Service Management Culture – Who’s job is it?

Failing to consider your followers may result in you being the only one charging out of the trench towards the enemy. (credit Stephen Lamb – @SEE_EYE_OH) If I am leading, I need my team with me to be successful. In the complex world of IT Service Management, working as a team is the only way we can be successful.  Leading and managing my application development team has shown me that if we focus on what our work principles are, we can accomplish our goals together.  Teamwork is the key to building a successful service management culture.

I had to change the one particular practice within of our team when I started as the manager.   I particularly hate the phrase “That is not my job”.  The people we serve don’t care that it is not our job; they want their problem resolved so they can carry on with their work day.

My team worked hard while having a narrow vision of what delivering a service end to end meant. If an application was not functioning due to an infrastructure problem, they would hand it off to the Infrastructure team to manage the problem. The result was that many of our application clients had to run the gauntlet of our internal IT Services departmental complexity. Those unfortunate clients were not able to work and became very unhappy by getting the run around by our team.

I introduced the concept that “We are the face of IT Services for the Application Services”.  This means that “we own the problem end to end”  and no longer hand off our problems. Instead, my team navigates our internal complexities, manages the issue for the client and ensures we get a resolution for our clients. Our clients interact with the person who took the issue and never have to figure out who else to talk to. I got initial resistance to this approach.  It took about a year to instill this new principle into my team’s culture and work habits. This approach has turned around our clients’ impression of our team.  We are now a team that everyone wants to work with because they know if we take on a problem, we will own it end to end.

Service management? It is all our jobs … together!