Putting The M In ITSM

InvGate October 15, 2015
- 12 min read


As we approach our live panel discussion next week, we are wrapping up our blog series on building your ITSM Dream Team.  If you haven’t had an opportunity to review the series yet, here’s a list of the posts in order so far.

  1. Get In The Game! Do You Know Your ITSM Role?
  2. How To Build Your ITSM Dream Team
  3. How To Empower Your ITSM Dream Team
  4. How To Empower Your ITSM Dream Team - Mobility
  5. Your ITSM Dream Team: Fitting Everything Together
  6. The ITSM Dream Team of Tomorrow
  7. A Sneak Peak Of Our Upcoming Webinar
  8. The ITSM Dream Team of Tomorrow - Onboarding & Succession
We recognize that operations tend to run smoother when a manager is able to grow along with the rest of their team.  So in today’s installment, we’re going to show you how to approach your own personal development when you’re a service manager.

Lead, Don’t Manage

When you head up a team, you’re in a position to set the tone for everyone else.  If you take an opportunity to demonstrate your dedication to personal development, you’ve got a chance to lead by example.  This is one of the biggest differences between leading a team, and managing a team.  In the ITSM sphere, the best service managers are those that demonstrate true leadership qualities!

One key aspect of leadership is a commitment to the delivery of real time feedback.  The delivery must go down to your team, and up to your own leadership as well so set aside time every day for all of the necessary analysis and communication.  Look for trends and patterns like:

  • The most reported and the least reported request types over the past 30 days
  • Are there any parent level Problem tickets seeing a spike in related incident tickets?
  • Are newly implemented processes and tools showing success?  Or are they failing to meet your needs?

Armed with this information, start sharing your insights up the chain.  Your decision makers need to have accurate data when deciding on a course of action for the business.  Your team can be a resource in gathering this data, but it takes your own leadership to drive a successful process.  Also, see if your team can be a resource in looking for root causes or if they can come up with a creative approach to fix an ongoing problem.  

Skill Sharpening

If you’re heading up an ITSM team, there’s a good chance that you were once a tech on the front line, fielding and resolving tickets on a daily basis.  As you move up into more senior positions at your organization, some of those front line skills may start to become dull.

However, it’s important to keep those skills sharp because problem solving and conflict resolution are their foundation.  Every manager benefits when they are strong in these areas, so make sure that you’re allocating appropriate time to your skill sharpening activities.  

If you’re not sure where to start, this article may help.  Here are a few other finds you may want to bookmark:

There are also a variety of great free courses available via MOOC platforms like Coursera:

  • Building Your Leadership Skills - HEC Paris
  • Inspiring Leadership through Emotional Intelligence - Case Western Reserve University
  • Conflict Resolution Skills - University of California, Irvine

You also want to make sure that you’re putting your theories and newly learned skills into action, which leads to the next point.

Spend Time in the Trenches

We have always found it best for service managers to spend at least 1 hour a week “on the floor” to monitor and facilitate.  If you can stay tapped into the day to day struggles of your team, you’re going to put yourself in a better position to help them fill any gaps.  This approach also gives you a chance to provide mentoring and knowledge transfer in real time as problematic situations crop up.  

You will also need to make yourself accessible to your team even when you’re not on the floor.  If you’re stuck behind a closed door, you might miss out on the pulse of your team and that will certainly have a negative impact on your ability to lead them through future hazards.  

Wrapping Up

In our final post for this series, we’ll take a look at the last key element for service managers - grooming and delegation.  Our panel will have some great thoughts to add on all of the topics from the series so far, so make sure to register and reserve your spot!

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