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I’ve recently been involved helping to define itSMF UK’s professional service management framework (PSMF).  The joined up nature of that model set me thinking about the disjointed way that many organisations have approached developing their best practice capabilities let alone those for service management.

The first issue I come across is the lack of understanding of what a capability actually is.  Many consider it to be the tools, other consider it’s the just the skills, many will link it to performance and governance.  The reality of the situation is it’s the crossroads of all of those and more.  Indeed, I define capability as “a combination of the people, governance, technology and relationships an organisation requires to execute its business model or fulfill its mission.” In fact, a capability is anything an organisation does well that drives meaningful results.

Building organisational capabilities, such as innovation (strategic), service management (tactical) or relationship management (customer facing), is a top priority for most companies. However, many of them have not yet figured out how to do so entirely effectively.  As an educator, I believe skills are crucial to achieving this.  It’s an uncomplicated three step model

  1. What skills do we need to develop our capabilities? To enhance technology innovation, service management, culture, customer service, etc.
  2. What education interventions do the skills map onto? Matching a skill with a training course isn’t always that easy…particularly in the management best practice arena. There is life beyond page one of a Google search!
  3. Find a partner(s) that is / are focused on your outcomes. It’s not about just finding the organisation that will knock it out at the lowest price!

There’s an endemic issue.  As far back as 2010 nearly 60 percent of respondents to a McKinsey survey said that building organisational capabilities was a top-three priority for their companies. I still hear that story talking to L&D Directors and CIOs.  Yet only a third of companies actually focus their training programmes on building the capability that adds the most value to their companies’ business performance.

As a confirmed service management geek, I’m really excited about three recent developments that can really help you.  A capability framework, a comprehensive programme of training interventions and one specific course.

The capability framework is itSMF UK’s Professional Service Management Framework (PSMF).  PSMF is a competency model which defines a professional identity for the service management industry. Whether you’re an individual practitioner or an enterprise organisation, PSMF is a way to recognise the full value of your contribution.  We at Global Knowledge have mapped specific interventions to the model.

The specific programme is APMG’s Professional Services (PS) Professional.  The PS Professional is the world’s first and only dedicated certification for PS professionals. It has been designed to address the fundamental importance of technical and non-technical expertise in today’s professional services world.

Even with a lifetime of hard-earned experience and technical certifications it can be hard to stand out from the crowd. Technical expertise is important, and a given, but it is knowledge and proficiency in other business areas that will help you realise your true potential.  The certification has been developed and managed by a team of experts with extensive, real world experience in the professional services sector.  Global Knowledge are embracing and launching our PS Professional courses in the autumn.

Finally, the specific course Axelos’ ITIL practitioner course.  The ITIL® Practitioner certification offers practical guidance on how to adopt and adapt the ITIL framework to support your business’ objectives.  The learning obtained from this course supports the many hours your people have spent learning what ITIL is.  Now there’s a course that focuses on how to deliver it!  In addition to being one of the first organisations to deliver this course members of Global Knowledge’s team have been involved in reviewing material and writing the exams.

Going back to the McKinsey survey, despite the importance of capability building on the strategic agenda, many indicated that “they’re not very good at executing”: Scarily, only about a quarter think their companies’ training programs are “extremely” or “very effective” in preparing various employee groups to drive business performance or improve the overall performance of their companies

The survey results also indicate a potential explanation: training programs are misaligned with what is thought to be the capability most important to a company’s business performance. Only 33 percent of respondents say their training and skill-development programs focus on developing their companies’ most important capability.  That’s where itSMF UK’s PSMF, APMG’s PS Professional and Axelos’ ITIL practitioner can help.  Global Knowledge provide the one stop shop that can bring them all together.

Visit our website for more information on Global Knowledge’s Best Practice portfolio.

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