Proactive Problem Management – Benefits and Considerations

IT Service Management – Proactive Problem Management

The goal of Proactive Problem Management is to prevent Incidents by identifying weaknesses in the IT infrastructure and applications, before any issues have been instigated.

Benefits

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  • Greater system stability – This leads to increased user satisfaction.
  • Increased user productivity – This adds to a sizable productivity gain across the enterprise.
  • Positive customer feedback – When we proactively approach users who have been experiencing issues and offer to fix their problems the feedback will be positive.
  • Improved security – When we reduce security incidents, this leads to increased enterprise security.
  • To improve quality of software/product – The data we collect will be used to improve the quality.
  • To Reduce volume of problems – Lower the ratio of immediate (Reactive) support efforts against planned support efforts in overall Problem Management process.

Considerations

  • Proactive Problem Management can be made easier by the use of a Network Monitoring System.
  • Proactive Problem Management is also involved with getting information out to your customers to allow them to solve issues without the need to log an Incident with the Service Desk.
    • This would be achieved by the establishment of a searchable Knowledgebase of resolved Incidents, available to your customers over the intranet or internet, or the provision of a useable Frequently Asked Question page that is easily accessible from the home page of the Intranet, or emailed regularly.
  • Many organisations are performing Reactive Problem Management; very few are successfully undertaking the proactive part of the process simply because of the difficulties involved in implementation.
    • Proactive Problem Management to Business Value
    • Cost involved with Proactive vs. Reactive Problem Management
    • Establishment of other ITIL processes such as configuration Management, Availability Management and Capacity Management.

 

Proactive Problem Management – FAQ

Q – At what stage of our ITIL process implementation should we look at Implementing Proactive Problem Management?

  • A – Proactive Problem Management cannot be contemplated until you have Configuration Management, Availability Management and Capacity Management well established as the outputs of these processes will give you the information that is required to pinpoint weaknesses in the IT infrastructure that may cause future Incidents.

Q – How can we performance measure and manage?

  • A – Moving from reactive to proactive maintenance management requires time, money, human resources, as well as initial and continued support from management. Before improving a process, it is necessary to define the improvement. That definition will lead to the identification of a measurement, or metric. Instead of intuitive expectations of benefits, tangible and objective performance facts are needed. Therefore, the selection of appropriate metrics is an essential starting point for process improvement.

 

Proactive Problem Management – High Level Process Diagram

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Summary

Implementing proactive problem management will require an agreed uniform approach specially when multiple managed service providers (MSPs) involved with an organisation. Hope you found this useful.

ITSM – Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – All you need to know

Why Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is Required?

  • The goal of Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is to align and realign IT Services to changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to the IT services that support Business Processes.
  • The perspective of CSI on improvement is the business perspective of service quality, even though CSI aims to improve process effectiveness, efficiency and cost effectiveness of the IT processes through the whole life-cycle.
  • To manage improvement, CSI should clearly define what should be controlled and measured.

It is also important to understand the differences in between Continuous and Continual

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What are the Main Objectives of Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

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Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – Approach

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Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – 7 Step Process

CSI – Measure and improvement process has 7 steps. These steps will help to define the corrective action plan.

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Continual Service Improvement (CSI) – Challenges, CSFs & Risks

Like all programs, CSI also have its challenges, critical success factors and risks. Some of these are listed below. It is absolutely important that to implement the CSI program that we need the senior management’s buy-in.

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Please remember transforming IT is a Process/Journey, not an Event.

Hope these are useful.

Defining IT Strategy

Information Technology (IT) Strategy is a comprehensive plan that outlines how technology should be used to meet IT and business goals.

The following approach can be used to define your organisation’s IT Strategy.

Inputs:

  1. Organisational Business Priorities
  2. Organisational Key Behaviours
  3. How Business will be Supported by IT
  4. Technology Influences
  5. IT Strategic Principles
  6. IT Service Management Operating Principles

First of all, in order to define an IT Strategy, we need to obtain the above inputs (as much as possible). The approach to define the strategy is based on what are the business priorities and how the IT is going to shape to support the business goals. Those IT priorities will then become the strategy with key initiatives to support and achieve both IT and business goals.

Example Step 1: Organisational Business Priorities

  • Customers First
  • Efficient
  • People and Relationship
  • Secure Service
  • Outstanding Growth

Example Step 2: Organisational Key Behaviours

  • Accountable
  • Connected
  • Innovation
  • High Performance

Example Step 3: How the Business will be Supported IT

  • Keep the Business Running
  • Execute Business Change
  • Leadership
  • Adaptability

Example Step 4: Technology Influences

  • Technology Trends
  • Current Industry
  • Agile
  • Innovative Solutions
  • Adaptable Changes

Example Step 5: IT Strategic Principles

  • Put Business at First
  • Efficiency
  • People and Relationships

Example Step 6: IT Service Management Operating Principles

  • Provide Effective Service
  • Driven by Agility
  • Create Efficiency
  • Enforce Resilience
  • Value People

Outcome 1:

Example: IT Strategy

Strengthen service and customer focus via:

  • Improving our customer satisfaction
  • Creating a service delivery culture

Promote agility and flexibility through the services we offer by:

  • Investing in our BYO consumerisation
  • Increasing our utilisation of virtualisation technology
  • Investigating emerging technologies to support flexible workforce

Innovate efficiency and strengthen our partnership by:

  • Reducing lifecycle cost through Cloud program and other cost saving initiatives
  • Optimise operations and strategically invest in improvements

Improve service quality, reliability, and maintainability by:

  • Focusing on the stability & robustness of our systems
  • Improving the quality of our processes by driving quality upstream

Invest in people to grow and support by:

  • Creating a collaborative, proactive, outside-in culture

 

Strategy 1

Outcome 2:

The above strategy should have key initiatives that supports the strategy (supports both IT and business goals) and implementation/transformation roadmap.

Summary

Hope this is useful. This is one of the approaches that can be used to define your IT Strategy and key initiatives.

Continual Service Improvement Roadmap – Operations – How it can be done

Step 1: Current State Assessment – People, Process and Technology

Step 2: Gather Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats (SWOT)

Step 3: Gap Analysis – Comparing with Target State/Aspirations

Step 4: Recommendation and Next Steps

Step 5: Continual Service Improvement Roadmap

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Example: Step 1 – Current State SWOT Analysis

Analyse the current state – SWOT, include all the data in the category below. This will help to compare the target state outcomes.

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Example: Step 2 – Target State

Obtain the target state outcomes and aspirations from the organisation/department that you are analysing. Divide them in to people, process and technology groups.

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Example: Step 3 – Gap Analysis

Complete the gap analysis by comparing the current and target states. Include the gaps in people, process and technology groups.

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Example: Step 4 – Recommendation and Next steps

Based on gap analysis, create recommendations based on business benefits vs the ease of execution. The size of the bubble below indicates effort/cost to complete.

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Example: Step 5 – Continual Service Improvement Roadmap

Once the recommendations established, based on  gold, silver and bronze initiatives, the roadmap can be established similar to below. Ideally gold initiatives should be implemented first, then silver and finally bronze to help the organisational priorities.

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Summary

This is one of the options and approach, if you follow the steps above and making sure you capture all findings from current state and gap analysis from an organisation/department, then this approach to establish a continual service improvement roadmap will work. It is important to capture all data to backup your analysis. Hope this helps.