Excellent IT Service Delivery to Business is critical and we have experienced that many times email is not working, or network connectivity is down, or the telephony system is experiencing daily issues. To avoid such kind of issues, CIO should discover a process to excel at service delivery and gain the trust of C-suite colleagues.
From my experience, I understood that excellent Basic IT Service Delivery to business is so important to deliver the IT Value to business. As a CIO or IT leader, you must make sure that basic IT Services should be improved to work on that level so that the business can work smoothly.
You will never build a good Business-IT Partnership or build an IT credibility with the business if you deliver IT Services to the business that disrupt the business daily work activities.
Every transformation always starts with a first step. In the case of transforming into a strategic Information Technology (IT) department, the first step is to deliver basic services exceptionally well. Delivering the basic IT services exceptionally well is table stakes for building a good trust-based relationship with C-suite executives and business stakeholders and personnel.
Delivering the basic services without disruption builds trust and credibility for the CIOs and the IT organization. Assessing, analyzing, and improving the delivery of basic services is an important process.
7 Step Process to Improve the IT Service Delivery to Business
CIOs can build a 7-step process that is logical and deliverables-driven to improve the delivery of services to the business. A more in-depth view of each of these process steps is useful for those of you who want to improve the delivery of basic IT Services.
1. Identify Commodity & Business Services Required by Business Units
The first step for you as CIOs or IT Leaders to discuss with business stakeholders and leaders regularly. The objective should be to meet with Business leaders of the marketing, sales, finance, operations, and other key business units to understand the business, the competitive marketplace, and specific services each business unit to achieve their objectives.
Information Technology (IT) is a business, and as a business, CIOs or IT Leaders need to provide the enterprise with the services required to achieve the corporate business objectives and goals. Understand the Activities and Supporting Information Technology required for the Business to Succeed.
You ask the open-ended questions that started with what, why, and how. This type of question provoked an explanation and dialogue and never go into solution mode in this process. Keep your focus to listen, learn, and understand what the business did and needed to be successful in the long-term.
2. Identify Key Stakeholders and their Priorities for Each Business Service
You must schedule individual meetings with each business stakeholders and their staffs. You told to each executive that your objective for the meeting “is to validate the list of business services, the key stakeholders, and level of service required in the future.
Identifying key stakeholders for each service is necessary if you are to manage service delivery as a project. You need to capture the data, provide the updates, and include them in all the communications relative to the service. Following the list of key stakeholders, as a minimum, you should identify and nurture them.
- Executive customer: Executive responsible for the business unit receiving the service.
- Executive owner Executive: Accountable for the business activity (corporate strategy is an activity that supports the business strategy to plan administration)
- Business owner: A business unit person who is responsible for the business activity.
- Product manager: IT manager responsible for the delivery of the business service
3. Develop Enterprise List of Business Services
The IT organization supports the business through several applications they develop or acquire from vendors. A listing of these services, which includes a definition of the service, the business activities they support, and the value provided, in business terms, is a critical component for every IT organization.
The process of developing an enterprise-wide IT services portfolio includes the following steps to follow:
- Identify the business activities for each business unit, the associated services that support the business unit activities, and the key stakeholders for each business service.
- Develop an enterprise-wide list of business services. This list of business services includes both commodity services and business services.
- Validate with business units and modify, as necessary having an accurate list of business services.
- Update services portfolio listing regularly, using a service portal accessible to all personnel.
4. Socialize the services across the Enterprise using the common platform
You need to be socializing the enterprise list of the services is so important to validate the data and modify it accordingly. Following are some key tips that can help and support you:
- Socialize the enterprise list of services with business executives and their staff.
- Review the services list to ensure the accuracy and alignment to business unit needs and requirements.
- Provide communication artifacts (service portal tutorial, word documents, slides, etc.) to help inform and educate the company personnel.
5. Develop / Execute the Work Plan
Improving the delivery of basic IT Services, commodity, and business services is a project and in some cases a portfolio of projects that form a program. So, execute this activity like a project and manage it carefully.
More important for IT personnel need to understand the importance of this project to the success of the business and its services. Incorporate regular project update meetings for all IT personnel to share the status of the project, successes achieved, and business value delivered. Some key tips are as follows:
- Build a project charter for each project, which should include a plan of the activities, key milestones, communication plan, and key metrics.
- Assign the IT managers, to every service and hold them accountable for accomplishing key metrics for holding services.
- You need to review the project with IT personnel as well as key business unit executives regularly.
- Communicate the status of the services improvement program to all company personnel.
- Solicit feedback from all company personnel to capture issues, trends, and suggestions for improvement.
6. Measure the IT Service Delivery with Business Metrics alignment
Make sure business personnel measure IT delivery performance of basic services based upon facts and not perceptions. To do so, you must develop a set of meaningful metrics that measure the cost, usage, and value of the commodity and business services. Always remember, you cannot manage what you do not measure. Following are guidelines in developing a set of meaningful measures for IT Services:
- Identify the level of service the business requires to accomplish its goals.
- Co-develop a set of easily measured metrics and associated service-level agreements.
- Report service-level results versus service-level agreements regularly.
- Work closely with business unit executives to monitor the services ensuring alignment to business objectives.
7. Continuously Improve the delivery of IT Services
Always strive to improve the performance of IT Service Delivery. Besides, do not forget to set stretch goals that appear hard to achieve. Do not ignore the five key principles for continuous improvement:
- Monitor your performance.
- Measure the results.
- Improve delivery.
- Communicate at all levels throughout the company.
- Optimize for success.
Excellent basic IT Service Delivery to Business is the critical step for IT Departments or CIOs to build the long-term relationship with Business and work strategically and involve in Business strategy, planning, and decisions to provide and co-create the real value to the business and increase the business performance.
The above 7 step process will help to achieve this objective and please let us know in the below comments what you want to add from your experiences to provide IT Services well to business and build the relationship to thrive in the role as a CIO or IT Leader.