Transformation, Transparency and Accountability - A Case Study on Changing the Way We Deliver IT Services
By Eddie Vidal, Director of IT Service Management, Memorial Healthcare System
When our organization made the decision to implement a new IT Service Management (ITSM) tool, we did not realize the lesson behind the implementation would be more about effecting organizational change than deploying an ITSM tool. Nonetheless, the implementation of the tool was the push to help us change the way we delivered IT Services to our employees and patients while positively effecting the way our organization requested these services.
Memorial Healthcare System(MHS) in South Florida has a service philosophy of “Deeper Caring, Smarter Healthcare.” This means that each interaction with our patients and their families and one another reveals our shared commitment to building a superior Memorial experience. Everyone works together without silos, and there is accountability and transparency with each other, providing safer and more reliable care to the patient. This is the same type of commitment we wanted to introduce in IT and the same mindset in how we wanted to deliver IT service to our end users.
Before implementing a change, it’s important to understand the areas in your organization that need improvement from an IT perspective. MHS decided to focus on seven challenges and four goals.
Here are the challenges/questions we asked ourselves to help us gauge our technological maturity.
1. Are all incidents coming through our Service Desk?
2. Are we currently able to measure success?
3. Are there predefined service levels?
4. Do all IT support teams use the same ITSM tool to manage incidents?
5. Are we able to scale inside and outside of our organization?
6. Are there perceived delays with Service Desk in their response times?
7. Do our end users have visibility into or status of their incidents and requests?
The answer to each of these questions was “No.” Based on these shortcomings, we decided to focus on a few simple goals to ensure we can change the answer to each of the above questions to a “YES.”
“Everyone works together without silos, and there is accountability and transparency with each other, providing safer and more reliable care to the patient”
Our goals were the following:
1. Adopt ITIL best practice approach across all of IT.
2. Establish a common and efficient approach to deliver stable and reliable IT Services to our customers.
3. Replace our current system with an integrated solution that will help us better manage our processes and service our end users.
4. Have all IT teams use ONE ITSM tool to track ALL incidents and requests.
We have been able to meet our goals and have set up many new ones.
Implementing this new tool affected not only our IT team members because they had to change a few of their processes, but also our end users because they now must navigate a new self-service portal. Both groups had to learn the difference between submitting an Incident (something is broken, report / fix an issue) and a Request (access to an application or order software / hardware). With our old ITSM tool, we grouped them both into a ticket. For our end users, it does not matter what tool IT uses to help them with their issues. From the end user perspective, they wanted immediacy of service from their requests and incidents.
This meant we had to communicate messages to two different groups and share the value of a new IT Service Management tool for each group.
For our IT support team members, we wanted them to understand the following:
• Improve and respond to end user needs based on results.
• Improved reporting of performance and thresholds facilitating timely analysis and recommendations.
• One common location for all IT Service Management data.
• Improved quality of information for managing and making decisions.
This message was communicated during many leadership and team meetings in the IT department.
For the end users, the benefits we communicated were the following:
• An Amazon-like user friendly catalog shopping experience to save them time.
• Self-service capability with the ability to see a list of available services anywhere, anytime.
• Expanded knowledge base for self-help.
• A modern design and intuitive navigation.
• Ability to track the progress of each item and view the history of items requested in the past.
When going into any change or implementation, if you plan properly, you hope it all goes well. Needless to say, we encountered some difficulties along the way. Our plan was to implement many new modules and processes but realized this was an ambitious plan. When we went live, we realized we needed to place our focus on a smoother and easier end user experience. We met with the end users, created focus groups and communicated our message with “Cookies and Learn” sessions. We made the changes to meet the needs of our end users and configured our tool and the self-service portal to make it more user friendly. This was a quick win for us after our initial roll out.
This tool has enabled our organization to use metrics and reports to change our behaviors and continually improve our service delivery. We have built transparency and our reports and metrics are available to all our IT support team members.
We have reduced the shoulder tap and the “call a friend” for support, (shadow IT) and created a single point of contact (SPOC) to provide service to our end users. We have separated our incidents from our requests and continue to grow our Service Catalog by building workflows to reduce emails and manual processes. Our workflow assigns requests to the IT support group who fulfills the request bypassing our Service Desk, which expedites the resolution time. We also produce metric dashboards for our go live implementations so our team can see the impact of roll outs and adapt.
On every project or change there are always lessons learned. Here are a few that resulted from this implementation:
• Obtain the right people in advance, include more decision makers and use the focus groups and end users to your advantage, don’t work in a bubble.
• Network with your peers in your industry to hear about their success and lessons learned. Do your research and work with best practices.
• Gather and document requirements and stay as much as possible with “Out of the Box” workflows. Configure always over customization.
• Out of the Box solutions may not always work for your organization so adapt as best as possible.
• Find the correct balance between your current process and how the tool works. Be willing to make process changes to take advantage of the tool.
We are proud to say that one year after we implemented our ITSM tool, we can answer “YES” to 6 out of the 7 questions, and we continue to grow in delivering IT services. The one question we are still working on is about predefined service levels.
For any transformation attempt, key focus must be placed on communication and organizational change. As we continue to move forward in our journey, we continue to learn many valuable lessons and have adapted to the needs of our organization. We continue to grow the tool and implement additional ITIL processes to increase our maturity in delivering superior customer service and support.