Challenges of Continual Service Improvement

Continuous service improvement focuses on bringing about continuous improvements in the efficiency and the effectiveness of different IT service management and processes. It is recommended for maintaining the quality of products/ services. Usually, lessons from past successes and failures are taken and implemented to improve all kinds of processes in CSI. While it sounds simple and straight forward, this method of improving services comes with its own set of challenges. Read on for more.

What Are the Challenges of Continual Service Improvement?

Some of the challenges faced by various organizations are:

Integrating CSI into the business culture

The biggest mistake that companies make with approaching this method is thinking that it is a one step process to improve the quality and the efficiency of all integrated processes. It is not restricted to one process or just one stage, but it has to be done over the entire process, in small but incremental steps. It is necessary to integrate the overall process of bringing consistent improvements into the basis of the business culture, rather than turning to it as and when required.

When this becomes a continuous process, quality will be delivered and services will improve continuously, and dramatically. However, integrating this method into the system can be a challenge for many. Depending on the nature and size of the business process, the intensity of the challenge may differ.

Lacking a problem solving model

For continuous service improvement, one has to have a problem solving model. Without this, there would be no framework or basis for the team to refer. The problem solving model anticipates certain queries and issues that the company would face. Every business process might have a different model that caters to problems that are specific to the process. It makes the entire improvement process easier and much faster.

Not uncovering the key drivers

There are certain drivers that influence and affect the functioning of an organizational process. If these are not identified or uncovered over the course of the process, it keeps the organization from reaching its potential. The quality gets affected and the process starts to decay instead of flourishing. The challenge then would be to uncover all the important drivers that are essential for continuous service improvement and address them in an efficient manner. One should determine the number of critical success factors that are required in order to obtain the optimum levels of improvements.

Lack of trained resources

Continuous service improvement is something that needs specialized training and knowledge. If an organization lacks in this area, then it can be a problem. It needs to have the right resources in order to deal with the process of continuous improvement efficiently. Considerate time and effort needs to be put in too. Many a times, organizations may find it challenging to find the right resources, impart the right kind of training, and most importantly, take out time to do the same.

Lack of discipline to carry on continuous improvement

Since it is a continuous and an incremental process, one has to be much disciplined when it comes to continuous improvement. The moment a company neglects it a bit or gets a little careless, the effect will be reflected on the result. Some companies may face a challenge with maintaining the required discipline.

Lack of infrastructure

Not having proper infrastructure can be a big challenge. Its okay if the key problem areas are identified and the solution for the same are designed accurately, but then, if appropriate infrastructure is not present, then the execution of and results obtained from various processes would be affected adversely. This challenge has to be tackled either by building the infrastructure or deriving solutions that are within the means of any given and existing infrastructure.

Way Forward

These challenges have to be listed down, considered beforehand, and addressed accordingly. Turning a blind eye to them would results in issues that would just diminish the end result. Remember that continuous improvement is not a random or abrupt event, but rather something that flows seamlessly through an organization. It comes through small incremental steps that will be spread over a period of time, so as to result in the desired levels of effectiveness and efficiency.

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Uma Daga