Book Image

A Practical Guide to Service Management

By : Keith D. Sutherland, Lawrence J. "Butch" Sheets
Book Image

A Practical Guide to Service Management

By: Keith D. Sutherland, Lawrence J. "Butch" Sheets

Overview of this book

Many organizations struggle to find practical guidance that can help them to not only understand but also apply service management best practices. Packed with expert guidance and comprehensive coverage of the essential frameworks, methods, and techniques, this book will enable you to elevate your organization’s service management capability. You’ll start by exploring the fundamentals of service management and the role of a service provider. As you progress, you’ll get to grips with the different service management frameworks used by IT and enterprises. You'll use system thinking and design thinking approaches to learn to design, implement, and optimize services catering to diverse customer needs. This book will familiarize you with the essential process capabilities required for an efficient service management practice, followed by the elements key to its practical implementation, customized to the organization’s business needs in a sustainable and repeatable manner. You’ll also discover the critical success factors that will enhance your organization’s ability to successfully implement and sustain a service management practice. By the end of this handy guide, you’ll have a solid grasp of service management concepts, making this a valuable resource for on-the-job reference.
Table of Contents (28 chapters)
Part 1: The Importance of Service Management
Part 2: Essential Process Capabilities for Effective Service Management
Part 3: How to Apply a Pragmatic, Customized Service Management Capability
Appendix B: SLR Template

Delving into the origins of many service management aspects

Compared to other industries (such as manufacturing, building, healthcare, and so on), where the date of origin isn’t known, most believe that IT emerged in or around 1965. Common concepts such as capacity management and incident management did not originate in IT. For instance, capacity management has its origin in the building industry, while incident management is largely accepted to have originated in the field of emergency response (that is, firefighters, emergency medical technicians, and so on). As you may be aware, the role of incident commander has proven useful in many IT organizations. The manufacturing industry has had a significant influence on IT, especially when you recognize the many quality improvement methodologies (for example, Six Sigma, Lean, and Kaizen), where those concepts that have proven useful on the manufacturing floor, such as value stream mapping and Gemba walks, have been brought into the IT field.

Many baby boomers, those born between 1946 to 1964, who sought careers in what we call IT today, started in the mainframe arena. The mainframe brought standards and structure to how IT was implemented and maintained. Information Systems Management Architecture (ISMA), which originated in the early ‘80s and was attributed to IBM (a highly recognizable name in the mainframe arena), largely spoke to those standards and structure. In fact, at the 2004 annual service management conference, sponsored by the US chapter of the IT Service Management Forum (itSMF), held in Long Beach, CA, there was an informal gathering that included many of the original IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) authors. They spoke to the influence of ISMA on the development of the ITIL framework. Though the recognized term today is just service management, its origins date back to the mid-1980s. All these decades later, the concept of service management has evolved, and many organizations still depend on it to gain a broad perspective on how best to be a provider of IT services. Also, as the decades have passed, more generations have entered the workforce (for example, Gen-X, Millennials, Gen-Z, and soon, Gen-Alpha). The evolution of service management has had to reflect the makeup of the workforce as these generations want (need) to be able to see themselves in the framework.

It is important to recognize the concept of ITIL as a framework for managing services versus a standard, methodology, or movement. The very mention of a framework implies that there is more than one way to apply it and experience success, which also means there is more than one way to apply it and experience failure. This statement alone should give us all pause, presuming success is desired. The origins of formal service management for IT date back decades. The first formal standard for IT service management, BSi15000, was developed by the British Standards Institution in approximately 2000. The ISO/IEC 20000 standard for service management emerged in 2005. Many are familiar with a framework for IT service management, called ITIL, which emerged years before the release of BSI15000. The real point is that service management, and its many respected authors along the way, continued to evolve as the newly developed solutions and trends in IT emerged. It is fair to say that sometimes, these standards, frameworks, methods, and movements trail behind emerging technologies and trends.