Creating and Advancing A Service Culture Through Information Technology Service Management

Peggy Kay, AVP & Technology Customer Experience, University of the Pacific

“Culture does not change because we desire to change it. Culture changes when the organization is transformed; the culture reflects the realities of people working together every day.” - Frances Hesselbein.

Changing a technology focused university department culture to one that is customer service focused is a journey that requires a good compass, roadmap and guidelines. University of the Pacific Technology found that in the Information Technology Infrastructure Library(ITIL) service management framework.

The Pacific Technology Division at the University of the Pacific operates as a distributed support organization with a central technology office and distributed technology support areas across various divisions and schools. Three years ago marked the beginning of our journey to a customer service culture where we faced seven distinct helpdesk systems, inconsistent practices, inefficient communication and frustration across all areas of the University. All of these scenarios worked against our desire for a future of agility, innovation and transformation.

We started our service management framework journey by focusing on the University’s strategic goals. We assessed these goals to create a strategy focused on strengthening foundational technology while improving operational performance to create a culture of service and innovation. An ITIL maturity assessment was performed to determine the Division’s staff knowledge and establish a baseline on where the organization started and how far we’ve come since adopting ITIL.

A cornerstone of improving operational performance and creating a culture of service was the decision to develop an IT service management (ITSM) framework using ITIL. Our vision for ITSM focused on adopting and adapting capabilities, practices and methodologies to plan, build, deliver and ensure quality of the services. Learning these capabilities assists us in realizing customer satisfaction, operational efficiencies and reduction of costs. We placed our focus on people, processes and tools.

Since University of the Pacific and Pacific Technology were unfamiliar with ITSM and ITIL, we started by preparing our technology leadership on how to lead organizational change and the foundations of service management. We also communicated to leaders across the University to make sure our distributed technology partners were engaged. We introduced ITIL concepts to our team members through an exercise that simulated ITIL processes working together and provided them with ITIL Foundation training and certification options. We then held process development sessions to define and train our staff on the ITIL processes and reviewed potential service management/desk applications to centralize our service platform. The teams worked together because they had a common desire to improve the work and service of our organization. The outcome of this initial push of our service management framework resulted in a consolidation of seven helpdesk service systems into one central system. Communication and visibility into the work performed is now available to customers as well as technology staff.Our customers have the ability to hold us accountable for the services we provide.

In the past two years we’ve placed a lot of energy on our internal operational processes. Last fall we performed a customer satisfaction survey that identified over 60 percent of our responding customers had little understanding of our tools and services. This feedback provided guidance for us to us to turn our direction toward development of a service catalog. The service catalog initiative will serve both our customers and our organization by continuing as we gain greater understanding of the composition and integration of technology components that define each service offering in the catalog. With this additional knowledge of our environment, we will have greater capacity to value interactions of new technology with our current architecture and advance our ability to quickly respond to customer needs.

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