The second is service corrections and this often involves Service Transition and Service Operation. The third is service improvements and this also will impact the service from Service Design through to Service Operation. Service improvements impact Service Strategy. This publication has shared with you many critical elements of Continual Service Improvement. Figure A.1 shows a representation of service innovation, corrections and improvements.
Every publication within the lifecycle is important to fully understand the service lifecycle and to identify service improvements. This publication has talked about many different models, standards and frameworks. This chapter is a quick reminder on what other guidance can be used to support CSI activities.
A2 BEST PRACTICES THAT SUPPORT CSI
There are many best practices, standards, models and quality systems that are in use throughout the world that support CSI in one manner or another. Previous chapters introduced some of these best practices.
|Figure A.1 Innovation, correction, improvement and CSI|
Standards make an enormous contribution, although very often that contribution is invisible. If there were no standards, it would soon be noticed. It is when there is an absence of standards that their importance is brought home. When products and services meet expectations, there is a tendency to take them for granted. Few people are usually aware of the role played by standards in raising levels of quality, safety, reliability, efficiency and interchangeability - as well as in providing such benefits at an economical cost. ISO/IEC 20000-1:2005 defines the requirements for a service provider to deliver managed services. It may be used:
There are many aspects of ISO/IEC 20000 that support CSI but the major ones are the following.
Service Level Management
The SLM process should ensure that the service provider remains focused on the customer throughout the planning, implementing and ongoing management of service delivery.
Key activities of SLM:
Service reports should be produced to meet identified needs and customer requirements.
Service reporting should include:
Business Relationship Management
ISO/IEC 20000 defines a requirement for continual improvement on the effectiveness and efficiency of service delivery and management. This is done through management establishing policies, objectives and the need for continual improvement. ISO follows the Plan-DoCheck-Act cycle. Checking involves monitoring, measuring and analysing, and acting is the continual improvement.
Control Objectives for Information and Related Technology (COBIT) is a globally recognized and adopted controlsbased, value and risk management framework used to support overall IT governance. COBIT is a flexible framework that needs to be aligned to an organization's business requirements. It can be used by management, consultants and auditors to:
COBIT defines processes to support CSI
COBIT has defined four processes needed to support CSI. The COBIT process domain 'Monitor and Evaluate' (ME) defines the processes needed to assess current IT performance, IT controls and regulatory compliance. The processes are:
An enterprise can therefore implement the processes needed to support CSI using COBIT processes. In addition, an enterprise can review the processes that support CSI periodically and improve them based on their associated maturity models within COBIT.
Six Sigma is an IT-appropriate process-improvement methodology, though the fundamental objective is to reduce errors to fewer than 3.4 defects per million executions (regardless of the process). Given the wide variation in IT deliverables (e.g. Change Management, Problem Management, Capacity Management) and roles and tasks within IT operational environments, IT managers must determine whether it is reasonable to expect delivery at a Six Sigma level.
Six Sigma is a data-driven approach that supports continual improvement. It is business output driven in relation to customer specification and focuses on dramatically reducing process variation using Statistical Process Control (SPC) measures.
Six Sigma's objective is the implementation of a measurement-oriented strategy focused on process improvement and defects reduction. A Six Sigma defect is defined as anything outside customer specifications. There are two primary sub-methodologies within Six Sigma: DMAIC (define, measure, analyse, improve, control) and DMADV (define, measure, analyse, design, verify). The DMAIC process is an improvement method for existing processes for which performance does not meet expectations, or for which incremental improvements are desired. The DMADV process focuses on the creation of new processes.
Defining, measuring and analysing are key activities of CSI.
Since Six Sigma requires data it is important to start capturing data as soon as possible. As previously mentioned if the data is questionable, this is not a problem as it provides the opportunity to analyse why the data doesn't make sense.
Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI) is a process improvement approach that provides organizations with the essential elements of effective process measurement. It can be used to guide process improvement across a project, a division or an entire organization. CMMI helps integrate traditionally separate organizational functions, sets process improvement goals and priorities, provides guidance for quality processes and provides a point of reference for appraising current processes. CMMI uses a hierarchy of five levels, each with a progressively greater capability of producing quality, where each level is described as a level of maturity.
CMMI best practices enable organizations to do the following:
It is also important to understand that a structured project management method, such as PMI (Project Management Institute) or PRINCE2 (projects IN Controlled Environments, v2) can be used when improving IT services. Not all improvements will require a structured project approach, but many will, due to the sheer scope and scale of the improvement.
Project management is discussed in great detail in the ITIL Service Transition volume.
|Figure A.2 Gantt chart Gantt chart|
Henry Gantt (1861-1919) created the Gantt chart in a setting and time which was deeply involved in exploring efficiency in manufacturing, time and motion studies, and the formulation of 'scientific management' (the foundation of modern management principals). Today many people see the Gantt chart as a project management tool, however its origins are completely intertwined with process.
Gantt charts use time-lengthened bars to represent tasks. Tasks are connected to each other according to predecessors and dependencies. Simple arrows are used to connect the task bars. See Figure A.2. The simplicity of the Gantt chart makes it easy to use and read. It is especially legible to project managers and staff often engaged in project based work. It has been successfully used on highly complex projects such as the building of the Hoover Dam and the creation of the interstate highway network in the US. Its limitations are its inability to show organizational/departmental structures associated with tasks, an inability to include process/workflow rules, and inabilities to show split and join actions.
|Figure A.3 Rummler-Brache Swim Lane example|
Rummier-Brache Swim Lane
Process Swim Lanes were first described in Geary Rummler and Alan Brache's publication Improving Performance. Their impact in the process world is difficult to overstate. Their work has focused on helping companies improve their overall business processes, and thereby become more competitive and profitable. Process Swim Lanes have become the most ubiquitous term and method associated with their names.
