Jonathan Temple, CEO of FrontRange, says that IT service management software and processes can and should be used outside of IT. It is his view that organizations that apply this technology in creative ways often are more successful and provide better customer service. He proposes that this be called "enterprise service management."
Holding departments accountable
Progressive companies, Temple points out, have been holding IT accountable for improving overall effectiveness while also holding the line or reducing costs. IT uses approaches that capture incidents and then track processes until the problems are resolved and put into place. He believes that the same approaches should be applied to other departments, such as human resources, so they can be held equally accountable.
Flexibility is a critical factor
Flexibility, he points out, is the key to success. Enterprises need to be able to customize flows for each different process. The reporting from one department has to be both useful to that department and be able to be rolled up so that higher levels of management can carefully review what the entire company is doing. Temple describes this as creating processes that allow organizations to meter the business value received from all departments.
Using the wrong metrics can lead to failure
I pointed out that simply tracking things and allowing managers to castigate staff for not achieving goals isn't helpful if the metrics being tracked weren't used properly. This could actually be bad for the business. For example, I worked for one organization whose HR department tracked both the cost and the minutes of wireless telephone usage and published a report of "bad" people who were using too much wireless service. Since they used that metric by itself, they didn't see that the increased wireless telephone use translated into higher levels of sales, better customer satisfaction, or lower overall costs. The people on that "bad" list had figured out that it was more cost effective to call customers rather than flying out to see them in person when that approach would solve customers' problems.
Would your organization benefit from the use of software that could track incidents and the workflow used to solve them?