Barry Corless

Barry Corless

Director Consulting Expert, Advisory Services

As discussed in my previous blogs, I believe that service management is the base for any successful digital transformation initiative, and that when done well, it provides a clear path to service improvement.

With this in mind, an assessment of your IT service management (ITSM) practices could be the key to unlocking greater quality and value from your digital services, providing you with insight into the direction, scope, cost and risks of your service improvements.

Which is why our Advisory Services practice has invested in the new Axelos ITIL® maturity assessment, to support us in delivering quality service improvement programmes that align to recognised best practices.

Here are my top 5 reasons why we recommend our clients undergo an ITSM maturity assessment if they’re looking to add true value to their digital products and services.


1. Holistic view of your operations

A good assessment is an invaluable tool for progressing service improvement (which is why I’ve been delivering them as part of transformation programmes since the early 2000s)!

Not only does the Axelos ITIL® assessment cover all the basics by offering a capability maturity model integration (CMMI) based assessment of all 34 management practices, but crucially, it offers a far more holistic view of your operations compared to many of its predecessors.

By including areas such as governance, value streams, people, culture and technology as elements of the maturity assessment, you’ll gain a complete understanding of all the activities incorporated throughout your service value system (SVS), to facilitate true value realisation and optimisation across your products and services.


2. Baseline for service improvement

Experience tells us that service improvement is the most popular reason why organisations conduct any kind of assessment.

The theory is simple. An independently conducted and credible assessment will provide you with a baseline measurement against your organisational goals and peer organisations, as well as best practices, which therefore highlights service improvement opportunities. The results of your assessment can then be revisited on a regular basis to provide evidence of progress and offer further guidance as part of a continual improvement culture.  

This approach to service improvement is the primary focus of our solution, which we use to deliver a rigorous three stage process: documentation, interview, and records examination. Our comprehensive approach means that no matter what your baseline looks like, all stakeholders agree the assessment provides a fair basis for improvement. This shared consensus helps us to focus on improvement actions that demonstrate quantifiable results against your organisational objectives.


3. Empowering employee experience

Your people are your most important asset, so employee experience can always benefit from an assessment!

In most cases, staff find out that they are a lot better than they give themselves credit for, and on occasions where the results aren’t as expected, the assessment’s findings will help galvanise the teams behind your improvement programmes.

This is especially the case for those organisations that opt for Axelos’ voluntary accreditation to validate their CMMI level at the end of the engagement. This formal award can be a significant motivator for employees, as they aspire to contribute towards your continual improvement culture.

We understand just how interconnected employee satisfaction, accreditations and service improvement are. The epitome of this is our CGI UK service desk, which has held the SDI’s 5 star accreditation for 12 years thanks to our analysts’ hard work and dedication to service excellence.


4. Flexible, tailored scope

Flexibility (or a lack of!) in terms of scope can cause the success or failure of any assessment. Too prescriptive and the cost outweighs the benefit, but too permissive and value is diluted. That’s why it’s important that you have an assessment that offers choice; whether that be a simple, high-level assessment of a handful of key areas, or a thorough analysis of all 34 practices and your SVS.

Our solution is very flexible, allowing you to drill down into all four dimensions of service management: organisations and people, information and technology, partners and suppliers, and value streams. It even offers a scoping tool which suggests practices to assess based upon your organisation’s objectives, such as achieving cost efficiencies, enhancing customer experience or becoming more agile.  

You can work with your qualified CGI assessor to define the scope of your own assessment so that it becomes an enabler of your organisation’s success.


5. Best practices demand credibility

The credibility of the standard being used to measure your capability and maturity is crucial.

Despite the tool being branded as “ITIL® maturity”, the assessment isn’t designed to tell you how ITIL® 4 compliant you are. Instead, it focuses on where the gaps are in your approach, regardless of the framework or methodology used.

Yes, you could use ITIL® 4 to address the gaps identified, but equally your answer could be found in earlier versions of ITIL®, IT4IT, VeriSM, SAFe, etc. We pride ourselves on our supplier agnostic approach, so you can rest assured that the advice given by a CGI expert is unbiased and based upon best practices.

Also noteworthy is that the Axelos solution has a complex exam that must be completed by all assessors. Even those of us who authored some of the ITIL® 4 best practices must pass! This qualification makes a huge difference to any engagement and provides assurance in your assessment, as assessors have validated experience so can better process information, make mental comparisons of alternative solutions, and initiate quality service improvement actions.


Let’s work together

Our adoption of the ITIL® assessment represents a logical step from our previous ITIL® v3-based assessment. Crucially, the new dimensions explore beyond the base ITSM practices, looking at value creation, tools, culture and governance, all of which make for a more holistic appraisal of your service management system. 

Our ITIL® assessments augment the family of tools used throughout our Advisory Services teams. No matter your organisation’s size, sector, challenges or ambitions, we can evaluate your maturity across a range of areas to empower your service improvement programme, including service management, cloud, sustainability, business change and call centres - to name just a few!

So, if you’re looking for an expert partner to bring guidance, knowledge, resources and staff augmentation that helps you unlock quality and value from your digital services, we’re here to help.

Want to learn more? Read our ITSM ITIL® maturity assessments brochure or visit our Advisory Services webpage. If you’d like to discuss how we can work together to help your organisation succeed, please reach out to me.

About this author

Barry Corless

Barry Corless

Director Consulting Expert, Advisory Services

Barry is a Director Consulting Expert within CGI’s ITSM Advisory Services team in the UK. He advises a wide range of public and private sector clients on their future operating models, transformation plans and service strategies.