In my last two blogs, I mentioned the need for new skills and competencies in service integration; regardless of whether you are keeping service integration in-house or out-sourcing it. This blog talks a little more about what those skills and competencies are, and why you need them.
All of the traditional service management skills are still necessary. However, you will probably find that more senior and experienced people are required to deliver them.
Your retained team will be dealing directly with your service providers; if you outsource service integration, then they will be dealing with the service integration provider. This introduces the need for greater commercial and contractual understanding. Complex service and service level issues involving multiple service providers will have to be resolved; this demands strong interpersonal skills such as influencing, active listening and assertiveness.
Analytic skills are required for problem solving and demand management. I have often seen business analysts taking on roles requiring these skills.
These new skills and competencies are essential to actively drive the services forward. Without them, services will slip back into individual silos. The opportunity for cost reduction and improved service quality will be lost.
You must decide whether to up-skill existing staff, or to hire new people. New people may already have the skills you need, but will not understand your business. Your existing people might be too stuck in the past to adapt readily to new ways of working. Whichever approach you choose, a thorough analysis of existing and required skills, capabilities and competencies is a must.
Consider 1-1 coaching or mentoring to support their development as the organisation changes. This must be supplemented by targeted training. The whole process has to be underpinned by a comprehensive communications programme.
Service integration relies on the people running it to make use of the available tools, processes and data. A failure to invest in their skills and competence will reduce the benefits realised.