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Service Birmingham uses ConnectSphere for its ITIL®  training and to achieve ISO/IEC 20000

Services used:

•    Assessment
•    Classroom training and workshops
•    e-Learning    

Service Birmingham has been established since April 2006 and is a partnership between Birmingham City Council and Capita to deliver information communications technology (ICT) services.  Service Birmingham support Birmingham City Council in achieving its Business Transformation objectives. In addition to supporting the Council, Service Birmingham supports schools and adult education centres across the UK.  Birmingham City Council is the largest local authority in Europe, so it is essential that its ICT service is world class.

Service Birmingham ICT support includes:

•    Applications
•    Infrastructure
•    Network
•    Telephony
•    Mobile agility
•    Desktop services
•    Service management
•    Change management
•    Service desk
•    SAP competency centre
•    Contact centre

To enable Service Birmingham to support the Council to a consistently high level, it engaged ConnectSphere to conduct an in-depth Assessment of its processes and procedures. The findings of the Assessment and a series of workshop sessions highlighted the need for some improvements. ConnectSphere was commissioned to help implement Service Management best practices with the long-term goal of Service Birmingham achieving ISO/IEC 20000. ConnectSphere provided advice on the implementation plan and consulting for process implementation and achieving ISO/IEC 20000.

As part of the implementation programme, it was also necessary to coach Service Birmingham staff for their new and changed roles. ConnectSphere ran classroom based sessions for Service Birmingham staff. This enabled staff to understand what would be involved and provide them with an overview of service management best practices at Service Birmingham. Anne Wainhouse, Process and Service Improvement Manager at Service Birmingham said, “This was a fantastic opportunity for staff from all areas of the business to come together and understand what Service Birmingham was
aiming to achieve. The training was a big investment for Service Birmingham so it was essential to engage everybody and get them on board.”

Following the initial sessions in 2006, ConnectSphere created a program for service management training. This included both classroom training and workshops held over one to three days duration. Also Managers, Service Owners, Process Owners and team leaders were successfully trained in the ITIL Foundation course. Many have also been trained on the ITIL Intermediate Life cycle and Capability courses. The 3 day lifecycle courses run by ConnectSphere include Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement.

Anne Wainhouse of Service Birmingham stated that” We believe that investing in Service Management best practice training has lowered the stress levels of our staff and enabled improvements in working practices to be adopted”.

The main objective of the training has been to help Service Birmingham implement service management best practices whilst achieving and maintaining ISO/IEC 20000 along with business transformation that included improving services, cutting costs, increasing job satisfaction and enabling access to ICT services for the citizens of Birmingham.

ConnectSphere was also selected to run a series of ½ day ISO/IEC 20000 Awareness sessions. The content of the course ensured that all candidates understood the ISO/IEC 20000 standard and how it was to be used, the benefits of ISO/IEC 20000 and why it mattered, how ISE/IEC 20000 was to be implemented within Service Birmingham and what each candidate’s role was within the Service Management System (SMS) and continual improvement moving forward.
New employees were trained as part of the Service Birmingham’s Corporate induction program.
Service Birmingham worked with ConnectSphere to develop their own ISO/IEC 20000 e-Learning package so that employees could be trained as and when required. The e-Learning package includes video clips and interactive modules. This has been successful, not only for reducing costs and its flexibility, but for allowing individuals to work and learn at their own pace.

All of the training has supported Service Birmingham and its employees in being able to streamline and implement a strong set of processes and procedures. Work and support is carried out in a consistent manner and with more communication taking place on a regular basis. Diane Hill, Learning and Development Officer for Service Birmingham says; “All of the training has meant that the service management team is working collaboratively with employees across Service Birmingham, it has really improved our culture and understanding of each other’s roles and responsibilities and given staff the confidence to go back and make best practice improvements”.

Through knowledge transfer ConnectSphere has enabled Service Birmingham to run the ITIL foundation revision courses itself, making them more self-sufficient and raising the competency levels across the whole organisation

Anne Wainhouse says, “Working with ConnectSphere has been great. They are completely committed, flexible and always go the extra mile. Shirley Lacy and her team understand learning styles and adapt their style to suit each individual. All of the courses were tailored to be relevant to Service Birmingham and each delegate understood how to apply ITIL best practice and use the knowledge gained to improve their processes and service area. It allowed managers that rarely have any contact to share view points and make connections across the
business. All in all it has allowed everybody to work smarter. As an organisation we are completely confident about ITIL best practice and our service management system when presenting to the external auditors that visit Service Birmingham on a six monthly basis.”

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