The Ingredients You Need for a Mature ITAM Program

Soon, families in the United States will gather around the Thanksgiving table. They’ll eat turkey, share what they’re thankful for, watch a parade or two and maybe some football. Post-meal will come the dessert—pumpkin pie, for instance. A traditional food to eat and to bake.

Let’s use some imagination. Imagine it’s the day before Thanksgiving and the family gets together to cook and bake. Dad’s doing the turkey, grandma’s making the gravy, grandpa’s doing the mashed potatoes and mom’s baking the pumpkin pie. Now imagine that the daughter wants to join in. She wants mom to teach her how to make the pie. Let’s take that image and apply it to IT Asset Management (ITAM).

The mom is the Program Manager, the daughter is the end-user, the ingredients are the IAITAM Key Process Areas (KPAs), etc. Let’s explore a mature ITAM program using this analogy. It might give you more insight than you think!

  1. Program Management
    In this scenario, the mom decides to take her daughter through every step of baking the pie. The Program Manager/mom has a big task. Before either of them can put on their chef’s hats and aprons, they have to go through the right steps. These steps are the IAITAM KPAs. Program Management is the foundation of the following areas. It is the crust enveloping the whole pie.
  1. Policy Management
    Mom needs a recipe. The recipe lists the ingredients, the prep time, number of servings, the cook time, the directions and anything else that’s needed. Policies dictate acceptable behaviors and actions. They control behavior and enforce goal implementation. Therefore, the pie’s policies are about the behaviors and actions of the chef and the result is the goal of creating a delicious pie.
  1. Communication & Education Management
    Everyone in an ITAM program must have a good pair of ears. They need to hear each other and the end-user, and they need to teach each other and the end-user. Mom, who is teaching her daughter to bake a pie, must communicate and teach effectively. The daughter must be taught to read the recipe and understand what ingredients and actions are needed. Everything comes together in cooking and in ITAM when there’s proper communication and education.
  1. Financial Management
    After the recipe is reviewed, it’s time for mom and daughter to go to check the pantry for the ingredients they already have, note what needs to be bought and create a budget. IT Asset Managers have to do the same—see what assets they have, note what needs to be bought and create and follow a budget.
  1. Vendor Management
    Mom, who is a stickler for the best deals, checks for coupons. She wants to find the best store with the best prices. Similar to mom, IT Asset Managers must find the best vendors with the best value.
  1. Acquisition Management
    Off to the store! With a budget created and a list of ingredients to get, the mother and daughter, like the Program Manager and ITAM personnel, have to go make their purchases.
  1. Asset Identification Management
    Back to the kitchen. Imagine mom laying out the ingredients. She makes sure that each is clearly identifiable by the label so that the daughter doesn’t mix them up. Similarly, IT Asset Managers need to identify their assets with clear and unique labels. You have to keep careful track of your ingredients!
  1. Documentation Management
    At this point, mom would be wise to have an extra copy of the recipe somewhere else. What if the pumpkin splashes all over the paper and smears the words? Likewise, IT Asset Managers need to have extra copies of documents comparable to warranties and contracts so that they don’t get lost.
  1. Compliance Management
    The pie needs to comply with the recipe just like IT Asset Managers should comply with different rules and guidelines regarding aspects of software management, disposal and others. If they don’t comply with the recipe, then it will not taste good.
  1. Legislation Management
    Unlike the recipe card, legislation must be followed to a “T.” A pumpkin pie still can be made if the measurements are a bit off or if an extra ingredient is added (more cinnamon, for example). But when it comes to local, national and international laws, there can be no mistake because mistakes can result in fines the organization can’t afford.
  1. Project Management
    The project—this project—is making the pie. Projects are short-lived and made up of dozens of tasks and as many roles as needed. The chef must bake the pie and the ITAM personnel must complete the project.
  1. Disposal Management
    Clean up time! Just as the mom and daughter need to clean up the kitchen after baking the pie, IT Asset Managers have to clean up after IT assets. They must recycle, donate, trash, etc. Similarly, mom’s leftover ingredients must be gathered and used on a future meal. Or, they could be donated to a food pantry.

Unfortunately, we can’t give away all of our secret sauces in this article. To find out details about these vital ingredients, take one or more of IAITAM’s seven courses starting with CAMP (Certified Asset Management Professional). CAMP includes all of the ingredients listed above, and more. Once you put all of these ingredients together, you’ll have a great ITAM program to go along with your Thanksgiving pie!