Gaining Commitment – The Service Management Challenge

Long lasting relationships often come about by accident. Such is the case with Kate Peacock. (More Information) Kate is one of our associate trainers and she and her husband Miles support us with the cultural and management training that is so crucial to the successful implementation of IT service management.

I first met Kate when I engaged her company to carry out some training for the Sysop team itself.

Kate reminded us, first of all, just how much experience there was in the room – the collective experience of the Sysop team was and is pretty impressive. She then went on to demonstrate to us that even the most daunting tasks could be accomplished if one were properly aware of how it should be done and, importantly, if we had self-belief!

Her challenge was to get us to memorise 20 random items and to be able to recall them in sequence and on demand. In just a few minutes the entire team achieved this seemingly impossible task with ease – in fact, many years later, most of us can still remember many, if not all, of the items Kate gave us. At the end of the training session, the whole team was buzzing. We were inspired – confident that we could achieve anything. That’s when Kate delivered the most important lesson of all . . . .

Kate lit a candle and set it on the table at the front of the room. Our challenge was to focus our minds on the candle and extinguish it using the power of thought alone!
Up for the challenge, the team directed its total thought energy at that candle. It flickered. It fluttered. It wavered. It burnt fitfully but it did not go out – failure!

Then Kate stepped forward and pinched the wick. The flame went out.

The lesson, of course, is that you can think and plan as much as you want but if you want to achieve anything you have to get off your backside and do something.

So it is with IT service management. So many service management professionals return to their workplace fired up with the enthusiasm for ITIL® only to be frustrated by the difficulties of persuading colleagues and senior management to act together to deliver best practice.

Carrying the burden of changing people’s attitudes alone is a heavy one indeed. That’s why we almost always recommend a series of workshops at the start of a project to make sure everyone is on the same page, that pain points are brought out into the open, priorities are set and the quick-wins are identified so that progress can be made visibly – swiftly building momentum and winning management commitment.

Kate and Miles continue to support our management and cultural offerings. More information can be foundhere:  http://www.sysop.co.uk/training-courses/19/business-change-and-prince2#c25

Merry Christmas and a happy and Prosperous New Year.

Stuart Sawle

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