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Service Design - Ouch!

What is hurting the capability of service providers to design and deliver service at the rate of speed and at a cost that is viable to the business?  I asked a group of IT managers and practitioners in a recent training class and all agreed on these common causes:
  • Lack of upper management strategy and direction.
  • Lack of  adequate or accurate information
  • Resistance to change
  • Cultural issues / Agenda’s
  • Inadequate funding

I am sure you can add to this list.  Many service providers are suffering from the same pain.  What is causing this?  One area that most will agree upon is the fact that a lot of challenges for a service provider to deliver come from silos.  A classic silo and division that some organizations are addressing are those that exist between development and operational teams. That will help, but it’s not only siloed teams that are hurting this industry.  It is the fact that ITSM processes are also siloed.  If your processes and data are siloed even the best of intentions will not result in the type of business outcomes that are required. 

What is the rate of demand in your organization today vs. a decade ago?  Better yet, think about the increase in the rate of demand in just the last three to five years.  The service model that worked a decade ago will not work in today’s service management world.  What else has changed?  In addition to demand, service providers must also meet the challenge of consistently changing business requirements. That’s another big source of pain for many organizations when in fact, changing business requirements should be welcomed and encouraged. 

So, what can help?  Best practice tells us that “designing to match the anticipated environment is much more effective and efficient, but often impossible and therefore service providers need to consider iterative and incremental approaches to service design. Iterative and incremental approaches are essential to ensure that services introduced to the live environment are successfully transitioned.  In the absence of formalized service design, services will often be unduly expensive to run, prone to failure, resources will be wasted and services will not be fully aligned to business needs. It is unlikely that any improvement program will ever be able to achieve what proper design should achieve in the first place.”

Adopting and implementing standardized approaches throughout the value stream that include cross functional teams, integrated processes and integrated tools will be required for optimized service provisioning. No more Silo’s.  A successful service provider will not be able to afford silos of people, siloed processes or siloed tools when it comes to designing and delivering services that optimize value.

Changes in behavior in high performing organizations have created cultural shifts that allow for self-organizing teams to be adaptable to new approaches, automation and shifting business requirements. Without an integrated approach to strategy, design, and delivery, cost-effective service is not possible. The ability to gradually shape a new IT organizational culture will play a major role in a positive DevOps environment.

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