What Is IT Process Management?
IT process management is a series of activities that relates to the planning and monitoring stages of either a business process or a computer process. For many businesses, the concept of information technology (IT) process management is linked directly to re-engineering. However, this connection is more related to the actual implementation and support methods used than the actual process itself.
The primary goal of IT process management is to review existing tools and software used to conduct the firm's business activities and ensure that they are performing in an optimal way. Typically involved in this type of process management are business analysis, system modification, and metrics or analytics. This type of work is the backbone behind all business-related system decisions and should be reviewed at the highest levels of the organization.
The role of business analysis in IT process management is to review the current methods and practices to ensure the systems and tools provided are able to meet the needs of the organization. In many firms, the business analysts are part of the information technology team, working closely with programmers, developers, and systems managers to ensure that user needs are a priority. The expectation is that the business analysts are well versed in the current and ideal business processes and are working with both the technical staff and the end users to find the best ways to complete the required tasks.
As part of IT process management, the technical services managers review the current steps and tasks required to complete various jobs. They are responsible for staying informed about enhancements to existing software or new technologies that can improve the current process. Most service managers schedule a review of recurring tasks at least once a year, with the primary aim of reducing or eliminating these tasks.
It is very common for firms to invest significant staff time and resources into enhancing the IT process management. The value for this type of activity is found in both hard and soft dollar savings. In large, international organizations, there is often a team of staff dedicated to ensuring that all processes are performing within optimal tolerances and as efficiently as possible.
Metrics and analytics are commonly used tools to measure the time and effort utilized with current processes. These tools help to prioritize projects and provide valuable feedback on the effectiveness of the system changes implemented. The time saved can then be allocated to other tasks without increasing the cost to the organization.
@Charred - I think the biggest challenge for anyone is change. For example if your customer sales representatives are used to a certain call center software, and you suddenly swap it out for something new and improved, you’ve introduced a drastic change all at once.
I guarantee you that you’ll hear complaints about “where’s my XYZ button” or “how do you do this function or that” in short order. IT change management process is an important task in this regard.
I think companies need to introduce change gradually, slowly getting people acclimated and even soliciting their opinions during the transition. It will make things go smoother for everyone.
@hamje32 - Well I think that before you can have IT process management you need to have processes and procedures written down first. That should seem obvious, but I’ve actually worked at companies where there was no such documentation, or it was sparse and scattered if it existed at all.
If you really want a structured approach I think you should look into ITIL process management. ITIL is kind of the gold standard right now for IT business process management, at least if you believe the hype.
Not everyone uses it but it’s worth a look; you can think of it as something like an ISO standard for IT process management. They have courses and stuff you can take online and you can get certification for your company as well.
I work for a software company, so help desk management is a big deal. We have to properly answer all support calls and tickets and respond to them properly, and we need a way of quantifying how well we are doing with support resolution.
In other words, we want to know how long a call took, was it resolved, was it escalated – and if so, how many levels of escalation were needed before it was resolved?
These are the metrics that we look at, and right now we are in the process of overhauling our help desk ticketing system. It’s a home grown solution as it were, and we will be replacing it with a commercial product that is much better, based on our review.
Reporting and metrics are the biggest deals to the executives and the new product boasts a better feature set in this regard.
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