IT Knowledge Management – Spreading the Word!

Anyone with experience in IT support knows the importance of knowledge in reducing resolution time. Anyone with math skills can extrapolate business value from rapid resolution. Despite its obvious benefits, Knowledge Management (KM) remains a frustration for a vast majority of enterprises. Why?

Because organizations continue to approach KM as a monolithic publication effort with ancillary inputs from Incident and Problem Management.

By combining principles from Knowledge Centered Support (KCS) with the ITIL framework and a few basic workflows, an enterprise with the right cultural mindset can make KM work with far less effort.

The Objective of IT Knowledge Management

IT’s need for Knowledge Management is not complex. Although ITIL lists five objectives to KM and KCS and boils it down to the “creation, use and evolution of knowledge”, this article, because of its focus on IT support, is more specific:

The objective of IT Knowledge Management is to create, maintain and make available concise and actionable information to users and IT support groups in order to resolve service disruptions quickly and respond to customer queries satisfactorily. 

The challenge is to collect, maintain, and make that knowledge accessible.

Flailing and Failing

How well are IT organizations managing their knowledge? Do support agents have rapid access to current knowledge for a vast majority of customer contacts?

Does the enterprise require waves of knowledge initiatives to address a stagnant knowledge lifecycle? Is there a group of knowledge authors scrambling to review and update solutions?  Are stale solutions common?

Gone are the days of separate knowledge applications run by a core team of authors. The monolithic approach to KM works no better today than it did 10 years ago but many organizations continue to flail about in an attempt to write the definitive support encyclopedia.

For organizations to achieve the objectives of KM, they must move toward distributed, open-source authorship.

If solution content originates at the point of problem support, where should authorship take place? This past weekend, I spent hours on the phone with a satellite TV provider trying to fix a problem on a secondary satellite receiver. After two hours, I noticed that the coax cable had a little red device on it and mentioned it to the support agent. “Oh my Gosh!”, she cried. “That device blocks the receiver from communicating with the parent receiver.  The instructions should have had me check that right away”. When I asked how hard it was to update the solution, she replied that she was already doing it. This is how to make KM effective.

One must drive content to the lowest possible level and implement a flexible, role-based approval mechanism that deploys the updated solution with minimal fuss.

Knowledge Management is Integral, Not Additional

Most organizations have implemented one or more repositories of “solutions” and most of those organizations struggle to encourage adoption by users and authors. The ineffectiveness of Knowledge Management derives from just a few basic misunderstandings:

  1. Centralized authorship simply does not work.
  2. If we look at Incident and Problem Management as recipes, Knowledge Management must be a primary ingredient rather than a garnish.
  3. Because the Service Desk is the face of IT and depends so heavily on an effective Knowledge Base, agent input must be dynamic and empowered.
  4. The Knowledge Management workflow must be flexible to support distributed authorship and review.
  5. Authorship and article utilization deserve meaningful rewards as an incentive for adoption.

To address these issues, one needs to employ a mixture of wisdom from several sources.  There are a number of standards for Knowledge Management.

So Many Knowledge Management Standards

Knowledge Management does not make standardization easy.  While this article discusses IT Knowledge Management, a standard cannot ignore the management of content and documents across the enterprise.  In general, the standards with broader scope will offer less prescriptive guidance for IT managers.

(ITIL) – ISO/IEC 20000 – ITIL’s approach to Knowledge Management is academic.  Though the inputs from Problem Management and Incident Management are clearly defined, ITIL is tentative in demanding the required participation and ITIL provides scant guidance in establishing a workflow.

Knowledge Centered Support – though not an official standard, KCS is comprehensive and its approach maps best to the real world.  KCS emphasizes that KM must be incorporated into the process flows of both Incident and Problem Management.  This paper draws heavily on KCS.

Other Standards

Though this article focuses on ITIL and KCS, there are other standards worthy of mention:

Standards Australia International is Australia’s non-government standards body and is a member of the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The SAI publishes “AS 5037-2005 Knowledge Management – A Guide”.

European Committee for Standardization has published standard “CWA-14924″ in five parts.  Part 1 lays out a framework and basic KM steps (Identify, Create, Store, Share, Use) but is weak on workflow guidance. There is considerable guidance on project management.

British Standards Institute publishes “PAS2001:2001 Knowledge Management”, a high-level document with limited value for process design and implementation.

