Following processes correctly and consistently improves quality
To achieve maximum ICT reliability, high-quality processes are essential. Unfortunately, many businesses neglect this issue. As an enterprise grows, its processes multiply – and they become increasingly difficult to coordinate and manage. This is especially true within international organizations. But where ICT processes are poorly defined and implemented, there can be far-reaching and expensive consequences. A single weakness can result in the failure of mission-critical IT systems.
A typical failing is the lack of a comprehensive and clear process description. It may be overly complex, impractical and scientific – to a point where IT professionals simply do not know how to act when an incident occurs. Unclear instructions are counterproductive, leading to mistakes and conflicts. In contrast, simple, easily understood descriptions contribute to smooth day-to-day operations, and help prevent unplanned downtime.
Clearly defined roles and processes
Efficient crisis management is vital during a major incident. However, the reality often falls short: notification and escalation procedures are often patchy, with the buck being passed back and forth. Time-to-resolution is drawn out unnecessarily – increasing the danger to business operations. Clearly defined roles and processes mitigate these issues, but they must be robustly implemented. This entails regular training; when the individual steps within a process are familiar and well-rehearsed, they can be put into action with speed and confidence, even in high-pressure scenarios.
High-quality ICT requires not only clarity, but end-to-end responsibility and joined-up thinking. Fragmented processes are a potential source of errors. Moreover, they make it difficult to see the bigger picture – siloed mentalities and stand-alone processes create barriers to a coherent, enterprise-wide strategy. Against this background, establishing complete, seamless processes, tailored to the specific challenges of ICT as a whole, is of the essence.
Despite all efforts, it is only a matter of time until the next disruption. To ensure robust quality management, built around process standardization and continuous improvement, incidents should be fully documented and analyzed. What has proven successful, and what didn’t? This is essential to enhancing processes over time, and to targeting and eliminating root causes.
In summary, excellent process quality is crucial for stable, high-availability ICT services. Clearly defined and effectively implemented rules and structures contribute to processes that run like clockwork – and allow IT to focus on its role as a business enabler.