Service Governance, Quality of Service and Service Ownership (plus a good dashboard) empowers IT to provide exceptional service
It is possible to build an Amazon-like experience of IT using service design best practices. In one of my recent blog posts, I highlighted what you should look for in an ITSM platform to deliver beautiful customer experiences, highlighting that knowing the three constituents of a service – the Customers, the Providers and the Managers – was a key to a successful platform selection. In another recent post, I discussed what one of these constituents, Providers, must have in place to deliver Amazon like experiences – mainly, a good service taxonomy and self service + automation. In this post, I cover the needs of the last (but not least) constituent of a service – Managers.
When it comes to effective service process design, you must consider the needs of the Manager, too. Key considerations for the managers seeking to deliver an Amazon like experience include Service Governance, Quality of Service and Service Ownership.
Ever walk into a party full of IT service professionals and shout out the word “governance?” I haven’t, but chances are that you won’t be the popular one if you do. Every time you mention the word, sighs soon follow. It is because governance feels like a heavy load of overhead. But that is the opposite of good governance. The truth is that good governance is lightweight. It provides clear decision-making direction to the people doing the work – so they don’t have to ask for guidance or approval.
Let’s take the IRS as a great example. With 150 million Americans filing taxes every year, the IRS doesn’t have time to call each of us to remind us to file our taxes – 95% of us do it ourselves because of governance. But for the other 5%, they do have time to call them! So good service governance, chartered from the top, is required to offer an enterprise wide portfolio of great services.
Figure 1: Example of Service Governance
Quality of Service
Performance metrics are important to measure our outcomes, adjust, enforce governance and align with our customers. These are valuable for all the Service Owner roles and can really help us. KPIs cascade down in a pyramid – from the customer, to the Service Owner, to the Providers. KPIs become SLAs and SLAs become OLAs as we go down. And all the OLAs roll up into the SLAs which deliver the KPIs. You can read more about KPIs in our blog post, “The Secret to Effective Metrics in Service Asset and Configuration Management.”
To deliver a quality IT Service, we need a Service Owner. The job of Service Owner isn’t for everyone. The job entails day-to-day management of a Service, close contact with your customers, and close contact with your supporting services. Line up your IT team and ask for a volunteer to take on this role – they’ll likely all take a step backward.
What is the job of the Service Owner and how do you do it? Service ownership is not for the meek. It’s challenging. It’s new and different. It feels like a lot of responsibility and visibility – because it is! But with a dashboard like the one we developed in our service portal and catalog (see below), the role of Service Owner is streamlined, more easily understood – and more approachable.
Figure 2: A good Service Owner dashboard can make it a lot easier for people to understand and embrace the role of Service Owner.
In our example, we include information on customer satisfaction, quality, availability and delivery. If I am the Service Owner, I can easily see who my customers are – and what they are currently asking for. The idea behind it is to make it the one place where the Service Owner goes to reactively AND proactively manage their Service every day.
IT Service Management should be first and foremost about the customers, and Service Catalog positions IT for success in the endeavor. Over the last several posts, we’ve highlighted best practices for an effective service design process from the perspectives of the three constituents of a service: Customers, Providers and Managers. We also discussed the elements needed to create an Amazon-like experience of IT, covering topics such as the issues ServiceNow users face, principles that lay the groundwork for improved IT services, and what to look for in an ITSM platform.
By the way, these are key elements of Evergreen’s Service Design Process.
About the Author: Don Casson is CEO of Evergreen Systems, an IT consulting firm helping medium to enterprise public and private sector organizations to dramatically transform their IT operations. Don is a frequent writer, blogger and presenter, and has delivered over 50 webinars on topics in Service Management, including IT and shared services.