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The Best of Service Design, Part 4

ITIL 2011:  Design Coordination
Originally Published on September 20, 2011

The Service Design stage of the ITIL Service Lifecycle can be a powerful and beneficial set of activities and undertakings if managed, guided and coordinated in a holistic and comprehensive manner. One of the more powerful processes to emerge with the publication of the ITIL 2011 addition is the Design Coordination process. Previous editions of ITIL had the reader and practitioner assume or extrapolate the guidance provided in the Design Coordination process. ITIL 2011 formalizes the guidance and shows the need to have a method of ensuring the smooth operation of all the moving parts of Service Design.

Design Coordination has several important objectives including (SD 2011 4.1.1):
  • Ensure the consistent design of appropriate services, service management information systems, architectures, technology, processes, information and metrics to meet current and evolving business outcomes and requirements
  •  Coordinate all design activities across projects, changes, suppliers and support teams, and manage schedules, resources and conflicts where required
Oftentimes when we work very closely to a specific operational activity we can get tunnel vision towards the both the effort and results of our activities. The Design Coordination process allows us to take a virtual “step” backwards and to see the bigger picture of needing to coordinate many parts, pieces and players into a final deliverable in the form of a comprehensive and effective Service Design Package.
The Design Coordination process also provides a method of instilling governance and rigor to our effort to create the best possible design of the IT services we provide to the business and customers. Some aspects of the rigor and governance that the Design Coordination process can bring include (SD 2011 4.1.2):
  • Assisting and supporting each project or other change through all the service design activities and processes

  • Maintaining policies, guidelines, standards, budgets, models, resources and capabilities for service design activities and processes

  • Planning and forecasting the resources needed for the future demand for service design activities

  • Ensuring that all requirements are appropriately addressed in service designs, particularly utility and warranty requirements
An important factor to keep in mind is that the Design Coordination process does not do the actual detailed design of either the individual service solutions or any work outside the scope of the Service Design phase. Those activities are best left to the specific Service Design processes or other stages of the lifecycle. Design Coordination (as the name implies) works to make sure all those individual processes work together in a seamless flow to produce effective designs that later stages can transition to production.
Design Coordination is also one of several points of integration and connection to a formal project methodology. Before a project undertakes the formal creation of deliverables, Design Coordination provides guidance on aligning the deliverables of the project to the requirements and needs of the business and customers in terms of IT services. Design Coordination provides guidance on the resources and process activities available to the project to validate that the project has what it needs to be successful. 
The Design Coordination process is a breath of fresh air for those looking to construct a means of keep everyone pointed towards the same goal of effective and successful IT service designs. Take a look at the guidance provided in ITIL 2011 to bring the greatest benefits possible during Service Design.


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