Service Management Culture – Who’s job is it?

by | October 2, 2011

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!

4 thoughts on “Service Management Culture – Who’s job is it?

  1. Brian Kuhn

    Leo, I agree with your view that “we own the problem end to end”. Really, those of us in the service biz need to “see” our work through the eyes of the client. They don’t particularly care about how we deliver a service just that it is delivered. If internal divisions pass a problem around, it exposes the client to the inner workings and complexities of a service group. By having the service owner, own it to completion, the client needn’t be pulled into the internal workings – a better experience overall.

    Nice piece.

  2. Leo de Sousa Post author

    Brian, thanks for the great feedback. I really like your comment about “having a service owner”. We have begun to do this for our IT Service Management processes like Incident Management and Change Management. What we have not done put this in place for our services. Creating a matrix organization may be the key here … I need to do some thinking on this. I feel another blog post coming. Leo

  3. Nick Leach

    Leo, great to read this post. I believe that getting the correct attitude in the teams that deliver services is the most important step towards creating a good customer experience. Looks like you’re building a great service culture. I’ll follow your blog to see what I can pick up from you!

    Kind regards,


    1. Leo de Sousa Post author

      Nick, thanks for taking the time to read my post. You are right about getting the correct attitude being key. Leo


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.