Policies, Processes, and Procedures—The Backbone of IT Service Management

Within organizations, there is often some level of conflict between the business side of things and IT. While both divisions want to do what is best for the organization, there is a sort of “language barrier” that can make this hard to accomplish. IT Service Management (ITSM) is an effort to effectively bring these two areas together so that they can work together to deliver the best possible service to end users.

ITSM helps leaders in both IT and the business side of things. The IT leaders are given the information they need to better understand how the applications and infrastructure are used from end to end. The business leaders will benefit by getting a better understanding of what is truly possible from IT, and how to get what they need. On both sides, this is done by implementing policies, processes, and procedures that are used to provide clear direction to everyone involved. Trianz has helped hundreds of businesses implement or improve these policies, processes, and procedures to ensure an effective ITSM program.

When getting started, it is important to understand what policies, processes, and procedures are, and the differences between them. This goes well beyond dictionary definitions and needs to be tailored specifically to how they are used in IT service management.

What are Policies?

In ITSM, a policy can be looked at as why things are done. This is a set of guiding principles that are used to help influence everything that is done within the IT organization. Some general examples of what types of policies a company might consider include the following:

  • Tracking all incidents – It is a good policy to be committed to track all incidents that occur within the organization. This is done so any issues that occur can be looked at and solved efficiently. When appropriate, a root cause can be determined so processes can be put in place to prevent a specific issue from happening again.

  • Evaluating all changes – Changes in an IT environment often account for a large percentage of all outages. Implementing a good change management system will allow these changes to be evaluated to determine what risk they present, and how to mitigate potential problems.

  • Knowing about all assets – Asset management is another key area of a good ITSM program. Keeping track of every asset within an organization helps with cost management, future planning, and more.

What are Processes?

Processes are the larger sets of actions that are taken within the IT organization. They can be seen as answering the question of what needs to be done. These actions, guided by the results that are needed and the established policies, give direction to every IT team. The processes that would apply to the policies above may be something like this:

  • Incident management with Service Now – Service Now is a popular program used with ITSM. It has a component for incident management where tickets can be logged and used to facilitate the resolution of issues. Trianz is an authorized Service Now advisor and can help set up this, or any, incident management platform.

  • Coordinating changes – Implementing a change management process will give teams the structure needed to perform changes safely. This should include processes for the planning, testing, and implementing any changes throughout the IT organization.

  • Tracking assets – Making sure that every asset is properly tracked when it is installed, changed, or decommissioned is an important process to follow.

What are Procedures?

Procedures are the specific steps or methods that are followed when performing a task. When it comes to IT service management, procedures will answer the question of how things are done. This would include not just the steps that need to be taken, but also when they are performed, and with which groups. Some procedures that can be put in place include:

  • How to document tickets – Having procedures in place that give instructions for what information must be captured for each incident, where the incident should be routed, and how to notify relevant parties will help ensure the issue is resolved as quickly as possible.

  • Getting changes approved – Changes should require approval from someone outside of the group that is actually making the change. The specific method for getting this approval is what needs to be proceduralized.

  • Method of tracking assets – There are many ways a company can perform asset management. A procedure to make sure all assets are tracked using the same methods will create the needed standards.

Comprehensive IT Service Management Strategies

The above examples are just some of the most significant areas where ITSM can help to improve how things are done. Just about every action that is taken by the IT department should be governed by policies, processes, and procedures. While this may seem overwhelming at first, when done properly, it will truly save a significant amount of time and energy for the entire organization. Trianz is here to provide guidance not only with implementing an ITSM strategy, but with making sure that it is successful going forward as well.

Take Advantage of Experienced ITSM Consultants

Understanding how policies, processes, and procedures are used within IT service management is not terribly difficult. Putting these things into practices, however, can be more of a challenge. Those who are best at coordinating through the ITSM process will be those who can navigate corporate politics while understanding the capabilities of the IT teams and the demands of the business.

Trianz consultants have worked with companies of all types to help implement an effective ITSM program. As an outside consultant, we can work with leaders throughout the organization to help create the policies, processes, and procedures that are needed for success.

If you are looking to implement an IT service management system, or you want to improve an existing program, we are here for you. Contact us to schedule an appointment with one of our consultants to discover what we can do for you.

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