The People Process and Technology Flaw
Most of us involved in the service management industry have heard the sacred triad or mantra (People Process and Technology)
Well in my view this carefully balanced three legged stool is inherently flawed and unstable. This view comes from personal experience that tells me that two out of the three of these elements can be purchased for the right price while the third is without price.
You see with big enough budgets
- I can by the right tool.
- I can buy processes or someone to build them for me.
- However I will never be able to buy the hearts and minds of people.
This is why in a typical ITIL project only 1/3 of the total time needed is actually spent in process design or tool configuration. The vast majority of the time on any process related project is spent on selling and developing consensus around the new ways we are suggesting people view themselves and their jobs.
I will admit that there are those truly rare autocratic companies where a single word from on high makes something true.
However, for the vast majority of companies telling people they will behave completely differently, use new tools and perform tasks that they always believed were someone else’s job just because an executive with enough power says so is like Maria Antoinette telling the court “Let them eat cake”
History shows that assumptions like that rarely last for the long term.
So perhaps the real statement should be People, People, People, Process and Technology.
It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams
Your dead on with this one. People are the most important because, well, they do the work. That being said, I believe a common flaw in many ITSM initiatives is not explaining the value of ITSM to all levels in the organization. While securing executive sponsorship is critical to secure funding, not securing common support for the initiative will make attaining any ITSM achievements difficult to say the least. And with out a record of continuous achievements, the funding dries up pretty darn fast.
The key to this, I believe, is to deliver value to those who aid in the grunt work of ITSM. Many individuals recognize that they exist in IT silos, want to climb out, but don’t know how. By providing service management resources that many in the silos have craved for so long, the silos themselves begin to weaken and collapse. Ask what they need, ensure it is aligned to ITSM and the business, and provide it when possible.
The result is that ITSM can make the work “better” to those throughout the organization as well as to those who matter most: the customers.
Well said John
There have been times over the last few years that I have worked with company’s where there was little to no credence placed on the need to get their staff on board with a change. The perspective being they are our employees and they will just do what we tell them to so no need to communicate, get their input/involvement.
In short the view was spending anytime than a bare minimum needed for the initial communication was a waste of effort.
In my experience this typically results in some short term gain but once the spotlight of executive focus has moved on the people revert to what ever they were doing before. (typically the path of least resistance)
One of my favorite quotes on the need to get buy in is: