It’s all about creating Business Results

Published on Tuesday 3 April 2012 by in Blog with no comments

One of the reasons ITSM process improvement projects fail is the lack of achieving demonstrable Business Results. How can HRD help?

In the field of HRD there are excellent tools to design and evaluate the effects of learning processes. Maybe if we approach process improvement projects as a learning process and we would design an improvement project as if it’s a learning intervention we would create more Business Impact.

In this article I will show you how to use the 4 levels of Kirkpatrick to evaluate ITSM process improvement projects.

Let’s go back to the 4 levels of Kirkpatrick:

(4) the evaluation of the business results.

(3) the evaluation of the learning effects in the workplace

(2) the evaluation of the learning results

(1) the evaluation of the learning process



This level is the level we know from our ITIL classes. We all had a great time! We liked the location, the food and the classroom. We didn’t like the short breaks, the cookies were terrible and the coffee cold.

We also liked the trainer. Nice person, good stories and showed a lot of examples about the difference between an Incident and a Problem.

At the end of the class, the teacher got an 8.9 (out of 10) and he was happy. Maybe this was enough for his bonus at the end of the quarter.

This evaluation is very important. It tells us if the learning process was enjoyable and pleasant? If students have fun it will improve the learning effectiveness and it will stimulate students to apply the learning into their workplace.

If you want to evaluate this level, you need to define measures and values. You have to ask the question: “What is an enjoyable and good learning process? What does it look like?”

I will give you some examples related to ITSM process improvement projects. On this level you describe what the improvement PROCESS looks like.

  • Employees are involved in the project, they perform their activities as agreed, they are all present and on time in the meetings.
  • Employees let the project manager know when things are unclear.
  • Employees are experimenting with new way of working, they try to fix issues themselves.
  • Management is also learning and experimenting.
  • Management is reading the proposals and they give feedback to suggestions.
  • Management is interested in the status of the project.

Did you ever look to your project this way?



On this level we will measure if the learning process, level 1, has brought results. On this level we can position the EXIN certification results, 87% passed. We can also measure the fact if students are able to reproduce a skill, answer questions, filling in screens or performing successful role-play-exercises.

During the ITSM process improvement project we will work with employees, line management and process management. During the project meetings and sessions we can practice all kind of exercises to prepare the employees to the ‘real life’. During this stage we will follow courses, work with teams to prepare new roles, new procedures and processes.

I give you some examples related to ITSM process improvement projects. On this level you describe in clear sentences what you the employees must LEARN!

  • Are process managers able to present the benefits of a certain process to senior line management?
  • Is a process manager able to show a Service Desk employee why they should register calls?
  • Is a line manager able to explain his employees why this new way of working is beneficial to them?
  • Are we able to classify incidents during the call intake?
  • Are we able to route 80% of the incoming calls to the right 2nd line engineer?
  • We know the Plan Do Check Act cycle by head.

Did you ever look to your project this way?



On this third level, we need to evaluate the effects of the learning process (level 1) and the learning outcomes (level 2) towards the workplace. We call this often ‘From Knowledge to Action’. We need to observe how the employees, management and process managers are applying all the elements they learned to their own workplace situation.

I give you some examples related to ITSM process improvement projects. On this level you must define the results in clear present sentences which describes what you want to SEE!

  • We see employees sitting in a meeting room and discussing service improvements initiatives.
  • We see a manager accepting the Incident Manager, managing incidents in his department with his employees.
  • We see Service Desk employees registering all calls in the Service Management Tool.
  • Process Managers are preparing weekly reports and…
  • … managers are using the reports to make decisions.



This level is were it’s all about! All our improvement initiatives are focused on: Creating Business Results.

We know from research that evaluation on this level is very difficult and seldom performed.  This is the level where we could see the real effects of our initiatives.  This is also the level where the Business or Management become responsible to work actively to create the results.

I will give you some examples related to ITSM process improvement projects. On this level you describe what you want to MEASURE.

  • The Business is selling more tickets, because downtime of the online ticket system is decreasing
  • The Business is able to role out products faster because IT Changes are faster and without errors
  • The Business is able to implement business processes faster

I hope you understand that these measures are what it is all about. This is why we setup all these service improvement initiatives.

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