ITSM success is driven by people and policy

Get your people right and policy (roles, rights, rules, goals) clear, and then everything else will work out: processes, tools, results...

Good people can work with bad process, in fact they'll improve it. And good process can work around bad tools, in fact they'll identify requirements. but it doesn't work the other way: all the tool improvements in the world won't fix process. And all the ring-binders and flowcharts in the world won't change skill and behaviours.

In fact much of the more advanced IT work doe snot need processes or even tools. It just needs great people and clear policies to work within:
My book Plus! The Standard+Case approach says

Knowledge workers find process-centric regimented approaches de-humanising. They also find them out of step with their own experiences providing expert responses to complex situations.
Manufacturing methods only work for one group of the situations we face in service management: the well-understood, pre-defined, familiar ones.
The other group of response situations are unknown or unfamiliar: they present unique new situations every time. A BPM-based approach tries to deal with this group through Events , defining how to respond to external stimuli. Even if we were psychic enough to predict every “Event-uality”, the resulting process model would be too complex to use.
Of course we can’t predict. Each individual case is unique. Cases require expert knowledge workers who are empowered to address the situation dynamically as it unfolds.
To compound the issue, increasing usage of user self-service help and provisioning tools and mutual community support amongst end-users means that the responses required from our human staff are increasingly the complex non-standard situations. The users are resolving more of the standard ones themselves.
We must stop thinking all responses can be standardised. It is imperative that we acknowledge the existence of non-standard responses. In fact we need to go much further: we must enable our staff, design our practices, and select our tools in order to better manage and resolve these undefined unexpected cases. That is what Standard+Case does for us.

Over time we evolve our understanding of situations so that we can standardise into predefined processes for less skilled or experienced staff to do. But still the important factors are their attitudes, skills and capabilities; the policies they have to guide them; and the processes defined only when they need that level of formality.

Finally, as people work they will identify areas where tools would increase efficiency (automation, reducing wait times and inventory, removal of bottleneck constraints) or increase effectiveness (increase quality, reduce errors). This gives us requirements to cost-effectively purchase the tools we actually need.

Improve your people. The rest will follow.

see also:
People first in ITSM; I wrote a similar post back in 2011.
He Tangata: collected ideas for people improvement.
How to hire: enough air-head HR people getting int he way of effective recruiting.

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