I recently worked with a client who had previously decided to purchase an out of the box Service Management solution to help them to establish their Service Management capabilities. The cost wasn't over the top but certainly significant, and I wasn't involved in the initial procurement of the solution.
While I had worked with previous clients who had attempted to buy in generic capabilities rather than develop their own, I was very keen to understand how well this particular organisation had adopted such an approach and derived any value.
The 'Out of the box Service Management solution' in this case included a set of predefined ITIL® processes and activities. The processes were prepared and presented in a generic nature and were customisable to meet the needs of each individual organisation.
With regards to my client situation - Implementing an 'Out of the Box Solution' certainly helped to speed up and establish a set of Service Management Processes, however it didn't appear to have any real impact on embedding the capabilities into the organisation. Roles and Structures were left undefined and unaligned and unfortunately Senior Management were on the understanding they had bought a solution to plug the gap and weren't really aware of the role they need to play to endorse these new capabilities.
So here are some key considerations to keep in mind when working with 'Out of the Box' SM Solutions:
• Understand that what you have bought are generic processes, for any real value to be realised the processes need to be customised and fit for purpose, this will normally include developing supporting documentation to next level of detail and - this can take some time so ensure you prepare appropriately for this in your planning.
• Utilise the Out of the Box Solution to compliment your overall vision - be clear on your requirements and ensure you understand how the solution will fulfil your requirements.
• Don't get overwhelmed and carried away by all the features now available to you - Some of the additional features can be distracting and take you off course, stay clear on what you need fundamentally and look to roll out additional features when and where required.
• Just because you have bought an entire package doesn't mean that you need to implement all of the processes at once - Prioritise and be realistic
• Ensure the processes fit within your Service Management Process model - Spend time ideally upfront mapping out an architecture that is both user friendly and can accommodate your implementation and maturity strategy
• Integrate Processes with each other as soon as possible to ensure you are creating end to end value and understand or highlight gaps.