An expert in IT service management (ITSM) treats the service provider as a medical doctor treats the patient. People have systems (e.g., circulatory, nervous, digestive, etc.), and so do service providers. Just as people are all wonderfully unique and special, so are service providers. And, just as people also are more or less the same when it comes to most illnesses and, luckily, most cures, so are service providers. Even though each service provider is unique, they all suffer from the same dysfunctions and benefit from the same cures. The prescription or dosing may vary, but the cause and effect remain the same.
An ITSM expert listens for symptoms, or manifestations of dysfunction visible to the patient (aka the service provider), and then seeks signs, or manifestations and conditions not readily visible to said patient but visible to the ITSM expert. This is called diagnosing, and it is the first job of an ITSM expert.
As an example, let’s say our diagnosis is service desk agent role ambiguity and/or role conflict.
The next job of the ITSM expert is to understand the cause(s) of the diagnosis—perhaps a failed management strategy (usually results in role ambiguity) or miscommunication to customers about capabilities (typically a cause of role conflict).
Using ITIL or another model (there are many), the ITSM expert chooses the closest situational template as a starting point to create a prescription. In this case, with role ambiguity, the prescription might be to work with human resources to develop job descriptions and management training so that service desk agents are properly supported to accomplish an agreed-upon task. To correct role conflict, the ITSM expert may engage with marketing to correct misstatements and properly set customers’ expectations.
Lastly, the ITSM expert schedules a follow-up visit to keep an eye on the patient.
So, what does an ITSM expert do? A true ITSM expert diagnoses organizational dysfunction, uses models and norms to discover its cause, prescribes a specific solution, and monitors to ensure organizational healing occurs. In short, an ITSM expert treats and heals dysfunctional IT service provider organizations.
ITIL training is just the beginning for an ITSM expert. Leadership and business training, facilitation skills, and consulting skills are what bring the ITIL body of knowledge to real fruition.