Although service management practices are not new to Go Daddy, ITIL became a well-known term back in 2008 when we implemented an enterprise ticketing system. Since then, we have made significant progress in our service management process maturity because of our continual improvement plan, which is based on annual assessments and prioritized improvement initiatives. After analyzing the outcomes from our 2011 assessment, we proposed an organization-wide training program with the following objectives:
- Increase awareness and understanding of service management across the organization.
- Identify process and cross-functional dependencies in the service management lifecycle.
- Establish a common language and understanding of key process objectives.
With approval from our CIO, we began sending select groups to offsite ITIL Foundation boot camps. Although the participants passed the certification exam, many found it difficult to translate ITIL concepts to Go Daddy processes. In typical Go Daddy fashion, we assessed our available resources and capabilities and then made the decision to develop our own in-house training solution. The success of our in-house training solution is based on two factors: Go Daddy-only classrooms and internal instructors.
Let’s be frank, passing the ITIL Foundations exam is easy; changing organizational culture to embrace a service management framework, on the other hand, is a challenge. While some of our training participants have prior experience with ITIL, many are new to service management, and some have negative misconceptions. To effectively sell the principles of ITIL, our instructors must instigate constructive conflict in the classroom and encourage candid discussions about our internal processes and issues. This atmosphere helps the instructor break down misconceptions and increases the adoption of concepts. For confidentiality reasons, this atmosphere and these discussions are not appropriate in a classroom with participants from other organizations.
Picture this dream world: You are hired as an IT Service Management guru for a new start-up company. There are no employees, unsupported/legacy services, existing processes, or infrastructure. With ITIL books in hand, you design the service portfolio, supporting processes, release procedures, management systems, and continual improvement loops. Piece of cake, right? At Go Daddy, we support 10 million customers, over 5 million active hosting accounts, and have 52 million domain names under management. We employ over 3,470 employees with more than 500 dedicated to product development. Some of our product development groups use Waterfall methods while others use Agile. Unfortunately, a three day crash-course in ITIL does not always paint a clear picture of ITIL concepts in relation to organization realities.
Our internal training program is facilitated by Go Daddy employees with key process and system owners integrated into the training program as guest speakers. This helps our participants put an actual face to a process and gives our owners an opportunity to communicate their objectives, challenges, and current initiatives. Since involving process and system owners in our training program, many of them have reported an increase in performance and quality from the employees they met in training. Our training program is responsible for creating positive relationships that are directly impacting the adoption and performance of our processes. Our instructors are responsible for helping the participants identify their role and dependencies in the service management lifecycle.
This post is in no way intended to discourage the use of professional training organizations. Our training partners (like Interface Technical Training) have significantly contributed to the success of many Go Daddy initiatives. My intention is to discourage ITSM training programs with a sole focus on the certification exam. Although our training program is not about the ITIL exam, we are currently averaging a 99% pass rate and have several team members on a path to ITIL Expert certification.
Want to hear more? I am presenting this topic in more detail at an Arizona itSMF meeting on May 22nd. Here is a link to the registration form: http://www.itsmfusa.org/acgicalendar/event/view/1998
I hope to see you there!