How to Handle Service Management Like a Jedi

Was IT von Jedis lernen kann

Jedi Knights and service heroes have more in common than you might think: Read more about what IT can learn from the Jedi Order in order to increase productivity and secure competitiveness …

In the Star Wars universe, the Jedi Knight is the perfect model of a hero – a powerful servant of the light force power with superhuman abilities. He is fighting for justice, peace and harmony in the Galactic Republic – not an easy task after all, especially when you consider just how many challenges, imponderables and enemies Jedis have to deal with over the course of the story.

IT is somehow facing equally challenging tasks. Service organizations, in particular, have to maintain the sensitive balance between complex IT system landscapes and the task to automate and optimizie processes across business departments in order to increase productivity and secure competitiveness. Like true heroes, they must constantly eliminate critical incidents, ensure compliance with contracts and agreements, and prepare the entire organization for dealing with constant change and new challenges.

Challenges and Tools

One of the greatest challenges for the Jedi is the conflict with the dark side of the force. Since the Jedi Order was founded in the early days of the Republic, this conflict has seen several epic fights and battles. Time and again, individual heroes have failed and fallen to the dark side.

There are, however, some things that support the Jedi in being true to his difficult task, as well as successfully overcome all trials and adventures: In the Star Wars universe these are, first and foremost, a strict behavior and rule code, discipline, knowledge and – naturally – the force. For all particularly critical situations, the light sword is also mentioned as a quasi-indispensable tool.

The heroes of the IT service organization, of course, are not armed with light swords nor are they equipped with superhuman skills. Yet, the IT service organization might still learn a trick or two from the Jedi role model…

(1) Following a dedicated code of conduct

To ensure that a Jedi is always fully focused on his mission and is not seduced by the dark side, many rules and practices have been developed over the years to maintain balance in the Order.

Also the service organization needs clear targets derived from corporate objectives in order to be able to strategically position and align itself. In the end, however, it comes down to realizing the corporate objectives, for which IT provides efficient support on all levels and in all departments. Only when objectives and strategies are clear, IT can, on their part, formulate a clear service offering in terms of a service catalog. And here, of course, everything is focused on the customer and his requirements.

(2) Discipline

Every big, collaborative task, every project needs a certain amount of discipline to be completed successfully.

For IT and its service organization, discipline means that all members of the team are working together. That they are completely committed to their individual tasks and to reaching the overall objectives. How often do we see projects fail because not all resources have been involved and informed from the beginning, or because objectives were not communictaed clearly enough. Consequently, employees simply drop out of the project and withdraw – putting the entire project at risk.

Discipline is an important prerequisite for a Jedi to be able to fully concentrate on his mission, and for every employee in the service organization to concentrate on his tasks. It is, after all a matter of maintaining peace and justice in the galaxy – or securing the competitiveness and the future of your company.

(3) Knowledge

A Jedi’s strength is essentially based on three pillars: Power, discipline and knowledge.

Knowledge Management has already been a hot topic in Service Management for quite a long time, too. One of the issues here is to make knowledge available, always and everywhere, in order, on the one hand, to increase productivity in the service organization and shorten solution times, and on the other hand, to improve service quality and customer satisfaction.

Knowledge is information – and this information hast to be utilized in and for all departments of the company. Still, for many organizations this is a big challenge. Huge amounts of data are often stored in individual systems and databases throughout the organization with no connection whatsoever.

When such information and data silos are dissolved and the existing information consolidated, the individual departments, and eventually the entire business, can profit from knowledge that is generally available. The masses of information and data with digitalization, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 will continue to grow in the future. It is about time to unite forces and work to analyze, consolidate and utilize the enormous amount of data.

It is not really the galactic civil wars, nor the destruction of the death star, yet serious tasks and enormous challenges are lying ahead of IT.  In order to cope with all the requirements, IT has to comply to certain guidelines and maintain proven principles – just as guidelines and principles served the Jedis well when they maintained peace and justice in the galaxy in Star Wars.

May the 4th Be With You

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