Combine Agile and ITSM
  • Article
  • Mar.15.2023

Why businesses fail to combine Agility and ITSM in a service desk

  • Mar.15.2023
  • Reading time mins

At Valiantys we have a mature Agile practice. We have some of the world’s foremost proponents of Agile and Agile at Scale amongst our ranks. And we take it very seriously.  ​

​We also have an ITSM practice that is breaking new ground by designing and embedding agile IT service desks for complex global corporations, not-for-profit organisations and public sector bodies. None of these were conceived in the digital era and none of them would say their culture is entirely lean, agile or able to respond rapidly to change. Or at least, they didn’t until recently. ​

Our Agile and ITSM experts agree that any solution we design for our customers has to enable cross-functional collaboration. It’s the critical success factor that will make our solution future-proof, flexible and able to continue to deliver value.​

To the rescue

In some cases, we’re called in to consult and cope an ITSM project from scratch. Sometimes, we’re called in to fix things when companies have reached breaking point with their existing ITSM platform. When we come to the rescue, it’s very often because the tooling in use is not up to the job. It creates or reinforces silos and exacerbates tension between departments. It is designed to do the job of ticking the boxes: functionality for ITAM, ITFM, ITOM. In short, it’s all about IT, not about teamwork. Legacy tech or ITSM-specific software is all about tasks, not about outcomes. That’s the difference: teamwork and outcomes, not functions and tasks.

Technology as an enabler, not a solution

At Valiantys we believe that technology is an enabler, not a solution. Solutions are designed by people, for people to solve problems creatively, and they use technology tools. At Valiantys we create solutions for teams, from the best technology tools we can find.  The tools aren’t the solution but they can make it easier to achieve a client’s outcomes.

Three ways to fail

The three common problems we’ve diagnosed are:​

  • Legacy tech – ITSM specialized software created when ITIL was new and designed for tasks and functions, not for collaboration and teamwork​
  • Task-driven design – where the ITSM tech has been implemented by IT teams for themselves to fulfill tasks, often because IT Ops teams take a task-minded approach rather than coming from a service mindset​
  • Missing techniques – even if the best possible tools have been used, the best practice techniques, and the experience that right-sizes them is missing.​​

My colleague summarized these as follows:​

  • Wrong software – old thinking​
  • Aversion to change, staying with what you know – old thinking​
  • Lack of vision, exposure and experience – old thinking ​.

Three ways to succeed

We find that while many companies identify the right tools for their needs, they often lack:​

  1. The time and objectivity to stand back, problem-solve and accurately identify business requirements​
  2. Understanding of all the stakeholder teams impacted by an ITSM or ESM solution​
  3. The techniques needed to get the best out of the tools and connect the tools to the team objectives effectively.​

The third leg of the stool

Imagine a three legged stool. Take one leg away and the stool is unstable. It falls. It fails to fulfill its role as a stool. It is unreliable.   As consultants, we are able to introduce the missing element in the form of technique. It is due to our extensive experience in ITSM solution design and our deep understanding of business practice and IT frameworks that we can connect the tools and the teams, creating a solution that both enables teams to complete tasks efficiently, whilst also enabling cross-functional collaboration to achieve business outcomes.

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