Who is responsible to administer the ITSM Tool after it goes live

By ITIL from Experience©

When the organization has an Application Management process, then the ITSM tool is no different than any other application except that the customer is Information Technology (IT).

In absence of established Application Management processes, the natural inclination is for whoever bought the tool and implemented it to be responsible for its administration. Often this ends up being the Service Desk as many organizations justify their ITSM tool acquisition as a replacement of an aging call center tool.

However, an integrated ITSM tool is like an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system for IT. Many different groups use it and sometimes compromises must be made in its configuration to meet all stakeholders’ needs. In addition, changes must be coordinated to avoid inadvertently impacting the business process of another group using the tool.

Caution must be taken to ensure that whoever is responsible for the tool’s administration does not configure, evolve and give priority to their modifications over other groups’ requests and needs even though they have the power and control over the tool and can use it to their advantage. For example, if the Service Desk has this responsibility and they have a “it’s our tool” attitude, the tool will become branded as a “Service Desk” tool as it will evolve to primarily meet their needs. If it is to be used by all of IT, tension will develop between the Service Desk and the other groups like Infrastructure, thus reinforcing silos. This can cause significant head winds to the maturity of Service Management.

Moreover, a proliferation of tools can result when people’s needs are not properly served by a shared tool. For example, one organization has two ERP systems as one was made to manage the supply chain to the detriment other groups, thus HR implemented its own to meet its business needs.

An established governance of the ITSM tool helps balance the needs of all groups. A comprehensive Responsibility-Accountability-Consult-Inform (RACI) matrix should be developed to clarify everyone’s role and responsibilities. In the meantime consider the following as a starting point.

Business OwnerAn IT executive to act as the customer and hierarchical escalation if a referee is required. The individual whose budget acquired the tool can be considered however, it is ideal to have a neutral party like the Project Management Office or even the CIO.
Manager of the System AdministratorsEnsures that the business needs of all groups are met and that a change does not impact another group’s business process or tool configuration.
Group RepresentativesRepresents their group’s needs, coordinates the review and testing of planned changes as well as communicates changes to their group.
System AdministratorsDesign and implement solutions to address user needs based on the tool’s functionality and limitations.

Next, a process must be in place for users to submit their issues and requests to this governance (see How to track issues and enhancements users have with the ITSM tool once it goes live). For example, users can log issues directly in the tool, contact the Service Desk or be instructed to contact their Group Representative who can confirm that the issue is indeed related to the tool and not to the business process or its rules.


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Implementation > Technology (ITSM Tools)


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