent similar incidents from happening in the future and what actions were taken to mitigate and resolve the incident. This is called an "incident postmortem" or "post-incident review." This is also where you can determine service improvement and help identify better ways of working across teams.

Conclusion

How do you completely eliminate future incidents? You don't! Trying to do so will slow your organization down. It will add complexity and too many checks to your software development process. The goal instead is to resolve incidents quickly and reduce future incidents by continuously learning and improving. Want to learn how to modernize your IT operations, facilitate collaboration, and deliver new services with agility? Download our eBook that walks you through ITSM practices that are essential for keeping up with today's fast-paced world and accelerating business transformation.

Engaging with an expert in full solutions will help you embed best practices into your organization and reduce incidents. Praecipio is here to help guide you in all steps of software development and best practices. If you'd like to chat with an expert, drop us a line; we'd be happy to help.

Topics: incident-management itsm
3 min read

Beyond ESM: The Enablement of Digital Workflows

By Praecipio Consulting on Oct 6, 2022 11:30:00 AM

One of the biggest shifts in IT service management (ITSM) over the last half-decade has been the push for Enterprise Service Management (ESM), where proven ITSM capabilities are extended to other parts of the organization to improve operations and outcomes. You can read more about the benefits of enterprise service management here.

There have undeniably been great successes in many ESM strategies to date. That said, there’s one thing still holding it back — its name.

What’s wrong with “enterprise service management”?

The name makes sense, right? Right!

Well…

To a certain point, at least.

ESM is the use of ITSM capabilities across the enterprise, so “enterprise service management” is an easy sell to those who know what it means. However, that group may be smaller than some might expect, which is where the pushback starts.

Enterprise service management is unknown outside of IT

“Enterprise” is, simply put, an IT-way to refer to the organization as a whole. It’s not something that has caught on quite as much in all other departments, though, especially those where “enterprise” already has a separate, distinct meaning. This can make pitching ESM tough, as its success hinges on other business functions buying into it.

Ultimately, the business functions that are seeking help to improve their operations and outcomes aren’t looking for “enterprise” service management. Instead, they’re looking for digital transformation and a quick-and-easy way to introduce much-needed digital workflows to their operations.

An individual in human resources (HR) may not have read or heard about HR’s need for “ESM”. What they will have been subject to, though, is a constant push to “digitally transform HR operations” and that “new ways of working demand digital workflows.” This messaging is most likely coming from both external and internal sources, too, meaning the recipient is often very familiar with it. 

This is why it’s time to talk to potential customers of ESM in the language that they’re expecting — and wanting — to hear.

Let’s not underestimate the critical business need for digital workflows

Your organization and its many business functions, having so far weathered the storm of the global pandemic (and its commercial and operational impact), are likely looking for a solution to support new ways of working. For many, the need for this solution has doubtlessly been accelerated by now-distributed, rather than centrally-located, employees and teams.

For any business function needing help with issues or opportunities such as:

  • The inefficiencies and failures of its manual operations
  • Missing enablement elements such as self-help tools and knowledge management
  • The workflow and working issues caused by remote working
  • The lack of insight into demand, performance, service quality, and outcome delivery.

It’s time to think beyond “enterprise service management” and speak about the ready-made solutions to these needs using terms that non-IT personnel will know and understand.

These business functions, teams, and employees all need the power of digital workflows and everything that can come with them. Things like rules-based and AI-assisted automation, self-service catalogs and chatbots, knowledge management, notifications and alerts, platform-based bespoke workflow/app creation, and other capabilities that are readily available and extensible in modern ITSM tools will help to vault your functions and teams to the level needed — if you can get each to buy in. Check out this blog to learn how to create buy-in with teams in other departments.

Let’s talk about enabling digital workflows going forward

None of this diminishes the opportunity and power of “ESM” — it just comes down to how the solution is sold. It’s time to start packaging it as “digital workflows” or “digital enablement” instead, selling the power of ESM to other business functions using the language they expect (and perhaps want and need). This will ultimately be an easier way of helping each improve their operations and outcomes. Check out this eBook to learn about ESM use cases for diverse business teams including HR, Legal, Operations, Marketing, and Sales.

If your organization and its business functions need fast access to flexible digital workflows, then let's connect.

Topics: workflows itsm digital-transformation enterprise service management
6 min read

How Atlassian Cloud Enables Organizations To Scale ITSM Practices

By Praecipio on Sep 8, 2022 10:00:00 AM

Cloud-based ITSM use is rapidly becoming prevalent across several different industries. The global cloud ITSM market is expected to increase with an annual growth rate of 22.3 percent between 2022 and 2030.

Why is this?

Choosing a cloud-based solution for your ITSM strategy can significantly increase the speed of your IT service delivery and save you money by reducing admin costs. But what works for a small organization can quickly fall apart when presented with the challenges of big-scale growth and the impact scaling has on your resources. 

To help you scale successfully, Atlassian Cloud offers features that enable you to extend your ITSM practices across different teams in your enterprise. 

Scaling ITSM with Atlassian Cloud

Atlassian Cloud allows you to scale IT Service Management (ITSM) seamlessly with features that help your organization overcome the barriers and difficulties of introducing new tools, services, and processes.

Uptime 

With ITSM, your entire planning, development, and release processes are grounded in customer satisfaction. If you experience an outage or other downtime, the ITSM goal of serving your customers well isn’t met. Not only is this disappointing and frustrating to your end-user, but it can result in poor business reviews, a loss of customers, and high costs.

As your business grows, your ITSM processes will need to grow with you. Changing your process and the tools can cause downtime. Atlassian Cloud adheres to strict Service Level Agreements (99.90 percent uptime for Premium products and 99.95 percent for Enterprise), which means that your systems will be available nearly 24/7, helping prevent any negative impact on your user experience. 

Security 

Scaling your ITSM practices enables you to consistently — and satisfactorily — meet your customers’ needs. However, rapidly expanding your services and ITSM can have some security risks.

Maintaining secure data access is one challenge your organization can face while scaling. Some strict security measures can be neglected during this transition, making your network vulnerable.

How do you stay on top of these security challenges while scaling your ITSM? 

Atlassian Cloud handles compliance on your behalf, minimizing internal resources spent planning and executing compliance roadmaps and working with auditors. Atlassian Cloud also offers data residency, which enables you to choose where your in-scope product data resides for Jira, JSM, and Confluence. You can choose whether you’d like to host your data in a defined geographic location or globally. Data residency allows you to keep your data secure and meet compliance requirements that accompany highly-regulated industries.

Additionally, Atlassian Cloud provides user provisioning and de-provisioning, reducing the risk of information breaches. Based on the principle of least privilege (PoLP), user provisioning and de-provisioning allow you to control user access to your resources tightly. Additionally, de-provisioning automatically removes user access for users that leave the company, eliminating the security risks that former employees — especially disgruntled ones — can pose.

Finally, Atlassian Cloud implements thorough security measures and constantly monitors for issues related to your cloud infrastructure. If any issues are detected, Atlassian handles these potential threats before they cause damage to your cloud resources and app functionality.

And, because Atlassian Cloud is backed by multi-level redundancy, your system won’t go down while Atlassian handles any unexpected issues.

Flexibility 

As your business grows, you’ll adopt new features, tools, and perhaps more Atlassian products to your stack. With this growth, you’ll also need to extend your ITSM principles across different teams without worrying about hardware-related complications. 

Atlassian Cloud provides a comprehensive stack of Atlassian products that you can implement in ways that align with the capabilities and needs of your organization.

Furthermore, with Jira, you have access to flexible application and project types so you can manage projects in the best way for your teams. Additionally, Atlassian Cloud allows you to upgrade and downgrade resources depending on your business needs. 

Atlassian Cloud Suite of ITSM Tools and Your ESM Strategy 

Atlassian Cloud’s suite of ITSM tools helps your organization improve your Enterprise Service Management (ESM) strategy by supporting core ITSM principles. Some of its features include the following.

Incident Management 

In developing your ESM strategy, your organization must include plans or processes for responding to service disruption resulting from unplanned events and restoring the services to normal. To do this, ITSM teams rely on multiple applications and tools to track, monitor, resolve and even anticipate incidents. 

To keep up with the velocity of today’s incident management, the Cloud versions of Jira Service Management (JSM) and Jira Service Desk place all these functions in one place, enabling your ITSM team to have a transparent and collaborative response to incidents. With this, you can track and manage incidents from the incident report to its resolution in real-time and resume normal operation with the least possible hindrance.

Asset Management and Configuration

One key aspect you need to consider in your ESM strategy is Asset Management and Configuration. You can store hardware assets, software licenses, facility assets, and more using JSM’s cloud-based asset management and configuration services.

Jira Service Management Cloud provides a centralized asset database, making searching for asset and resource information less stressful.

Multiple members of your ITSM team can access assets and asset information from any device with an Internet connection — and in any location — without error or conflicting information. It also synchronizes your asset database across all your organization’s branch offices in real-time, reducing or eliminating asset loss.   

Service Delivery 

To provide an effective service to your end-user, you need to identify customers’ needs and any issues that arise. A quality ticketing/response system improves your service delivery through increased awareness and ability to triage, enhancing visibility into potential issues.

With JSM, your teams can receive incoming issues and requests from customers and team members. This enables you to better prioritize and understand the scope of issues and service requests so you can first address time-sensitive requests.  

Additionally, you can configure JSM to direct tickets to the appropriate ITSM team automatically. With this, the appropriate team can address the customer’s request and escalate issues if further assistance is required to address customer requests — while skipping the process of determining who should handle the ticket.

Conclusion 

Operating in Atlassian Cloud enables your organization to expand ITSM capabilities throughout your entire organization. 

While scaling your ITSM practices may seem daunting, it doesn’t have to be with proper guidance and support. Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, can help you take the guesswork out of scaling ITSM. From developing a solid ESM strategy to tips on how to increase efficiency and eliminate downtime, Praecipio Consulting is here to help. Contact Praecipio Consulting today to start scaling your ITSM practices with Atlassian Cloud.

Topics: scalability security incident-management itsm atlassian-cloud
3 min read

Why ESM Should Be Part Of Your Business Strategy

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 22, 2022 10:00:00 AM

You need effective communication across your organization’s departments to boost productivity and service delivery. Managing workflows, operations, and complaints in a growing workforce can be challenging, especially when dealing with siloed teams. Rooted in IT Service Management (ITSM) principles, Enterprise service management (ESM) is one of the most effective frameworks for managing collaboration and improving efficiency across IT and non-IT workflows. 

The Service Desk Institute found that in 2021, 68 percent of organizations employed ESM strategies and that 80 percent of those organizations accelerated their digital transformation in 2020 with the help of ESM processes and tools. This widespread use of ESM is driven by its ability to manage and encourage corporate collaboration by providing an efficient portal for real-time communication and resource monitoring — ultimately boosting productivity.

Benefits of Adopting ESM in Your Business 

There are numerous advantages to adopting ESM, but today, we’ll discuss five of these benefits.

