Communication is key
One of the overriding discussion themes at our inaugural ITSM Leadership Council meeting (see page 18) was the importance of communication in every aspect of service management. ITSM needs a louder voice within the business world, it needs to articulate its role within IT and across the enterprise, to attract more young business-oriented individuals into a clearly understood profession, and to collaborate more effectively with internal and external partners and stakeholders. To achieve any of these goals requires good communication, and yet so often this is neglected or misunderstood.
Communication is key to the whole image of service management within the enterprise. ‘Selling problem management’ (page 14) might seem like a curious title for an article about one of ITIL’s key processes but, as Barry Corless explains, problem management seriously needs a makeover and a more appealing image. His article, based on research conducted by the ITSMF UK Problem Management special interest group among some of our leading corporate members, revealed serious misconceptions. “Problem management is perceived as a dumping ground for difficult incidents,” argued one respondent, and even the name ‘problem’ is clearly a problem in many cases. Part of the solution, suggests the article, is better communication. Share your successes and make them relevant, says the author. “Presenting a report as figures or charts sends people to sleep. Tell them a story and they listen.”
Philippa Hale and Jean Gamester pick up the communication theme in their article on the ‘7 threads of service leadership’ (page 25). They maintain that good leadership is all about engagement, stimulation and celebration, and that means fine-tuning your communications skills. Leaders need to be on the same wavelength as those they are mentoring or managing, demonstrating “the right emotional resonance and credibility” to get the message across.
If this seems a step too far for the hard-pressed service manager, bear in mind the findings of Dimensional Research (page 32), who concluded that poor communication - and poorly defined channels of communication - are one of the main causes of unscheduled downtime. An outage of just 15 minutes can have a devastating effect on a business, and yet over half the respondents in Dimensional’s survey say communication – rather than technical issues – is a root cause of excessive delays in restoring service.
Like any industry forum, ITSMF UK offers a crucial channel of communication for our members. Our regional and special interest group meetings, masterclasses and annual conference provide a chance to catch up with peers in other organisations, share your experiences and best practice and learn how others are tackling the challenges that they face. Our annual industry awards likewise allow our member organisations to communicate their successes to the broader servicer management community. If communication is one of your challenges, why not take the opportunity to share your story with other members? Please get in touch if you would like further details.
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