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Monday, 23 September 2013

Can ITSM Help to Organize Events Better? A Case Study

As a practitioner of IT Service Management, I am often questioned on the relevance of ITIL® beyond IT, and here is a classic example of my experience .

Recently, I had the experience of attending the Edinburgh International Science Festival at Bangalore and it was quite an eye opener. The event organizers had offered tickets online through a couple of websites, and also in person. I happened to sign up for this event on the last day and was left with only the option to book through ticketgenie.com. We reached the venue to get our e-vouchers validated with credentials only to find a long queue at the entrance.
I was surprised to see that there were two Service Desk staff sitting idle as they were monitoring the tickets from other websites, while one person at ticketgenie was struggling to take care of a few hundred.
A simple option of Capacity Planning based on requests received could have handled the validation and issue of hard copy tickets much faster.
I did go and talk to the other folks working about the option of adding more counters to facilitate quick processing, but nobody seem to pay attention. This clearly demonstrated that there was no Incident Management process in place to resolve requests and yield better customer satisfaction.
After a heated debate, we did enter the premises to find that each activity or experiment had a specific time slot to be adhered and booked in person. Each slot could accommodate only specific number of people for the 35- 40 minute interval. This meant that parents had to do the standing on the queues while children would go on their own to watch the experiments and science shows. So the fun of parent and child watching and working together on robotics, electronics, light and sound experiments was totally missed. This demonstrated absence of understanding customer requirements and expectations which is the fundamental prerequisite of hosting a Service Desk.
One striking difference in the whole episode was the food service (Chinese, Indian, Continental, Asian), which had provisions in plenty to accommodate the rise in demand with ease. This confirmed that good business practice was driving things from the front (with the customer in mind) . It was evident that Demand Management process had been well ingrained to facilitate business outcomes.
As expected, a monsoon played the spoilsport and had the last laugh with a heavy downpour. People were forced to stick to indoor events, and then persistent rain caused a total power outage. It was shocking (pun intended) to note that the backup generator did not start as expected which means neither IT Service Continuity nor business continuity plan were in place. The rest of the experiments and shows had to be suspended indefinitely as there was no target resolution. I wondered to myself whether, if they had understood the principles of Problem Management or Knowledge Management, they could have have effectively handled these issues based on previous experiences and best practices.
I hope that these aspects would at least be considered in alignment with ITSM during the next event to make it a rewarding and memorable customer experience.

This post was published originally on Sep 18 at HDIConnect  http://www.hdiconnect.com/blogs/servicemanagement/2013/09/can-itsm-help-to-organize-events-better-a-case-study.aspx

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