5 life lessons about implementing ITSM tools

Getting the right tool for IT service management is just half the battle won. The dealbreaker eventually comes down to implementing and driving adoption of the ITSM tool. And with smarter peer to peer support, stringent budgets for IT teams, and the rise of Shadow IT, encouraging adoption is only getting harder by the day. After witnessing numerous organizations successfully implement IT service management (ITSM) tools or service desk software, here’s a compilation of some actionable tips that can actually help you get started with your ITSM implementation.

Create internal advocates

How many times have you downloaded a new app because a friend or a colleague recommended it or simply spoke of their positive experience with the app? And how often do we tend to avoid a restaurant or a service for the same albeit negative experience?

So why not use that to your advantage?

Peer-to-peer recommendations are still the most powerful medium to ensure adoption of something new – even if it’s your new ITSM tool. However, streamline the recommendation process a tad bit more with the help of an individual or a group of individuals from the organization advocating the adoption of the new tool. This would create a FOMO effect among employees who are simply resistant to the change.

Be nimble and quick

We’re all lazy people (they say lazy people are the smartest though). We never do stuff unless we absolutely have to or are forced to, either by deadlines or compulsion. Necessity is the mother of invention – the same applies when you’re trying to get people into using the new ITSM solution.

Be a maverick – set very ambitious deadlines, say 30 days for complete implementation, or even restrict usage of alternative tools.

In this case, you could ensure better service delivery over the support portal and push down email/ alternative tool support on the priority list.  Adopting an agile approach lets you build a lot of momentum initially to carry forward which will, in turn, enable the implementation to be done with a lot more ease. Most importantly, don’t let complexities in the process bog you down during the implementation.

If you’re going with this, you’re definitely going to see some people struggling at some point into the operation, thanks to this particular pace and style of enforcement. And that’s when your advocate(s) need to step in.

Think like a marketer

Probably an obvious thing to do. But how many of us do it the right way? Just like how a feature or product release gets the marketing treatment, a new tool also needs to be sold to employees the same way. Here a few tips that actually work: 

  • Drop all the conventional ways of pushing out internal news, and instil novel ideas into your communication to the team.
  • Get help from your marketing team to work on messaging and design; make the ITSM tool appealing to your audience.
  • Choose your communication channels wisely – from putting up posters and other collaterals at places that are frequented by customers, be it social media or the office water cooler.
  • Reiterate the new process’ value for the users – make the change about them and not about its benefits to the organization. Enunciate on advantages like reduced follow-ups, more accountability about their requests, etc. 

Keep measuring

The best the way to ensure successful adoption of a tool is to measure your performance at every stage of implementation. Deep-diving into the statistics establishes how far your efforts have paid off, governs perceptions and outcomes among peers, and helps drive meaningful actions.

My 2 cents – what is not measured cannot be improved upon, what cannot be improved will not be sustainable.

Here are a few metrics that need to be tracked during the implementation process:

  • Percentage of adoption across organization on a weekly basis,
  • Comparison of channel usage; the number of walk-ups vs phone calls vs emails,  
  • Percentage of self-service usage on a weekly basis – ideally 70% adoption towards the end of your implementation period, and
  • Percentage of team-wise adoption of the portal so you can focus efforts in the right direction.


Don’t forget to have fun

All through the implementation, don’t forget to celebrate how far you’ve come. Remember to break your vision to small, time-bound manageable tasks. It always helps to throw a launch party and make everybody feel involved about the whole deal, instead of sending an email communicating the transition and expecting them to gladly accept the change. And, to keep the momentum going, consider gamifying the service desk so users are constantly motivated by rewards and recognitions for being part of various tasks from the portal.

So, that ends our five tips for successfully implementing ITSM. Are they same as your ideas? If not, I would love to hear what worked for you.