Reduce Operational Costs

Having many support personnel on the payroll will inflate the cost of running your business. ESM has incorporated tools like chatbots, virtual assistants, and smart analytics to significantly reduce the number of staff required to manage employee and customer issues. Additionally, automation can reduce maintenance and training costs by making workflows more efficient.

Improve Customer Experience

Satisfied customers are the key to meeting business objectives. One way to improve customer experience is by offering fast and real-time responses to inquiries. It’s difficult to guarantee a fast response time when your company is over-dependent on human interaction. 

ESM technologies use artificial intelligence (AI) to handle basic customer inquiries and complaints, helping to ensure that no customer issues are missed and that customers have access to support when they need it. Additionally, using ESM can help to ensure that all of your teams play an active role in delivering value to your customers and that the customer experience is treated as a top priority across your organization.

Improve Department Efficiency

When the departments in your company operate efficiently, the overall productivity of the enterprise increases. ESM provides effective collaborative and communication tools that can be used among departments, reducing or eliminating the need to manually print and distribute memos or reports.

 ESM also helps in task monitoring to keep up with project specifications and due dates. You can use project management tools backed by automation to handle corporate tasks, including scheduling and resource monitoring. This can greatly reduce unnecessary human errors and oversights and minimize the time and financial investment in performing repetitive, manual management tasks.

Reduce Siloing 

ESM helps to reduce or eliminate siloing among teams in an enterprise. One of the leading causes of overall low productivity and performance in the enterprise is poor interaction among team members. When teams work independently vs. collaboratively, status reports may not always be communicated, and business objectives could hold different weights — or shift entirely — from team to team.

ESM offers a fast and efficient interaction among unit members. Using a central line of communication helps different teams interact with each other and offers a space to share relevant documents, analyses, and workflows. Plus, our experience shows that employees like working collaboratively within a single system.

Improved Incident Management

Managing emergencies and unexpected challenges is difficult, but it’s easier when you apply ESM capabilities. ESM tools like Jira Service Management have AI-enabled capabilities and automation incorporated into the management processes. This means that incidents are quickly flagged and the appropriate mitigation protocols are initiated.

Conclusion

In today's fast-paced business world, teams everywhere are experiencing growing pains due to disparate tools and delayed decision-making. ESM enables organizations to break down silos, drive business agility, and deliver high-velocity service experience, leading to increased customer and employee satisfaction. 

To learn more about where ESM fits into your business strategy and for guidance on how to adopt ESM, contact Praecipio Consulting.

Topics: incident-management itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
7 min read

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management Tool

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 18, 2022 10:40:00 AM

As the management and structure of enterprises continue to evolve, more and more companies are jumping on the modern business management approach and setting up enterprise service management (ESM) platforms. In fact, a 2021 industry survey found that most businesses use IT service management (ITSM)  practices outside of their IT department. 

With more innovation and technology come novel business models, new workflows, and an expansion in staffing. While this expansion is exciting, new challenges arise when it comes to cross-departmental collaboration, as teams run the risk of trapping themselves in silos. According to a 2021 report of aggregated data from 4,200 organizations around the globe, ITSM helped teams adapt to remote work, enabling them to resolve tickets 23 percent faster while working away from the office. 

Atlassian’s Jira Service Management (JSM) is an ITSM solution that streamlines workflows and enhances the collaboration of developers, IT operators, and other departments within a modern organization. While initially oriented toward ITSM and DevOps practices, JSM has grown into a powerful solution for implementing ESM strategies as well. ESM empowers every employee — regardless of whether they work in IT — with the right tools to communicate and collaborate.

Managing Work with Atlassian’s Jira Service Management

Atlassian released JSM in 2020 as an improvement to traditional service desks. With more ITSM functions to help departments of all shapes and sizes, JSM takes the concept of service desks to the next level. 

Traditionally, service desks are the point of contact between a service provider (IT department) and the service user (employees seeking IT help). The implementation of ITSM principles makes it possible to offer IT as a service, creating a streamlined process that enhances the user experience, regardless of the service user’s level of tech knowledge. 

IT service aside, Atlassian’s JSM solution also enhances DevOps workflows by allowing continuous feedback between the production team and customers throughout the entire development lifecycle. With automation and an open communication channel, JSM empowers DevOps teams by managing support tickets, client reviews, and incident reports all in one place. 

Applying these ITSM techniques to the rest of the business structure and using ESM throughout the company are fundamental to modern multi-departmental businesses. Fortunately, Atlassian’s JSM solution provides a single platform for ITSM and ESM capabilities. Let’s look at some core features and explore how they help you enhance productivity, visibility, and quality of service.   

Request Management

JSM enables you to manage requests by consolidating data from emails, messaging apps, your service desk, and other mediums. Machine learning (ML) technology groups these requests into actionable categories for your team to process. ML can help workers respond to tasks up to 15 percent faster by using past data. 

JSM enables you to build an intuitive service desk that’s easy for your employees — even those with limited tech knowledge — to navigate and streamline requests to make them easier to handle. 

Atlassian’s JSM also offers a ready-to-use knowledge base to help you set up a self-service portal quickly and efficiently. This enables your employees and clients to get answers to commonly asked questions without going through a live agent, saving you time and resources. 

For example, consider how request management can benefit your human resources (HR) department. Instead of manually processing every leave and vacation request, your employees could submit their requests through the service desk and watch the approval status. Setting up this user-friendly ESM platform can improve your HR department’s efficiency, keep your employees informed and improve the employee experience. 

Incident Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution is a boon to incident management, covering everything from escalation to communication to analytics, helping make your DevOps teams’ lives easier. 

JSM mediates critical incidents by immediately notifying the correct teams to start working on resolutions. You can open chats using Slack or Microsoft Teams and set up video meetings to collaborate with your colleagues without leaving your ESM platform. Additionally, JSM enables you to link support tickets to the incidents, keeping everything organized on a consolidated platform. You can keep everyone on your team and your clients up to date about incidents with notification options such as email, SMS, and push notifications. 

JSM also provides detailed reports and analytics throughout the incident management process. With these reports, you can pinpoint the cause of incidents and keep track of your teams’ progress as they work to resolve them.

Suppose a system fails, leading to downtime that impacts the customer or employee experience. JSM facilitates the incident management process by centralizing and filtering alerts from monitoring, logging, and CI/CD tools. This ensures teams respond to issues quickly while avoiding alert fatigue. Additionally, you can customize on-call schedules, routing rules, and escalation policies to handle alerts differently based on their importance and origin.

Problem Management

JSM simplifies problem management by grouping related incidents to identify repetitive issues, helping you launch investigations to determine the root causes and assign the right people to fix problems. 

By providing a clear overview of the entire process and all the related incidents, JSM helps you find resolutions and minimizes any potential lasting consequences of the problem. Reports and analytics can also identify if any issues are recurring and where they start, ensuring you can tackle them at their roots. 

For example, your general operations team can benefit from JSM’s problem management ability. By grouping all the incidents into broader categories and providing you with reports to see the big picture, this platform can help you streamline your problem-solving processes throughout your organization.

Change Management

When it comes to developmental changes within your company, problems may arise as you shift your team members from one methodology to another. Atlassian’s JSM empowers your teams by providing risk assessments and managing approval workflows. 

JSM automation can score the risks of a change to determine the level of risk and whether it qualifies for automatic approval for implementation or requires escalation for review. You can also assign specialized authority to specific teams on the approval line, so everyone understands their responsibilities. Delegating specialized authority will, in turn, help you avoid bottlenecks during your change process.

For instance, JSM’s change management capabilities can help your IT operations team by providing change requests with full context about a change, the teams involved, and any related work. JSM delivers a single view of information about CI/CD tools, affected services, risk scores, and required approvers. By providing everything the team needs to know on one ESM platform, your IT operations team will always be able to make optimal decisions with clear ideas about the impacts of these decisions.

Asset Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution offers a flexible system to help your teams manage assets of all kinds. These can include everything from equipment to employees. 

JSM keeps track of inventory and data for auditing and organizes the details to help you make informed decisions to tackle incidents. Because all the data is directly in Jira, it’s easy for teams to access the information they need to manage, maintain, upgrade, or deploy any asset. 

While asset management is crucial for the IT department, other teams can also benefit. For example, HR can use this open database structure to keep track of all the employees within the enterprise and stay on top of each person’s salary, vacation dates, status, and more. 

Configuration Management

JSM supports configuration management by giving you complete visibility into your projects and assets. With dependency mapping, you get a clear picture of the entire project lifecycle to assess risks, resolve problems, and quickly get to the root cause of any discrepancies. And with JSM automation, you can also automate status updates, create new tickets based on changes, and add new assets.

For example, JSM’s configuration management can help you minimize change risks by giving developers a clear view of which configurations and services may be affected by the change. And if there are any problems, teams can address them quickly with the valuable insights provided, as JSM keeps track of all incidents and changes. Additionally, because all updates to configuration items are tracked automatically, JSM can save you a lot of time when audits come around. 

Knowledge Management

Atlassian’s JSM solution’s knowledge management capability provides a single source of knowledge, so your employees and clients retain near-immediate access to accurate, adequately documented information. 

By leveraging the power of Confluence, JSM encourages self-service by providing users with an easy-to-use access point to relevant instructions and articles in your database. Self-service empowers your teams to be more self-sufficient and saves your service team time. 

JSM’s machine learning algorithm also ensures that search results are specifically for your users. Additionally, JSM offers statistics to determine which articles solve the most problems and where there might be knowledge gaps you can fill.

For instance, consider your legal team’s applications of JSM and Confluence as an ESM solution. With a knowledge management platform that offers detailed articles on commonly asked legal questions, team members outside this department can stay informed and get their questions answered before contacting the legal department. If they do have to reach out to the legal team, JSM offers a self-service platform that enables clients to check the statuses of their legal requests without having to locate or take time away from their legal team members.

Conclusion

Atlassian’s JSM platform is a one-stop solution for your ITSM and ESM needs. Although Atlassian originally oriented JSM towards IT service management and DevOps practices, you can apply Jira Service Management’s capabilities to a wide variety of workflows throughout an organization. More than just a service desk, JSM has everything you need to help your teams manage their work and empower every department to provide a high-velocity service experience. 

From request management to knowledge management, it’s time to step into the future by implementing ITSM practices in every corner of your enterprise. Ready to leverage Atlassian’s JSM to support your ITSM and ESM strategies?

Reach out to Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, to learn how we can support you journey to unlocking the power of ITSM and ESM in your organization.

CONTACT US

Topics: atlassian service-management tools itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
6 min read

Why Jira Service Management Makes it Easy for Teams to Manage Work

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 4, 2022 11:30:00 AM

It’s no secret that happy customers mean better business. On average, a delighted customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a slightly satisfied customer, and up to 14 times more revenue than an unhappy customer. In the real world, 84 percent of companies that focused on enhancing and improving their customer service reported an increase in their bottom line. Making a conscious effort to ensure smooth and satisfying customer service experiences is well worth it for your enterprise. 

Providing great service experiences starts on the inside — happy employees mean happy customers. Businesses with engaged and satisfied workers outperform their competitors by up to 147 percent. Therefore, it’s essential to look at ways to set your teams up for success.

