The Four Ps of Service Design - It’s not all about Technology

People ask me why I think that many designs and projects often fail. The most common answer is from a lack of preparation and management. Many IT organizations just think about the technology (product) implementation and fail to understand the risks of not planning for the effective and efficient use of the four Ps: People, Process, Products (services, technology and tools) and Partners (suppliers, manufacturers and vendors).

A holistic approach should be adopted for all Service Design aspects and areas to ensure consistency and integration within all activities and processes across the entire IT environment, providing end to end business-related functionality and quality. (SD 2.4.2)
  1. People:  Have to have proper skills and possess the necessary competencies in order to get involved in the provision of IT services. The right skills, the right knowledge, the right level of experience must be kept current and aligned to the business needs.
  2. Products:  These are the technology management systems utilized in the process of IT service delivery. When designing a new or changed service consideration must be given to the capabilities of how these tools will enhance the delivery and support of the customer agreed services.
  3. Processes:  Used to manage and support the services to meet customer expectations and agreed services levels. Design must have the requirements on what the business and IT have agreed to as success. A characteristic of all processes is they must be measureable. Processes must have Key Performance Indicators and Critical Success Factors that align to both the short and long term goals and objectives that the business has communicated.
  4. Partners:  Are our primarily vendors, 3rd party software companies, manufacturers and suppliers involved in the provision of IT services. The process must be designed so they are managed to support IT targets and business expectations. Awareness of the business context and how this relationship works to realize business benefit shall be considered in our overall design.
Without these critical success factors being part of our Service Design Package (SDP) a service provider cannot possibly have a successful design or project implementation.


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