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Service Offerings and Agreements

When we think about what services we are going to offer we immediately think of the Service Catalog.  We must also consider what agreements go along with the delivery of those services.  What levels of utility and warranty are going to be expected over the life of our services?   What about services that will be supplied by external service providers; who is going to manage those?  Let’s take a look at which ITSM processes we will need to engage to ensure that we are able to strategize, design, deliver and maintain services that will meet our customers’ needs over the lifetime of the services.
In Service Offerings and Agreements (SOA), we look at Service Portfolio Management (SPM), Financial Management (FM), Demand Management (DM) and Business Relationship Management (BRM).  These are all processes within the Strategy stage of the Lifecycle.  We also explore Service Catalog Management (SCM), Service Level Management (SLM) and Supplier Management (SM) processes within the Design stage o…

CSI and the Communication Plan

Timely and effective communication forms a critical part of any service improvement project. To transform an organization and move people and process from just thinking about Continual Service Improvement (CSI) activities to actually allotting time to be able to performing CSI activities, it is critical that all stakeholders are informed of all changes to the processes, activities, roles and responsibilities. The goal of the communications plan is to build and maintain awareness, understanding, enthusiasm and support among all stakeholders for the CSI initiative. A communication plan is much more than just sending out one notification on what is about to happen and should be a series of notifications and meetings to keep people engaged, informed and passionate while incorporating the ability to deal with responses and feedback from the targeted audience.
First, we must design how we will communicate and then we must define what and to whom we will communicate.
The plan must contain: What…

The State of ITSM: One Company’s Assessment!

Here is an article I thought you might find interesting.  It was first published in itSMF USA's Source EJournal, April 2017.  
The State of ITSM: One Company’s Assessment! By Keith D. Sutherland and Lawrence J. “Butch” Sheets
Educators and consultants operating in the formal practice of IT service management (ITSM) have largely been doing so since the mid-90s. Even though the best, codified practices of the IT service management framework, ITIL®, is now just over 30 years old, there remains a large number of organizations still in initial adoption of ITIL. 
And of those service providers with longer histories of using ITIL, many still have a significant need to increase maturity, or more fully implement their ITIL practice. The need in these companies for structured education, assessments, and roadmaps still abounds, even while multiple approaches for these practices are available for each. Beyond ITIL (and in many cases, alongside), are the many other evolving and emerging options of…

Agile Best Practices in the Incident/Problem/Change Cycle of ITIL

ITIL is not in conflict with DevOps, ITIL supports DevOps with a solid foundation by providing an up to date an accurate configuration of our IT infrastructure. This, in turn, supports the ability to accurately carry out the detection of issues and underlying problems and deliver collaborative, permanent solutions to operational deviations. Further, it engages the Second Way by “shortening and amplifying the feedback loop” to development.  Historically mostIT organizations structure their incident, problem and change processes within a very confined view, typically utilizing these processes from an operational perspective and only marginally engaging them at the design stage of the lifecycle.   ITIL should and can be adapted to DevOps practices to proactively define when incidents and problems arise while still in the design phase of the lifecycle.  This means engaging both software development and infrastructure design in a way that allows us to capture these deviations proactively a…

Process Practitioner Examples – Roles and Responsibilities Revisited

Assigning clearly defined roles and responsibilities are critical to the success of every process. These roles need to be defined early and reviewed periodically to ensure proper training, communication and education.  A process without clearly defined roles will fail at some level.  
There is a very clear distinction in the activities or the roles that are played out by individuals in your organization.  You should determine and communicate who is accountable and who is responsible for the process activities.  A role is like a hat.  One individual could wear two or more hats.  Watch out for titles.  You might have a title such as Service Transition Manager.  What role(s) would this individual fulfill? It all depends on WHO is best suited for the role or task that needs to be performed when it comes to assigning roles. The Service Transition Manager could be accountable or OWN the “Release and Deployment” process but might also be a practitioner and be responsible to perform tasks in o…

Agile Service Manager

What is an Agile Service Manager? The following is a definition from the University of California Santa Cruz for an IT Service Manager. “The Service Manager has overall accountability for defining the service, ensuring services meet the business need and are delivered in accordance with agreed business requirements and managing the service lifecycle – often in conjunction with a Service Team”. I also looked up some jobs offerings from around the globe that were described as Agile Service Management and took some pieces from them.  Here are a couple of examples: Has responsibility for defining and creating the global service, developing the reliability and performance of the services in line with the business requirements, and managing the overall service lifecycle within an agile environment. This includes stability, performance, capability, risk acceptance and analysis of the services.Developing a deep understanding of what is important to the service, you will be prioritizing and dri…

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) – An extension of Test-Driven Development (TDD)

Behavior-Driven Development (BDD) is a process or best practice for the development (and testing) of code. Behavior-driven development is a design and testing practice that is utilized to ensure that the outcomes and the behaviors of products and services are articulated in terms of business value.  It means that we should step aside from the technical aspects of coding, development and testing and consider, in real everyday terms, what the behavior and usage aspects are of the application or product.   We will still require technical skills, insights, automation and more, but when thinking about the defining and development of a product, business and service providers can articulate in PLAIN ENGLISH exactly what they are attempting to achieve. BDD helps design and development practitioners scope appropriate testing for a variety of test types including: Unit tests: A single piece of code (usually an object or a function) is tested, isolated from other piecesIntegration tests: Multipl…

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