What is Flow Management, and why is it needed alongside ITIL and Experience Management?

From our overview, 85% of sector experts believe capabilities for Flow Management (FM) will be "must-haves" when switching ITSM tool. This 1-minute read adds context for why an improved approach is needed.

So, what is Flow Management?

"Flow Management is a set of capabilities for IT support workload management - methodology that gives substance to 12 ITIL practices through service tool utilisation and advanced metrics, guiding teams to meet all service needs and expectations."

Substance to ITIL practices?

Few would disagree that for complex business operations such as IT support, a process is needed that makes sense of the complexity, to guide teams through it as effectively as possible.

ITIL is a framework though, not a methodology. Frameworks cannot be overly prescriptive, so where processes are present, only basic steps are included.

All ITSM tools are built on ITIL processes. This means that by proxy, IT organisations the world-over work in this basic way, limiting how successful an organisation can be.

ITIL processes must be built-upon to make them fit for purpose. Indeed, when moving to a new ITSM tool, this is what a good implementation will do.

But with it not previously being specified in any framework or methodology, good support workload management is neither targeted nor accomplished.

So, this is where you are:

ITXM's biggest challenge?

Other than to bring attention to the problem of frequent slow and failed support, ITXM cannot help much in this area.

In fact, when ageing tickets receive managerial focus, a drive to close them down is known to have undesirable consequences, shown in global benchmark data produced by HappySignals.

HappySignals customers usually start working on service improvement initiatives gleamed from their use of the ITXM platform, and with support being the main place that people experience "IT", negative support feedback is an important aspect to address. In doing so though, due to process shortcomings, the level of service failure - of "my ticket was not solved" - typically goes up quite substantially.

Equally as striking, timeliness falls short in 10% of all tickets. For those not completed at first response, it's almost half.

This level has persisted over years and between different sources of this information, so there is just one conclusion to be drawn.

Process deficiency cannot be overcome by a nurtured approach. To prevent slow, unresponsive and failed support, Flow Management capabilities are necessary.

Of course, an improved process isn't the only operational necessity. Good procedures and automation for repeating support needs should be targetted too, to minimise time and resource requirements, to elevate the service experience further.

Practices for Flow Management cover this too - a simple means to capture all procedural, knowlegebase, and other operational shortcomings whereby organisations move into the realm of completely lean, optimal support that produces the information required for successful AI.

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