Fox IT assists engineering and construction organisation with their ITSM transformation
Fox IT performs a maturity assessment, defines processes, assists with the selection of a new ITSM toolset, performs a re-assessment of maturity
This engineering and construction company, with offices around the world, wanted to transform their UK operations’ IT service delivery capability, implementing service management best practice and introducing consistent working processes and practices across their UK regional offices, as well as the implementation of a new ITSM toolset.
Background and Requirements
The organisation had devised a 3 year transformation programme that was intended to overhaul the existing way that IT was provided to the business, and which would lead towards a structured service-oriented, transparent and measurable function that aligned with the demands and complexities of a continually growing and expanding business. The programme’s focus was to be IT infrastructure and operations, devices, applications and organisational governance.
The initial requirement of Fox IT was to perform a review of the Service Desk function, focusing on the existing IT service management (ITSM) toolset in use as well as performing a maturity assessment of the associated Incident Management, Request Fulfilment and Access Management processes.
To assist with looking at certain areas of governance, three additional processes were also to be reviewed: IT Service Continuity Management, Information Security Management, and Capacity Management. The review was also to look at several other process areas where formal processes didn’t yet exist but for which certain activities were already being performed. Information gathered from this review activity was to provide input into a subsequent phase of work to address the review’s recommendations.
There was a clear recognition within the organisation of the importance of having the right processes and practices in place and the client wanted to use the output of the assessment as an input for introducing best practice service management across the entire organisation, including the introduction of consistent processes across all four of the main UK offices.
Scope and Approach
Fox IT, with previous experience of assisting organisations with large-scale ITSM transformation programmes, was engaged to perform a number of key activities in support of their client’s transformation programme. This case study provides some level of detail of the activities that were undertaken and some of the early benefits that were derived.
Phase 1: ITSM Assessment
Fox IT®1 consultants were first engaged to assess the maturity of the UK operation, reviewing the relevant ITSM activities at their London head office and three other main locations in the north of England.
Project Scoping, Definition and Planning Exercise (PSDPE)
As with any programme of this nature and size, Fox IT held an initial planning activity with key stakeholders. The PSDPE helps Fox IT obtain a good understanding of the organisation’s business, the services being delivered, the organisational structure, the stakeholders to be involved in the assessment interviews, etc.
The output produced included a high-level plan with an agreed schedule of the activities to be performed, a finalised scope of processes to be reviewed and the personnel to be interviewed. Additionally, a stakeholder map was developed that identified the key services being delivered, the customers (both internal and external) in receipt of those services, and the various internal and external teams and suppliers involved in delivering and supporting the services. All this provided the Fox IT consultants a good foundation of knowledge about the organisation and its IT services from which to conduct the assessment.
Each of the four man operational locations were visited. Utilising Fox IT’s FoxMAPSᵀᴹ assessment methodology, interview sessions were held with key stakeholders (process owners, process managers, process practitioners) in order to obtain an accurate picture of the current activities being performed across the ITSM processes within scope as well as the Service Desk function (delivered via the UK head office). This was supplemented by some observation of process activities being undertaken as well as the review of evidentiary material (such as documents and records).
The assessment output produced was a highly detailed report capturing process-by-process observations, clearly identified strengths and improvement opportunities, prioritised improvement recommendations, as well as maturity ratings and associated percentage scores. As required by the client, the report also featured comments in respect of several other related aspects, including:
- the organisational structure, as well the ‘inter-operation’ that existed between the various geographical regions that formed the basis of the review
- staff attitude and the organisational culture, and the sharing of knowledge
- the relationship between business and IT
- the technology being used to support the operation of ITSM
This output identified several quick wins, but importantly also provided baseline scores that were necessary if future progress was to be accurately measured. The recommendations contained within the report were also transformed into a continual service improvement (CSI) register so that the organisation could more easily track subsequent activities to address each recommendation.
- A completely objective view of the current operation
- A comprehensive report covering people, process and tools that provided valuable input to the transformation project as a whole and other organisational CSI activities
- A detailed set of prioritised recommendations to enable easy identification of quick wins
- Baseline measurements to facilitate the accurate monitoring of improvement progress
Phase 2: Process Improvement and Implementation
Following the successful assessment activity, the client then requested Fox IT help deliver the next set of transformation activities. The first one was to define and agree processes that would be aligned across all regional operations. A key driver for the organisation was also to implement ITIL®2 best practice and for all regions to be operating processes in the same manner.
Fox IT ran multiple on-site workshops but also utilised various audio and video conferencing techniques that enabled stakeholders from all relevant regions to participate and provide active input into agreeing processes that met the needs of the organisation as a whole but also took into account any individual localised requirements of the respective regions. With nine processes to agree, Fox IT utilised their FoxPRISMᵀᴹ process implementation accelerator tool as a mechanism for expediting production of the deliverables. Obviously, a key responsibility for the Fox IT consultants facilitating the sessions was also to ensure that the organisation remained true to their requirement of implementing ‘best practice’.
