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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL®, IT Governance & Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Service Manager and Expert certifications and has extensive experience in leading IT Service Management (ITSM) programs with a regional and global scope.

He is a frequent speaker at IT Management events and is a contributing author to multiple ITSM and Lean IT books, papers and official ITIL publications including ITIL’s Planning To Implement IT Service Management and Continual Service Improvement.


The Guide

"This blog is dedicated to making sense out of the shifting landscape of IT Management. Just when we thought we had a good handle on managing technology, the job we thought we knew is being threatened by strange acronyms like ITIL, Lean, Agile, DevOps, CMMI, COBIT, ect.. Suddenly the rules have changed and we are not sure why. The goal of this blog is to offer an element of sanity and logic to what can appear to be chaos."

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactic as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper: and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
~Douglas Adams


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Employee Compliance A Key Factor For ITIL Process Adoption

Employee Compliance (def): Employee Compliance is the degree to which employees adhere to the organization’s defined policies, processes, and procedures.

So you have spent the last six months developing your policies, processes and procedures with as much stakeholder involvement as feasible. You went out and purchased a state of the art Service Management tool. You have defined roles and responsibilities and made sure your communication plan is raising awareness of what is coming.

My question to you is: Why do you think anyone will change what they are doing today and follow these new methods? If there is one constant in the universe it is that people don’t like to change unless they feel personally accountable or are changing to something perceived as better than what they were doing before.

To quote a popular line from the movie A Field of Dreams “If you build it they will come” doesn’t work when it comes to organizational change. Three key elements have to be in place before you will successfully encourage people to adopt and practice the new policies, processes and procedures you have so carefully and painstakingly crafted.

Knowledge – Time – Motivation

During your project you have most probably developed training plans to increase knowledge and skill. New roles have been defined with time and resources to actually do the work provided. However, what is still lacking is the motivation to actually comply with these new ways of working once you go live.

Without going into organizational science and looking at Hertzberg’s motivators we can boil motivation to comply with the new order down to three perspectives: Positive incentives, negative consequences and a sense of personal accountability. While the first two are arguably effective they are short term solutions and will no longer encourage motivation if they are removed. However, a sense of personal accountability is by far the best and most long term motivator to achieve employee compliance.

The question then becomes: How do we motivate employee compliance through personal accountability?

The answer to this question lies in establishing an ongoing focus on five key employee compliance drivers.

  1. Clearly defined and communicated policies and procedures: I have been told what I need to do
  2. Acknowledgement: I sign off on the fact that I have been told what I need to do
  3. Testing:  I prove I understand what I need to do
  4. Contribution:  I help create and improve what I need to do
  5. Audit: What I am doing will be periodically checked and verified

This list of drivers is based on the work and research of Lisa Welsher at Right Process

Each of these drivers builds on each other and removes the typical excuses for not following the policies, processes and procedures once they are deployed. In addition to improving the likely success of a process improvement project the organization also reaps the legal benefit of being able to prove to an outside auditor that it has a clear and auditable approach to ensuring employee awareness, understanding and compliance to key policies and procedures.

For those readers that are familiar with Professor John Kotter’s model of organizational change, a planned strategy for managing change achieves its last and final step by. “Anchoring new approaches in the culture.”

Read more about this in the article: Help! No One Is Following Our Processes! - I Just Don’t Understand Why They Don’t See The Value!

Troy’s thoughts what are yours?

“Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.” ~Douglas Adams

Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 12/06 at 01:37 AM
  1. Troy,

    I’ve reflected on the points you made around adherence to process as we looked at the organizational change we have underway.

    I would suggest another item that is required for adherence: Reward.  I think that may be implicit in auditing, but it seems worth stating as a specific item. 

    One, rewarding adherence helps move the organization toward a process approach (as opposed to rewarding hero behaviors).  Two, rewarding individuals for holding others accountable for following processes gives the team a way to reinforce compliance across its members.  And, three, if nothing is done with a measurement (rewarding, coaching, etc), then there may not be any motivation to ‘change’.

    What do you think?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  09/24  at  10:26 AM
  2. Hello Doug

    I totally agree with you on this front. In my post I list three areas of motivation.

    “Without going into organizational science and looking at Hertzberg’s motivators we can boil motivation to comply with the new order down to three perspectives: Positive incentives, negative consequences and a sense of personal accountability. “

    The reward aspect is what I was referring to as the positive incentive. The difficult and long term motivator to achieve is the sense of personal accountability


    Posted by Troy DuMoulin  on  09/24  at  11:35 AM
  3. Troy,
    I’ve found that personal accountability will many times be overridden by a lack of managerial accountability.  In other words, if an employee sees that their management is not complying with new processes, the employee may not feel the need to do so, even under threat of audit.  It only takes one example of a manager circumventing the process “for expediency sake” in order for an employee to question the need to comply.  How would you handle the managerial accountability aspect?

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  04/28  at  09:07 AM
  4. I would add item 0 to your five:
    Ownership: the individual understands and acknowledges that their role owns the required activities

    It is implicit in the others but I think it needs to be explicit, especially in public service organisations smile

    Posted by Rob England (IT Skeptic)  on  11/02  at  06:31 PM
  5. You have a good point about making Ownership Explicit Rob. This is a critical success factor for institutionalization the change. Something I have written on in the following article that relates to this subject.

    Help! No One Is Following Our Processes!

    I Just Don’t Understand Why They Don’t See The Value!

    Posted by Troy DuMoulin  on  11/03  at  09:47 AM
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