With the introduction of FitSM, the open source IT service management (ITSM) standard, the service management industry has been provided with a lean approach to benefiting from most commonly adopted best practices. What does FitSM offer that you don’t know already? The short answer is to use its guidance alongside your ITIL® or service management implementation program. It will lead to faster and more visible results and success. This article will provide a few recommendations for you to consider.
A Boost for your ITIL Implementation Program
A common challenge for ITIL adoption initiatives has been, and still is for some, that for too long there was not enough to show for. ITIL implementation program participants were very busy with writing documents and producing flowcharts. Or spent enormous amounts of time on configuring, or even customizing, a service management tool.
As a result, the more operational processes were given years of attention. Little was done about more tactical or strategic processes. Another outcome of this was, and often still is, that no service ownership is to be found in the organization. Let alone a service culture is in place.
And to make matters worse, the people-aspect of service management is an afterthought. The same applies to the integration aspects of service management which, traditionally, has been an area for improvement in the ITIL framework.
If you recognize any of these challenges, you should take a few hours out of the busy schedule and check out the FitSM website, owned by ITEMO, a non-profit partnership, funded by the European Commission to develop FitSM. Why? The standard prescribes which IT service management best practices, and its supporting management system, you should adopt at the very least. In other words, lean ITSM with FitSM®. As such, you will not get stuck in just a few processes, and your focus will also be on service and people aspects.
And, the icing on the cake is that all the guidance FitSM has put forward is available to you at no charge!
How to Best Benefit from FitSM?
First, download for free, all the documentation that FitSM comes with:
As you can tell, the standard comes with templates, guides and an assessment tool. All will help with expediting your implementation efforts.
Next, perform a self-assessment by making use of FitSM-6 “Capability-Maturity-Assessment”. The gaps and the level of maturity for each requirement (ad-hoc/repeatable/defined or initial/partial/complete) will tell you immediately, what should be a priority for your ITIL implementation program and what can be considered as “done”.
So, update your ITIL implementation plan and refocus. And, re-assess at set times, for example, every four months. The beauty of this approach is that there is a finish line to your initial implementation efforts that will allow you to then shift into a continual improvement mode. In other words, you do the must-haves first and then work on the wants and nice-to-haves.
Note that the assessment tool is not only a process assessment tool, but also a process capability tool. This means that FitSM goes beyond the typical process maturity assessments that purely focus on process activities, inputs, outputs and outcomes. Enabling and governing activities are assessed too. It is these enabling and governing activities that address service and people aspects that often lack in attention during many ITIL implementation programs.
Combining FitSM with ITIL
The requirements of the FitSM standard, addressing most of the process requirements, are easy to relate to the applicable recommendations of the ITIL framework. Process names and terms and definitions are as good as identical. In other words, FitSM will prescribe WHAT needs to be done and ITIL complements the WHAT with tons of valuable guidance. Both sets of best practices work well together; one does not replace the other.
FitSM serves the purpose of keeping you on track, stay focused and only do what is necessary. Again, lean ITSM with FitSM®. ITIL serves the purpose to give you that extra information that ensures you don’t reinvent the wheel.
On average, it will take an organization 10-14 months to meet all the requirements of the FitSM standard. In other words, you are done! The size of your organization, and the management commitment can influence this number. When done, you start your continual improvement efforts; there is always room for improvement.
The end-result of “when done” is that you have a management system in place. A system with governing and the enabling capabilities. And a system that has the core service management processes in place that are repeatable and predictable. A system that is ready to add more processes where necessary.
This management system will start paying off as your business partners, i.e. customers, will experience a more confident IT organization that has its ducks in a row. An IT organization that can free up resources that can focus on proactiveness and is no longer behind the curve too often.
From FitSM to ISO/IEC 20000
Another hidden gem that comes with complying with the FitSM requirements is that you are 75% on your way to become an ISO/IEC 20000-certified organization. If certification of your organization is important, for example for competitive reasons, FitSM is an excellent stepping stone towards this high-in-demand certification.
Additional processes and capabilities will need to be implemented to be ISO/IEC 20000 compliant. With the strong foundation in place that was provided by FitSM, you are in good shape to go the extra mile.
When FitSM was put together, the creators not only kept a close eye on ITIL. They also made sure to be in sync with ISO/IEC 20000 so that in the end both standards would complement each other.
I have already suggested to download the free materials from the FitSM website and conduct a self-assessment. What else should you consider now that you have been introduced to FitSM?
- Participate in the 1-day FitSM Foundation certification course PRIOR to the 2-day ITIL Foundation course. You will start your ITIL class with a laser sharp focus on what matters most and what can be done in a second or third phase of your service management program. It will highly highlight critical not-to-miss components for you to address during your program, such as management responsibilities and resource requirements.
- Take a close look at the roles and responsibilities you have addressed, or are going to address, in your service management program. Do you have the most necessary roles defined and assigned? How heavy on responsibilities are these roles? Again, FitSM provides guidance on the bare minimum for these roles’ responsibilities. Yet another example of lean ITSM with FitSM®. You can always expand later.
- Are you a small or mid-size organization? Then FitSM training can replace your ITIL training investments, saving you time and money. Revisit therefore your service management training program. FitSM’s qualification scheme, owned by APMG International, comes with two 2-day advanced-level courses and one 2-day expert-level course. That is seven days total to become a service management expert, compared to 20+ days in the ITIL v3 qualification scheme.
- Whether you are about to start your service management program, with or without ITIL, or whether you just started or are well underway, consider using the capability assessment of FitSM. Either as a self-assessment or by an independent consultant for more objectivity. Besides checking the boxes whether you meet a requirement or not, the assessment also tells you the level of maturity in a more objective way than a typical process maturity assessment. In other words, the assessment is an ideal tool for your journey of continual improvements.
Please do not hesitate to contact us when you have more questions. We are ready to assist you. And, INTERPROM prides itself to be first again in the service management space to offer FitSM training, consulting and coaching in the Americas! We help your ITSM stay lean with FitSM®.