Cliff Jones Archive

Requirements document complete?  Check.  Design Complete?  Check.  Configuration work complete?  Check.  Testing complete?  Check.  Go-live date still on target?  Check.  Are we ready?  Um, we think so.  When it comes to ITSM implementations we don’t want to think we are ready, we want to know we are ready.  Yet, this is rarely the case when implementing an ITSM solution.

I recently gave a presentation on ITSM implementation best practices and was reminded of the nonchalant approach most organizations take towards their implementations when it comes to non-technical facets.  In essence, there’s still a large percentage of companies who focus on the go-live date and tool readiness and often overlook the need for a strategic adoption plan.  This results in a dysfunctional organizational adoption of the tool set (read: “we won’t use it”), limited tool-specific knowledge and another waste of capital in the eyes of senior management.

In order for an ITSM initiative to not only meet its deadlines and provide value back to the company, it’s imperative that the enterprise include an Adoption Campaign during the delivery.  It’s about cultural adoption, education, and assimilation activities that will not only reduce fear and anxiety of the forthcoming change, but increase the user rate while improving processes, which will ultimately drive down organizational costs.  Win-win if you ask me.

Go Beyond the Email

As I’m sure you’ve experienced, internal email is the most commonly used form of promoting tool adoption.  If you’re nodding your head, then you know the drill. Email is sent, some read it, most don’t, and the go-live is a technical success but adoption is a non-event.  People need to be sold on the notion that change is coming; it will make lives easier (if it doesn’t, why do it to begin with?), and is worthy of an embrace.  Failure to sell and market internally will reward you with this type of karmic retribution.  Not to mention, it’s extremely boring.

We need to get creative and excited here, folks!  Create posters, have lunch and learns, and if all else fails, bribe people!  Well, not in the illegal sense, but encourage the population to become involved in the changes that will occur and reward the participants.  Starbucks gift cards go a long way in this regard.

So, the next time you’re looking to upgrade or change your ITSM solution, don’t just concentrate on the go-live dates in order to measure success.  Focus on the people who will be adopting the solution, and do it early.  Success will be right around the corner.

Let me know some ITSM implementation best practices you’ve encountered by adding a comment below.