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The mentioned ‘bad practices’ are not the only bad practices I met in the projects, but in my humble opinion, these are the most popular and the most severe for the IT service improvement projects.

What is more, one of the bad practice led very often to another one (it’s the same like with ITIL good practices) – we can tell here about synergy but in this case about the negative synergy for an organization.

The story is based on my and my friends experience with the introduction of good practices in IT service management.

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The projects I took part in were considering mainly ITIL library but were not limited to – in place of ITIL you can insert the name of any other good practice, framework, methodology, … At this point, it is essential to understand what shall we understand by the words: ‘commitment’ and ‘higher management’.

By the ‘higher management’ we should understand, a minimum one level of management higher than the person accountable for the processes that are being introduced (the process owner of new or changed processes), so very often we will have a situation where by ‘higher management’ we will understand: IT Director, CIO or a member of the board. The most desired form of commitment is a so-called form of sponsor’s commitment.

By the sponsor (of the project) we will understand the person who orders the project, set goals and verifies the achievement of the goals, but also the person who can be reported on risks and issues in the project.

Personally I call this ‘strategic sponsorship’ – because very often the execution of the IT service improvement projects will be in opposition to short-term goals of organization or individual business units.

There also will be required to redefine the way of working in the organization remarkably often including cultural change in the whole organization.

So, we know what it is – but how we should acquire the required commitment from the higher management?

I suggest you to start with a diagnose – what problems is higher management concerned with.

Then you should try to demonstrate how the good practices can assist in resolving the problems (the best way is to produce a business case).

Also, if the organization has established a strategy (and is committed to the execution of the defined strategy) you can also present how the good practices in IT service management can be involved in the strategy execution (most probably there will be something about new services, cost reduction, improving quality, new markets, ….).

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