KCS Plus ITIL

Though ITIL is weak in Knowledge Management guidance, the overall framework encourages integration. As the document “KCS Overview” states, “KCS is not something a support organization does in addition to solving problems, KCS becomes the process for solving problems.”  While ITIL talks about inputs and outputs, KCS incorporates Knowledge Management into the processes used for solving problems. When organizations “implement” ITIL, Knowledge Management is often a separate implementation driven by the Service Desk.  As for Incident and Problem Management, the processes and tools may allow integration but typically act as feeds to the monolithic Knowledge Management team.

Because the typical implementation of Knowledge Management relies heavily on one or a few core teams of authors to generate content, the process flow includes numerous points of review and approval. Each point represents a bottleneck.

When Knowledge Management drives rather than follows the problem resolution process, it transforms itself and its dependent processes into an elegantly simple and self-sustaining engine for efficiency.

Below is the simplified workflow for solution creation (with KCS states noted):

graph1
Figure 1: Knowledge Article Creation

This simplified flow relies heavily on issue responders (i.e. Service Desk, technical support) to initiate and update the “solution”.  For this to succeed, the tools and processes of the responders must efficiently enable contribution. Furthermore, the organization must meaningfully reward such contribution.

This approach is in stark contrast to the monolithic Knowledge Management group where a small number of “authors” provide solutions to issue responders. One need only tour the Service Desk of such an organization to gauge the success of such an effort. Support personnel maintain their own notes with yellow stickies, notebooks, and heterogeneous repositories. Hop rates (call transfers) are high. FCR (first contact resolution) is low. Customer satisfaction suffers.

Knowledge Creation Baked into Incident and Problem Management

In the “Knowledge Article Creation” diagram, steps 4 and 5 are pivotal.  Within these steps, the agent must have a quick way to create or update solutions. A single tool should allow the agent to respond to calls, create incident records, search knowledge solutions and update those knowledge solutions. The approval process should be simple while allowing for variation of depth.

graph2
Figure 2: Service Desk Role in KM

In figure 2, many organizations are concerned that step 8 (Document Solution) will encumber the responder, thereby increasing service costs. In the absence of prudent guidelines, such concern is well founded. One can address this concern by limiting input in step 8 to simple solutions and updates. Anything more should be deferred to a sub-process for Solution Review (step 10). Step 10 can be distributed across numerous organizational units, allowing the responder’s department to update the solutions upon which they depend. Basically, step 8 only works if the workflow and toolset enable the responder to complete the task very quickly.

Solution Creation Reward System

Rewards, an important contributor to Knowledge Management success, are based on Key Performance Indicators such as those listed below:

  • Most articles created/updated in past 30 days.
  • Highest average user rating in past 30 days.
  • Total articles deemed “useful” by at least 90% of users in past year.
  • Most articles used to solve a problem in past 30 days.

For a reward to have meaning, it must be deemed of high value. This does not mean that it must be expensive. Although, recognition is a major component of any reward, the organization can budget for gifts such as gift certificates, parking space, cash, merchandise, CIO lunch, group outing, etc. Be creative and make it desirable for employees.

Solution Creation and the Challenge of Outsourcing

By asking support personnel to create and update solutions, some organizations introduce a conflict. When an enterprise measures the value of an agent by call volume, what incentive does the agent have to take the time to produce solutions?

There are three parts to this answer:

  • First, it may be necessary, especially for service desk agents, to limit the time spent on each solution.
  • Second, the organization can use both call volume and solution updates as measures.
  • Third, keep the solutions simple.  The “KCS Practices Guide” provides excellent guidelines on article composition. More importantly, the KCS approach relies on both “Solve” and “Evolve” to maintain article health. Thus, an agent can start the article lifecycle with a quick but readable note and later, others can enhance the article with updates.
graph3
Figure 3: Consortium for Service Innovation

Let’s look at two examples:

  1. Quick Solution Update – an agent deals with an incident where the solution is correct but the steps are slightly out of order. Without delaying the resolution for the customer, the agent has already begun the update. The call ends and the agent spends less than five minutes to complete the update. Next call.
  2. New Solution – an agent cannot find a knowledge solution for the incident but is able to resolve the incident with quick input from another source. Recognizing that the issue is likely to recur, the agent take five additional minutes (after the call) to document the steps taken during the call and submit the solution for review. If the solution is incomplete, the reviewer can prevail upon the agent or another SME to enhance it. For the agent, such work would have no impact on call volume measurement.