It is a highly effective way to display the relationship between processes and organizations/departments. Swim Lanes are essentially flow charts which include horizontal or vertical bands to include customers, departments and technology.
Swim Lanes rely on rectangles for activities/tasks, decision diamonds, and arrows to represent flow. Central to the method is separating organizations with horizontal rows.
Each activity is placed in the row (Swim Lane) which represents the organization responsible for completing the task. See Figure A.3.
Swim Lanes are strong tools for communicating with business managers. Many managers are essentially organizational thinkers. They see the world in organizational terms. In the absence of those structures they will sometimes struggle. Swim Lanes describe a process from a viewpoint which is familiar and accessible. The weakness of Swim Lanes stems from the fact that it is more of an approach than a standard. Managing complexity is generally done by including symbols from other standards within a Swim Lane diagram.
Value Stream Mapping
Value Stream Mapping is a hands-on method which comes from Lean Manufacturing (an approach to removing non-value-added work - originating with Toyota). It is traditionally a facilitation method done on whiteboards or on paper. The result is often a handmade, somewhat cartoonish representation of how a product is produced from inception to delivery to the customer. It includes process, information flow and a timeline separating value-add and non-value-add activities.
Value Stream Maps include handmade drawings for all types of mechanisms within the process: factories, trucks, people, documents, tasks etc. It is by its nature an eclectic and ad hoc method of diagramming a process. Value Stream Mapping is a good tool for projects whose goal is to streamline a process. It ensures a high-level view which is broad and customer focused. It is not generally used as a tool for long-term documentation, but instead as a method of setting the right direction and staying on track. It can be a powerful tool when combined with other diagramming standards such as BPMN or IDEF. It is not a standard and as such does not have rigidity required for long-term documentation.
Total Quality Management
Total Quality Management (TQM) is a management strategy aimed at embedding awareness of quality in all organizational processes.
TQM is a set of systematic activities carried out by the entire organization to effectively and efficiently achieve company objectives so as to provide products and services with a level of quality that satisfies customers, at the appropriate time and price.
At the core of TQM is a management approach to longterm success through customer satisfaction. In a TQM effort, all members of an organization participate in improving processes, products, services and the culture in which they work.
Quality management for IT services is a systematic way of ensuring that all the activities necessary to design, develop and implement IT services which satisfy the requirements of the organization and of users take place as planned and that the activities are carried out cost-effectively.
The way that an organization plans to manage its operations so that it delivers quality services is specified by its Quality Management System. The Quality Management System defines the organizational structure, responsibilities, policies, procedures, processes, standards and resources required to deliver quality IT services. However, a Quality Management System will only function as intended if management and staff are committed to achieving its objectives.
This section gives brief details on a number of different quality approaches.
The Deming Cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act is an effective quality management system to follow. A core concept in implementing TQM is Deming's 14 points, a set of management practices to help companies increase their quality and productivity:
Joseph Juran became a recognized name in the quality field in 1951 with the publication of the Quality Control Handbook. The appeal was to the Japanese initially, and Juran was asked to give a series of lectures in 1954 on planning, organizational issues, management responsibility for Quality, and the need to set goals and targets for improvement. Juran devised a well-known chart, 'The Juran Trilogy', shown in Figure A.4, to represent the relationship between quality planning, quality control and quality improvement on a project-by-project basis. A further feature of Juran's approach is the recognition of the need to guide managers; this is achieved by the establishment of a quality council within an organization, which is responsible for establishing processes, nominating projects, assigning teams, making improvements and providing the necessary resources.
Senior management plays a key role in serving on the quality council, approving strategic goals, allocating resources and reviewing progress. Juran promotes a fourphased approach to quality improvement, shown in Table A.1.
The Crosby TQM approach is very popular in the UK. The approach is based on Crosby's Four Absolutes of Quality Management:
The Crosby approach is often based on familiar slogans; however, organizations may experience difficulty in translating the quality messages into sustainable methods of quality improvement. Some organizations have found it difficult to integrate their quality initiatives, having placed their quality programme outside the mainstream management process.
Anecdotal evidence suggests that these pitfalls result in difficulties being experienced in sustaining active quality campaigns over a number of years in some organizations.
Management Governance Framework
The management governance framework and its processes are the means by which: 'A business directs, develops and delivers the products and services of the business.'
It is the way that the strategy is executed through business development products to develop product and service capabilities and through which day-to-day products and services are delivered and supported. It is the mechanism by which all the parts of the business and its supply chain partners work together on strategy, development and operation.
Figure A.5 illustrates the framework and what is involved in it. The framework is used to direct and run the business from left to right with feedback from right to left. Typically the strategy involves a long-term strategy; the business plan involves a short number of years with financial targets and budgets; the business architecture is the highlevel design of the business, and so on.
The business needs to provide unified direction through disciplines and processes that involve strategy, business plans, budgets and business architecture.
The business needs to provide unified development through a shared business change plan and development programmes and projects disciplines under the control of operational change disciplines in the operational world.
The business needs to provide unified delivery of products and services through shared operational planning, operational delivery and operational support. The way the disciplines above are performed varies from business to business. Some businesses perform aspects formally and other aspects in an informal, ad hoc manner. In terms of best-practice business governance, the need for the individual disciplines above is crucial as is the way they interrelate. The governance framework formalizes the touch points between the value chains. From both business and IT viewpoints, the best-practice governance framework enables the processes and the relationships of the value chains to be formalized with each other across the governance model.