This is where Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and IT Service Management (ITSM) come in. ESM is the application of principles to all departments of an organization. Whereas traditionally, ITSM best practices were used solely by IT teams to provide service, ESM uses these strategies to empower every team. With a proper ESM platform, businesses can streamline their workflows in all departments and provide a better service experience for their customers. After all, productive and collaborative teams contribute directly to delivering better and faster service.

Built for all types of enterprises, Jira Service Management is Atlassian’s end-to-end service management solution that helps your teams set up efficient service desks, enhance process visibility, and break down the silos that tend to isolate different departments. With a vast selection of third-party applications and services, you can create and customize your service desk to fit your unique business model.

Simplifying Work Management

There are many components involved in setting up a cohesive work management system. Let’s take a look at a few examples.

Service Desks

Service desks connect service providers and users. In the traditional sense, service desks typically refer to the system in place to help customers. However, as discussed above, providing support to your employees and ensuring their satisfaction is just as important. So in the modern age, you can think of service desks in the context of ITSM and ESM. 

service desk, in this case, refers to the point of contact between the employees (service seekers) and the IT team (service providers). The team provides many services, including:

  • Incident management
  • Service request management
  • Knowledge management
  • Self-service
  • Reporting

These are just some of the solutions a service desk can offer, and yours will be unique to your business. However many you may employ, keep in mind the goal is to provide high-quality service for your employees so they can, in turn, provide an excellent service experience for your customers. 

Visibility

With so many teams working alongside each other with their own goals and processes, it is easy to lose track of the larger picture. That’s why setting up a system to give you and your teams a clear view of your projects and systems is so important. 

Visibility enables managers, team leads, and team members to quickly see the stages of various tasks and act accordingly to reach their goals. And having a clear view of where incidents may be and the status of each employee can help you develop solutions and implement actionable steps based on real-time data. 

Jira Service Management enables you to have a clear view of incidents by providing an open and collaborative platform. You can link and sync issues and service tickets in Jira and incorporate data from the wide selection of ITSM tools, giving every team a clear view of the processes within your company.

ITSM

The ongoing management and implementation of ITSM infrastructure is necessary for all modern businesses. The International Data Corporation (IDC)’s research shows that organizations that use ITSM practices to set up modern ESM platforms are consistently outperforming their competitors. 

They outperform rivals because modern service management systems streamline collaboration by facilitating efficient incident management and cross-departmental collaboration. As a result, businesses that implement these systems can better equip their employees, speed up their internal IT service turnaround times, and provide better customer service experiences. 

This is where Jira Service Management can help. Jira Service Management can set your business up for success because it is an end-to-end, fully functional, and customizable ITSM solution. Jira Service Management is your one-stop shop for all your ITSM needs, from asset management to advanced escalation processes to analytics and more. 

To fully adapt to your unique business structure, Jira Service Management offers many ITSM integrations. Let’s look at some of the top performers on the market:

ScriptRunner for Jira

ScriptRunner is at the top of the automation market. It’s an all-in-one solution to automate, customize, and extend your Jira functions. Using Groovy scripting, ScriptRunner enables you to automate bulk actions, build workflows, create scripted fields, and much more. 

Jira Misc Workflow Extensions (JMWE)

JMWE allows you to tailor your workflow to fit your unique work processes quickly. With a collection of 30 plus point-and-click post-functions, JMWE gives you the ability to build and automate your workflows without the need to know code. 

Email This Issue

Email This Issue lets you keep in touch with your fellow employees and customers without needing to use a separate email client. With Email This Issue, you can process emails, upload attachments, and send Jira issues easily to anyone inside or outside your team to facilitate clear and timely communication in every department. This streamlined communication solution is a great tool to improve the service experience of your clients. 

Time in Status

Time in Status helps you identify bottlenecks in your workplace. With so many departments managing multiple projects, it’s only natural for complications to arise. This integration enables you to identify problem areas by reporting how much time you spent on each issue, who’s responsible, and where the incident is stuck — allowing you to tackle obstacles quickly. Time in Status is valuable for preventing your employees from running in circles and ensuring an excellent service experience for your customers by promptly resolving their problems.

These are just some of the many ITSM integrations you can make with Jira Service Management. Check out the marketplace to find endless possibilities which can upgrade your ESM platform. Want to learn more about how ITSM practices deliver value faster? Download your copy of our eBook below.

How ITSM Drives Business Transformation

Download your guide to empowering teams & delivering value faster

 

Conclusion

Running a successful business means providing excellent service experiences for your customers. And that starts by empowering your teams with a good ESM platform. More than just a service desk, JSM has everything you need to help your teams manage their work and empower every department to provide a high-velocity service experience. 

From incident management and triaging service requests, it’s time to step into the future by implementing ITSM practices in every corner of your enterprise. Ready to leverage Atlassian’s JSM to support your ITSM and ESM strategies? Contact Praecipio Consulting, an Atlassian Platinum Solution Partner, to learn more.

Topics: itsm jira-service-management enterprise service management
3 min read

What is ESM? How can Enterprise Service Management help my company?

By Charlotte D’Alfonso on Apr 14, 2022 9:58:37 AM

2022 Q2 PCM-10012 Blog - What is ESM? - Hero

Enterprise Service Management is a phrase continuing to pop up more and more as organizations look to refine their business strategies to improve efficiency and reduce costs.

Enterprise Service Management or ESM is the application of IT Service Management (ITSM) strategies, processes, and workflows to departments across the organization. ESM enables you to connect and empower your teams, streamline their operations, and track the progress of work (and ownership) in a more transparent manner.

ESM is the solution for handling the workday's inefficiency that comes along with departments working in silos, lack of governance, and accountability of who is responsible for what. And all those email requests that go back and forth trying to move an inquiry along the process. 

You might like: Why You Should be Using an Enterprise Service Management Tool

To take an enterprise approach, you can use a single platform such as Jira Service Management to standardize your process while allowing both customization and collaboration of departments.  For example, using the one platform, you can customize portals (service desks) for each department; utilize a single knowledge and information repository; track and report on outcomes, and automate routing and workflows.

Selling Enterprise Service Management

ITSM practices have been widely adopted by IT teams in organizations across the globe. But ESM is still a relatively new phrase for many businesses and organizations. Therefore, when trying to sell ESM to the Human Resources or Marketing teams, you must recognize their lack of familiarity with the terminology and processes.

Our blog on ‘Selling Enterprise Service Management to IT and Beyond’ illustrates the importance of focusing on outcomes rather than getting in the weeds with processes. Focusing on the needs of the individual business unit allows you to identify points of leverage and opportunity, resulting in a higher likelihood of acceptance and adoption.

Some Benefits of Enterprise Service Management

  • Reduced operational costs and improved efficiency
  • Workload reductions and self-service efficiencies
  • Higher satisfaction with customer experience and service
  • Increased governance and control
  • Better collaboration within and across departments
  • Maximize ROI on a corporate ITSM solution
  • Process standardization

Which Departments can use ESM?

We have found that every department sees benefits when implementing ESM. The number of departments only limits the possibilities. Almost every business unit provides an internal or external service for the organization. 

  • Customer Service: Proactively addressing issues and automating replies for standard requests, and providing a self-service option for customers.
  • Human Resources (HR): Onboarding new employees, security checks and audits, handling departures, dealing with a request for PTO or leave, health plan or personnel changes
  • Purchasing/Procurement: Processing purchase orders, building quotes, authorizing discounts and price adjustments, and communicating with vendors.
  • Facilities/Building Services: Managing requests for repairs, office furniture assets, relocations, and general maintenance.
  • Accounting and Finance: Approving expenses, sending invoices, tracking payments.
  • Creative and marketing teams: Creating stock images and templates, applying product changes to the website, tracking social media content, deadlines for deliverables.
  • Legal: Reviewing and approving documents, requests for standing contracts/forms, and certifying documents.
  • Admin/General Admin: Request office supplies, manage couriers/delivery services, and schedule meeting rooms.
  • Sales: Customer relationship management, pipeline management, etc.

Getting Started with ESM

Is your IT Department already using ITSM? How willing is your organization to adopt new software or processes? Are the existing pieces of software you’re capable of implementing ESM-type strategies? There are several questions you’ll have to ask.

Find a service management program with templates, workflows, and the knowledge to help guide you through the process. Some businesses do it themselves, and some partner with a company like Praecipio Consulting, which has 15+ years of experience assisting companies to implement these principles.

You might start with ITSM or build onto your existing ITSM with a product like Atlassian Jira Service Management. Click here to learn all about ESM at Atlassian. However, if you’re trying to do it yourself, make sure you avoid these common ESM tool mistakes.

We’re proud to have helped many companies, like yours, successfully implement ITSM or ESM throughout their organization. So, contact us to get started today.

Topics: itsm enterprise service management
3 min read

4 Common ITSM Tool Mistakes with Enterprise Service Management

By Larry Brock on Feb 8, 2022 9:36:03 AM

22-blogpost-displayImage_5 Common ITSM Tool Mistakes with ESM1

Are you “penny wise, pound foolish? ”If you haven’t heard the phrase, it means that someone is careful with small sums of money but wasteful with large sums. Unfortunately, this situation happens when companies go through implementing and using an IT service management (ITSM) tool. Why? There are lots of places where a plan can get off track and end up costing your organization time and money.

This blog explains 4 mistakes your organization could make and how to avoid them. Additionally, it will help you avoid pitfalls where money is saved upfront in tool selection and implementation, but ongoing costs (including opportunity costs) are higher than necessary.

You might also like: ITSM, ESM, or SM? What is Service Management and How Can It Help?

Mistake #1: Not appreciating the total cost of ownership (TCO) of an ITSM tool

The critical thing here, whether using an ITSM tool for just ITSM or as part of a broader enterprise service management approach, is to appreciate that the “sticker price” of the tool is just a tiny part of the overall TCO. For example, there are also the:

  • Implementation and set up costs, including process redesign, tool configuration, customization, and integrations
  • Training costs
  • Ongoing administration/management costs
  • Ongoing support and maintenance costs (if an on-premises tool)
  • The customer cost of upgrades, including changes to integrations.
  • The impact of underestimating the TCO of an ITSM tool is that the above costs might not be sufficiently budgeted for with the associated activities minimized or omitted as a result.

One of the biggest mistakes we see is insufficient investment in tool implementation. Such that I’ll often state that “the best tools get bad reputations from bad implementations.” Failing to invest appropriately in tool implementation is likely to limit the usefulness of the delivered solution and the benefits realized.

Mistake #2: Making a tool decision based on price rather than value

This is an extension of Mistake #1, but given its importance, it deserves its own “time in the sun.” Here, choosing the cheapest possible tool that “does the job” might also bring with it additional ongoing costs that far outweigh the initial “sticker price” savings.

For example, an organization might not implement a tool to their specific needs to save money – installing a “vanilla” version. This then leads to the organization using the device to run counter to what it needs. Unnecessary costs are then incurred elsewhere, perhaps due to a lack of automation, and there are the opportunity costs of forgone capabilities (and the associated benefits).

