Many of these changes will be to the technology deployed across the infrastructure, and many of us have developed and adopted sound IT Technical Change Control processes and procedures to assist with the consistent management of these types of changes.
Some of these technical changes may need a greater degree of understanding, a need to be well communicated to a wider audience than IT or the service desk, and may also require much more collaborative working across the organisation than is routinely required by the Change Management process.
This is where the Continual Service Improvement (CSI) process steps up to the challenges posed by the more complex and far ranging technical changes through the development of plans and the controlled communication and coordinated management of a project’s detailed steps.
However, CSI should not just be applied to challenging technical changes. It can be used extremely effectively for most organisation changes and changes to process, procedures and behaviour.
Introducing a formal process to manage CSI initiatives is vital to the success of consistently implementing and managing improvements and keeping the involved workforce, and customers, informed about why the improvements are required.
Successfully implementing a CSI programme in an organisation may require a cultural change as well as the introduction of new processes and procedures but will most certainly involve improving the ways, and how often, we communicate with other teams, other departments and our customers and suppliers.
The scope of the CSI process should also be defined, and an owner for the CSI process also needs to be identified. The CSI process owner may decide to allocate a project manager to actually implement the particular improvement and simply oversee the various improvement projects and initiatives to ensure they remain on track and are meeting the requirements of the business.
Identifying critical success factors for each improvement initiative is a very important activity within the overall process as these factors will assist in the overall determination of whether the improvement journey is on track and delivering the benefits expected of it. This will also enable adjustments to the CSI action plan to be made based on empirical data and not just gut feel and experience.
For me CSI is not about improving something 100%, instead it is about improving a myriad of activities to continually meet the needs of the business and the customer base.
About the author: Tony Ranson
Starting out his career as a computer engineer, Tony has more than 30 years’ experience in quality management and service desk management and a deep understanding of the benefits CSI brings to IT service management.