Continual Service Improvement

1Introduction 2Serv. Mgmt. 3Principles 4Process 5Methods 6Organization 7Consideration 8Implementation 9Issues AAppendeces

6. Organizing for Continual Service Management

6.1 ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES THAT SUPPORT CSI

CSI activities will be successful if specific roles and responsibilities are properly identified. As with many roles, these may or may not be a full-time position, however, it is important that roles are identified at the outset of any CSI initiative. If things change along the way the roles can be redefined and responsibilities reallocated.

6.1.1 CSI Activities And Skills Required
Figure 6.1 describes the nature of many of these activities and the skills required to perform them. The following section expands upon Figure 6.1 by detailing each of the seven steps in the improvement process and its related activities.

Figure 6.1 Activities and skill levels needed for CSI
Figure 6.1 Activities and skill levels needed for CSI

Table 6.1 Roles involved in the 'define what you should measure' activity

Roles: Individuals involved with decision making from IT and the business who understand the internal and external factors that influence the necessary elements that should be measured to support the business, governance and, possibly, regulatory legislation.

Example titles: Service Manager, Service Owner, Service Level Manager, CSI Manager, Process Owner, process managers, customers, business/IT analysts and senior IT managers.

Nature of activitiesSkills
Higher management levelManagerial skills
High variationCommunication skills
Action-orientedAbility to create, use (high-level) concepts
CommunicativeAbility to handle complex/uncertain situations
Focused on futureEducation and experience
Table 6.2 Roles involved in the 'define what you can measure' activity

Roles: Individuals involved with providing the service (internal and external providers) who understand the capabilities of the measuring processes, procedures, tools and staff.

Example titles: Service Manager, Service Owner, Process Owner, process managers, internal and external providers.

Nature of activitiesSkills
Intellectual effortAnalytical skills
InvestigativeModelling
Medium to high variationInventive attitude
Goal-orientedEducation
Specialized staff and business managementProgramming experience
Table 6.3 Roles involved in the 'gathering the data' activity

Roles: Individuals involved in day-to-day process activities within the Service Transition and Service Operation lifecycle phases.

Example titles: Service desk staff, technical management staff, application management staff, IT security staff.

Nature of activitiesSkills
ProceduralAccuracy
Routine tasksPrecision
RepetitiveApplied training
AutomatedTechnical experience Clerical level
Low variation 
Standardized 
Table 6.4 Roles involved in the 'processing the data' activity

Roles: Individuals involved in day-to-day process activities within the Service Transition and Service Operation lifecycle phases.

Example titles: Service desk staff, technical management staff, application management staff, IT security staff. Analysing the data

Nature of activitiesSkills
AutomatedNumerical skills
ProceduralMethodical
StructuresAccurate
MechanisticApplied training
Medium variationProgramming experience
Specialized staffTool experience
Table 6.5 Roles involved in the 'analyzing the data' activity

Roles: Individuals involved with providing the service (internal and external providers) who understand the capabilities of the measuring processes, procedures, tools and staff.

Example titles: Service Owner, Process Owner, process managers, business/IT analysts, senior IT analysts, supervisors and team leaders..

Nature of activitiesSkills
Intellectual effortAnalytical skills
InvestigativeModelling
Medium to high variationInventive attitude
Goal-orientedEducation
Specialized staff and business managementProgramming experience
Table 6.6 Roles involved in the 'presenting and using the information' activity

Roles: Individuals involved with providing the service (internal and external providers) who understand the capabilities of the service and the underpinning processes and possess good communication skills. Key personnel involved with decision making from both IT and the business.

Example titles: CSI Manager, Service Owner, Service Manager, Service Level Manager, Process Owner, process managers, customers, business/IT analysts, senior IT managers, internal and external providers.