Solution creation becomes more complex when suppliers are involved. Although the execution remains under supplier control, the client company should provide contractual incentives (and penalties) for knowledge participation based on KPIs. From past experience, it would be prudent to measure both knowledge contribution and knowledge quality while also reviewing the supplier’s workflow to ensure capability. This arrangement often requires an additional approval mechanism at the supplier level.

Key Takeaways

This is very broad guidance.  For more detailed instructions on KM project management, I have found CWA-14924 (mentioned above) to be comprehensive.

    1. Find the Right Partner – clearly, an organization needs more than a librarian and a tool. Consider partnering with an experienced service company. Your partner should have wisdom in the areas of ITSM strategy, solution taxonomy, Service Catalog, workflow design, Knowledge Centered Support, and ITIL Service Transition. Ideally, the partner can also provide deep technical expertise for implementation.
    2. Establish a Value Proposition – yes, this should probably be number one but, frankly, the right partner makes this much simpler and will often include such assistance as part of pre-sales. The point is to build an Initial Business Case. This is not terribly complex as it is often based on call center efficiency – an area where organizations typically maintain lots of measurement data. Again, the partner should assist with supportable expectations for improvement.
    3. Build a Coalition – combined with Knowledge Management thought leadership, present the Business Case to key decision makers and stakeholders in order to build a coalition for the initiative. Although the audience will participate in further planning, the overall initiative depends heavily on the enthusiasm generated here.
    4. Design a Knowledge Management Strategy – this is an opportunity to strengthen the coalition and spread the good news. If there is consensus that Knowledge Management is crucial to effective IT support, then any strategy will address the inclusion of Incident Management, Problem Management, and Service Desk in the Knowledge Management strategy. The strategy will address taxonomy (Service Catalog, Request Fulfillment and CMDB involvement), integration and task prioritization (roadmap).
    5. Toolset Review (optional) – the KM strategy may have identified issues around the current toolset(s). Which tools support the integration with (or perhaps subordination of) Incident and Problem Management? Which tools provide a flexible workflow? Does the business case support the replacement of current tools? How will tool replacement impact outsourcing arrangements? If called for, evaluate and select replacement software.
    6. KM Implementation– This step deserves its own separate article. Aside from the usual and extensive project management advice, the following points are worth noting:
  • Develop a comprehensive Communication Plan to market KM.The KCS requires a cultural shift to a distributed and empowered communication model.
  • Provide meaningful rewards for solution creation, update, and utilization.
  • The key to success may well be the changes in Incident/Problem Management.
  • Be wary of timelines greater than 4-6 months. If that seems incredibly short, either the scope or the supplier is off track.
  • This project is well suited to an “agile” approach (iterations rather than a big push).

Conclusion

Niels Bohr, Nobel physicist, philosopher and unheralded hero, wrote:

“An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field.”

As I never seem to exhaust my capacity for error, I doubt that I am an expert in much of anything. Still, this article is an attempt to share a response to a series of missteps in Knowledge Management. If you have not already done so, I advise that you at least read the “KCS Overview”. If, as I maintain, we have been wrong-headed in our KM struggles, this may help set you on a more reasoned path. We should, in light of today’s emphasis on social media, understand that knowledge increases in value as the number of synapses (contributors) increase. In essence, I entreat you to spread the word!

 

Teleopti Shines With 4 Star SDI Certification

Swedish WorkForce Management (WFM) and Telecom Expense Management (TEM) company Teleopti has been awarded a “coveted” 4 star Service Desk Certification maturity rating from the Service Desk Institute (SDI).

The company had held a 3 star certification since 2010. Teleopti’s service desk joins a select group of worldwide teams who have achieved a 4 star certification including those from Telefónica, Sodexo, tickets.com and Vocalink.

Performance spanning all concept criteria

Providing support to customers in over 70 countries, Teleopti’s multi-lingual service desk, situated in Sweden and China, was praised by SDI for “raising its performance across all concept criteria” during a period of rapid expansion in to new global markets.

Düring: 4-star performer
Düring: 4-star performer

The most notable areas of improvement were:

  • certification concepts of processes,
  • partnerships and resources,
  • customer satisfaction and,
  • social responsibility.

