The Island of Service Management

Service Management Island is not a prequel to “Pirates of the Caribbean”, it can be more of a reference to a place where practitioners find themselves when they feel out of contact with their key stakeholders. You may have found that some best practices are being adhered to solely because senior management has deemed that they are required for compliance, and still others (while valuable) are left in the weeds. Normally this might occur in the initial stages of CSI (Continual Service Improvements). However, what happens when your organization restructures in a way where you seem to slip in a backwards direction?



Recently in my organization there was change within IT leadership where our highest promoters of the IT Service Management program left due to a re-structuring (layoffs etc.). The challenge that I was left with was that the champions who brought the program to the forefront were gone and I have been left on the “island” alone. Since the only previous method of communication with the mainland (business) before was though these champions, when they left so did the dialog conduit.


When to go and Weather

The weather can be rough, and starting to get things moving in a way to get you “out there” may take a few attempts. I have found the best way to start is to let your audience know what is working well. There is always something positive that your best practices are accomplishing right now. Leverage those and then decide which areas that you can focus on next for the improvements. Once you have a couple of simple ones determine how you will take action on them.


Getting There and Around

Someone once said that “getting there is half the fun”, well in this case getting away from this island living is the direction which will produce the most positive environment. The challenge is “how to do that?” You need to look at this activity as “brand marketing”, which is something that IT doesn’t always do particularly well, no time like the present time to improve that skill. Firstly ensure that the IT department are aligned with the activities you are undertaking. Are you going for some ‘quick wins’? If so, how will they improve the life in your IT department? The key to this is put yourself in the shoes of the target audience. Figure out what the outcomes are and you can tailor your marketing around that.


Practical Information

Communication and actions will allow you to build on the discussions you have begun with your stakeholders. Try different avenues for communication. While senior leadership is generally chosen for these discussion points don’t forget the key word in Service Management – Service.


Ultimately you are there to provide service to your customers. There are good points of dialog that can be had with the people who utilize the service every day. Create touch-points from them as well to ensure that you are on track to leaving Service Management Island for good.