Ultimately, the customer hasn’t spent the time entirely understanding the implications of implementing and then using the tool. Whereas engaging an experienced professional can keep organizations from stepping on easily avoidable implementation and cost, land mines.

Mistake #3: Not including enterprise service management needs into the tool selection process

Avoiding this mistake might also help your organization avoid Mistake #2 – with the various needs of enterprise service management and individual business functions helping to ensure that the selected tool has the required flexibility.

Notably, it’s about involving the relevant business stakeholders as early as possible in the requirements gathering/agreeing process. The IT organization shouldn’t be assuming what different business functions need from what will now be a pan-enterprise ITSM tool.

  • Missing capabilities
  • Difficulties in extending the solution to other business functions,
  • Low adoption levels
  • And more

Mistake #4: Sticking with an ITSM tool that’s unfit for enterprise service management

This one’s pretty simple to explain. It’s where – due to financial restrictions or the fear of change – an organization attempts to execute their enterprise service management strategy using an existing ITSM tool that’s unable to deliver against their needs.

It’s the proverbial “trying to fit a square peg in a round hole” – with it similar to the earlier mistakes in that your organization has an ITSM tool that can’t do what you need it to do. Or at least not without extra effort and costs. Here, even if ESM strategy execution is possible with the existing tool, it’s likely to be both suboptimal and more costly than it needs to be.

If you want to know more about avoiding these and the other common mistakes made when using your ITSM tool for enterprise service management, then reach out and talk to an expert.

Are you interested in enterprise service management but unsure how to generate buy-in from the rest of your organization? Then, we’ve got a blog for you here. Also, you can find 5 things to look for when selecting an enterprise service management tool here.

Topics: best-practices itsm enterprise service management
4 min read

Service Management is More Than an IT Service Desk

By Kye Hittle on Aug 11, 2021 3:21:35 PM

2021-q4-blogpost-Enterprise Service Management Should Share More Than IT Service Desk Capabilities_1

So, your organization is investing in an Enterprise Service Management (ESM) strategy. It’s a great move! But could it be doing more? Well, if your organization is doing what most organizations do, the short answer is a resounding “yes.” Now, you might think that the opportunity here is the wider use of IT Service Management (ITSM) capabilities across your organization – in other business functions – which will, of course, be beneficial when executed well. But instead, I’m referring to the wider use of available ITSM best practices. Especially since the new version of the ITIL ITSM best practice guidance – ITIL 4 – introduced so much new Service Management guidance.

Looking at Service Management adoption levels

The world of ITSM doesn’t see as much statistical data as it used to, unfortunately. This is also true for Enterprise Service Management, where any adoption-level statistics usually refer to how many organizations are “doing” ESM.

This, however, is a difficult percentage to pin down because of the likelihood that apples are being compared to oranges rather than other apples. For example, the corporate ITSM tool might be used by another part of the organization to fulfill a need, but there’s no Enterprise Service Management strategy. Or where there is a strategy being executed, it might be for half a dozen other business functions, but it could also just be for just one. It’s very similar to where an organization can quite rightly say that it has adopted ITIL when it’s simply using a small part of just one of the 34 management practices in ITIL 4.

What’s more interesting and relevant for this blog post is the relative level of ITSM/ITIL process adoption as part of enterprise service management strategies, i.e. the ITSM capabilities that are more likely to be shared and perhaps adapted for other business functions such as human resources (HR), finance, legal, facilities, security, procurement, and customer services/support.

The adoption levels of Service Management processes by other business functions

During Praecipio Consulting's recently published State of Service Management survey, we saw fairly broad adoption of some Service Management practices outside of IT. In fact, more than half of respondents told us that the top six practices were implemented in their organizations. That's a great improvement from previous surveys on this topic, but it shows there's still plenty of room to apply the power of the other Service Management practices. graph-praecipio

To download the entire report for a detailed look into Service Management adoption across a wide variety of organizations, follow this link:  2021 State of Enterprise Service Management Report - Praecipio Consulting.

Of course, the above percentages are also influenced by the relative adoption levels of each ITSM capability by IT organizations themselves. For example, if only 60-70% of IT organizations claim to employ problem management best practices, then it’s highly unlikely that the third of organizations that don’t use it would try to share the capability with other business functions.

The key focus is that Enterprise Service Management strategies or approaches are sharing ITSM capabilities that can be considered the domain of the IT Service Desk, such as the ability to deal with requests for help, information, service, and change, all while enabling capabilities such as knowledge management, self-service, and workflow automation/platform-based capabilities.

Hence, while we talk of Enterprise Service Management as the sharing of ITSM capabilities with other business functions, it’s only a small subset of ITSM capabilities that are commonly shared. And organizations and their various business functions could further benefit from the greater adoption of other ITSM capabilities.

Taking enterprise service management beyond the service desk

There were many opportunities to extend the use of ITSM, or ITIL best practice in particular, with ITIL v3/2011. The introduction of ITIL 4 not only increased the guidance content from 26 processes to 34 management practices, it also:

  • Presented the guidance from a Service Management, rather than an ITSM, perspective such that it’s more easily understandable and accessible outside of IT
  • Built the guidance around the concept of the co-creation of value through Service Management

The latter of these in particular is something that should now be included in the extension of Service Management capabilities – including the use of ITSM tools – to other business functions. The obvious caveat is that it’s highly unlikely to happen without IT itself transitioning from ITIL v3/2011 to ITIL 4 first.

This future transition offers up a suitable decision point for the ongoing focus of an organization’s Enterprise Service Management investments: if the IT Service Desk’s capabilities are changed in light of the new ITIL 4 guidance, then the same would also benefit the other business functions that currently operate their variants of the original ITSM capabilities. It’s also a great opportunity to understand which other ITSM capabilities – both old and new – would additionally benefit the operations and outcomes of these business functions.

Examples of enterprise service management beyond the service desk

Even before the release of ITIL 4, some existing ITSM/ITIL capabilities were readily suited for and would have benefited other business functions. Problem management is a good example, with Customer Service/Support departments and Facilities teams able to employ similar problem management capabilities to IT – across people, processes, and technology – to identify and remove the root causes of regularly seen/reported issues.

Another good example is Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – which is now simply “continual improvement” in ITIL 4. After all, every part of your organization would likely benefit from having a formalized approach to the improvement of operations, services, experiences, and outcomes.

With the broader scope of ITIL 4, there are many additional practices that can be shared with other business functions to drive improved operations and outcomes, such as organizational change management, risk management, service design, strategy management, and workforce and talent management.

So, your organization’s Enterprise Service Management strategy could encompass far more than the IT service desk elements of ITSM – where the benefits outweigh the costs.

Hopefully, this post has you thinking about your organization’s current Enterprise Service Management successes and the potential for even more going forward. If you would like to find out more about the opportunities to improve the operations and outcomes across your entire organization - or if you need to get started with Enterprise Service Management - get in touch with us at Praecipio Consulting.

Topics: blog best-practices service-desk service-management itil itsm jira-service-desk
10 min read

ITSM and ITIL: Not So Different After All

By Yogi Kanakamedala on Jun 9, 2021 4:01:01 PM

2021-q4-blogpost-ITSMvsITIL

The change to remote work has forced Information Technology (IT) teams to quickly and efficiently serve their customers. Due to this, many people talk about using ITSM processes or ITIL strategies to help their teams. But what does this mean? Are they the same? Or completely different? What does an IT team implementing these practices look like? To understand this, we first have to understand ITSM and ITIL. 

What is ITSM?

Atlassian defines Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) as a way IT teams manage the end-to-end delivery of IT services to customers. This includes a defined set of processes to design, create, deliver, and support IT services. 

The core concept of ITSM is the belief that IT should be delivered as a service

I think of ITSM simply as a set of tools you can use to improve your IT team. Just like you would use a handsaw to cut a piece of wood or a screwdriver and a screw to connect two pieces of wood together, you have to think about what you would like to accomplish with your IT team and which tool would be best for the job. 

ITSM processes focus on your customer's needs and services rather than the IT systems behind the scenes. These processes, when implemented properly, can help cross-department collaboration, increase control and governance, deliver and maximize asset efficiency, provide better and quicker customer support, and reduce costs across the organization. What are some of these magical processes? Glad you asked! 

  1. Service Request Management
    Any incoming inquires asking for access to applications, software licenses, password resets, or new hardware is classified as Service Requests. These requests are often recurring and can be made into simple, duplicable procedures. These repeatable procedures will help IT teams provide quick service for the recurring requests. Applying well-designed practices to your Jira Service Management application can streamline the process for an organizations' customer to create Service Requests and for internal IT teams to act on the Service Requests.  

  2. Knowledge Management
    The process of making, sharing, utilizing, and managing data of an organization to attain its business objectives can all be a part of Knowledge Management. Creating a Knowledge Base (KB) for IT teams to create content is crucial for teams to learn from the past and maximize productivity. Having a collaborative workspace, such as Confluence, for all teams to work within can help create one source of truth of information. KB articles can also be shared with your customers through the Jira Service Management portal to help resolve common or simple Service Request without having to contact the IT Team. 

  3. IT Asset Management (ITAM)
    IT Asset Management (also known as ITAM) can help ensure valuable company resources are accounted for, deployed, maintained, upgrades, or properly disposed of. Because assets have a relatively short life-cycle, it is important to make the best use of all assets. Integrating tools such as Insight with your Jira instance can help track all valuable assets throughout your organization conveniently within Jira issues in real-time. 

  4. Incident Management
    Any process that is responding to an unplanned event or downtime will fall under the Incident Management bucket. The only goal of Incident Management is to make sure that problematic services are brought back to their original operational status in the shortest time possible. For any incident to be quickly resolved, the original reporter has to be able to quickly communicate with the proper IT team asking for help and the IT team must be able to easily communicate back with the reporter to gather any relevant information needed to solve the problem. Jira Service Management can help make this crucial communication effortless.

  5. Problem Management
    Taking lessons learned from an incident and determining the root cause of the problem so that future incidents can be prevented or, at minimum, limiting downtime is the basis of Problem Management. Once a root cause analysis is performed on an incident and documented within your Confluence instance, the impact of future incidents can be reduced. 

  6. Change Management
    Change Management can be used to control and understand the impact of changes being made to all IT Infrastructure. The Change Advisory Board (CAB), a group of individuals tasked with evaluating, scheduling, and validating a change, can be leveraged to better maintain and ensure the stability of your IT Infrastructure. By taking advantage of Jira, employees can easily suggest changes and the CAB will be able to review the proposed changes, approving and scheduling the change as they see fit. 

To see these processes in action, let's consider a tangible example that will help bring it all together:

"Austin Snow" is a new employee at your company. As part of the onboarding process, they will need a brand new laptop. As their manager, you submit a Service Request to your IT team through the Jira Service Management Help Center. An agent in your accounting department is then assigned to this task. Using information from a KB article that has been built out in a Confluence page, the agent can see that they are supposed to put in a purchase order for the new device. From the Confluence page, the agent also knows to add this new asset in Insight and assign ownership to Austin.

