Kelly orders chocolates through her favorite confectioner’s digital storefront from the comfort of her living room. Kelly makes her selection, enters her credit card and shipping information, and presses the “order now” button. Within seconds, she receives an on-screen message from the confectioner, thanking her for her order, and informing her that she’ll have her chocolates the next day.
At the confectioner, Kelly’s request is first processed by the Order Entry Department, who confirms her information and charges the sale to her credit card. Order Entry then creates a sales order, which is sent to the Fulfillment Department. Fulfillment selects the chocolates from inventory and updates the inventory management system with the change. Fulfillment then packages Kelly’s selections and sends the package to the Shipping Department for overnight delivery.
All of this behind-the-scenes activity happened without any involvement from Kelly – other than her single interaction to order the chocolates.
Are your customers enjoying a differentiated experience interacting with your company’s digital storefront?
Are the customer’s interactions seamless and friction-free?
Do materials and information flow smoothly through the organization?
If you’re not able to answer ‘yes’ to the above questions, then you have some compelling reasons to implement enterprise service management (ESM).
Some Popular Approaches to ESM
Many ESM approaches consist of extending the use of the IT service management tool into other areas of an organization, such as Facilities or Human Resources. This is a popular approach that often results in cost optimization of the IT service management tool by using that tool outside of the IT organization.
In a lot of ways, this is a reasonable thing to do. Whether it is a work order being completed by the facilities organization, or human resources on-boarding a new employee, using a tool that facilitates a consistent, repeatable approach to information capture and managing workflow just makes sense.
Another popular approach is establishing an enterprise service desk. Like an IT service desk, the enterprise service desk becomes a single-point of contact for internal employees to receive assistance with any request or issue. Employees benefit from having only a single point of contact for any organizational need or issue. The organization benefits by delivering a centralized approach for managing such contacts, rather than having each department having to individually staff such functions.
Implementing a self-service portal is also a popular approach for ESM. Employees can use a portal to find information or make requests without having to contact anyone. Issues such as requesting a replacement for a burned-out light bulb or updating voluntary benefits can be conveniently managed from an employee’s workplace.
But are any of these approaches really “enterprise service management”? Or are these examples of enterprise silo management?
What You’re Doing is Enterprise Silo Management
Extending the ITSM tool to other areas of the organization may improve the ROI of the tool. Establishing enterprise service desks may help centralize management of internal requests and issues. Implementing enterprise self-service portals can result in time savings for employees. It may even result in optimized departmental processes and workflows.
But if the goal of your ESM initiative is to only extend the use of IT’s service management tool into non-IT areas of the organization, what you’re doing is Enterprise Silo Management. You’re enabling (encouraging?) your organization to continue working as a collection of siloed departments.
While I would agree that optimizing departmental processes and workflows is a good thing to do, keep in mind that departmental optimization will deliver benefit…to only that department. It’s like speeding up one part of a conveyor belt but ignoring the big stack of boxes on either end. In fact, it’s really not speeding anything up – it is only exacerbating the symptoms of an organization whose interdepartmental workflows are not well integrated.
This is where these so-called approaches to ESM fall short. These approaches don’t enable or deliver a cross-departmental flow of information and work. There’s no end-to-end view of enterprise value streams. Requests or issues that (will) come up within the enterprise still requires the consumer (employee) to know what they need and what organization fulfills that need before they interact with the portal.
By following these approaches, your business will never realize the value of enterprise service management.
Why Your business Needs Enterprise Service Management
Organizations operating within a silo mentality, in which the departments within the organization are poorly connected with (or even isolated from) other parts of the organization, cannot react or respond as quickly as needed to changes in market spaces or business.
Think about it. There is no single part of an organization that can exist in complete independence from the other parts of the organization. The best business value is created when all parts of the business are contributing and collaborating to deliver value in the most effective and efficient way.
And in the digital age, having the ability to quickly shift and react to changes in market spaces is critical for business success.
This is why your business needs ESM – Enterprise Service Management.
- Provides business decision support – Good ESM provides transparency into how work is done within the organization. Decisions become data-driven, based on objectives measures captured as part of enterprise value streams.
- Enables organizational agility – Well defined, interdepartmental workflows enable organizational agility because there is clarity and shared understanding regarding workflows. This helps leaders understand where to pivot if needed. Good ESM results in improved cohesiveness and collaboration within the organization and aligns activities toward shared organizational goals, not on departmental objectives.
- Improves organizational understanding of the business – Individual departments not only understand their workflows and processes, but also how information, work, and value flow across the organization. There is a greater awareness of the interdependencies between the various departments within the organization.
- Enables an enhanced customer experience – Good ESM removes the internal friction that gets in the way of a good customer experience.
Moving to Enterprise Service Management
Here are some tips to help you move from Enterprise Silo Management to Enterprise Service Management.
1. Strong leadership is required
To have success with ESM, the focus must shift from achieving departmental objectives to enterprise goals. Silo mentality must be eliminated from the organization.
2. Teach employees the business of the business
Many employees today are unaware of how the business operates outside of their own area or department. Having a good understanding of how the business does business helps with ESM implementation and enables improved employee productivity.
3. Map the enterprise value streams
No single part of an organization is independent of the rest of the organization; it takes all parts of an organization to deliver value to its customers. Mapping value streams at the enterprise levels helps the organization visualize how work and value flows through the organization and to the customer.
4. Define or lean out processes
For each value stream, form a cross-departmental team to define any needed supporting processes. If processes are defined, review those processes to ensure that they are as lean and waste-free as possible.
Don’t try to instantiate all your enterprise value streams within your service management tool at the same time. Rather, start with a single enterprise value stream, capture any learnings, and then apply those learning to the next value stream-to-tool implementation. (By the way, this approach should be the “new normal” for maintaining your ESM implementation.)
So, should organizations optimize at the departmental level or at the enterprise level? The fact is that to be successful in the digital age, organizations must do both. Doing one without the other only results in internal friction and waste.
Following the above tips will get you on the right path for good ESM that also results in optimized departmental and enterprise work streams.Share