NOTE: The SDI’s SDC audit evaluates service desk operations against an internationally accepted global standard for best practice, providing companies with a benchmark to form a baseline for service improvements.

Based around ITIL and ITSM frameworks, this certification evaluates companies in the following areas: incident and problem resolution; change and release management; service level management; availability and capacity management; configuration management; business continuity and financial management; knowledge management and customer relationship management.

 “We are delighted to receive this recognition from SDI for the continuous investments in providing an exceptional level of support to our customers and partners. Closeness is an important company value and Service Desk is the corner stone in fulfilling this. In the annual customer survey, year after year, more than 9 out of 10 customers state they would recommend Teleopti as a vendor to other companies” says Olle Düring, CEO of Teleopti.

Service Desk Manager at Teleopti Maureen Lundgren expands upon Düring’s comments saying that increasing the firm’s Service Desk Certification maturity rating is the result of a company culture where the customer always comes first.

It is also down to a dedication to defining, refining and documenting roles, responsibilities and processes,” she said.

Howard Kendall, Master Auditor at SDI summarised by saying: “The 4 star Service Desk Certification rating is an excellent achievement and testament to the well-structured programme of continuous improvement that Teleopti has in place. Coupled with this, we have evidenced exceptional leadership and excellent communication to staff who in turn are consistently motivated and developed.”

How to conduct an ITSM assessment that actually means something

ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library), a standard framework for managing the lifecycle of IT Services, is sweeping the U.S.   Based on a 2011 analysis of 23 ITIL studies, Rob England concluded that the compound annual growth in ITIL adoption was 20%± and that ITIL training attendance increased at a compound annual rate of 30% for the past ten years.  Despite this apparent surge of adoption, enterprises continue to struggle with ITIL’s daunting framework.

Recognizing the confusion inherent in ITIL alignment, numerous vendors have created “ITSM assessments” with varying degrees of complexity and debatable value.  These assessments draw upon frameworks such as ITIL, CMMI-SVC, Cobit and, occasionally, BiSL or more specific constructs such as KCS and IAITAM.  Where does one begin?  What is most important?  Where will improvement deliver the best payback?  How can one ensure that all phases of implementation share a common and scalable foundation?

Fundamental Assessment Approach
Figure 1: Fundamental Assessment Approach

All assessments follow a pretty basic formula:

  1. Determine and document the current state of ITSM in the organization.
  2. Determine and document the desired state of ITSM in the organization.
  3. Establish a practical path from current to desired state (roadmap).

Simply stated, the objective is to successfully execute the ITSM roadmap, thereby achieving a heightened level of service that meets the needs of the business.  But don’t let those vendors through the door just yet because this is where ITSM initiatives go sideways.

Current state, desired state and roadmap mean nothing without first establishing scope and methodology.  How comprehensive should the assessment be?  Does it need to be repeatable?  Which processes and functions should be targeted?  Should it be survey-based?  Who should participate?

Rather than seeking input from the ever so eager and friendly salespeople, one can follow a simple three-step exercise to determine scope and methodology.  These steps, described in the following sections, may save you millions of dollars.  I have seen dozens of large enterprises fail to take these steps with an estimated average loss of $1.25M.  For smaller enterprises ($500M – $1B in revenue), the waste is closer to about $450,000.  The bulk of this amount is the cost of failed projects.  In some instances those losses exceeded $10M (usually involving CMDB implementations).

Three Steps to a Meaningful ITSM Assessment

Though these steps are simple, they are by no means easy.  For best results, one should solicit the participation of both IT and business stakeholders.  If the answer comes easily, keep asking the question because easy answers are almost always wrong.  Consider using a professional facilitator, preferably someone with deep, practical knowledge of ITIL and a solid foundation in COBIT and CMMI-SVC.

So, the three steps are really three questions:

  1. Why do you need an ITSM Assessment?
  2. What do you need to know?
  3. How do you gain that knowledge?

Step 1:  WHY Do You Need an ITSM Assessment?

IT Service Management aligns the delivery of IT services with the needs of the enterprise.  Thus, any examination of ITSM is in the context of the business.  If one needs an ITSM assessment, the business must be experiencing pain related to service delivery.