Once the laptop is delivered and Austin tries to access an application and finds that they get a 404 error message. Austin reaches out to the IT team through the Help Center to create an incident with them. The IT team then proceeds to investigate this issue. They can find the root cause of the problem and fix it. Using the lessons learned from this incident, the IT team performs a root cause analysis (RCA) for the problem. As a result of the RCA, it is found that a change to the organizations' infrastructure can help prevent this problem in the future. The IT proposed the change to the Change Advisor Board (CAB) who then investigates the impact of this change, weighs pros and cons and schedules an outage window to perform this change. 

As can be seen in this example, ITSM processes can help quickly fulfill requests, transfer knowledge, keep track of assets, respond to problems, identify the cause of a problem, and implement any changes needed to prevent problems in the future. 

What is ITIL?

Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of best practices designed to support a company's IT operations. ITIL was introduced in the late 20th century as a series of books by a government agency in Great Britain in an attempt to help the British Government provide a better quality of IT service at a lower cost. ITIL v2 condensed all of the content in the early 2000s into nine publications. These two older versions are seldom used, most organizations currently implement ITIL v3 or ITIL 4.

ITIL v3

In 2007, ITIL v3 introduced the service lifecycle, a set of five core publications, to help organizations focus on continual improvement. The ITIL Service Lifecycle consists of five stages; Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, and Continuous Service Improvement.

blog-graphics-01Source: AXELOS, “ITIL Foundation: ITIL 3 Edition” (2007 - Updated 2011)

The Service Strategy stage helps level set the expectations of an organization so that a service provider can meet the organization's business outcomes. The Service Design stage helps the service provider gather all the requirements and create a plan to turn an idea into reality. The Service Transition stage is when the design from the previous stage is implemented and made ready to go live as smoothly as possible. The Service Operation stage focuses on making sure the services being provided are being fulfilled as agreed upon. Finally, the Continuous Service Improvement stage focuses on service provided staying agile and keeping up with the ever-changing needs of the organization. 

ITIL 4

Most recently, ITIL 4 took into consideration the latest trends in technologies and service management to help organizations as they undergo digital transformation. ITIL 4 consists of two main components; the four dimensions model and the service value system (SVS).

blog-graphics-03

Source: AXELOS, “ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4 Edition” (2019)

The four dimensions model lays out four key areas to consider to ensure a holistic approach to service management. These four dimensions are Organizations and People, Information and Technology, Partners and Suppliers, and Value Streams and Processes. The four dimensions have to work together to help ensure that any Product or Service provided to the customer is able to provide value in an effective and efficient manner.

For example, in the above Austin Snow use case, the Organizations & People would be the HR Team performing the onboarding, the IT team helping deliver the laptop, the Support team handling the outage, and Austin Snow themself. The Information & Technology would be all the tools, Jira Service Management, Insight, etc. that were used to help Austin. The Partners & Suppliers would consist of the internal IT team in charge of the service request and incident management or any other external team that as leveraged to deliver the request or fix the incident. finally, the Value Streams & Processes would consist of any well-defined procedures that were used to help deliver the service to Austin.

blog-graphics-02

Source: AXELOS, “ITIL Foundation: ITIL 4 Edition” (2019)

The service value system lays out how all the components of an organization have to work together to provide maximum value. To accomplish this, 5 main elements are used produce Value from an Opportunity or Demand; Guiding Principles, Governance, Service Value Chain, Practices, Continual Improvement. 

Guiding Principles help define how an organization will respond in all circumstances. These principles should be considered when making any decisions. Governance defines how an organization is directed and controlled and always stem from Guiding Principles. The Service Value Chain is a set of inter-united processes used to deliver a product or service to a customer. Practices are resources to help perform work. Continual Improvement is how the process can be improved to help provide the most amount of Value to an organization. When all of the elements of the SVS are implemented and used properly, an organization will be able to capitalize on every Opportunity. The four dimensions must be considered with all elements of the SVS to ensure a great quality of service is provided to your customers. 

ITIL v3 and ITIL 4 are essentially guiding the same fundamental ideas of service management. ITIL 4 takes a new approach to provide this guidance. It is important to consider the inner workings of your organization to understand a set of principles that will best mesh with your organization. 

How are they related?

Now that we have laid down a foundation for ITSM and ITIL concepts, let's explore the relationship between ITSM and ITIL.

Unlike the title of this blog may suggest, these two concepts are not opposing ideas. ITIL is a framework of ITSM, meaning ITIL takes the concepts and values of ITSM and lays out a set of defined best practices that organizations can easily apply to their business to help improve IT services. In other words, ITSM processes describe the "what" while ITIL best practices describe the "how". 

ITIL is not the only ITSM framework; frameworks or processes such as DevOps, Kaizen, Lean, and Six Sigma are also implemented by organizations. ITIL is the most popular ITSM framework to help improve IT service delivery.

In summary, ITSM is a defined set of processes to design, create, deliver, and support IT services. ITIL, a framework of ITSM best practices, can be used as a set of guidelines to quickly adopt ITSM principles into your organization. These guidelines can then be continuously improved to be a perfect fit for your unique IT team. 

As The Digital Transformation(ists), Praecipio Consulting can help you integrate digital technology into all areas of your business. For more information, please check out these case studies: FORTUNE 20 ELECTRONICS COMPANY OPTIMIZES JIRA AND CONFLUENCE FOR ITSM BEST PRACTICES and WORLD'S LARGEST BEVERAGE AND BREWING COMPANY MIGRATES TO ATLASSIAN ITSM PLATFORM.

If you have questions on ITSM or ITIL, and wonder if your organization can benefit from these powerful methodologies, contact us, and one of our experts will be glad to help.

Topics: jira confluence process itil itsm digital-transformation jira-service-management remote-work frameworks
4 min read

How Service Management Capabilities Improve Employee Onboarding

By Joseph Lane on Mar 26, 2021 9:13:38 AM

Blogpost-display-image_How Service Management Capabilities Improve Your Organization’s Employee OnboardingHave you ever started work at a new organization as an eager new employee, only to find that you don’t have everything needed to “hit the ground running”? It might be that your laptop isn’t ready. Or you have a laptop but you’re missing a critical piece of software (or access to a critical online service). Of course, it’s not only the IT department that can fail to provide a new employee with what they need to be productive from day one. Human resources (HR) might have missed a new employee from the mandatory onboarding training course. Or the facilities team might have failed to arrange building access or to provide them with a suitably equipped place to work.

Alternatively, the issue might not be that these things are repeatedly missing on new employee arrival. Instead, it might be the necessary lead time has an unwanted business impact – that employees can’t start in their new role for two months while the manually-intensive employee onboarding process slowly grinds out what’s needed for them. Or it might be that recruiting managers need to waste their precious time “keeping on top of” all the various departments responsible for ensuring that their new employee can work productively from day one.

To help, this blog explains how Service Management can be used to improve employee onboarding operations and outcomes.

Why employee onboarding is a common issue

None of the above scenarios are ideal – for the new employee, the recruiting manager, and business operations – yet they still happen too frequently when the onboarding process and its many “splinter” sub-processes are manually intensive. It might be that the sheer complexity of all the moving parts, with multiple business functions needing to do “their bit,” causes the issue in terms of the logistics. Or it might be that the immediate lack of urgency for the individual tasks means that they’re a low priority in each business function’s work pipeline, such that some tasks unfortunately “slip through the cracks” when people are bombarded with a continuous flow of higher priorities. Or it might be that the high level of manual effort is the cause of organizational and provisioning mistakes being made.

As to how common onboarding issues are, a commonly-quoted employee onboarding statistic on the Internet – which is sadly from 2017 but still worth pointing to with an age caveat – is that:

Only “12% of employees strongly agree their organization does a great job of onboarding new employees.”

Source: Gallup, State of the American Workplace Report (2017)

Thankfully, Service Management – the use of IT service management (ITSM) principles, best practice capabilities, and technology to improve business function operations, services, experiences, and outcomes – offers a digital-workflow-based onboarding solution that’s commonly one of the first adopted use cases of Service Management within an organization.

Plus, the global pandemic has made employee onboarding more difficult

While onboarding has traditionally been problematic for organizations, the operational impact of the global pandemic has made the potential issues worse. First, because new employees might be remote workers, meaning that any failure to fully enable them on day one is now harder for them to work around. For example, using a spare office “capability” isn’t viable when you aren’t in an office. Second, some of the various business function employees charged with setting up new employees might be home working, which makes it harder for the manually intensive process flows to work across what are now both functional and locational divides.

How Service Management helps with employee onboarding

The ITSM principles, best practice capabilities, and technology employed within Service Management offer a platform for business-wide digital workflows and optimized operations and outcomes. The technology, in particular, helps in terms of making employee onboarding all three of “better, faster, cheaper” through:

  • Workflow automation and service orchestration
  • Service level monitoring, alerting, and notifications
  • New technology-enabled capabilities, such as AI-enabled intelligent automation
  • Self-service portals and other digital channels
  • Knowledge management enablement
  • Dashboards and reporting capabilities

More importantly, Service Management not only helps internal business function operations but also the intra-business-function operations that are a big part of employee onboarding – with the need processed by both HR and the invocation of services from other business functions.

Examples of Service Management at work in employee onboarding

The digital workflows required to get an employee road-ready and productive from their first day of work can be taken back to the initial need for a new employee to fill an existing or new role. The initial workflows can therefore cover all of the following:

  • The line manager notification of the need to recruit (to HR)
  • The approval of the recruitment
  • Job description creation and/or validation
  • The advertising of the role
  • The screening of candidates
  • The interviewing of candidates
  • The selection and notification of the successful candidate

You might argue that this is recruitment rather than onboarding but, in a truly digital environment, this can be an end-to-end workflow such that the successful candidate’s acceptance of the offer, perhaps after personal negotiations, triggers the next set of onboarding steps. These can include:

  • The HR team sourcing and populating the required information in the new employee's HR record
  • The legal team making the appropriate background checks, processing contract paperwork, and ensuring that other legal necessities are met
  • The HR team arranging employee benefits, which could include a company vehicle lease agreement via either the corporate procurement or fleet teams
  • The HR team arranging and maybe delivering the required onboarding training – that covers employee polices, IT usage, finance-related “how-tos,” etc. – plus any other immediate learning needs (physical and/or virtual)
  • The IT team ensuring that the required devices, software, and access permissions for the role are all provisioned in time for the employee’s start date
  • The facilities team sourcing and provisioning the required working environment for office-based working, home working, or both
  • The security or facilities team providing appropriate physical access permissions and means
  • The facilities team providing corporate car parking facilities if warranted

This list isn’t exhaustive, but it’s indicative of how starting the employee onboarding workflow(s) – perhaps via a self-service portal – can trigger the prioritized execution of a wide range of required processes and tasks across multiple business functions using automation and logic. Where the enabling technology not only monitors and manages task progression, but it also integrates with other systems (for record updating, ordering, and provisioning), seeks task-related approvals when needed, provides reminder notifications, and flags up delays and other onboarding issues for appropriate human intervention.

