The way forward for ITSM is customer focus. Think all you want about how you manage incidents efficiently, but if you don’t put your customer in focus in that process, your department will not work on optimal efficiency. And if you think too much about processes, you lose sight of your main goal: providing excellent services.

While they are great, we don’t think frameworks like ITIL is the best answer to today’s challenges in ITSM. Enter Best Practice Service Management (BPSM). It’s based on a couple of principles: services are your starting point. As few processes as possible. Use the customer’s needs as your guiding principle.

Use services as your starting point

Best Practice Service Management (BPSM) is based on the services you offer your customers. When you think about it, this is the most logical approach when you want to be really customer-oriented. After all, your customers don’t care which internal processes are followed. They just want you to help them. The question for an IT organization is therefore not how to best implement your processes, but: which services do you offer your customers? Standardize these tasks and record them in a service catalogue.

The problem: when you’re not sure what you do and don’t support as an IT organization, you can’t control the team’s workload. For each question or request the operator has to consider: what should I do with this? Do I need to help the customer? Or is this not something we offer? Like most IT organizations, you probably spend most of your time and energy on handling request. So how do you move away from firefighting and focus on implementing long-term improvements? Start by standardizing your services to improve the efficiency of your support.

Limit the number of supporting processes

When you take your services as your starting point, the following question arises: what do you need to support these services? To answer this, you need to set up your processes. The main principle for BPSM is to divide your work into as few processes as possible. The ITIL processes are all useful, but because there are so many it’s hard to see the wood for the trees. If you strictly stick to ITIL, you may have to go through four different ITIL processes for one simple request. The large number of processes can cause unnecessary barriers and delays while processing calls. This doesn’t help to put the customer first.

That’s why in BPSM you have a limited number of supporting processes:

• You have two main processes: a process for questions about services you support and a process for questions about services you don’t support. Simple as that. The main principle with these two processes is that they start and end with the customer’s question.
• As soon as you’ve defined your services, it won’t be long before you want to makes changes to them. In BPSM, you have one process for the changes to your services.
• Lastly, we define two processes that organizations can use to proactively maintain or improve their services.

BPSM in practice

So here’s how it works:

Your customer has a request.

  • If this request is about one of your standard services, you simply process it according to current agreements (reactive management). And you maintain these services periodically to ensure you can keep offering them (proactive management).
  • If the request concerns a service that isn’t available, you can explain to the customer why you can’t (or can’t yet) provide the service and offer them a different solution (relation management).
  • You may also adjust your current service to meet your customers’ needs (changes). When a customer reports a recurring problem that you really want fixed, for example.
  • But you can also improve your services on your own initiative (improvement), based on frequent disruptions, new technology or changed legislation, for example.

Implementation in 5 steps

When you’re considering to work according to BPSM, it’s good to know where to start. Download this free e-book on BPSM. It contains a more extensive explanation on the 5 implementation steps, including practical tips on how to get the most of BPSM.