See the human side of service managementPart 2: Communication


This series examines the human side of gaining support for Enterprise Service Management (ESM). Throughout the series, we explore how relationships, communication and trust matter for Enterprise Service Management success.


Written by:

Stephen Mann, ITSM Consultant

Rebecca Beach, ITSM Specialist

Patrice Burnside, Industry Commentator

Foreword by Patrice Burnside

In the first instalment of our series exploring the human dimension of service management, we heard from Stephen Mann and Rebecca Beach as they discussed the value of building solid relationships in your ‘beyond IT’ journey.


Whether you’re drafting a business case for additional enterprise service or IT investment, or just having a few water cooler conversations on the subject, you must keep people at the heart of your mission towards building a more cost-effective and productive organization.


This week we bring you the second instalment of our series exploring the human dimension of Enterprise Service Management (ESM). The focus today? Communication.


If you’re reading this, chances are you’ve already heard the phrases ‘beyond IT’, ‘outside IT’, ESM, etc. — all of which mean much of same thing. But what does it mean to someone who doesn’t already know the lingo?


We can explain it like this: Whether you work in IT, HR, Finance, Procurement or any other department, each of us is called to answer many common and recurring requests. These requests can be for products or services, information, a change, or simply assistance with an issue. With diminished budgets and fewer resources, we need to be equipped to deal with these requests in a way that is economical of time and money, yet still presents our department in an invaluable light. That’s where ESM becomes the next logical progression in corporate evolution. This evolution is all about the discovery of more intelligent, more productive ways of working. IT Service Management (ITSM) is a key part of the story, but we must now consider how service beyond IT features in the next chapter.


Here’s an example of what we mean by Enterprise Service Management:


Michelle is the HR manager for a large call center. Every quarter she organizes the induction of 80-100 new employees. She takes a copy of their bank details, proof of eligibility to work, etc. Any delays in the process can affect how quickly they start making calls, but a service management system can help streamline the process. Having an automated process - one which is faster, more reliable and easier to process than a spreadsheet - wouldn’t just make Michelle’s life easier (although it would). It would also mean that each team gets their new starts on the phones earning revenue faster than would otherwise be possible.


As IT specialists, how we articulate the promises of service management is a critical component to it not being lost on the business. At one level, providing on-the-ground examples of what we mean by it can help colleagues discover the benefits. But this type of information can only take you so far. Ultimately, you need to open an ongoing dialogue with colleagues and stakeholders from across the business. Use their language when possible. Learn what business processes they engage in. This approach will help you articulate how an enterprise-wide service management solution can make everyone’s lives easier, thereby freeing the business to focus on innovation and profit-generating activities.


Five quick tips to help you better communicate service management ‘beyond IT’

Here are five more tips from Stephen Mann and Rebecca Beach about how you can communicate the benefits of ‘beyond IT’ to colleagues who don’t just come from IT, but HR, Finance, etc.


1. Be clear as to the benefits for the other corporate service providers. Yes, you can look forward to better service delivery and service experience. Yes, you’ll enjoy economies of scale and other cost savings. But there’s so much more to it. Promote the benefits for each departmental organization and its standing within the business.

2. Is your goal to promote ESM? Then avoid using IT, ITSM, or ITIL® language with other departments. After all, who outside of IT, security experts, and the police can tell you what an incident is? When discussing the opportunity with the wider business, translate your message from IT jargon into understandable business language. At a minimum, find a common ground between tech speak and plain English.

3. Don’t underestimate, or undersell, the value of self-service tracking and the ability for management insight. Service management should be so much more than replacing manual processes. Process automation should also be a big selling point. Which department wouldn't want to stop manually logging requests in a spreadsheet for tracking?

4. Don’t just sell the theory of Enterprise Service Management. Look to your peers in other companies or to the provider of your ITSM solution for real examples of success. Seek facts and figures that demonstrate success in terms of financial ROI and quality of service improvements.

5. Communicate as much as possible. ESM is sold by communication, delivered by communication and supported by communication — not by an ITSM value proposition.


Defining Enterprise Service Management
Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is the extension of IT Service Management (ITSM) technology and possibly ITIL® across other corporate service providers. (ITIL is the ITSM best practice framework formerly known as the Information Technology Infrastructure Library.) ESM serves to deliver a better, automated, and possibly uniform service delivery and service experience. Ultimately, its purpose is to generate as much value as possible for the business, regardless of corporate service provider. ESM can also be referred to as Outside IT, Beyond IT, or Service Management.


Did you realize how rapidly ESM is being embraced?


  • A late-2014 survey by the HDI found that 51% of respondents are either already using ESM or are planning to adopt ITSM principles beyond IT.
  • A 2015 survey by the SDI found that 55% of respondents are planning for a shared-service management model.


Discover how the Forestry Commission used positive communication to transform service delivery across the enterprise


Wondering how to roll out Enterprise Service Management in your organization? Be inspired by the Forestry Commission, who first adopted the assyst ITSM solution primarily for ICT. After the service was live, they sought customer feedback and won the support of their customers not only for ICT use, but also to expand the service enterprise-wide.


As colleagues across the business enjoyed greater efficiencies from using the assyst Service Catalog, more departments in the Forestry Commission’s business areas approached ICT to request that their own items are added. The Forestry Commission now also use the assyst Service Catalog for Telephony, Building Maintenance, HR, Finance and Accounting.


Listening played an important part in the feedback loop. ICT staff members welcomed suggestions on additional service improvements. They’re now incorporating these suggestions in order to further increase customer satisfaction throughout an already happy end-user base.


To learn more from the Forestry Commission, read the full case study.


About the authors

Stephen Mann, ITSM Consultant
Stephen Mann is an independent IT and IT Service Management (ITSM) content marketing creator, and a frequent blogger, writer, and presenter on the challenges and opportunities for IT Service Management professionals. In his career, he’s held positions in IT research and analysis (at IT industry analyst firms Ovum and Forrester, and the UK Post Office), ITSM consultancy, IT service desk and IT service management, IT asset management, innovation and creativity facilitation, project management, finance consultancy, internal audit, and most recently product marketing for a SaaS ITSM tool vendor.


Rebecca Beach, ITSM Specialist
Rebecca Beach is a well-known figure in the ITSM field. Rebecca has held roles as ITSM Research Analyst for the ITSM Review, ITSM Tools Engineer at Capita and Service Desk Analyst at Hanover Housing Association where she won the SDI IT Service Excellence Professional of the Year 2012 Award.


Patrice Burnside, Industry Commentator
Patrice Burnside is the Content Marketing Manager for Axios Systems. With more than 10 years’ experience in print and digital media, Patrice enjoys facilitating conversations about digital innovation and the ways in which it can improve society and enterprise. She invites you to keep the conversation going on:



Part 1: Relationships

Part 3: Trust