Are there such things as ‘bad ITSM tools’?
One recent client revealed that as a very technical function – feedback from staff was that they didn’t really ‘do’ process. As a result, no one internally was using their new ITSM tool – a top Gartner Magic Quadrant listed tool with a built-in process and good technical functionality.
The staff felt that it was purely an administrative burden to log incidents and to track them through their lifecycle. They could not see the benefit of this practice, and so after the initial implementation – all teams involved with any incidents reverted back to using emails to log, identify and communicate about these things.
Aside from the wasted financial investment, the major issue with this approach was obviously an inability to find, track, monitor and audit workload. However, the reality is that the burden of constant re-work far outweighs any additional perceived admin burden of logging a ticket.
With a focus on technical competence within the operational silos, there was no centralised, cross-team platform to share information about the incidents (major or otherwise) creating a knowledge gap – leading to poor tracking and bad feedback from the business about the availability and effectiveness of IT as a whole.
As there were no ‘rules’ around acceptable behaviour and performance – a lack of ownership was endemic – but with no consequence – this behaviour was not being challenged to avert the subsequent risks to productivity.
This scenario was a great example of how a program of bespoke education around service management practices can facilitate a shared understanding of terminology, common language, and a common approach to ‘how’ to manage services.
This lack of understanding was highlighted through issues such as repeat incidents that occurred as a result of there being no understanding of the benefits to be had from activities such as root cause analysis (for example).
But over and above the total inefficiencies in working practices and the inability to communicate workload or progress, was the total lack of ownership for all things.
No identified process ownership means no accountability. As was the case in this scenario, the risk is that multiple resources are doing the same thing and wasting time – however, the consequence is that no one is taking responsibility and therefore things are just not getting done.
For me, this reinforced what I already know to be true, that without effective leadership, clearly defined and managed processes, education and appropriate communication programme – to aid cultural acceptance – then no tool in isolation will ever succeed in delivering the desired overall service improvements.
Let me ask you again, are there such things as ‘bad ITSM tools’?