A lot of organizations today are focusing on improving their time to market and also looking at tactical ways to be able to deliver services without causing massive "All Hands on Deck" outages. How can we deliver quality services faster at the least amount of cost?
Varied methods such as Agile, Lean, Six Sigma and other service management process activities and methods have been attempted. Why are we missing the mark? Why does the business not see the type of returns that are touted? Perhaps if there was more of a focus on the strategy, or at least as much time and effort as is put forth in the tactical and operation space, we would see better results. Is it time to shift the focus?
Having a clear strategy will help your organization to be able to link tactical plans and operational activities to outcomes that are critical to customers and to the business as a whole. With clear strategic initiatives, governance and best practice principles, the service provider could be contributing to the value (and not just the cost) of the organization. Best practice for service management defines how having a “strategic” view and plan could allow the IT Service Provider to:
- Have a clear understanding of what types and levels of service will make its customers successful and then organize itself optimally to deliver and support those services. This is achieved through a process of defining strategies and services, ensuring a consistent, repeatable approach to defining how value will be built and delivered that is accessible to all stakeholders.
- Respond quickly and effectively to changes in the business environment ensuring increased competitive advantage. Understanding that business requirements are dynamic is key!
- Support the creation and maintenance of a portfolio of quantified services that will enable the business to achieve positive return on its investment in services. We are not just talking service catalog but full on Service Portfolio Management which is broader in scope and includes the Business Service Catalog. Emphasis is on “quantified” services.
- Facilitate functional and transparent communication between the customer and the service provider so that both have a consistent understanding of what is required and how it will be delivered.
- Provide the means for the service provider to organize itself so that it can provide services in an efficient and effective manner.
- Giving clear strategic direction is essential in order to scope the effort in every other functional area. If service providers continue to focus on tools and automation or to focus on approaches without a heavy focus on strategy we are likely to miss the mark.
For more information:
Read ITIL Best Practice - a high level overview from the owners of ITIL
View ITSM Academy's ITIL Service Strategy Training and Certification