Achieving that Change in Culture

I was reminded this week of some of the barriers to the successful deployment of service management best practice. We tend to think, rather simplistically, that attending the training courses and gaining the qualifications will empower our teams to get on with the deployment of ITIL®.

If one were to attend a Microsoft Excel course, we could be confident that we would be able to carry those skills into the workplace. We would understand how to use the advanced functions and facilities of Excel and be able to explain and demonstrate them to our colleagues.

Service Management, however, cannot be deployed by one person in isolation. It’s something that has to be adopted right across the organisation. It requires the co-ordinated information and process flow from many roles and responsibilities. It also needs a deep understanding of why ITIL is so important. In fact it needs a culture change that places the emphasis on customer service and delivered value.

We were engaged in a project at major hospital where this realisation was brought home to us very forcibly. We had conducted some ITIL Overview training in preparation to a roll-out of what we thought would be a fairly straight-forward Incident & Problem Management process design.

What became clear, from blank expressions, was that although the team involved understood the words and diagrams of ITIL processes – they just couldn’t grasp how it would apply in their highly specialised functions within the hospital. There was an almost total culture gap. We weren’t on their wavelength and therefore our illustrations of how ITIL worked in practice were incorrectly aligned.

To overcome this, we engaged the team in an Apollo 13 simulation workshop. The difference was amazing. The team engaged almost immediately, motivation levels were clearly much, much, higher and the communication barriers eliminated.

The success was so striking that our client authorised the publication of the case study in IT Training magazine which is reproduced on our website. Here is the link: http://www.sysop.co.uk/your-account/downloads?c=8. You may need to register to access it and I’m sure you’ll agree it was worth the trouble. Some good lessons for us all in how to bring about the culture change needed to make a real go of ITIL.

Stuart Sawle
www.sysop.co.uk