This lesson focuses on the "optimize and automate" guiding principle.
- Optimize and Automate. This is our seventh and final guiding principle and we have this one as our seventh one because it is really one of the ones you want to do last cause you're going to implement a lot of the other guiding principles and then optimize and automate. But, what does optimize mean? as effective and useful as it makes sense to do. Before an activity can be effectively automated, you first want to make sure you're optimizing it to whatever degree is possible and reasonable. By doing this, you're going to make sure that you're not just doing things automatically and quicker, but you're doing them the best way and then you can make them automated and quicker. and agree to the context for the optimization By figuring out what that process is, by keeping it simple using our sixth principle, we then can go through and assess the current state to understand where it can be improved. That sounds familiar, that was one of our earlier guiding principles, right, starting where you are. And then we want to focus on simplification, again, keeping it simple, and get a value that's involved to agree to our future state. That might be something like focusing on value. Then we want to ensure that we optimize it for the appropriate level of stakeholder engagement and commitment. So that goes back to collaborating with other people. Then we'll figure that we're going to execute all of those improvements in an iterative way, progressing iteratively, using metrics and other feedback to check on progress and stay on track to adjust as needed. And once all of that's done, we're going to continually monitor it to identify any opportunities to improve our work methods. You can see that by optimizing things we really are pulling in areas from all of the other guiding principles. Now, once we've optimized it and we have the best process we're going to move into automation. Now, automation is the use of technology to perform a step or a series of steps correctly and consistently with limited or no human intervention. By automating, we can automate frequent and repetitive tasks to help our organizations scale up and free up those human resources to be used for more complex decision making. In the last lesson, I was talking about the incident management desk. You may automate the first three categories, or something like password resets. That frees up people to be able to do more of the harder, complex decision making and problem solving techniques. In my company, we did this exact same thing with our voucher fulfillment system. At first, it was a manual method. You would order a voucher, I would then order it from the company, I would turn around and take that, package it up in an email and send it back to you. Over time, we started getting a lot of people who were buying vouchers and so it was eating up a lot of my time as a person. when she started doing it. And so what we ended up doing was we ended up automating that system. Now, when you go to our website and you buy a voucher, there's no human involvement. It's going to go through, pull the next available voucher for our inventory, put it in an email, give you the directions, email it back to you, and all of that happens in a matter of seconds or minutes. The simplest form of automation is always going to involve standardizing and streamlining all of these manual tasks to allow decisions to be made automatically. In our case, that's exactly what happened. The only decision it needs to do is figure out did you order an ITIL 4 voucher, an ITIL 3 voucher, a PRINCE2 voucher. Based on that, it pulls the right one and sends it back to you. It's all automated, that's the beauty of it, because now, I was able to free up those hours of human labor to go do other more important things, like make study guides for you, or make new slides, or new videos, or do video editing, or answer student questions. All of that is being able to be done because we automated a simple process. So, when you think about this, how are you going to apply this principle? Well, first you're going to simplify and optimize before you ever automate. You don't want to take something that has a thousand steps and automate it because now, it's just doing that bad process faster. That's still costing you time and it's still costing you money. Instead, we want to take that process, get it down to the simplest steps, and then automate it, because that's going to save you the most time and the most money. Next, I also want you to look for anything that's done manually and repetitively. If you, for instance, get an email every day for an email newsletter, and you always have to take it and drag it to your trash can, that takes up maybe two or three seconds of your time. But, you could apply an automated filter that any time that email comes in, it automatically moves it to your trash can. Or you can go and unsubscribe, right? But you get the idea. Anything that you see yourself doing day in and day out, there's probably a computer program that can be done to optimize it and automate it so you don't have to do it. Second, I want you to always define your metrics. What does good look like? If we're talking about my voucher fulfillment system, our metric is that you're going to get your voucher within five minutes of ordering, and that's pretty generous. Usually it takes about 60 seconds. Again, define your metrics, so you can then look at your systems and see if they've been optimized and automated properly to meet the metrics you have. Also, you want to make sure you're using As I said, we're going to use a lot of these other principles. cause we look at the whole system as a whole, we can figure out where the optimizations can best be taken. We're also going to look at starting where you are, because we need to know where we are to figure out how we can get to the next level. We also want to keep it simple and practical because we want to eliminate steps that aren't needed or aren't practical. Then, we want to build on that, by progressing iteratively and with feedback. And finally, we always have a focus on value. We always want to make sure that what we're doing is for a reason. We're doing this process to give more value to our consumers or to our organization or to both. So that was our seven guiding principles. And they all kind of get summed up here at the end with optimize and automate, because we really do dig into to all of those principles as we work though optimizing and automating ourself.
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- ITIL® and the fourth industrial revolution
- The four dimensions of service management
- The service value system
- ITIL® guiding principles
- Service value chain activities
- Continual improvement
- General management practices
- Service management practices
- Technical management practices