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ITIL - Efficiency Gains



One of the great things about choosing to implement ITIL within an organisation is that it can result in great improvements in efficiency. Efficiency is a bit of a broad term that falls within several ITIL areas. The potential gains are described in more detail below.

Efficiency is typically measured by comparing the differences between the existing procedure and the "best possible" procedure. As a quantifiable base, the efficiency increases as the measure moves closer to the best possible case. The ITIL framework describes best possible procedures that you can use as a basis for efficiency improvement. However, it's important that ITIL is used in the direction that right for you.

Lets have a look at some of the areas that ITIL helps to improve efficiency:

Efficient use of resources

The productivity of the service can be improved by implementing operational efficiency and encouraging the efficient use of resources. Reusing well known metrics, resources and best practices is at the heart of efficiency improvement. Tried and trusted techniques from well known cases and global companies can be used as the starting point. From a mathematical point of view, efficiencies are often defined by the variance or mean square error as the measure of desirability. The desirable measure is the 'wanted' output or the best practice.

Reduce time for resolution and change implementation

Reducing resolution and change implementation times also provides a means to improving efficiency. As you might expect, resolution time for processes can also affect customer satisfaction, quality if services are rushed or delivered before full acceptance and also affect resulting throughput. The basis for improving resolution time falls onto the shoulders of good planning, design and well documented procedures which are tightly controlled and followed.

Refine processes

Processes are very rarely perfect and single imperfect process can easily drag down a seemingly functional service. Refining processes to eliminate unnecessary and inefficient steps keeps processes lightweight and tuned solely for a particular purpose. Whilst it might seem like a good starting point, reusing old processes can be costly and in many cases the cause of inefficiency. Processes are like cogs in a much large machine, keeping each cog in tune helps keep the machine as efficient as possible.

Wipe the slate clean

A fresh start gives us the chance to think how the process needs to be modelled, Deciding which resources are required and documenting the workflow steps are important elements to creating efficient processes. By all means, if an existing process contains some of the steps required for a new process, then consider reusing them. Just remember to constantly ask yourself whether these steps are absolutely necessary to the overall function. A good Service Operation can tailor these processes to target speed, quality and minimal resources. Removing links in the process can really help improve turnaround but at what cost to quality?

Prevent waste

Stopping wasted effort can be one of the quickest ways to improve efficiency. Long running processes or dead enders lead to wasted effort and unnecessary work loads. Processes need to be tightly defined and modelled to the overall goal. Processes that rely heavily on complex if, then logic can become over complex, with more time being spent on the decision trees than actually delivering the product.


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Those hidden gems

A hidden gem for most companies is leveraging unused capability - for both equipment and personnel. Utilising unused capabilities directly improves efficiency because of the reduced need to employ or buy in additional resources. Regular staff reviews, mixing working groups and equipment audits all help to utilize the existing in-house capital.

Workload management

It's a common scenario, employees having too much work and not enough time to manage it. Management of work load is one of the key principles to effective resource management and efficiency savings. Considering tools and practices to help manage workload will help reduce the overall employee stress and increase throughput. There are plenty of time management techniques and even software designed to manage tasks.

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