Does talking about these items in the same breath seem incongruous to you? After all, IT service management is typically viewed as technology at the service of an enterprise and its end-users, helping productivity, rather than being linked directly with motivation.
However, employees in IT department can strongly influence the quality of IT service management. Logically, their engagement and motivation is therefore important if the business is going to be fully supported by its IT.
Yet some perceptions of ITSM performance sometimes seem to act against such desirable engagement, rather than fostering it.
IT service management, like certain other enterprise activities, would ideally do its job without users knowing of its existence. Service level agreements would always be respected.
IT would be transparent and problem-free, and users would focus on their own objectives, without ever having cause to complain about performance or availability. It would be like the car that works perfectly, allowing the driver to enjoy the drive without stressing out about the engine overheating or tyres puncturing.
If this was the general perception of ITSM, then (logically) enterprises would reward the otherwise anonymous heroes and heroines who make service delivery so flawless.
However, in the real world, it is often the firefighters who get the attention and the recognition for solving problems, rather than the unsung IT workers who do the right things to avoid such problem situations in the first place.
With this kind of motivation mechanism in place, the effects are predictable. Poor quality service delivery is overlooked, even in encouraged in the sense that it then creates an opportunity to be praised as an emergency solution provider.
High quality service delivery is just “normal” and attracts no special reward of any kind. The balance shifts from anonymous high quality to personalised poor quality and concomitant firefighting. The answer is of course to reward and encourage problem-free performance above all, but that may be easier said than done.