“Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
I can say with a high level of confidence that you have heard this phrase, but have you ever thought about how it applies to running your ERP or how it applies IT service delivery? My guess is that you have not, but you may be surprised to see just how well it defines a key aspect of the Problem Management process within the ITIL framework. If you are not familiar with the ITIL framework, it is the most widely accepted framework for best practices within IT Service Management. I’m going to dig a bit deeper into the value of a process driven methodology, specifically the ITIL Problem Management process, and why it is so important to running your ERP.
People or process?
Throughout my interactions with IT organizations across every industry one of the first things I often hear when discussing IT services is, “we have good people, but they are too busy” or, “we are really struggling to find good people.” Of course, having good people on your team helps your organization to be successful, but the biggest driver of success in IT Service Management is having strong processes and procedures. Strong processes and procedures enable the IT organization to be successful over the long haul with less impact arising from the individual people that may or may not be providing the services.
The keys to successful IT service management
Within ITIL, there exists two “sister” processes, Incident Management and Problem Management, for resolving break/fix incidents and preventing incidents from recurring/occurring, respectively. Both are key to successful IT Service Management. Whether an organization calls it incident management, break/fix, or something else; most organizations provide some level of services to restore functionality of a service when it breaks. Unfortunately, we often see organizations stop there in their IT services as the knowledge and value of Problem Management is not fully understood or misunderstood.
When implemented correctly, Problem Management is both a reactive and proactive process. Successful Problem Management requires careful planning; a methodical, deliberate, and disciplined approach to root cause analysis and resolution; and ongoing attention. There are a number of benefits to a strong Problem Management process.
- Problem Management has the ability to prevent or minimize service disruptions and therefore drive an increase in system availability and user satisfaction.
- Problem Management has the ability to increase staff efficiency and productivity as there are fewer recurrences of incidents.
- When implemented proactively, Problem Management drives innovation, ultimately leading to solution improvement.
All of these improvements ultimately lead to greater satisfaction and a lower cost of ownership with your ERP achieved as the result of successful Problem Management. So I ask you, are you comfortable running your IT organization without a strong Problem Management process? Are you willing to allow an incident to occur not once, but twice or more? When answering this, don’t forget to think about the phrase, “Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me.”
Brian Baglieri is practice director, Managed Services at Avaap. Get in touch with Brian for solutions to enhance your Infor software experience.