  1. Identify service delivery pain points.
  2. Map each pain point to one or more business services.
  3. Assign a broad business value to the resolution of each pain point (e.g. High, Medium, Low).  Divide these values into hard savings (dollars, staff optimization), soft savings (efficiency, effectiveness), and compliance (regulatory, audit, etc.).
  4. Map each pain point to a process or process area.

There should now be a list of processes with associated pain points.  How well can the business bear the pain over the next few years?  With this preliminary analysis, one should be able to create a prioritized list of processes that require attention.

For now, there is no need to worry about process dependencies.  For instance, someone may suggest that a CMDB is required for further improvements to Event Management.  Leave those types of issues for the assessment itself.

Step 2: WHAT Do You Need to Know?

 

Four Assessment Needs
Figure 2: Four Assessment Needs

Now that the organization understands why an assessment is required (of if an assessment is required), it can identify, at least in broad terms, the information required for such an assessment.

Referring the chart in Figure 2, IT management need only ask four questions to determine the needs of an assessment.

Is ISO/IEC 20000 Certification Required?

If the organization requires ISO/IEC 20000 certification, a Registered Certification Body (four listed in the U.S.) must provide a standardized audit, process improvement recommendations, and certification.  For most enterprises, this is a major investment spanning considerable time.

Does Repeated Benchmarking Provide Value?

Does the organization really need a score for each ITIL process?  Will the assessment be repeated on a frequent and regular basis?  Will these scores affect performance awards?  Will the results be prescriptive or actionable and will those prescribed actions significantly benefit the business?

The sales pitch for an ITSM assessment usually includes an ITIL axiom like, “You can’t manage what you don’t measure” (a meme often incorrectly attributed to Deming or Drucker).  One must ask if scores are the best measure of a process?  To what extent do process maturity scores drive improvements?  Not much.  Each process has its own set of Critical Success Factors, Key Performance Indicators and metrics.  These are far more detailed and effective data points than an assessment score.  Ah, but what about the big picture?  Again, ITIL and COBIT provide far more effective metrics for governance and improvement on a macro level.

That said, there are some pretty impressive assessments available, some with administrative functions and audience differentiation baked into the interface.  However, one should build a business case and measure, through CSFs and KPIs, the value of such assessments to the business.

Do you need an ITSM Strategy and Framework?

Does the organization already have an intelligent strategy for its ITSM framework?  Is there a frequently refreshed roadmap for ITSM improvement?  For most enterprises, the honest answer to this is no.  Numerous Fortune 500 enterprises have implemented and “optimized” processes without strategy, roadmap, or framework.  The good news is that they keep consultants like me busy.

To build an ITSM strategy, an organization needs enough information on each process to prioritize those processes as pieces of the overall service workflow.

To gauge the priority of each process, we focus on three factors:

  • Business value of the process – the extent to which the process enables the business to generate revenue.
  • Maturity gap between current and desired state – small, medium or large gap (scores not really required).
  • Order of precedence – is the process a prerequisite for improvement of another process?

To complete the strategic roadmap, one will also need high-level information on ITSM-related tools, integration architecture, service catalog, project schedule, service desk, asset management, discovery, organizational model, business objectives, and perceived pain points.

Are You Targeting Specific Processes?

To some extent, everything up to this point is preparation and planning.  When we improve a process, we do that in the context of the lifecycle.  This task requires deep and detailed data on process flows, forms, stakeholders, taxonomy, inputs, outputs, KPIs, governance, tools, and pain points.

As this assessment will be the most prescriptive, it will require the most input from stakeholders.

Step 3:  HOW Do You Gain that Knowledge?

Finally, the organization identifies the assessment parameters based on the data required.  Similar to the previous step, we divide assessments into four types.

ISO/IEC 20000 Certification

The only standardized ITSM assessment is the audit associated with the ISO/IEC 20000 certification (created by itSMF and currently owned and operated by APM Group Ltd.).  The journey to ISO 20k is non-trivial.  As of this writing, 586 organizations have acquired this certification.  The process is basically measure, improve, measure, improve, ………. , measure, certify.  Because the purpose of improvement is certification, this is not the best approach to prescriptive process optimization.

Vendor-Supplied ITSM Assessment

The administration, content, and output of ITSM assessments vary wildly between vendors.  In most cases, the ITSM assessment generates revenue not from the cost of the assessment but from the services required to deliver the recommended improvements.

