G2SF provided Los Alamos National Lab’s IT organization (ADIT) with IT organizational transformation consulting support through the introduction and adoption of an industry recognized IT service management framework based on the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) and ISO/IEC 20000 standards. As part of the Department of Energy, the Los Alamos National Lab enhances national security by ensuring the safety and reliability of the U.S. nuclear stockpile, developing technologies to reduce threats from weapons of mass destruction, and solving problems related to energy, environment, infrastructure, health, and global security concerns. The ADIT organization is responsible for overall departmental computing, software and software applications, and computing networks and infrastructure for the entire lab. The ADIT organization provides IT services and support to approximately 14,000 employees, contractors, and students at more than 2,000 individual facilities, including 47 technical areas with 8 million square feet under roof. Operating costs exceed $2 billion.
Enterprise IT Service Management Assessment
Anticipating a reduction in operating budgets and the need to deliver more without impacting the quality of service, the ADIT Director requested that an IT Service Management (ITSM) assessment be conducted. The purpose of the organization-wide assessment was to establish an enterprise level baseline of the relative maturity of the organization’s ability to manage and deliver IT services from a People, Process, Technology, and Organizational perspective. The results of the enterprise assessment were to be used to develop a comprehensive implementation plan to successfully implement ITSM best practices and standards based on ITIL and ISO/IEC 20000. G2SF was awarded the contract to conduct the assessment. As part of the assessment, G2SF determined the relative maturity of each of the core ITIL processes, evaluated the effectiveness of the supporting technology infrastructure and tool suites, and identified human resource and organizational constraints inhibiting superior performance. G2SF then made specific and actionable recommendations in priority order that documented both short- and long-term opportunities for improvement that would have a measurable and lasting positive effect on the organization. The final assessment report and presentation included CMMI based process/lifecycle maturity ratings/rankings, key observations, gaps between current operations and industry best practices, consequences of inaction, recommendations for improvement, benefits, requirements, and a high-level implementation plan or roadmap to meet requirements. The implementation plan addressed a variety of topics to include, for example, the concept of being a “service centric” vs. technology centric organization, the need to define and incorporate service descriptions within an automated service catalog, the need to manage services as a portfolio and according to a life-cycle approach (i.e. Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Improvement), the need to measure the effectiveness of services from a business perspective based on well-defined Service Level Agreements (SLA), the need to establish operating level agreements with internal groups where there is a dependency to ensure service quality per the SLA, the need to designate service owners and/or business relationship managers, and the need to create an advisory board that would oversee and contribute to the successful transition to the new operating model.
Following the IT Service Management assessment and acceptance of all recommendations, G2SF was awarded a subsequent contract to support the implementation of the proposed roadmap. ADIT immediately began implementation of phase one of the roadmap which focused on four (4) core process areas: Service Desk, Incident Management, Service Catalog Management, and Service Level Management/Business Relationship Management. In developing and implementing processes, G2SF conducted a series of hands on workshops with the ADIT leadership team to define the core services as well as the Service Catalog Management and Incident Management processes and supporting process guides. These guides contained the policies, purpose, objectives, workflows, and ultimately the work instructions specific to the ADIT organization. These process guides are currently being used to effectively manage the service catalog and incident management processes. The Incident Management Guide contained the customized models and procedures that enable the service desk personnel to identify, track, categorize, prioritize, escalate, and assign customer incidents and service requests to facilitate the timely restoration of service. The Service Catalog Management (SCM) Guide included the purpose of the guide, the SCM owner and manager, as well as the procedures to maintain, change, and update the SCM guide.
In addition to the process development work, G2SF was also involved in supporting a variety of other transformation initiatives that included helping the client clearly identify and define various positions that would be critical for successful organizational and cultural transformation. For example, G2SF strongly advocated for the creation of business relationship managers that would assume responsibility for representing specific core services internally and to the customer community. With regard to manpower allocation and planning, G2SF helped ensure that overall headcount was determined based on the number and type of resources required to maintain existing systems, restore service disruptions, respond to service requests, and support new projects. Growth in any of these areas, especially new projects, would justify additional headcount. In fact, all requests for new projects/services would be considered in relation to the allocation of existing resources and available manpower capacity to support new work within a customer requested timeframe. G2SF advocated for a manpower planning and project management tool that would automate much of this effort. Once resource and skill set requirements were determined, LANL was then able to conduct a skills inventory to determine the gap between current resource availability/skills, and required resources and skills. Therefore, the number of Government vs. contractor personnel was based on headcount needed to meet specific customer requirements, the existing pool of available Government personnel with the required skill sets, as well as the budget available for supplemental contract personnel. The number of Government to contract personnel was not based on a pre-established ratio since every organization is unique. However, there are industry standards and ratios available for the number of support personnel per operating resource.
G2SF also advocated for information sharing and the alignment of individual performer objectives, recognition, and rewards to specific objectives necessary to meet service level and operating level agreements (OLAs) and metrics. Properly structured, the accomplishment of service objectives per the SLAs should contribute to the accomplishment of business objectives that should contribute to the accomplishment of the mission objectives. An alignment between all of these variables maximizes productivity and helps to ensure overall organizational success.
Based on a need for additional service management knowledge, skills, and experience, G2SF helped to develop a customized training curriculum intended for a wide audience including the executive leadership team, service managers, business relationship managers, process owners/managers, process users, and those requiring awareness of the overall IT service management transformation initiative (e.g. customers). The training medium varied widely by audience to include, for example, webinars, executive briefings, ITSM awareness training, and ITIL certification training (Foundation, Intermediate, Expert and Master). Previously, G2SF has provided all training venues with the exception of ITIL Expert and Master certification.
Organizational Communications and Stakeholder Management Support
Improving internal and external organizational communication was identified in the assessment as a critical success factor for the LANL ITSM implementation and transformation initiative. G2SF advised in the definition, development and initial implementation of a comprehensive organizational communication plan that included the frequency, content, and mediums for specific topics, objectives, and the intended audiences. The communication mediums included, for example, flyers, webinars, targeted campaigns, brown bag sessions, working groups, advisory boards, town hall meetings, and a centralized portal or repository of all ITSM artifacts. Recognizing the need to ensure ADIT customers were well informed and supportive of the ITSM transformation initiative, as previously mentioned, G2SF strongly advocated for the creation of business relationship managers that would assume responsibility for representing specific core services internally and to the customer community. G2SF also developed an initial concept of operations and proposed organizational structure to reflect the role of the Business Relationship Manager, the Advisory Board, Service Managers and other key roles that were critical to the organization’s long term success. G2SF spent considerable time supporting the identification and definition of core services and service offerings. This was achieved by facilitating a series of workshops that involved key stakeholders from throughout the organization. Consensus was finally achieved prior to publishing the initial Service Catalog.
General IT Advisory Support
G2SF also provided advisory support with regard to project and portfolio management; the implementation of an ITSM tool suite (Remedy) and the most optimal service desk support structure that allowed for the effective and efficient execution of the incident and problem management process based on ADIT’s specific needs; and the evaluation of outsourcing of core functions such as the service desk.