Strategy - Are Service Models Required?

A recent question came from an ITSM practitioner who asked “Just what is a Service Model anyway?” Within the context of service management, you will likely here reference to the “Service Model” in every lifecycle stage but none more so than in the Service Strategy lifecycle.

A little background:
Within the context of best practice, it is in the Service Strategy lifecycle stage that a proposal is submitted.  This proposal is a formal request for a new line of business or service and will be processed through the pipeline of the service portfolio to be defined, analyzed, approved and chartered.  This approval is the executive authorization and will result in the service being chartered.   The proposal will include a high level “Service Model” and be accompanied with a full-blown business case. Once a service is chartered it will generally move to the Project Management Organization (PMO) where the chartered project is initiated for design.

Service Model:
A Service Model should begin with the defined customer outcomes or business process.  It is a model or a blueprint that shows not only the business/customer outcomes expected but more importantly the model shows which resources and capabilities will be required by the service provider to deliver those outcomes.  The Service Model describes the structure of the service and what it is going to take to deliver value to the customer.   The Service Model must always focus on customer value and outcomes as the main target.    The details for the Service Model get added in Service Design and the deployment of the service will be fulfilled in Service Transition.  There is no end to the evolution of a Service Model as long as the service is still being delivered.  The service will continually evolve based on external feedback from the customer but also from internal feedback from the service provider.   If the service is constantly evolving (and we know they do) then the service assets that we use to provision it and the Service Model will also evolve.

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