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In this video, we’re going to discuss the concept of ITIL Hacks for the Management Practice of Continual Improvement.

As many of you know, ITIL is a multi-billion dollar industry consisting of training, certification, assessments, and other activities that are designed to improve the effectiveness of IT service and support.

ITIL 4 was rolled out in February of 2020, and with 34 practices it was even more complex than ITIL 3, which was comprised of 26 processes.  But even before ITIL 4 was rolled out, we noticed that many in the service and support industry were taking a different approach when it came to ITIL. 

And instead of doggedly pursuing training, certification, and maturation…. and then waiting years to see   any kind of benefit from all that effort, they decided instead to hack ITIL.  An ITIL hack is simply a shortcut that allows you to achieve the benefits of a mature ITIL practice without having to go through months or even years of effort.

As a consultant, author, and speaker in this industry, I can attest firsthand to the failure of most continual improvement efforts.  The reason most of these efforts fail is because they are incremental in nature.  They rely on trial-and-error – a reinvent the wheel approach, if you will.  As a result, fewer than 5% of all IT service and support organizations ever achieve world-class performance.

But you don’t have to reinvent the wheel!  The industry’s best demonstrated practices are pretty well known, and pretty well understood at this point.  So, it is possible to get on a rapid improvement path, and achieve world-class performance, not in years or never; but in weeks or months. 

How do you do this?  Through benchmarking.  Over the last three decades, benchmarking has proven to be the single most effective tool for rapid improvement and achieving world-class performance in IT Service and Support.

As many of you know, benchmarking involves comparing your performance to that of a valid, external peer group of other support organizations.  You then identify the performance gaps.  And finally, you adopt the industry’s proven best practices to close or mitigate those performance gaps.  It’s a common sense process that doesn’t take a lot of time or cost a lot of money.  And it has a demonstrably high return on investment.

I’ve had the privilege of working with more than 4,000 IT service and support organizations throughout my career.  And I have seen firsthand how benchmarking yields dramatic improvements in cost per ticket, customer satisfaction, first contact resolution rate, service levels, and analyst job satisfaction.

So, what lessons can we take away from this?  Well, there’s a few.

  • First, the Management Practice of Continual Improvement doesn’t start with ITIL training and certification.  That’s why I call this an ITIL hack. 
  • Secondly, over the past 30 years, benchmarking has proven to be the single most effective tool for rapidly improving the performance of IT service and support.
  • Thirdly, there is such a thing as world-class performance.  That’s not just a buzzword or a cliché.  You can watch my video on how world-class performance is defined.  And the quickest way to achieve world-class performance is through benchmarking.
  • And finally, when undertaking benchmarking, you can expect to see measurable improvements in your performance – in cost, quality, and service levels.  Not in months or years; but in days or weeks.

Thanks for joining me today.  I hope you found my Vlog on ITIL hacks for Continual Improvement to be informative and insightful.

Jeffrey Rumburg

Jeff Rumburg is a co-founder and Managing Partner of MetricNet, where he is responsible for global strategy, product development, and financial operations for the company. As a leading expert in benchmarking and re-engineering, Mr. Rumburg authored a best selling book on benchmarking, and has been retained as a benchmarking expert by such well known companies as American Express, Hewlett-Packard, General Motors, IBM, and Sony. Mr. Rumburg was honored in 2014 by receiving the Ron Muns Lifetime Achievement Award for his contributions to the IT Service and Support industry. Prior to co-founding MetricNet, Mr. Rumburg was president and founder of The Verity Group, an international management consulting firm specializing in IT benchmarking. While at Verity, Mr. Rumburg launched a number of syndicated benchmarking services that provided low cost benchmarks to more than 1,000 corporations worldwide. Mr. Rumburg has also held a number of executive positions at META Group, and Gartner. As a vice president at Gartner, Mr. Rumburg led a project team that reengineered Gartner’s global benchmarking product suite. And as vice president at META Group, Mr. Rumburg’s career was focused on business and product development for IT benchmarking. Mr. Rumburg’s education includes an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School, an M.S. magna cum laude in Operations Research from Stanford University, and a B.S. magna cum laude in Mechanical Engineering. He is author of A Hands-On Guide to Competitive Benchmarking: The Path to Continuous Quality and Productivity Improvement, and has taught graduate-level engineering and business courses.

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