One of the big components of Service Management is defining processes for supporting technology. You set up a process for documenting changes, a process for requesting new services, a process for implementing that new service, etc…. That scares many broadcasters. We jump to the conclusion that a process is going to be some long, arduous quest for managerial approval that grinds to a halt every time we have to ask a new person for input.

“We won’t be able to get breaking news on the air.” “We can’t be the lean, nimble media organization that today’s economy demands.” We look at the flow charts and best practices that the ITSM frameworks lay out and run for the hills.

However, we can stand our ground. Process is not inherently at odds with broadcasting. Here are a few things to keep in mind.

  • Process does not have to be slow
  • Process does not have to be complicated
  • Process does not have to be different

Let’s look at an example to see why those things are true. Every engineer is asked to make changes pretty much every day they go into work but most of us do not have a formal change management process. But I am willing to bet that everyone has an informal process that we could turn into a formal process. Here is my personal informal change management process.

  1. Receive the request from Operations by email, phone or in person.
  2. Work up an idea to better define the request and what needs to change, sometimes in your head and sometimes on paper.
  3. Check with my manager to make sure it is ok for me to work on the request.
  4. Come up with a plan for how and when to make the change.
  5. Double-check the plan with another engineer.
  6. Check with Operations to make sure the plan will not cause problems.
  7. Put the plan into action.
  8. Check with the requester to make sure that the change met expectations.

I do most of those steps either as a brief mental exercise or as normal course of being a responsible engineer, all without thinking about it. Do you see how that informal process could easily be turned into an equally as simple, quick and very similar formal process?

Broadcasters, do not be afraid of the formal processes that Service Management encourages.