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How Bupa used a pantomime to explain service management

Byron Connolly | Nov. 14, 2014
Bupa's operational services manager, Janet Holling, reveals the successes and failures during a large-scale ITSM deployment.

Janet Holling as she puts it, found her 'IT calling' when she discovered IT service management in the mid-2000s. She was hired as a process consultant in 2011 to define, manage and deliver a service improvement program at health insurer, Bupa.

Just over a year ago, Holling was selected to build a service management team, part of a new production services group inside Bupa's restructured IT division, which had a new focus on providing customer service, not just delivering technology.

During a presentation at the CIO Summit in Melbourne last month, Holling revealed her team's successes and failures during a large-scale ITSM deployment. She even described how the group wrote and performed a pantomime to illustrate the service management lifecycle. But more on that later.

In the early stages, Holling assembled a team of 10 service management staff and ownership of Bupa's ITSM tool provided by ServiceNow.

"My accountability is to own, deliver and improve Bupa's operational processes. And that's where the fun begins. With this role, I inherited six functions, and as a result of the restructure, three functions were introduced to my team.

"I inherited five staff and recruited five more. A collision of fabulous service management practitioners came to Bupa -- people who give a damn about providing good service to their customers," Holling said.

"Everything we do, every question we ask, every issue that arises, every incident, every decision we have to make is based on one question: what does the customer want feel, or experience or expect, and how best do we deliver that or die trying?"

Bupa has a strong governance framework -- managed by a committee -- which reviews and prioritises information systems process improvements to ensure they are aligned with the organisation's strategic objectives.

"I like to think of it as a little bit of bang under our buck, great process and service management needs great governance. There is little benefit in managing services well if there isn't any substance or structure around it," Holling said.

Holling and a project team implemented the ServiceNow ITSM platform -- under a software-as-service arrangement -- within 10 weeks.

"With the team ready to roll, the time was right to review our practices and processes. We commenced a discovery and analysis on the current state process to determine the gap between our current and future desired state," Holling said.

The team also assessed the configuration of the ITSM tool to ensure it wouldn't be too expensive to customise it to meet the organisation's processes improvement needs.

Lessons learned
However, the team did make a few mistakes.

At go live, they hadn't integrated the ITSM platform with Microsoft Active Directory, which made workflow completely manual.


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