Rule #1:  “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else” (Lawrence J. Peter).   Without a strategy and roadmap, assessments will lead you to a place you would rather not be.

Rule #2:  The assessment matters far less than the assessor.  When seeking guidance on ITSM optimization, one needs wisdom more than data.  A skilled assessor understands this workflow in the context of a broader lifecycle and can expand the analysis to identify bottlenecks that are not obvious from an assessment score.  An example is Release Management.  The Service Desk may complain that release packages are poorly documented and buggy.  Is that the fault of the Release Manager or is it a flaw with the upstream processes that generate the Service Design Package?

Rule #3:  Scores are only useful as benchmarks and benchmarks are only useful when contextually accurate (e.g. relative performance within a market segment).  Despite the appeal of a spider diagram, avoid scored assessments unless compelled for business reasons.  Resources are better spent analyzing and implementing.

Rule #4:  An assessment without implementation is a knick-knack.  Validate the partner’s implementation experience and capability before signing up for any assessments and be prepared to act.

Rule #5:  A free assessment is a sales pitch.

Rule #6:  A survey-based assessment using a continuous sliding scale of respondent perception is a measure of process, attitude, and mood.   So is a two year old child.

Rule #7:  In ITSM assessments, simpler is better.  Once a vendor decides that the assessment needs to produce a repeatable score, the usefulness of that tool will decline rapidly.  If you doubt this, just look under the covers of any assessment tool for the scoring methodology or examine the questions and response choices for adherence to survey best practices.

Strategy and Roadmap Workshops

Enterprise Service Management strategies save money because not having them wastes money.  Without guiding principles, clear ownership, executive sponsorship, and a modular, prioritized roadmap, the ITSM journey falters almost immediately. Service Catalogs and CMDBs make a strategy mandatory.  For those who lack an actionable Service Strategy and Roadmap, this is the first assessment to consider.

An enterprise needs an experienced ITSM facilitator for strategy workshops.  Typically, the assessment team will perform a high-level process assessment, relevant tool analysis, framework architecture integration study, and a handful of half-day workshops where the gathered information is molded into a plan for staged implementation.

Targeted Process Assessments

Organizations know where the pain points are and have a pretty good sense of the underlying factors.  The assessor finds this knowledge scattered across SMEs, Service Desk personnel, business line managers, development teams, project office, and many other areas.  The assessor’s value is in putting these puzzle pieces together to form a picture of the broader flows and critical bottlenecks.  Through the inherited authority of the project sponsor, the assessor dissolves the organizational boundaries that stymy process optimization and, with an understanding of the broader flow, assists in correctly identifying areas where investment would yield the highest return.

For these assessments, look for a consultant who has insightful experience with the targeted process.  An assessment of IT Asset Management, a process poorly covered in ITIL (a footnote in the SACM process), requires a different skill set than an assessment of Release and Deployment Management or Event Management.

The output from a Targeted Process Assessment should be specific, actionable, and detailed.  Expect more than a list of recommendations.  Each recommendation should tie to a gap and have an associated value to the business.  Essentially, IT management should be able to construct an initial business case for each recommended improvement without a lot of extra effort.

Summary

Liam McGlynn
Liam McGlynn

Organizations are investing tens of millions in ITSM assessments.  I have seen stacks of them sitting on the shelves of executives or tucked away in some dark and dusty corner of a cubicle.  Whether these assessments were incompetent or comprehensive, as dust collectors, they have zero value.

How prevalent is the lunacy of useless ITSM assessments?  From my own experience and from conversations with others in the field, vendors are selling a lot of dust collectors.  Nobody wants to be the person who sponsored or managed a high-profile boondoggle.

So the advice is this.

  • Don’t waste time on scores because there are better ways to sell ITSM to the board than a spider diagram.
  • Develop and maintain an ITSM Strategy and Roadmap.  As Yogi Berra once said, “If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll wind up somewhere else”.
  • Assessing and implementing need to be in close proximity to each other.
  • Get an assessor with wisdom who can facilitate a room full of people.
  • Finally, follow the three steps before you let the vendors into your office.

The journey may have many waypoints but let’s just make it once.

Liam McGlynn is a Managing Consultant at Fruition Partners, a leading cloud systems integrator for service management and a Preferred Partner of ServiceNow.