How SFIA can support your ITIL service transformation.

I have recently read the excellent “Owning ITIL” by Rob England. It got me thinking about the part that SFIA can play in bringing about an ITIL led Service transformation

Our starting point is that a service transformation needs a focus on the magic threesome; people, process and technology. The biggest challenge is usually changing people’s behaviours – and as Rob puts it “Tools don’t fix process and process won’t change people”.

“Tools don’t fix process and process won’t change people”

High Performance Workforce

So what do we want from our people? To make sense of this I like to use the Corporate Leadership Council’s model of a “high performance workforce”.

In a high-performance workforce – people at every level and in every function are clear on the connections between their work and the success of the organisation. Everyone is focused on the right priorities, they know exactly what they have to do and they are clear on the expected standards of performance and their accountability for delivering the right results. They are enthused, engaged and they are in the right role to give their best. They are ready and willing to develop the necessary skills and behaviours to achieve business success.

Key features

Some of the features found in a high performance workforce:

  • Managers explain how individuals’ can contribute to organizational success: they help people find solutions to business problems; they coach they don’t tell, they set clear and consistent expectations, they don’t constantly change plans and priorities,
  • Managers take time to match people to their roles, they discuss employees’ long-term aspirations and provide people with opportunities to use their strengths. They know that people who understand and enjoy their work perform better.
  • Training is relevant to current roles; a focus on timely training and on-the-job coaching provides the best learning. The culture is both challenging and supportive.
  • Feedback flows freely and is focused on the positive and/or specific suggestions for improvement.
  • There is a focus on good communications and a free flow of business performance information.

Support from SFIA

So how do we set about creating a high performance workforce and what role can SFIA play?

SFIA provides support to a number of areas which will help you build a high performance IT workforce. It doesn’t do it all – but it can certainly help. For example:

  • Before looking at individuals’ roles; use SFIA to evaluate the skills and skill levels you will need in the future. One of the big benefits of SFIA is the end to end coverage of IT process areas. There is also complete coverage of IT service skills.
  • You can match SFIA levels to role descriptions to provide a common language to describe what is expected from each individual.
  • SFIA describes current industry practice. This provides clear and fair expectations of your people i.e. we are asking you to perform to the level expected by your industry
  • SFIA can support your line managers: e.g. with structured 360 performance feedback, setting objectives for roles, and assignments, highlighting specific suggestions for performance improvement by reference to SFIA skills and levels,
  • SFIA helps identify employees’ strengths, preferences, gaps and development opportunities which allows the individual and organisation to plan and schedule job-specific training and coaching and stretch opportunities which in turn drives higher performance.
  • Fair and accurate feedback is far more likely when employees, managers and peers are working to a common reference framework such as SFIA

Commitment required

Like ITIL; a high performance workforce is not a quick fix and it requires a commitment to creating a sustainable approach to performance improvement.

You will need all the help you can get and SFIA should be part of your tool-kit to make it happen.

This article first appeared in Service Talk

Image: High Performance Days 2012 (17) by Rick W. Dryve on 2012-05-26 12:40:41