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

The Patience of Gnat: Bringing Transparency to Service Management

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Around our company, I am considered one of the least patient people. Have you ever heard the phrase “the patience of gnat”? Those pesky bugs are never still long, but they’re going to have to get in line behind me. But I don’t think I am alone. It sure seems like patience is wearing thinner and thinner in this day and age. Telltale signs are all around:

  • Check your break room or lunchroom and see if there are five seconds or less left on the microwave. Really, we can’t wait five more seconds?
  • Raise your hand if you can’t wait for your e-mail/Twitter/Facebook on your mobile device to refresh on its own. You have to hit the refresh button, don’t you? (Guilty, so I will raise my hand.)
  • In more and more cities around the U.S. hospitals are posting huge billboards listing the average wait time for the Emergency Room. What if you are bleeding to death and there is a 29 minute wait? Just asking!

I am not sure when, how, or where it all started, but I wonder if it wasn’t with the advent of “information overload.” Information flows so quickly that if you and I don’t stay on top of it, we risk being “left behind.” There is incredible pressure not only to be aware of what is going on, but to get ahead of the game.

IT is one area this seems to be a huge factor in. Even its name “INFORMATION,” implies IT is always aware of what is going on and can give the data needed whenever it is requested. How many of you reading this would say that you or your co-workers often feel like nothing more than glorified call screeners, gathering and reading whatever information is needed?

How do we change that in a world, and by extension in your organization, where this need for instant data is becoming more and more prevalent? It starts with the willingness of IT to be transparent — to not hoard data — and it’s played out every time IT provides individuals with the information they need to do their job. Imagine with me an organization where:

  • Department or division directors could access information (like incidents logged, upcoming changes, etc.) about their department or division in the self-service portal whenever they wanted.
  • C-level and V-level could get the information they needed right on their smartphone to make real-time course corrections in the company.
  • IT staff was no longer simply collecting data for data sake but collecting data to continually improve the quality of the IT department and, ultimately, provide great customer success?

What would your company look like and how much more successful would it be?  :