FoxPRISM provides a set of pre-defined processes aligned to ITIL® and ISO/IEC 20000 that are easily customisable to fit an organisation’s way of working. For this client, FoxPRISM provided a valuable way of stimulating good discussion and getting to a position of agreeing each regionally-aligned process much quicker than would otherwise have been possible. Another benefit of the accelerated timescales for these activities is obviously the savings in effort, time and cost.
Post the workshops, and alongside refined process flow diagrams, Fox IT developed process narratives that provided descriptive text for each activity in the process as well as clearly identifying which role was responsible for the execution of those activities plus the interfaces to any related processes. Again, existing FoxPRISM content was used as the basis for developing these narratives in order to hasten their delivery. Later in the set of phase 2 activities, Fox IT created additional supplemental material including process policy documents as well as suggested sets of metrics.
All of the content produced was latterly integrated into the organisation’s own customised version of FoxPRISM. One benefit of this was being able to give easy access to anyone within the organisation to all of the reference material for the processes being implemented.
ITSM Toolset Selection
The initial ITSM assessment identified a requirement for the ITSM toolset used by the Service Desk and other stakeholders to be replaced. Their existing one was not suitable in either its functionality or scalability for the growing needs of the organisation.
Fox IT was contracted to assist with selecting a suitable new toolset to replace the incumbent one. FoxSELECTᵀᴹ is a service that Fox IT provides that facilitates independent analysis of all IT service management tools to provide a view of how they compare to a client’s actual business requirements. It can also aid the ITSM toolset selection decision by evaluating tools to see how well they support service management best practice.
First of all, a requirements gathering exercise was undertaken. Utilising Fox IT’s large database of standard functional requirements across best practice process areas, the client specified which of these were necessary from a toolset alongside those that would be just nice to have. A number of toolset vendors were then selected for them to assess how well their respective toolset met the requirements. Fox IT analysed the output from this activity and produced a report for the client outlining the most suitable toolset based on their original criteria along with alternative options for selection.
Three vendors were then invited to provide the client with on-site demonstrations of their products, and to provide the opportunity to delve into more detail the functionality that each provided and to discuss their capability for meeting the stated requirements.
From here, Fox IT was able to assist the client in making an informed choice based on a number of factors, and not solely on marketing material and cost. The selected vendor was subsequently able to utilise the earlier defined processes to ensure that when implementing the toolset it underpinned the operation of the processes.
- All regional stakeholders had the opportunity to provide input
- Definition and agreement of regionally-aligned processes and the production of policies and metrics delivered in reduced timescales (due to external facilitation and the use of FoxPRISM content)
- Selection of a toolset based on defined criteria; increased buy-in by engaging with all key stakeholders; a toolset configured to align with organisation defined processes
- Realisation of significant savings in time, effort and cost
Phase 3: ITSM Re-assessment
Two years after the initial ITSM maturity assessment was performed, the client requested that Fox IT undertake another assessment so that the level of progress with the process improvement and implementation programme could be accurately measured.
All the areas that were originally reviewed were revisited. Again, a detailed written report was produced that contained relevant findings and provided a comparative analysis based on the results of the two assessments. Further recommendations were also provided to address issues that were still outstanding from the first review but also new issues that had arisen in the intervening period.
A key element of the report though was the ability to show senior management and other stakeholders of significant forward progress in the levels of maturity achieved and that these positive results could be directly correlated back to the programme of improvement and implementation activities that had been undertaken over the two-year timeframe.
- A clear and objective view of the progress made over the previous two-years of work and investment by the client
- An opportunity to show all stakeholders the fruits of the efforts undertaken so far and helping to generate buy-in for further improvement activities to take place
- A re-baselined set of measurements from which to measure continued progress in the future
Overall Value and Benefits
The activities featured in this case study form part of a wider transformation programme from which the organisation has realised a number of benefits, including:
- Consistency in the operation of the processes and the output being generated
- Improved communications and stakeholder engagement
- Implementation of a new ITSM toolset providing much better capturing and analysis of data
- Improved management information and reporting capabilities
More specifically for the activities mentioned in this case study, numerous benefits were realised of which many have already been mentioned. Important key benefits that Fox IT delivered include:
- A completely objective and independent view of the current operation and practices
- Fox IT involvement brought consistency and quality across key stages of the project lifecycle
- Helped to minimise the impact on internal resources in a number of areas
- Deliverables were able to be produced much quicker as a result of the use of mature tools (e.g. FoxMAPSᵀᴹ and FoxPRISMᵀᴹ) and prior experience of transformation programmes
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