Why wouldn’t your organization want to automate the end-to-end employee onboarding process with digital workflows to save time and costs and to deliver a better employee experience? If you would like to find out more on how Service Management can improve your employee onboarding capabilities, reach out to the Praecipio Consulting team

Topics: blog service-management cost-effective human-resource itsm digital-transformation
6 min read

Root Cause Analysis: Leonard, Howard, and the 5 Whys

By Amanda Babb on Mar 10, 2021 9:50:40 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Root Cause Analysis- Leonard, Howard, and the Five WhysDIY or DIE!

For those of you watching from home, I have been on a home improvement journey for quite some time. Applying an Agile mindset to home improvement (or really anything I do) is one of my passions. Even at my most recent Women in Agile meeting, we discussed applying Agile concepts to daily life and feeding these back into building a great resumé. One of the principles of the Agile Manifesto reads: At regular intervals, the team reflects on how to become more effective, then tunes and adjusts its behavior accordingly. We all know this applies to Agile development practices, but it also applies to IT Service Management. Specifically, Incident and Problem Management. For me, it applies to my recent home improvement adventure. 

Strong fences make great neighbors

My neighbor and I spent the better part of a Saturday fixing our mutual fence. You see, I have two dogs: Leonard and Howard.

 IMG_4511IMG_4512

Both are rescues. Leonard is eight and was "free to a good home" while Howard is four and was adopted from my county's animal shelter. Both dogs have been with us since their puppyhood and, as any dog owner will say, they are the BEST. DOGS. EVER. Except when they're not. This was not the first time my neighbor and I had to work on the fence. Observe one of the troublemakers in his natural habitat. 

IMG_4507

This epic saga started in May of last year. I would diligently fix loose boards, prop items against the fence to "patch" holes, and monitor their outdoor activity while I was awake (awake being the key word here: 3am barking and fence-patching sessions are no fun). I supplied my neighbor with fence planks because, well, they're my dogs. We fixed the section above and let the others lapse until a series of shenanigans prompted my neighbor and I to spend our Saturday replacing three additional sections. My neighbor and I became united in making sure my two didn't escape. While my neighbor "doesn't care" that my dogs are in his yard, my (very good) boys take the opportunity to break out of his fence and wander the neighborhood. Howard usually comes back, but Leonard meanders through the streets, swims in pools or the lake, and generally causes mayhem until I can coax him in my car to come home. 

IMG_4508

Not in my back yard...

Before this latest patch, I was determined to find the root cause. Previous to May of last year, this was not a problem. My puppers would frolic in the backyard and simply bark at other dogs in the neighborhood as they walked by. I made sure they were let out several times per day to make sure they were relieved in addition to daily walks. While I was traveling, they were also well-taken care of and monitored. What changed? 

Root cause analysis is, simply put, problem solving. While it is widely used in sciences and engineering, it is also a key element of IT Service Management Incident and Problem Management. When reacting to an incident, the team must restore functionality as quickly as possible. Upon resolution, root cause analysis helps us understand why. It then prompts us to ask, "Is there an action I can take to prevent this from happening again?" Incident Management leads to Problem management and through root cause analysis, we can move from a reactive organization to a proactive organization. 

Of the many techniques of root cause analysis, my favorite is the "Five Whys". It is the simplest technique: ask why until you've identified the root cause. Not like a petulant child, however. Asking the first why should be easy, then continuing to ask well-curated questions based on the previous answer helps you determine the root cause. I applied this to my situation: 

  • Why do I have to replace parts of the fence? 
    Because the dogs are chewing through the fence.
  • Why are the dogs chewing through the fence?
    Because they can access the backyard whenever they need.
  • Why can the dogs access the backyard whenever they need?
    Because we installed a dog door.

IMG_4509

HA! I found it. The root cause. And it didn't even take me all five whys. 

Any root cause analysis technique does not stand alone. There exists a plethora of other techniques. Pareto charts determine that 80 percent of your problems are derived from 20 percent of the causes. An Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram looks at measurement, materials, methods, machines, management, and mother nature. Scatter plots let us look at correlation and causation. Was the dog door the root cause? The existence of a dog door doesn't change the behavior of my boys. Having access to the backyard doesn't make them chew through the fence planks. Did we ask enough questions to actually identify the root cause? Did I also consider a Pareto analysis, an Ishikawa diagram, or a scatter graph to understand why I was constantly chasing my boys through the neighborhood? 

I stopped at three whys: "I have a dog door."

What happens if I keep asking why? 

  • Why did we install a dog door? 
    Because Howard wasn't fully potty trained. 
  • Why wasn't Howard fully potty trained? 
    Because I didn't take the necessary time to train him. 

AHA! My Ishikawa diagram identified "management" as the issue. My Pareto identified the 80 percent as my time to train my puppers. My scatter plot showed the amount of time spent correlated to the amount of dog-induced shenanigans. I would add these to the post, but won't because...reasons. More importantly, I simply kept asking, "Why?" until I identified the root cause. 

Actions speak louder than words

Now that I have a root cause, what is it that I can do to prevent this issue from recurring? When looking at Incident and Problem Management, Atlassian products such Opsgenie and Statuspage can ingest, aggregate, correlate, and trigger the creation of Jira Service Management issues. With Confluence, we can create specific root cause analysis templates to be shared with our customers and stakeholders. However, it's up to our techniques and processes to help us determine the actions we need to take going forward. 

For me and my puppers, it's simple. 

  1. Take at least 30 minutes out of my day for dedicated doggie exercise
  2. Reinforce good behavior while in the yard
  3. Lock the dog door overnight (no more 3AM "let me sing you the song of my people" moments)
  4. Finish replacing the aged planks on the fence

By taking these actions based on my root cause analysis, I should have this solved quickly with redundancies built in. My puppers will be safer and happier, I will have a beautiful new feature of my home, and the three of us will have less stress day-to-day. Using root cause analysis techniques, and Agile mindset, and drawing from IT Problem Management, I can easily solve this problem and any additional ones around my home.

BRB, gotta run and get some more fence planks.

IMG_4510

Topics: blog confluence plan problem statuspage incident-management itsm women-in-technology agile opsgenie jira-service-management health-check
5 min read

Tips for Performing a Successful Root Cause Analysis

By Mary Roper on Mar 5, 2021 10:55:01 AM

Blogpost-display-image_Tips for Performing a Successful Root Cause AnalysisRoot Cause Analysis: The Under-appreciated Hero

When implementing an IT Service Management (ITSM) system, I always look forward to spending time on root cause analysis (RCA). Of course Incident and Problem Management play the central role in ITSM design- it's crucial to give your teams, customers, and systems intuitive ways to communicate when something has gone wrong. However, it is equally important that organizations spend time identifying the key driver of these problems by performing an RCA to prevent them from reoccurring. This is because, at the end of the day, incidents and problems cost your organization money, and a good RCA can help save it. It's this viewpoint that has led me to dub RCA the under-appreciated hero of ITSM and in this post I will share with you the aspects of a successful RCA that can help vanquish problems once and for all. 

It's important to distinguish between Problem Management and Incident Management. In broad strokes: the goal of Problem Management is to get to root cause, and we can understand its goal to be increasing the meantime between failures by determining root cause of one or more incidents thereby addressing with appropriate change to prevent recurrence of the incident; in this sense it's a proactive approach. On the other hand, Incident Management's goal is to reduce the meantime to recovery by responding and resolving fast; its approach is reactive.

What is Root Cause Analysis?

The core function of root cause analysis is to uncover the core reason why a problem occurred. While there are many different tools and approaches to perform an RCA, I've consolidated the key steps into the diagram below: 

Root Cause Analysis Blog Post

  • Define the problem: First, make sure you and your teams align on "What happened?" and are speaking to the same problem.
  • Collect Data: Then, the focus needs to be "How did this happen?" and gathering data around the problem, whether customer testimony or incident reports.
  • Identify Casual Factors: Casual factors also help to answer "How did this happen," and in this step, teams should be guided to identifying fixable causes.
  • Identify the Root Cause: Next, teams should leverage one of the techniques of the RCA process, such as the "Five Whys," Fishbone Diagram, or Fault-Tree Analysis, to drive to the root cause of all the causal factors. 
  • Recommend and Test the Solution: After the root cause has been identified, teams should work to develop a solution that gets recommended to the Executive team for approval before testing can begin. Once approved, the solution should enter a testing phase, where it can be rolled back if not successful. 
  • Implement and Monitor: Once the solution is implemented, teams should continue to monitor it in the production environment to ensure that it is working as expected. This active analysis step is why RCA is depicted as a cycle; if the solution did not resolve the problem, it could be that the problem was a casual factor and the team needs to begin the RCA process again. 

Why Does It Matter?

I've worked with teams who have a well-defined RCA process and others who are just beginning. I reference this diagram when we focus on RCA because it helps to illustrate how simple of a process RCA can be. There aren't rigid guidelines or rules to follow; organizations can adopt their own RCA policies. What many don't realize, especially those who have yet to adopt RCA as a business process, is that it has a big pay-off: cost savings.

Root cause analysis can be a cost saving tool for organizations for a couple of reasons. First, identifying and acting on problems early saves money. The longer a problem goes on the more money it costs the organization, and a properly deployed RCA process is built to help organizations become more proactive rather than reactive. Second, the main goal of the RCA process is to prevent incidents from cropping up again. If the incident does not reoccur, then there won't be downtime or lost production, saving money in the long run.  

How Can I Help My Organization Embrace RCA?

When working with organizations to implement an RCA process, there are several aspects that I help coach my clients on which can help the organization embrace RCA. They are:

  1. Talk about what went well.....and what could have gone better
    1. When the team is starting the RCA process, guide them to start by discussing what happened and framing the problem. Then, go one step further and document what went well. This will provide you data and help to explain what is not the issue or what not to blame. It's equally important to talk about what could have gone better, as this will likely begin the discussion and documentation of your causal factors. 
  2. Make it work for you
    1. In some organizations, "Root Cause Analysis" can be viewed as too formal and intimidating. I've come across some resistance to them due to their structure or even the invitee list. For these reasons, it's important to make sure you're adopting a RCA structure that feels natural for your organization. This could mean:
      1. Being mindful of the attendees, especially if the invitees include senior management and above. Ensure you include the right people in the room at the right time. Your front line team has the most firsthand knowledge of the systems or processes, and you will want them to feel comfortable participating candidly in any discovery meetings. 
      2. Having a neutral party leading the meetings. The leader shouldn't have anything to gain by the results of the RCA process and should be able to maintain a "blame free" atmosphere.
      3. Reframing RCA as something more approachable, such as a "Lessons Learned meeting,"  where the RCA process is still followed, but in a less formal way. Feedback and idea can be gathered via sticky notes and shared on a board so that it is anonymous for example. 
  3. Root causes can only solve one problem
    1. Remember that the main goal of RCA is to avoid future incidents. Teams should not be applying a previous root cause to a current or future problem- if that is the case, then it indicates that rather than identifying the root cause, the team actually identified a casual factor. In these instances, I've coached teams to go back and take their RCA process one step deeper, for example asking another "Why" question if the "Five Whys" is used. 