Nature of activitiesSkills
Higher management levelManagerial skills
High variationCommunication skills
Action-orientedAbility to create, use (high-level) concepts
CommunicativeAbility to handle complex/uncertain situations
Focused on futureEducation and experience
Table 6.7 Roles involved in the 'implementing corrective action' activity

Roles: Individuals involved with providing the service (internal and external providers).

Example titles: CSI Manager, Service Owner, Service Manager, Service Level Manager, Process Owner, process managers, customers, business/IT analysts, senior IT managers, internal and external providers.

Nature of activitiesSkills
Intellectual effortAnalytical skills
InvestigativeModelling
Medium to high variationInventive attitude
Goal-orientedEducation
Specialized staff and business managementProgramming experience

6.1.2 Service Manager
Service Manager is an important role that manages the development, implementation, evaluation and on-going management of new and existing products and services. Responsibilities include business strategy development, competitive market assessment/benchmarking, financial and internal customer analysis, vendor management, inventory management, internal supplier management, cost management, delivery and full lifecycle management of products and/or services. Service Managers are responsible for managing very complex projects in order to achieve objectives and strategies and strive for global leadership in the marketplace. In order to attain this goal, they must evaluate new market opportunities, operating models, technologies and the emerging needs of customers in a company with international scope.

At this level, Service Managers are recognized as global product/service experts. They drive the decision-making processes, manage product/service objectives and strategies, hold internal and external suppliers accountable via formal agreements, and provide the integration of individual product plans and new technologies into a seamless customer-focused services. Service Managers may also be required to coach other managers (Service Owners, Process Owners) with differing levels of expertise for managing a business function or a particular product/service, within a specified product/service family.

Key Responsibilities

Service Managers are able to effectively communicate product/service line strategies to corporate business leaders, and develop partnerships with other organizations within the company with both similar and dissimilar objectives and also with suppliers in order to satisfy internal and external customer needs. This is most often achieved via formalized agreement for both internal and external suppliers.

They must be able to formulate development programmes in response to new market opportunities, assess the impact of new technologies and guide creation of innovative solutions in order to bring best-in-breed solutions to our internal and external customers. They market the development and implementation of products/services that incorporate new technologies or system development. This requires extensive cross-organization communications. They also are able to identify, develop and implement financial improvement opportunities in order to meet the firm's commitments.

Key Skills And Competencies

6.1.3 CSI Manager
This new role is essential for a successful improvement programme. The CSI owner is ultimately responsible for the success of all improvement activities. This single point of accountability coupled with competence and authority virtually guarantees a successful improvement programme.

Key Responsibilities

6.1.4 Service Owner
The Service Owner is accountable for a specific service within an organization regardless of where the underpinning technology components, processes or professional capabilities reside. Service ownership is as critical to service management as establishing ownership for processes which cross multiple vertical silos or departments.

Key Responsibilities

To ensure that a service is managed with a business focus, the definition of a single point of accountability is absolutely essential to provide the level of attention and focus required for its delivery.

The Service Owner is responsible for continual improvement and the management of change affecting the services under their care. The Service Owner is a primary stakeholder in all of the underlying IT processes which enable or support the service they own. For example:

