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4 min read

Why do ITSM implementations fail?

Phill Fox
Phill Fox
1 November 22 ITSM
ITSM implementation

IT infrastructure is crucial to running your organisation—from computers and servers to workplace technology and day-to-day operations. In a large organisation with hundreds or thousands of employees, IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices help IT teams deliver their services efficiently and effectively.

As useful as ITSM is, getting your implementation up and running successfully can be a slog. Introducing new procedures and getting the whole organisation on the same page about a new way of accessing these crucial services comes with several challenges. 

Suppose your ITSM implementation is struggling to get off the ground. In that case, many factors might be holding it back—from poor communication and a lack of training to no standard processes and limited automation. In this blog, we'll look at four that we encounter regularly and offer our advice for best practices.

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eBook: Best practices for ensuring a successful ITSM implementation

Best practices for ensuring a successful ITSM implementation

Learn how to confidently build your ITSM strategy using modern frameworks for a successful implementation.

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Four big reasons why ITSM implementations fail

1. Ignoring the customer experience

Because ITSM is often set up and implemented by those who deal with the tickets (namely the IT team), they’ve planned and configured the tools in a way that makes the most sense for them. In reality, IT provides a service to the rest of the organisation—the end users are the customers, not the people who provide the service. You need to make sure you’re considering their experience, their needs, and building a service desk and any other tools to support that. 

Don’t be afraid to reassess the problems you want your implementation to address. How will ITSM support the business to reach its goals? What are the benefits it will bring? If you didn’t do this thinking initially, it’s not too late. Don’t just focus on the technical aspects and the IT team’s requirements—think about the key outcomes that having ITSM will deliver.

2. Forgetting to map the value stream

Related to the point above, an implementation performed in isolation, without considering the entire value stream, will undoubtedly fail. If you only include a specific team or group’s perspective, you will skew the implementation to their needs. 

For example, if the IT team only maps the types of requests it deals with, it will miss crucial handovers or integration points. IT will know what it needs to set up an account for a new starter, but might forget that the facilities team needs to print a key card for that person to access the office in the first place, or that procurement needs to purchase a new laptop for them. Design the service based on the bigger picture, not just one team’s requirements.

3. Working in an agile way but forgetting the bigger picture

Being agile and proactive is a good thing, but never lose sight of the bigger picture especially when it comes to further stages of development. Let’s say your team performing the implementation is trying to solve a particular issue in the problem domain, so decide to make quick configuration changes that make complete sense based on the urgent problem at hand. Quick fixes are great, right? Think again.

They may have solved the problem in the short term, but the foundations for further development are now unstable for any future growth. For example, the team’s solution was to create custom fields to house data, but the next phase of implementation work involved migrating all of this into the configuration management database, which resulted in rework, wasting time and effort.

4. Selecting the wrong ITSM tool

The saying goes that only a bad worker blames their tools, but in this case, the wrong ITSM tool might actually be the cause of your implementation issues. Ideally, you would perform a tool assessment first, looking at the features each solution offers and matching these with your requirements. Consider the vendor’s reputation, how much support they offer, and what long-term plans are in place for the solution—will it be updated over time? 

As a world-leading Atlassian partner, we offer expert discovery and assessment, ITSM implementation and migration support, and end-to-end managed services. While onboarding tools alone will not be enough to see your implementation soar, we’re proud to recommend Jira Service Management to our clients.

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Is Jira an ITSM tool?

Learn why Atlassian's JSM is a popular ITSM tool.

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Jira Service Management comes complete with features you’ll recognise, as well as other ones that make it much more powerful for IT teams:

  • It makes change management more efficient with automated risk assessments and deep CI/CD integrations, so you can make data-based decisions.
  • You can categorise service questions, problems, changes, and incidents with ease, grouping similar tickets to take bulk actions easily. 
  • Because it’s built on the same platform as your Jira software, collaboration with DevOps teams takes less effort and there are fewer barriers to adoption. 

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ITSM success with Adaptavist 

We can help you get the most out of Jira Service Management, tailoring the tool to your organisation’s unique needs. And if you’re currently using an unsatisfactory alternative, we can help you migrate too. Our ITSM solution involves an assessment of your current app portfolio and implementation. We’ll then recommend where you can make improvements.

Rather than paying for features you don’t need, our experts will make sure you only invest in the right technology for your teams. We can integrate the services and add-ons you want, optimising your ITSM platform to give it the greatest chance of success. 

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Kickstart your ITSM implementation journey today, and download our guide 'Best practices for ensuring a successful ITSM implementation' which includes key steps to follow along with tried and tested frameworks to confidently build your implementation strategy, to help you deliver a modern ITSM solution fit for the future.

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