When IT leaders spot something’s wrong, they typically commission a review to better understand the issues. But not all assessment exercises are equal. Here, Steve Morgan of Syniad IT lifts the lid on Syniad’s IT maturity assessment approach.


What are we assessing?  
Often, there is a need to assess a specific function or team. For example, the service desk, request management or change team. Sometimes, the assessment is broader, covering numerous functions within an IT department. Assessment may also cover a specific service, perhaps in readiness for a major change, such as the rollout of a new operating system, application or hardware.

Why?  
Organisations commission an assessment for a number of reasons:
• To get an independent and objective view
• To help confirm what they already know
• To provide assurance that the organisation is ready to support a major change programme
• The reduce the complexity of issues by breaking them down into constituent parts
• To uncover the causes of specific issues
• To provide order and discipline to the presentation of issues
• To collate findings into a single deliverable which can be used as a baseline
• To provide impetus, direction and structure to improvement activities
• To provide an improvement roadmap

How?  
First, there needs to be a formal approach to the assessment with discrete phases, activities and deliverables. Second, we need to ensure that the core focus areas are covered. We use the high level areas below:

People  – This should address staff numbers, organisation structure, skills, retention and development.

Process  – This should assess the extent to which service desk processes are defined, documented and followed.

Technology – This will cover the extent to which service desk technology, such as ticket logging and tracking, knowledge base, telephony and collaboration, is deployed to support the service desk operation

Suppliers – This will cover the efficiencyy of any 3rd party support arrangements which are in place to support the service desk operation

Governance
– This will cover the over-arching service desk governance in terms of key performance indicators, service level agreements / operational level agreements and continual improvement, their reporting, review and structure.

What are the outcomes?  

If no action is to be taken following the assessment, its value will be questioned. An assessment exercise should provide the basis for an improvement programme and must therefore containable actionable recommendations, preferably in the context of a strategic roadmap which defines the direction of travel and the milestones along the way.

Why Syniad IT?
Simply, we have a tried and tested approach which we continually refine. Our approach provides us with the ability to execute consistently each time, whilst providing us with sufficient flexibility to tailor the assessment to specific client requirements. We have over 100 years of combined experience as consultants, but also, critically, as practitioners who have had “real” jobs in IT. We don’t deliver audits, which are one-dimensional and can be constrained by audit scripts. We deliver assessments, which are deep, rich and supported not only academic knowledge, but also by real-world experience.

If you think your organisation could benefit from an independent assessment, please visit our website or get in touch with us to discuss your requirements.

Guest post by:
Steve Morgan, Syniad IT

Steve Morgan

Director

Steve is director of Syniad IT, an independent IT service management consulting firm which specialises in helping IT leaders to assess and optimise their IT organisations.

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