How Fannie Mae Transformed Its It Service Management (Itsm) Operating Model
By Michael Garcia, VP, Development Services, Fannie Mae and Raghu Bellary, Director, Enterprise Service Management Technology
Prior to Fannie Mae’s ITSM transformation, IT Services were managed by end-of-life, heavily customized legacy tools that had grown in complexity and lacked support. Processes were fragmented without clear ownership, and there was no single source of truth for the IT infrastructure, as multiple copies of data persisted. Operating costs were high and system upgrades were complicated, time consuming, and impacted numerous systems, which required extensive regression testing. Collectively, these represented significant operational risks as teams would question the analysis, delaying or nullifying root cause identification.
Before launching its ITSM transformation at end of 2014, strategic objectives were articulated, including:
• Simplification, standardization to ITIL, integration and consolidation;
• Retire unsupported systems, adopt a single book of record, improve processes (e.g. risk and conflict analysis);
• Select a cloud-based solution with: Out of the Box (OOTB) functionality, user-friendly interface, enhanced data analytics, and capabilities beyond ITSM.
The Service Catalog was an unsupported Lotus Notes-based solution with an awkward interface that included over 10,000 cryptic and difficult to search Service Requests (SR). It was first to be transformed. To facilitate adoption, an overall vision was first developed, syndicated and agreed to. To promote buy-in and trust, the Service Catalog was transitioned incrementally in groups with Service Requests that either had high impact functionality or high visibility for customers. Working with stakeholders, over 1,500 valid SRs were consolidated to just over 170, and to maintain simplicity, a single workflow was enforced.
Figure11 - Service Catalog incremental transition
Next, Change Management was transformed. Chang Management legacy system used a costly on-premises footprint of 50-plus servers running on end of life software. Tribal knowledge was required to operate the tool. New upgrades took years to execute and the skilled resources needed to maintain the platform were no longer available. The new solution required fewer approvals, actively enforced controls and workflows, included a risk calculator, and aligned to ITIL ticket types and lifecycle states.
Knowledge Articles (KAs) were also converted and centralized from fragmented SharePoint sites and other repositories, increasing frustration and slowing down work.
We are also working on ensuring that our platform continues to be easily manageable and enables self-service for future innovations
Now our KAs, which number in the thousands and include steps for fulfilling IT service requests and ITSM training materials, among others, are easily searchable with an optimized user experience.
Our most recent transformation area was Incident and Problem Management.
These processes are critical for all organizations that intend on learning from the past to improve their organizations.
It doesn’t help anyone if your incidents and problems get lost in the abyss of your ITSM systems. Having a strong product owner from our Production Support team to work with stakeholders to re-imagine our processes created opportunities for improving the experience for all our users.
Through the Change, Incident, and Problem Management system implementations, a robust Configuration Management Database (CMDB) was built incrementally to support the ITSM capabilities. We are now implementing a broad range of new capabilities in our system, including Human Resources self-service portals, which builds a common experience for our employees. We are also working on ensuring that our platform continues to be easily manageable and enables self-service for future innovations.
Transformation benefits Reported benefits by Fannie Mae users include:
• Easy to use, intuitive, modern navigation and search;
• One-stop shop for all ITSM services;
• Simplified, integrated, and policy-enforced processes;
• Real-time visibility of SLAs related to incidents, problems, and changes;
• Cloud-based solution requiring minimal Fannie Mae data center resources;
• Enhanced reporting analytics and data quality;
• Single source of truth for infrastructure Configuration Items
• Scalable and resilient platform;
• Open common interface for integrations;
• Rapid upgrades and easy maintenance.
Lessons learned Successful transformation will always have its challenges, but here are a few lessons learned:
• “Engage!”Maintain executive and stakeholders’ buy-in and commitment to the program.
• “All Hands On Deck!” Require process owners to be part of the change.
• “Howdy Partner!” Use a strong integration partner to accelerate your journey.
• “Get Fit!” Build in-house capabilities through training and paired programming.
• “It’s about the People!” Plan and vet cultural change requirements.
• “Don’t lift and shift.” Simplify, standardize, consolidate, and improve processes BEFORE technical implementation.
• “Go Agile!” Delivering a minimum viable product creates more trust and buy-in from your stakeholders.
• “Test! Test! Test!” Regression testing multiple times and repeatable test automation will increase velocity.
• “Teach!” Focus on teaching, including road shows, newsletters, and guest speakers, and deliver end-user training.
• “Be a helicopter parent!” Upon rollout, be vigilant. The whole team should take time to watch what happens.
• “Celebrate!” Make sure you enjoy the wins along the way.