Implementing IT service management (ITSM) in your organization is no walk in the park. When you plan to implement ITSM, you may have to encounter questions such as: Where do I start? How do I start? What am I trying to achieve? What information must be obtained from the processes I have, people involved, and the product? If you don’t have complete answers to your questions, your ITSM implementation might fail. Here are 10 reasons why an ITSM implementation can fail.


Failing to convince your senior board members or failing to get them on board

Your ITSM implementation might fail if your board members refuse to give you the go ahead. You’ll need to make them aware of what ITSM is and what it can do for the organization. An experienced ITSM member must explain to the board the benefits of implementing ITSM. You should also explain the goals the company can achieve and the return on investment (ROI).


Lack of planning and scoping

Improper planning can also lead to failure. You must clearly define the goals and targets. You need to assess your current infrastructure and then plan how you can improve the ITSM implementation. The same goes for scoping; unless you define the scope, your implementation can take a hit.


Selecting the wrong resources

ITSM can’t be implemented by just anyone. You need a set of dedicated and skillful people on your team who know the ins and outs of ITSM. It’s not just one person; it’s about people — process owners, stakeholders, managers, and advisors. They need to dedicate their energy to implement ITSM in your organization. In addition, you need resources like time and ITSM documentation to make the implementation successful.


Lack of vision

People involved in implementing ITSM generally have no idea  what ITSM exactly is, how it should be implemented, or what it can do for their business. Lack of proper focus toward ITSM can also be a constraint in successful implementation. Stakeholders or those in positions of authority are typically clueless on how to plan ahead with ITSM. This can lead to implementation failure.


Working in silos, then as an integrated unit

Each individual team can work separately, and eventually, all of the teams can work together to integrate as one single unit. If you are under the assumption that this would reward you with a successful ITSM implementation, then you are wrong. Instead, you can be consistent, tailor the right process with integrations in mind and enforce a standardized template for others to learn all of your processes.


Selecting the wrong ITSM tool

Sometimes selecting the wrong ITSM tool can also fail the implementation. A quick assessment of tools, focusing on the features of each solution matching with your objectives and requirements, should make the selection process easy. Even if you find the right tool for your implementation, you should also consider other factors such as the vendor’s reputation, commitment to long-term development of the tool, degree of support, and implementation success rate.


Not thinking about data migration

After you buy an ITSM tool, you don’t have a clear idea of which data you’ll migrate and how. You may assume that data migration is an easy task, but it’s harder than you think. This is yet another reason why implementation of ITSM can fail.


Wasting too much time on complex process diagrams or maps

When you start to implement ITSM, there is a need to produce complex and detailed process diagrams or maps. This consumes valuable time and resources within your organization. However, you can save time during the ITSM implementation phase by creating workflow automations such as escalation rules, priority settings, and automated change workflows.


Improperly communicating with the ITSM team

Mail exchanges and kick-off meetings alone wouldn’t ensure success. It requires proper communication within the entire ITSM team, either face-to-face or web meetings and emails. It is important for all those involved in the project to have a say in the entire process. Be creative and get your staff to brainstorm and provide feedback on the best ways to implement ITSM in your organization. ITSM is a people’s project supported by tools and processes, not a tool or process project supported by people.


Not focusing on continual service improvement and governance

Declaring that the implementation is “done” and forgetting about continual improvement of your processes can also lead to failure. Your initial implementation plan may be complete, but continuous service improvement is a must and should not be overlooked. Furthermore, governance is required for a successful implementation. You would need to name and establish service and process owners and designate people who are accountable and responsible for continual service improvement.