The goal of Problem Management is to get to root cause. Incident Mgmt goal: reduce the meantime to recovery (by responding and resolving fast); reactive
Problem Mgmt goal: increase the meantime between failures (by determining root cause of one or more incidents thereby addressing with appropriate change to prevent recurrence of the incident); proactive.

Ultimately, where incidents and problems cost your organizations money, RCA saves it. It is for this reason that I think of RCA as an under-appreciated hero of ITSM. While the biggest barrier to accomplishing RCA can be time, putting in the time upfront to accomplish the RCA process will prevent repeat incidents from cropping up, saving your company time and resources in the long run. By implementing a few of these tips, I hope you come to appreciate RCA as I have, and if you have any questions let us know, we'd love to help. 

Topics: blog plan incident-management itsm health-check
2 min read

Jira Service Management for HR

By Courtney Pool on Jan 13, 2021 12:58:15 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Jira Service Management for HRIn November of 2020, Atlassian rebranded Jira Service Desk to Jira Service Management. With this rebranding, Atlassian sought to make one thing clear: JSM isn’t just for IT. In fact, any team who receives requests from others, whether from external or internal customers, can utilize JSM.

Similarly, IT Service Management (ITSM) doesn’t have to be just for IT either. IT organizations around the world benefit daily from applying ITSM principles and processes to their own organizations. Enterprise Service Management (ESM) sees this success and seeks to take it a step further, contending that ITSM practices can be applied even outside of IT teams, which allows for similar successes in other departments. JSM agrees, and it even has quick-starts in Atlassian Cloud for some business teams, including HR.

By now, you may have already read about the ITSM capabilities that can be leveraged by your HR department. You may even already have a few use cases in mind. At Praecipio Consulting, one of the most frequent JSM use cases that we encounter for HR is onboarding and offboarding. 

To start, you’ll want to be sure that you have one request form for onboarding and another for offboarding. One of the things that makes JSM great for non-tech teams is the ability to change display names for fields and add help text to forms, making it even easier for people who aren’t familiar with Jira to submit requests.

As onboarding and offboarding are typically handled by multiple teams and individuals, you can also utilize an app to auto-generate subtasks for each Request or Issue Type on issue creation. This is also possible in Jira Core and Jira Software, of course, but having this driven by a request created through the portal means that a user can set it in motion with more ease than they would be able to otherwise.

Queues are another JSM feature that will be helpful for your HR team once a request is submitted. You could set queues up for just onboarding and offboarding, or you could even go deeper, having queues that differentiate between full-time employees, part-time employees, and contractors, as an example. Queues can be set to run on anything you’re collecting in your form.

Once a request comes in, you’ll benefit from the Service Level Agreements, or SLAs, that JSM can apply. SLAs can be set based on any number of criteria, so your HR team can easily track if they’re meeting expected targets, as well as have another way to prioritize their work. For example, a high-priority offboarding will need more attention than onboarding that’s more than a week out, so the SLAs can be set accordingly, with more time afforded to less pressing tasks.

Onboarding and offboarding are common needs in every HR department, but these same features can be applied to most HR tasks you can think of, like PTO requests, asking for assistance with benefits, or even recognizing a colleague.

The rebranding of JSM is a message to all teams, in all companies, that service tools are not just for IT. They can be a huge benefit to many teams, and HR is a great place to start. 

At Praecipio Consulting, we offer a wide range of services for HR teams (or any team, for that matter) looking to use best-in-class ITSM tools. Reach out today and let us know how we can help you make the most out of JSM

Topics: human-resource itsm jira-service-management
4 min read

Use Self-Service to Transform Your Legal Operations and Outcomes

By Joseph Lane on Dec 30, 2020 1:41:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_How to Use Self-Service to Transform Your Legal Operations and OutcomesYour Legal Services team plays an important role in your organization, not only by ensuring that its traditional legal needs are met but also playing a part in its corporate digital transformation activities. This is true especially in light of the acceleration of digital transformation that many organizations have experienced on the back of the COVID-19 crisis – which highlighted the many failure points and inefficiencies of traditional, manually-reliant processes.

However, it’s also important to recognize that there’s a need for your legal operations to digitally transform too. Because any reliance on manual activities and processes – especially where there’s now a mix of office-based and remote working – is likely to slow down operations at a time when the effective handling of increased demand and the need for speed are paramount.

Digital transformation and Legal Services

Much of the discussion around digital transformation over the last half-decade has been focused on two “front-office” elements:

  1. The creation of new products and services that exploit technology and data to create new revenue streams.
  2. The improvement of customer engagement mechanisms, throughout the customer lifecycle, that again exploit technology and data.

Your Legal Services team is also playing its part in both transformations. 

However, there’s also a third – and critical – element that shouldn’t be overlooked: the need to improve business operations such that they’re fit to support the delivery of the new products and services and the improved customer engagement mechanisms.

This “back-office digital transformation” is generally replacing antiquated, manually-reliant business practices with improved, technology-enabled ways of working. It’s very much in line with a proven IT approach called “Enterprise Service Management” where IT service management (ITSM) principles, best practices, and technology are used by other business functions to improve their services, performance, and business outcomes.

A good example of this is the provision of self-service capabilities to customers (employees) to provide them with a single, simple route to legal assistance and a better service experience – including self-help when appropriate.

Employing self-service capabilities to improve legal services and support

On the one hand, it’s easy to view self-service as something that’s now expected by employees based on their often-superior, consumer-world service and support experiences. On the other, there are many benefits available to your Legal Services team and the people it supports.

Done right, self-service provides a “better, faster, and cheaper” way to deal with the corporate demand for legal services. Everyone wins! For example:

  • Customers (employees) get an easier way to engage with your Legal Services team. Plus, quicker access to information and resolutions, especially when self-help can be used.
  • Legal staff can firstly benefit from the “deflection” of a high proportion of demand thanks to self-help. Second, automated workflows ensure that work is efficiently passed to the right people, and back-end capabilities such as notifications, approvals, and alerts further enhance the flow of work and outcome delivery. Third, there’s improved insight into demand, workloads, and performance that can be used to further enhance the self-service capability and other areas of your legal operations.
  • The business as a whole benefits from the lower costs of legal assistance and increases in capacity and speed.

Ultimately, a Legal Services self-service capability will be the most efficient and effective way of handling corporate requests for legal assistance – from their receipt (through a single channel), through their handling and management, to delivering the desired outcomes. With this capability readily available to your Legal Services team through the use of the corporate ITSM tool – such as Jira Service Management – and service management principles via an enterprise service management approach.

Learning from the self-service experiences of IT

While self-service adoption is prevalent in the consumer world, the use of self-service capabilities by IT departments – as an ITSM best practice – has brought with it a number of common issues and associated insight into the factors that cause them.

These can all be learned from so that your Legal Services team can offer a self-service capability that will not only be actively used by employees but will also deliver a better service experience, speed up work and outcomes, and reduce the effort required of lawyers and paralegals. Freeing up your legal experts to focus their time on the most important things.

So, when planning and implementing a legal self-service capability, ensure that those involved:

  • Understand that the successful introduction of self-service capabilities is more about the need to effectively manage people change – using organizational change management capabilities – than it is the implementation of new technology. This is because it’s a change to the traditional ways of working for both the service requester and the service provider.
  • Design the self-service capability around the wants, needs, and expectations of employees rather than those of the Legal Services (or the IT) team. Failing to do this will simply cause employees to remain fixed to the use of the existing telephone, email, and walk-up routes.
  • Provide a sufficient level of knowledge articles for the capability’s launch. This is because the ability to self-help, with an immediate resolution, is a key factor in creating repeat users of the self-service capability.
  • Automate the backend. If this isn’t done, then the shiny new self-service capability is nothing more than a web-based request submission system – that’s little different to email – and the potential speed and cost benefits of self-service are forgone.

Got questions? We got answers! Contact us and find out how Praecipio Consulting can help your Legal Services team.

Topics: legal self-service itsm digital-transformation covid-19
4 min read

Provide the Digital Transformation Your HR Department Needs

By Joseph Lane on Dec 28, 2020 1:56:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_It’s Time to Provide the Digital Transformation Your HR Department NeedsThe COVID-19 crisis has changed the world forever, from how we interact with others in our personal lives to the more complicated requirements of business operations. These changes have evidenced the need to accelerate the corporate digital transformation strategies that have previously been slow in execution.

Now, as your human resources (HR) department assists your organization in rebounding from the adverse impact of the crisis on operations and revenues, there’s much that needs to be done to ensure that your traditional practices can quickly evolve to the higher needs of the “new normal.”

Surviving the long tail of the COVID-19 crisis

At the height of the crisis, with people working from home or perhaps not working at all, there was an immediate need for new IT services and support practices to ensure that working employees could still work effectively and remain safe. For many organizations, “mountains were moved” in quickly creating the technology-based ways of working needed to keep things going. And employees hopefully appreciated the potentially new IT capabilities that enabled their remote working – both in terms of their personal productivity and the need to collaborate with others when working within business processes.

Now, with some employees returning to offices and others continuing to work remotely – at least in the short term – there’s a need to formalize and improve upon the “emergency” capabilities that helped your organization through the crisis. There’s also likely a need to respond to the mandated budget cuts that come as a result of the initial and ongoing effect of the crisis on company sales and revenues. Plus, the move to homeworking, in particular, has further increased the importance of employee experience and the need for organizations to maximize employee productivity.

In light of all these needs, and potential pressures, your HR department likely needs new ways of working that remove – or at least minimize – the reliance on manual practices, that while always potentially inefficient, are now difficult to operate in a distributed working environment.

Leveraging technology and service management principles to digitally transform

While digital transformation might seem like something that’s focused on technology and data, it’s ultimately about new ways of working and driving successful people change. So, while this blog covers the improvement possibilities available through the greater use of technology and IT service management (ITSM) best practices, there’s still the need to apply organizational change management tools and techniques to what might feel like a daunting change to many.

In terms of quickly transforming your manually-reliant operations, your organization’s IT department might already have the necessary ingredients for improvement at its fingertips. Through an approach it calls “Enterprise Service Management” – “the use of proven ITSM capabilities to improve other business function operations, services, and outcomes” – with this providing a backbone for the required back-office digital transformation in HR and other business functions. In fact, at a business-level, “back-office digital transformation” is a better term for this approach to leveraging technology and service management principles outside of IT.

Even before the crisis highlighted the many failure points of the traditional reliance on manual operations, IT organizations had already bought into the business benefits of enterprise service management – with the 2019 ITSM.tools Future of ITSM Survey finding that two-thirds of organizations either had or were planning to develop an ESM strategy.

How digital transformation will help your HR department

Whether it’s through the adoption of an enterprise service management approach or via another route to organizational improvement, the use of service management principles and the associated enabling technology will make your HR department all three of “better, faster, and cheaper.”

