This post is the part three (and concluding part) of a series where we discuss the Event Management process and how to put one together. Previously we discussed the elements and considerations that should go into the process design. We elaborated those considerations further with a sample list of process requirements and the corresponding process flow. We will assemble all the information together into one process design document that can be used to implement the process.
In addition to the process requirements and the process flow, which are two key ingredients, I believe a process design document needs to call out additional information pertinent to the implementation of the process. For example…
Policy statement: The policy statement calls out what are some of the governing points behind the process. Under what circumstances the process becomes applicable or not? What are some high-level expectations the organization has with the implementation of the process?
RACI Chart: Simply put, who does what? Sure the process flow calls out the major roles and describes the interactions between the activities and the roles. Having accountability clearly defined is also necessary. Some activities may involve more roles interacting with one another in various capacities, depending on the complexity of the activity, so it is a good thing to identify those finer details as well.
Process Metrics: How would the process owner or the organization measure the performance of the process? What metrics can be collected for analysis? It will be hard to improve the process over time if the process owner has little idea on how the process is doing at any given point. Or better yet, what metrics will be meaningful to measure because the organization cares enough about them?
Interfaces: How will the process interact with other processes already in place? For example, Event Management process will often interact with the Incident Management process. It will be useful to document what interactions exist between those two processes and what input/output should be taken into account.
Other supporting procedures: Most organizations will have other supporting procedures that further describe how things work together. For example, we described an activity within the process where the Service Desk notifying and keeping the business user communities informed of the incident status. Well, that is pretty high-level still, so exactly how the notification to the end users will be carried out? Again, every organization will have its own approaches so it will be helpful if those details can be incorporated into the process design somewhere or at least made references of.
Depending on the discipline required by your organization, your process design may or may not contain these additional elements, or maybe different ones. In any case, I think a good process design document should spell out all the information and references anyone will need to implement the process fully, just like a specification of some sort used to construct something. Hopefully, the process design you come up with will also have been vetted by the necessary stakeholders of the process, so you will have the support you need to implement. The process design document is also a living document that will require periodic care-and-feeding in terms of reviewing for accuracy and fine-tuning over time.
So what is the point for having a functional Event Management practice in your organization? As a technology service provider to the organization, the Event Management process can help IT stay on top of potential service interruptions or outages. As a capable IT organization, we should be the first to know what is going within our own environment and not depend on the end users to let us know when something has become unavailable. Technology and gadgets break down all the time, and that is the nature of the business. The IT organization should be the first voice to let people know when something has gone wrong within our domain. Having a well-designed Event Management process is the first step in getting a better handle on what is going on within your environment.
I hope the information presented so far has been helpful. Please feel free to suggest options or other approaches that have worked for your organization.
Links to other posts of the series