P = Primary Responsibility
S = Secondary Responsibility
CSI
Manager
Service
Level
Manager
Service
Owner
Focus
IT servicesSPP
IT systemsS P
ProcessesPSS
CustomersSPS
TechnologyPSP
Responsible For:
development and maintenance of the catalogue of existing services PS
developing and maintaining OLAs PS
gathering Service Level Requirements from the customerSPS
negotiating and maintaining SLAs with the CustomerSPS
understanding UCs as they relate to OLAs and SLAsSPS
ensuring appropriate service level monitoring is in placePPS
producing, reviewing and evaluating reports on service performance and achievements on a regular basisPPP
conducting meetings with the customer on a regular basis to discuss service level performance and improvementSPS
conducting yearly SLA review meetings with the customer SPS
ensuring customer satisfaction with the use of a customer satisfaction surveySPS
initiating appropriate actions to improve service levels (SIP)PPP
the negotiation and agreement of OLAs and SLAsPPS
ensuring the management of underpinning contracts as they relate to OLAs and SLAsSPS
working with the Service Level Manager to provide services to meet the customer's requirements P P
appropriate monitoring of services or systemsPPP
producing, reviewing and evaluating reports on service or system performance and achievement to the Service Level Manager and the Service Level Process ManagerPPP
Assisting in appropriate actions to improve service levels (SIP)PPP
Skills, knowledge and competencies
relationshlp management skillsPPP
A good understanding of IT services and qualifying factors in order to understand how customer requirements will affect deliveryPPP
An understanding of the customer's business and how IT contributes to the delivery of that product or servicePPP
Good communication skillsPPP
Good negotiation skillsPPP
Knowledge and experience of contract and/or supplier management rolesSPS
Good people management and meeting facilitating skillsPPP
Good understanding of statistical and analytical principles and processesPSS
Good presentation skillsPPS
Good technical understanding and an ability to translate technical requirements and specifications into easily understood business concepts and vice versaSPS
Innovative in respect of service quality and ways in which it can be improved within the bounds of the organization's limits (resource, budgetary, legal etc.)PPP
Good organizational and planning skillsPPP
Good vendor management skillsSPS
Table 6.8 Comparison of CSI Manager, Service Level Manager and Service Owner

6.1.5 Process Owner
The initial planning phase of any ITIL project must include establishing the role of Process Owner. This key role is accountable for the overall quality of the process and oversees the management of, and organizational compliance to, the process flows, procedures, data models, policies and technologies associated with the IT business process.

The Process Owner performs the essential role of process champion, design lead, advocate, coach and protector. Typically, a Process Owner should be a senior level manager with credibility, influence and authority across the various areas impacted by the activities of the process. The Process Owner is required to have the ability to influence and ensure compliance to the policies and procedures put in place across the cultural and departmental silos of the IT organization.

The Process Owner role is detailed in the ITIL Service Design publication.

6.1.6 Service Knowledge Management
Knowledge Management requires effective and authoritative ownership within an organization. The role of Knowledge Management process owner is crucial, in that it will design, deliver and maintain the Knowledge Management strategy, process and procedures.

The key activities of this role include:

The Service Transition publication includes detailed information on Knowledge Management and the Service Knowledge Management System.

6.1.7 Reporting analyst
The reporting analyst is a key role for CSI and will often work in concert with the Service Level Management roles. The reporting analyst reviews and analyses data from components, systems and sub-systems in order to obtain a true end-to-end service achievement. The reporting analyst will also identify trends and establish if the trends are positive or negative trends. This information is then used in the presenting of the data.

Key responsibilities

Key Skills And Competencies

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6.2 THE AUTHORITY MATRIX

A key characteristic of a process is that all related activities need not necessarily be limited to one specific organizational unit. Configuration Management process activities, for example, can be conducted in departments such as computer operations, system programming, Application Management, Network Management, Systems Development and even non-IT departments like procurement, warehouse or accounting. Since services, processes and their component activities run through an entire organization, the individual activities should be mapped to the roles defined above. The roles and activities are coordinated by process managers. Once detailed procedures and work instructions have been developed, an organization must map the defined roles and the activities of the process to its existing staff. Clear definitions of accountability and responsibility are CSFs for any improvement activity. Without this, roles and responsibilities within the new process can be confusing, and individuals will revert to 'the way we've always done it' before the new procedures were put in place.

To assist with this task an authority matrix is often used within organizations indicating roles and responsibilities in relation to processes and activities. While there are many variations of the authority matrix, the RACI model, also supported by COBIT, is explained in Table 6.9.

Rresponsibility - correct execution of process and activities
Aaccountability - ownership of quality, and end result of process
Cconsulted - involvement through input of knowledge and information
Iinformed - receiving information about process execution and quality
Table 6.9 RACI authority matrix

Using the RACI model as an example there is only one person accountable for an activity, although several people may be responsible for executing parts of the activity. In this model, accountable means end-to-end accountability for the process. Accountability should remain with the same person for all activities of a process.