Examples of the ITSM capabilities that can be leveraged by your HR department include:

  • Automated workflows for issue handling and request fulfillment – saving time and costs, and providing a better employee experience.
  • Knowledge management – augmenting the knowledge of HR staff and providing the foundation for employee self-help, making for better, faster, and cheaper HR services.
  • Self-service and self-help – empowering employees to help themselves via a now-expected, consumer-like capability. It also reduces the demand-based pressures on your HR support capability.
  • Problem management for repeat issue minimization – preventing common issues altogether rather than simply trying to remedy them more swiftly.
  • Greater insight into performance and improvement – with it easier to gain the visibility required for better decision making when work is no longer trapped inside personal email accounts and spreadsheets.
  • The use of newer technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI) to improve across all three of better, faster, and cheaper.

Common HR digital transformation use-case scenarios

All of these proven ITSM capabilities, and others, can be successfully employed by HR departments to improve their service and support capabilities, the employee experience, and business outcomes.

Common examples of HR practices that are already benefitting from service management and digital transformation – perhaps via an enterprise service management approach – include:

  • Employee query and case handling
  • Recruitment
  • Employee on-boarding and off-boarding
  • Learning and development
  • Payroll and employee benefit administration
  • Demand planning.

Using service management best practices and an ITSM tools, there’s no limit to how your HR practices can be improved to deliver the better, faster, and cheaper ways of working that are needed in the “new normal.”

At Preacipio Consulting, we can help your organization take advantage of the opportunities of digital transformation and enterprise service management to HR: Reach out, we'd love to help.

Topics: service-management human-resource itsm digital-transformation covid-19
5 min read

Your Finance Department Needs to Digitally Transform Too!

By Joseph Lane on Dec 23, 2020 2:07:00 PM

Blogpost-display-image_Your Finance Department Needs to Digitally Transform Too“Digital transformation? We already have lots of technology employed in Finance.” And you’re not wrong – whether it’s an enterprise resource management (ERP) system or finance-focused systems or tools.  But the corporate requirement for digital transformation isn’t simply the addition or increased exploitation of technology and data but is, instead, a mechanism for improvement and better business outcomes that just happens to be using technology to greater effect.

Your Finance Department needs digital transformation: here's what this entails.

The “why” and “what” of digital transformation

A common misconception is that technology keeps getting added to organizations simply because it’s available – and sometimes this does happen. But digital transformation is different. It’s a corporate, not an IT, strategy that’s aimed at delivering better business operations and outcomes not merely the increased use of technology. Importantly, it covers far more ground than you might expect.

So, it’s not simply the use of technology and data to create new products and services, plus the associated new revenue streams. Nor is it only the use of technology to improve customer engagement mechanisms too – something that you might have experienced in your personal life.

There’s also a third part to digital transformation – and this is what’s relevant to your Finance Department and its operations: the use of technology and data to improve back-office operations across your organization, within its many business functions. From the introduction of digital workflows, through the use of self-service and self-help capabilities, to the many benefits of gaining greater insight into business function workloads, operations, service performance, outcomes, and improvements. Importantly, this back-office digital transformation is a vital enabler of the more prominent front-office improvements.

Think of it as making your operations and outcomes all three of “better, faster, cheaper.” It's using technology to make your Finance personnel the best possible versions of themselves, especially in light of the current and ongoing need for remote and distanced working, including effective communication and collaboration. With no organization or business function immune to the need to change traditional, often manually intensive, ways of working to better reflect the physically disconnected nature of modern work.

It’s a need that's likely to continue, because organizations have realized that the required operational resilience can’t be met by their traditional, manually intensive processes that rely too heavily on face-to-face interactions, email exchanges, and spreadsheets.

The “how” of digital transformation

In enabling the required new ways of working, there’s a need for greater technology exploitation that provides not only the ability for work to flow better between individuals and teams but also:

  • Speeds up that work and the decision points needed within it. For example, some work tasks can be automated, and alerts and notifications employed to ensure that the work keeps moving swiftly through to the desired endpoint and outcome.
  • Facilitates interactions with those requesting service and support from your Finance team(s) – with self-service, via a self-service portal, a better way of managing incoming requests on the supplier side. And, on the demand side, a more effective route to access finance-related assistance for your department’s internal customers.
  • Self-help capabilities that deflect both emails and telephone calls from your busy Finance personnel. With the inquiring employee instead self-accessing what they need to know, and likely getting a quicker solution in doing so. For example, something as simple as checking whether an expenses claim has been approved and when it will be paid.
  • Knowledge management capabilities that, on the one hand, help Finance staff to collectively know more than they individually know – which is especially helpful for new starters. And, on the other, the captured knowledge can be employed to help defect emails and telephone requests through self-help.
  • Greater insight into past, present, and future operations. From how well work has been handled and whether service promises met (perhaps versus agreed service level targets), through managing the current workloads across teams and individuals and the likelihood of delays, to future projections of how things will continue based on trends or simulations modeled on proposed changes to the status quo. This greater insight also provides the platform for improvement identification and actions across all of operations, service quality, employee experience, and business outcomes.

In addition to the above, the growing use of artificial intelligence (AI), in the form of machine learning, adds even greater opportunity to leverage the new digital capabilities to speed up operations, provide a better service experience, and to allow Finance staff to focus on what they do best (and prevent them from wasting time and costs on high-volume, low-value tasks).

These digital-transformation-enabling capabilities might already be available in your organization

While digital transformation can feel like a relatively new concept, it has been on corporate radars for at least a decade. And for those organizations that have already taken steps to digitally transform part or all of their back-office operations, including Finance operations, many have taken an “enterprise service management” approach. This is where the proven corporate IT service management (ITSM) capabilities – processes and the associated technology-enablement – are applied to other business functions to improve their operations, service and support, and outcomes.

In many ways, enterprise service management and the use of the corporate ITSM tool are seen as a platform for delivering the technology and data elements of back-office digital transformation needs, from digital workflow enablement, through self-service capabilities, to the introduction of new machine-learning-based capabilities.

From an employee perspective, an additional benefit from Finance’s digital transformation is that they’ll be using similar service and support methods to those employed in other business functions such as human resources (HR) and IT. This not only offers a guaranteed level of service experience, but it also provides a level of enterprise-wide consistency that makes interacting with the Finance Department (and other business functions) so much easier.

Examples of how your corporate ITSM tool can help your Finance Department

There are many Finance-related opportunities to leverage digital workflows and the other capabilities outlined above. For example, for:

  • Receiving new finance-related requests, and allowing employees to check request status, via self-service
  • Using automation rules or machine learning to route new requests to the right work groups, with some requests responded to automatically using intelligent automation
  • Handling queries and requests for information, help, and change more efficiently
  • Budget, invoice, and employee expense management
  • The automation of high-volume, low-risk requests for Finance approval
  • Escalation handling
  • Business case reviews.

These opportunities will, of course, be dependent on your organization’s current ITSM tool being deemed suitable for the many possible enterprise service management and back-office digital transformation use cases.

The need for digital transformation within your Finance Department is clear, and here at Praecipio Consulting, we can help you with the process.

Topics: automation finance itsm digital-transformation
3 min read

The Cost of Quality

By Praecipio Consulting on Aug 24, 2009 11:00:00 AM

The Cost of Quality (COQ) business model describes a method of increasing profits without increasing revenues.

Here’s how it works: COQ increases profit by shrinking business costs. If your business has a 5% profit margin, for example – and you decrease costs by 5% – you’ve doubled your profits. That’s simple enough, but how do you decrease costs?

COQ identifies the importance of shrinking costs without taking the usual cost-cutting measures like not buying everyone’s favorite pens or not stocking refreshments in the break room — the “let’s avoid morale buzz-kills to save a few bucks” approach to increasing profit. Instead, COQ promotes lessening mistakes and increasing business process efficiency.

Companies adopt and tweak COQ to reflect their business goals and in turn their profitability. The model applies to not-for-profit businesses too: budgets are tight; grants, revenues, or contributions may not increase, but the same valuable services need to be delivered with less and less money, right?

COQ is made up of three elements: conformance costs, non-conformance costs, and opportunity costs. We’ll explain these before we explain the rest of what the graphic illustrates:

Conformance Costs

  • Communicate
  • Review
  • Report
  • Status-Check
  • Inspect
  • Train
  • Validate
  • Benchmark
  • Test
  • Prevent
  • Plan
  • Preinstall
  • Check
  • Audit
  • Appraise
  • Survey
  • Evaluate
  • Proofread

Non-Conformance Costs

  • Fix
  • Repair
  • Rework
  • Retrofit
  • Revisit
  • Overstock
  • Re-do
  • Refer
  • Reorganize
  • Scrap
  • Error
  • Constraint
  • Incorrect
  • Excessive
  • Late

Opportunity Costs

  • Under-utilize
  • Cancel
  • Downgrade

Notice these three cost categories are not associated with the cost of producing the output. Materials needed to assemble a product (labor, supplies, etc) are not included. The three elements merely reflect the costs associated with the business process. As we always say, “the profit’s in the process.” The efficiency of your business processes determines your efficiency as a business. If you’re going to maximize your efficiency and profitability, you need a sound understanding of the cost of quality.

Think about it: process is where value is added and where profit is made. Consumers don’t squeeze oranges to make juice anymore. Okay, maybe on rare occasion, but who cuts down trees and processes timber as a raw material to make paper?

The cost of quality is associated with the cost incurred to ensure process outputs (products and services) meet customer requirements. For example, let’s say Company A manufactures pens, a process that takes ten steps to complete. About half of the time, the process works effectively, and high-quality pens are made. The other half of the time, however, is plagued by faulty manufacturing— lackluster execution in the assembly process. As a result, Company A has to keep half of its pens in its shop for a bit longer for fixing/repairing, incurring non-conformance costs. This leads to a lack of consistency. Ultimately, this waste is passed onto the customer with an increased price per unit and/or inferior product— making it more and more difficult to compete.

That’s why COQ’s biggest cost adjustment occurs in reducing non-conformance costs— tightening the process and ensuring customer requirements are met. This may require spending extra money to do some work over again.

Now, to run through the graphic:

  • Conformance costs are important and help ensure a business’ success and stability. when optimizing your business, conformance costs should stay the same or in many cases increase.
  • Non-conformance costs, as we’ve mentioned, need to drop significantly— though you can never expect to be without them, strive to get rid of them.
  • Opportunity cost is the value of the next best choice. It’s the “what could have been.” If a business is suffering from non-conformance costs, the “what could have been,” is higher in the left portion of the graphic, where non-conformance costs are much higher. If a business is succeeding financially, there is little “what could have been,” therefore reducing the opportunity cost.
  • Operating costs are constant. They’re the costs of a business’ building, utilities, licenses, etc— which fluctuate, but not enough to factor into this model.
  • Profit looks like this: $$$. Reducing non-conformance generates more $$$.

So, how do you reduce non-conformance? Remember: the $$$’s are in the process.

Would you like more from us? Contact us here.

Topics: blog bpm business efficiency library management practices predicatability process services technology value continuous-improvement information it itil itsm operations

Praecipio Consulting is an Atlassian Platinum Partner

This means that we have the most experience working with Atlassian tools and have insight into new products, features, and beta testing. Through our profound knowledge of Atlassian environments and their intricacies, we can guide your organization as you navigate these important changes.

Atlassian-Platinum-Solution-Partner

In need of professional assistance?

WE'VE GOT YOUR BACK

Contact Us