I believe that a service provider can improve by choosing to follow best practices from ITIL, Lean, Agile and more. That said I also believe that Knowledge Management will be the glue that ties in all together. Knowledge is required to deliver maximum results. Knowledge Management ensures the right knowledge to the right people at the right time. Think about yours or your customers service provisioning model. How much time, money and resources is spent because of the lack of knowledge at the right time? How frequently do we need information or access to the information and it is NOT available? Not only is information not available when we need it, but sometimes it is replicated in many ways in many different places so that there is no real way to determine the definitive source. It is difficult to get management control over the outcomes of an organization when the knowledge is out of control. Knowledge Management is required throughout the Service Lifecycle. A few examples include:
Service Strategy: Current and historical information regarding major change proposals, business cases, high level service models, Demand management information such as current and projected patterns of business activity, meeting minutes and information from business cases for analyzing and approving strategic changes, Business Relationship Management information and more.
Service Design: Details of the full designed solution for a new or changed service. Details of the service model mapping service assets to business and customer outcomes. Service Catalog information including business views and detailed technical views for the service provider. Let’s not forget the metrics, and processes in Service Design and all the knowledge and information that make them work.
Service Transition: Knowledge and information will be key as both inputs and outputs from planning, building, testing and deploying a service. Change models, data structures and policies for Service Asset and Configuration Management, the definition design and details for Configuration ITEMS and most important the relationships of this data and information to determine the impact to business outcomes.
Service Operation: Here we need to manage Incidents, problems, requests and to get a grip on the management and control of events, auto actions and results of automation. Reports for daily weekly monthly, statistics and information will be a big part of Knowledge Management. Using knowledge to break down silos and improve communication between all stakeholders in the value stream could be the differentiator that thrusts your organization above all others.
Continual Service Improvement: This is by far the most important area for Knowledge Management. Whatever you are doing today, can be done better. Agreed? We can always improve upon where we are now with any service or process and the same is true with Knowledge Management. We can all look to where we know we have siloed discrete facts or data and then correlate that data together for a common purpose to create information. Once we give this data some context the next step is to look for ways to optimize. Knowledge will require experience too. From this correlated information and experience we can glean wisdom to make wise business decisions.
These are just a few ideas off the top of my head. What would you add? What data, information and knowledge is key for your organization? Knowledge Management is POWERFUL!
For ITIL education and certification or for more information regarding the Service Lifecycles visit http://www.itsmacademy.com/itil