Master the ITSM Balancing Act: Pride and Hope

InvGate August 19, 2015
- 5 min read

In our last post regarding the The 4 Deadly Sins of Service Management we laid out some ways to get around fear and greed so that you can use them to your service management advantage.

In that post we looked at how things like end user adoption, the need for additional training, and bottom line thinking must all factor into your decision making process. We also showed you how to use your emotions as triggers to start you down the path of positive action.

We’re going to continue in that vein with today’s post by showing you how to keep pride and hope in balance!


In the first post on this topic we gave you a few tips on getting around pride if you’re using an internally developed service desk.  Pride can get in the way in some other situations too however. Another scenario to consider is when proof by example gets involved.

For a primer on the concept, have a look at this Wiki page.  For a real world ITSM example, think about a team meeting where a new policy is being discussed.  Someone around the table will almost certainly say something to the effect of “We can’t change the way we do that!  Bob and Susan have struggled to keep up with previous policy changes that we have made!”

The speaker is making a general assumption that Bob and Susan have struggled in the past, so therefore, they will struggle with all changes in the future.  While that line of thinking has some logical merit, it also has its flaws.  The harm in this thinking is that it could keep you from embracing a new opportunity that benefits your operation.

Still Think You’re Right?

No problem there, but you’ve still got to prove it!  Looking to replace your service management platform or try out a new approach with a certain internal procedure?  I find that it’s best to go with a user testing approach to help keep emotions out of the mix.  Not sure where to start?  This should help:

  1. Create a scenario that you’d like to test - creating a new ticket for example
  2. Write a list of tasks/activities needed to accomplish this goal
  3. Put together a quick script - completing the items on your list should take no more than a few minutes
  4. Set up screen recording to track how the user performs the tasks and to document their reactions
  5. Ask a user to complete the activities on the list and talk through their thoughts as they go - comparing what they say with what they do can prove to be eye opening
  6. Repeat with 3-5 members of each user group (eg. end user versus technician) and then review your findings
  7. If your team is too busy to assist, you can always go with a tool like to get some impartial opinions

Now you’ve got real world data to work with!  One other benefit of this approach is that it brings unforeseen problems to light so the importance of documenting everything can’t be overlooked.


I know what you’re probably thinking - hope is such a great thing, how can it be one of The 4 Deadly Sins of Service Management!  Hope is definitely something you want involved in your business - but not at the expense of your logistics.

Some IT decision makers out there think that if they can just find the right software that all of their problems will magically disappear.  This type of wishful thinking can lead to unfulfilled expectations and failed projects, so needs to be tempered with some practical thinking. Here is what we suggest:

  • Use your search for a new service desk as an excuse to review your ITSM processes
    • What new tech might eradicate your existing everyday problems?
    • Does your new software require a tweak to your existing workflow?  Now is your chance to ditch any obsolete practices!
    • During your review you may realize there are problems you can’t solve with software alone.  When this happens, get your policy makers involved.
  • Avoid tunnel vision
    • Always remember that you will get the best from your tools (software) and your people (processes) when they are properly aligned with your business goals.
    • As problems are solved, which back burner items can your team now address?

Bad policy can have an almost cancer-like effect on your operation so it’s important to think through these moving parts.  When you successfully combine logic with positive thinking you wind up eradicating systemic problems before they get a chance to take root.  


Highlighting the impact of The 4 Deadly Sins is something we aim to do with the rest of our posts on this topic over the next few weeks.  Also, watch for our post this Friday where we will give you some other tips and helpful articles.

As always, connect with us on social media and share your thoughts on this topic!  We want to hear what resonates with you!

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