Building on the successful completion of the first stage of the Service Desk Integration Project in 2012/13, Pink Elephant continued to work with the University of Oxfords IT department during 2013.
The initial requirement had been about the need for an independent and unbiased assessment of the organisational maturity of the 3 separate IT departments as they started their journey towards integration with supporting assistance for the development of a costed business case relating to the selection and implementation of a single integrated ITSM toolset for use across the new integrated service desk.
In the second phase the assistance that Pink Elephant was asked to provide centred around support in the critical tool selection process, the design and documentation of agreed processes for Incident, Service Request, Problem & Change Management and the running of a business simulation for the CIO and her direct reports to bring to life the desired end state. Along with these defined work packages was a need to provide ongoing support and assistance to the Project Manager who was tasked with delivering the success of the project.
Jonathan Marks (Project Manager) said “The first day of working with Pink Elephant was focused on helping him understand the road ahead for the project and was very useful”
Working with Jonathan Pink utilised its PinkSELECT product to draw upon its years of experience with the market place to provide a detailed, but flexible approach to selecting the ITSM toolset that would underpin the integration project.
Pink assisted with the production of the RFP based upon what was important for the University. The companies were scored and reduced from 8 originally, down to 4 for short list and then further onto two who would be taken forward to the full demonstration.
In order to ensure that the critical demonstrations were as close as possible to how the University wanted to use the toolset support was drawn from a parallel work stream that was under way at the same time, designing the end state processes for use in the University.
In order to ensure a smooth transition to a combined working practise there was a need for ITIL aligned processes to be defined and agreed across all areas. Pink Elephant hosted a series of one to two day workshops to agree the framework for the processes were in place.
In each case a high level ITIL aligned process from Pink Elephants extensive ATLAS product set, was utilised as a starting point, and then the relevant questions and decisions were put to the working group to ensure that what emerged was truly owned by those who would have to use it going forwards.
A major output from these workshops was that it provided the needed knowledge to develop the relevant use cases to support the ITSM tool selection process. Not only did Oxford now have high level process frameworks in place to support them as they moved forwards it allowed the tool vendors to be assessed against how Oxford planned to actually work, not just vanilla ITIL.
The use cases were very helpful, they were used in not only assessing the tools but also in getting a broad engagement across all departments and getting buy in from all areas. (John quote)
2 suppliers were selected to take forwards, and a more detailed and longer assessment was needed, I worked with the vendors to help them understand the complexities and priorities for the vendors. I knew what Oxford valued and could translate it. This freed them up to work on other areas at the same time.
“Peters position as an independent, but highly experienced expert in this field that let me do this,. If we had tried to do this internally our politics would have stopped it” said John Ireland, Director of Customer services.
From there they were able to select a preferred vendor and move into the next phase of the project, implementing the chosen toolset, and ensuring that the desired way of working is reflected in the tool as its implemented.
To ensure that the buy in for the project remained high Pink Elephant was asked to run a business simulation workshop for the CIO and her direct reports. The objective of the simulation was to help display, in a fun and engaging way, how service management could add value to the universities IT department as it moved towards its desired state.
“The business simulation was utterly critical as a way of getting management buy in to let them see what you were driving at. It’s a way of making it real, bringing people on board.” Said Jonathan after the simulation had been completed.
As the work focussed on the selection of the ITSM toolset, and process design is completed and the focus changed to supporting Oxford as they prepare to implement the chosen ITSM toolset and launch their new integrated IT Service Desk the client was asked for their impressions on working with Pink Elephant over the last year.
“Peter Hubbard (Pink Elephant Principal Consultant) has the rare ability to genuinely understand how our business works and apply the expert knowledge in a sensitive way to allow trust in his advice” stated John Ireland.