Cherwell IT Service Management Blog
Resources, Best Practices, and Solutions for ITSM Pros

ITSM Tool Implementation: Think Like a Mechanic

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Once upon a time there was a person who awoke on Saturday morning, grabbed a socket wrench, confidently snapped a 10mm socket into place and strode out to the garage, saying “Let’s fix it!”

Fix what?

Anyone can see that things are happening in the wrong order here. You don’t decide on the tool and then figure out what to ITSM Tool Implementationfix. A good mechanic finds out what needs fixing (if anything), gets the details about how to fix it, and then—and only then—picks out the tools needed to get the job done.

Before you’ve even started shopping for a service management tool, you should have identified, as precisely as possible, why you need it, what you need the tool to do for you and how it is expected to work. Getting these steps right is not optional if you want a successful outcome.

  • Set your goals carefully – Be realistic about what you can make your organizational “engine” do, but work to make it as efficient and as powerful as possible.
  • Understand the engine – If all the moving parts of the engine are not in sync, bad things can happen. The same is true if all the elements of your processes are not known and accounted for.
  • Know your baseline – If what you need is a 30% increase in horsepower, you have to know what you are starting with as well as how to get to your goal. Capture measurements before you begin that you can compare with your results after your tool implementation. What are the various pressures, tolerances, and limits of your service management “engine”? What isn’t working quite right? What needs to be adjusted?
  • Use available analysis tools – Just as mechanics use sophisticated diagnostic software to assist them, you should take advantage of flowcharts, spreadsheets, and process design tools to help you understand your current state and your future, desired state.
  • Have a great relationship with your dealership – Even the best mechanics can be stymied by out-of-spec parts or user-installed options. There are very knowledgeable “parts and service” people in the industry who can help you sort out the components in your organization that don’t quite match the repair manual’s diagrams. Remember that there have been many hands “under the hood” in your organization’s history. Some of those hands belonged to machinists who made custom parts they thought were better than what they could buy. They were talented, but they likely produced undocumented solutions.
  • Tune the engine – Make carefully considered adjustments where needed. Your implementation shouldn’t end when the tool is installed and running.

Now you can walk confidently into the garage with the right tools available to fix what needs fixing and adjust what needs adjusting. Vroom!

Guest Blog Post by Roy Atkinson


Roy is HDI’s senior writer/analyst, acting as in-house subject matter expert and chief writer for SupportWorld articles and white papers. In addition to being a member of the HDI International Certification Standards Committee and the HDI Desktop Support Advisory Board, Roy is a popular speaker at HDI conferences and is well known to HDI local chapter audiences. His background is in both service desk and desktop support as well as small-business consulting. Roy’s blogs regularly appear on HDIConnect, and he is highly rated on social media, especially on the topics of IT service management and customer service. He holds a master’s certificate in advanced management strategy from Tulane University’s A.B. Freeman School of Business, and he is a certified HDI Support Center Manager. You can follow him at @HDI_Analyst and @RoyAtkinson.