It is important to understand the distinction between a formal function within an organization and the process roles that the function is expected to carry out. A formal function may fulfil more than one specific Service Management role and carry out activities relating to more than one process. For example, a formal function 'network administrator' is 'Responsible' for carrying out 'Incident Management' as well as 'Capacity Management' activities. Although the network administrator may report to a functional line manager, he or she is also responsible for carrying out activities for the Service Desk and Capacity Management process owners.

Developing an authority matrix can be a tedious and time-consuming exercise but it's a crucially important one. The authority matrix clarifies to all involved which activities they are expected to fulfil, as well as identifying any gaps in service delivery and responsibilities. It is especially helpful in clarifying the staffing model necessary for improvement. .Experience teaches us that using an authority matrix helps with two major activities that are often overlooked or hard to identify. One is that all the 'Rs' on an RACI matrix typically represent potential OLA opportunities. The second is that identifying roles that must be kept informed helps to expose communication and workflow paths. This can be very helpful when defining the communication procedures in the CSI process.

Potential problems with the RACI model:

6.2.1 Process Flows And RACI
Figure 6.2 Change management high level process flow
Figure 6.2 Change management high level process flow

In order to fully understand an authority matrix we must first begin with an example of a high-level process flow diagram. As an example see Figure 6.2 for a high-level process flow for Change Management.

Each of the major activities is then expanded into a detailed flow of specific procedures, tasks and work instructions. As an example, the fourth major activity (Authorize Change) is expanded in Figure 6.3.

Utilizing the detailed Change Management process flow shown in Figure 6.2, an example authority matrix is created based on the RACI model to illustrate the linkage between many of the roles we have discussed, the detailed procedures, and the level of responsibility assigned to each role in the successful execution of the procedure and, moving up, the process.

Figure 6.3 Change Management detailed process flow example: change authorization
Figure 6.3 Change Management detailed process flow example: change authorization

Process
Roles
CustomerChange
Sponsor
Service
Desk
Change
Manager
Change
Co- ordinator
CABCAB/ECChange
Builder
Change
Tester
IT MBBusiness
Executive
1.0 Change Manager determines level of riskCCCR/AC      
1.1 Level 4 -Standard change Local authorization C R/AI      
1.2 Level 3 - affects only local or service groups RFC to CAB for assessment C R/A C/I     
1.3 Level 2 - affects multiple services or organizational divisions RFC to IT Management Board for assessment C R/A C   C/I 
1.4 Level 1 - high- cost/high-risk change RFC to Business Executive Board for assessment C R/A      C/I
2.0 Endorsed? Yes - go to 2.1 No - go to 3.1   R/I I     
2.1 CAB members estimate impact and resources, confirm priority, schedule changes   A R C   
3.0 Authorized? Not authorized - go to 3.1 Authorized - go to 3.2IIIAIR     
3.1 RFC rejected and closed (Initiator informed with a brief explanation of why it was rejected)II ARII    
3.2 Change builder builds change, devises back-out and testing plansII IC  A/RI  
Legend
R = Responsible for executing the task
A =Accountable for the final result
C = Consulted about the task to provide additional information
I = Informed about activities/tasks
Table 6.10 RACI matrix - sample Change Management authority matrix based on process flow

6.3 SUMMARY

A number of new roles have been discussed in this chapter. These new roles are the embodiment of the concepts of a service-oriented organization. To run a traditional IT organization focusing on technical excellence, these roles will seem extraneous. To run a forward-thinking, service-oriented IT partner to the business, these roles are crucial. Improvement will not happen by itself. It requires a structured programme and mature processes. The roles shown below are responsible for that programme.

Figure 6.4 Service management roles and customer engagement
Figure 6.4 Service management roles and customer engagement

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