Skip to main content

Service Operation and the Service Lifecycle – Yesterday and Today

ITSM Best Practice will align five main process with the lifecycle of “Service Operation”.
  • Incident Management
  • Problem Management
  • Event Management
  • Request Fulfillment
  • Access Management

 It was not too long ago that the idea of some of these processes were new to service providers. Most will find them to be common in today’s market place.  An organization may not literally follow the best practices for the service operation processes but most likely have some close facsimile when executing Incident, Problem, Request Fulfilment, and Event management processes for provisioning IT services and support.  In order to ensure identity management and authorization for access, some form of “Access Management” will also be needed to support an overall security policy in Service Operation.  I would like to focus on some thoughts for “Event Management” and early engagement of operational staff in the service lifecycle.

As organizations mature they begin to realize the value of taking these process activities and expanding the scope of their capabilities to address problems early in the lifecycle.  Finding defects (events) early in the development can ensure a more stable environment and also save an organization a lot of time, money and resources.  We used to think that if we instrumented our monitoring tools for components in the infrastructure that we were actually being proactive.  That is to say, the service provider could identify the incident in advance of the customer or end user and take action before there was a great business impact.  Hmm… is that really proactive?  We also used to think that getting an insurance quote in 15 minutes was great and today commercials make fun of that notion.

Benefits from “Event Management” and proactive monitoring in the production environment still ring true.  But, what if we applied that same mentality and method for monitoring to our development lifecycle.  What if we could proactively alert on events that could result in defects before products moved into the delivery lifecycle.  What if we could monitor manage, measure and report upon process activities to discover “problems” and “root cause” prior to a service being deployed.  The answer is that we could begin to design anti fragile software and more stable environments.  Even more important is that the service provider will gain a huge cost savings for the resource and effort that it takes when we are reactive and consistently in firefighting mode.

Caution!  It is critical that a service provider does not see a “Proactive” state of maturity in their organization as the end goal.  The idea is that once we become more proactive we can finally position our technical staff in design process activities such as Capacity, Availability, Security and others early on in the development and design lifecycle stage.  That is right! According to best practice for IT Service Management Capacity and Availability are actually processes in the “Service Design” lifecycle.  When asked, many IT practitioners position them as processes for “Service Operation”.  Including process activities for Capacity, Availability and Security early in the Lifecycle an organization allows us to design for availability, design for security, and also allows the provider to focus on a design that allows for tremendous cost savings while enabling the staff for success. 

There will always be a reactive side to these processes in support of problem and incident management but focusing on them early in Service Design will allow your organization to excel in “Service Operation”.  Once stable the true activities for monitoring, reporting and sustaining performance in Service Operation can be truly optimized.  Where are you?  Are your Incident and Problem management processes separate?  Can you optimize “Request Fulfillment” in a timely fashion to meet the need of your customers?  How are you applying “Event Management” to bring real business value?    

In addition to education opportunities be sure to check out some of the resources at this site for ongoing improvement of Service Operation:


Popular posts from this blog

What is the difference between Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner?

I was recently asked to clarify the roles of the Process Owner, Process Manager and Process Practitioner and wanted to share this with you. Roles and Responsibilities: Process Owner – this individual is “Accountable” for the process. They are the goto person and represent this process across the entire organization. They will ensure that the process is clearly defined, designed and documented. They will ensure that the process has a set of Policies for governance. Example: The process owner for Incident management will ensure that all of the activities to Identify, Record, Categorize, Investigate, … all the way to closing the incident are defined and documented with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, handoffs, and deliverables.  An example of a policy in could be… “All Incidents must be logged”. Policies are rules that govern the process. Process Owner ensures that all Process activities, (what to do), Procedures (details on how to perform the activity) and the

Four Service Characteristics

Recently I came across several articles by researchers and experts that laid out definitions and characteristics of services. ITIL provides us with a definition that can help drive the creation of value-laden services: A means of delivering value to customers by facilitating outcomes customers want to achieve without the ownership of specific costs and risks. An area that ITIL is not so clear is in terms of service characteristics. Several researchers and experts put forth that services have four basic characteristics (IHIP): ·          Intangibility—Services are the results of actions not things. They have no physical presence and represent a logical set of elements. One way to think of service is “work done for others.” ·          Heterogeneity—Also known as “variability”; services are unique items because of the mechanisms used to deliver services-that is people. Because the people element adds variability, the service is variable. This holds true especially for th

How Does ITIL Help in the Management of the SDLC?

I was recently asked how ITIL helps in the management of the SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle).  Simply put... SDLC is a Lifecycle approach to produce the software or the "product".  ITIL is a Lifecycle approach that focuses on the "service". I’ll start by reviewing both SDLC and ITIL Lifecycles and then summarize: SDLC  -  The intent of an SDLC process is to help produce a product that is cost-efficient, effective and of high quality. Once an application is created, the SDLC maps the proper deployment of the software into the live environment. The SDLC methodology usually contains the following stages: Analysis (requirements and design), construction, testing, release and maintenance.  The focus here is on the Software.  Most organizations will use an Agile or Waterfall approach to implement the software through the Software Development Lifecycle. ITIL  -  is a best practice for IT service management (ITSM) that focuses on aligning IT services with