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How ITIL Service Management can help the government

As a self-confessed advocate – I see the usability of and the framework in every single thing… in every day experiences I see how would be able to help. Pretty sad, don’t you think? There is just so much to improve, and so many areas in our life that can be improved on.. and most of the principles of Service are generic and universal enough to be applicable to many industries and processes.

For example:
Last Sunday I arrived in Indonesia to do meet with a client. The trip went as you would expect (and I consider myself a fairly experienced traveler by now…). Until the moment I got off the plane in Indonesia… Let me tell you what I expected, in comparison to what actually happened.

My expectations:
I usually have an electronic ticket and on this document it says whether you need a visa for the country or not. When I get off the plane in a country, I have my passport, entry document and baggage tag with me in my hand. I walk to the immigration desk, show my passport, they put a stamp in it and I continue my journey to pick up my bags. Most of the time I am pretty tired of the long plane trip (the joys of living in Australia!) and I am just glad to get to a taxi to take me to the hotel…

My reality:
In this case I didn’t have any indication that I needed a Visa and when I walked out of the plane I ignored the big yellow sign that says “visa on arrival” .. after all: nobody told me that I needed to have one, right?!
Wrong… when I got to the immigration booth, a very cranky immigration officer pointed out that I didn’t have a visa and that I needed to go upstairs to get one (why did I get the idea that this wasn’t the first time somebody had to be sent back?!).
So I went back…  stood in line at the visa desk, only to be told by the person that I need to go to the BANK first to pay for the visa. Oh – OK… so I stood in line at the BANK to pay for the visa. When it was finally my turn, I gave them my credit card to pay for the visa… WRONG! The boy pointed at the sign that said “CASH ONLY”.. I mean, who has cash when you just arrive in a country? Lucky for me they accept Australian Dollars (and it was only twice as expensive) and I paid for my visa.
Back in the other line to get the sticker and back to the immigration person who now let me into the country.
By the time I had all this done, all the baggage was taken OFF the caroussel and placed in a separate area somewhere, which nearly gave me a heart attack as I thought that my bags had gone missing!


OK – how could ITIL Service Management help in this situation? Easy – by management of expectations! We all know that Service Level Management in particular aims at setting realistic expectations. Would the activities have changed by me knowing in advance what needed to be done? NO – but I would have known what to expect and it would probably have saved me some time and definitely aggravation! Same is true for our clients and end users.  We have a Service Catalogue that is accurate and up to date, Customers can choose from the Business Service Catalogue and we negotiate an SLA that is realistic and only contains service levels that we can guarantee and measure. Mistakes are still made, IT systems still fail every now and then… but the customer’s expectations are at a realistic level. In addition to this we communicate with our clients about our expectations and actual achievements. We keep the finger on the pulse and our clients are never in the dark. They know what to expect, and receive what they anticipated… People are creatures of habit, and in general people want to know in advance what will happen, what they can expect and what impact it will have on them!

People behave the same whether they operation within the IT industry or outside of it… ITIL Service Management helps us to manage people’s expectations and create a positive service experience! If only the government of Indonesia had attended some of ’s educational programs….   🙂