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Measuring Service Management Maturity

I was recently asked about how to measure service management maturity when the maturity of individual processes is not equal.

Frankly, it’s a bit of chicken and egg.

It can be difficult to define where your organization is as a whole compared to each individual process when the processes are at different levels. When we look at a specific process we have to judge it against a specific set of criteria. Each organization will develop this criteria based on the organizational goals and objectives. Each process may have a different set of criteria, different levels of benefit or impact so therefore a different level of need-based maturity. For example, for organizations that are highly dependent on suppliers and outsourcing, the need for a mature Supplier Management process is critical. Other organizations may not focus on Supplier Management but invest their focus and resources on other processes such as Configuration Management.

The maturity of individual Service Management processes is largely dependent on the overall service management awareness, sponsorship and therefore maturity of the entire organization. This can be based on Richard L. Nolan’s IT Organizational Growth Model or perhaps Somogyi & Galliers’ Strategic Growth Model.

ITIL does provide guidelines to help us define the maturity level of each process. The five ITIL levels are initial, repeatable, defined, managed and optimizing. In each of these levels we look at very specific metrics based on the same five areas which are vision and steering, process, people, technology and culture. Again each organization will have to define these specific metrics. If it meets the general criteria of the five areas, that should help you define the level of your particular process. If available to you please review, Appendix H in the ITIL Service Design book. This gives you a detailed review of the ITSM Process Maturity Framework (PMF).

Comments

Hi - Would you not advocate using other methods to evaluate maturity, along the lines of, for example, COBIT?

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