‘The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others’.
– Mahatma Gandhi
- Service Management covers continuous provision of a defined, end to end, IT service that aligns with the business needs of a client using a comprehensive standard suite of best practices, processes, procedures and mechanisms such as ITIL ( Information Technology Infrastructure Library).
- Whilst Service Management differs from Project Management, many of the nuggets in Project Management are also relevant in a service management context.
- Ensure you understand the scope of the contracted service; validate as early as possible that obligations covering hardware/software obsolescence, security and virus checking, privacy, safety and business continuity have been fully budgeted.
- Ensure ITIL processes are fully embedded, and that the data you require for monitoring, tracking and reporting overall service status and trends can be provided when you need it.
- Always ensure Transition is contractually complete before service formally commences; also ensure a service definition, required service levels and KPIs, and a service catalogue are agreed and published.
- Avoid unqualified 100% SLA requirements wherever possible; they are likely to seed much delivery and commercial antagonism with the client their end users.
- Work with your client to actively communicate the scope of the service you are providing to the client’s end users ; mismatched expectations create difficulty.
- Establish strong, regular and effective internal governance mechanisms to join up and ensure a seamless end to end service to the client when components of service are sourced from different centres of capability within your organisation.
- Build strong relationships with service centre leaders involved in delivering the service, especially when the service centres are spread geographically – ensure the needs of your contract are understood and centres are aligned with their delivery.
- Always establish and maintain an accurate Configuration Management Database for the IT estate; always ensure licence and security patch status across the estate are up to date.
- Measure your contractual client’s satisfaction at service commencement and at regular intervals thereafter; correct the root cause of adverse changes swiftly.
- Measure the satisfaction of your client’s end users when they interface with your service/help desk; regularly analyse the results and take action to correct adverse trends.
- Commence Service Reporting as soon as possible; use a dashboard that is simple, understandable, visual, based on verifiable quantitative data, and shows trends over many months – address root causes of adverse indicators and trends swiftly.
- Handle service problems and incidents professionally, swiftly and in line with standard processes; ensure root causes are investigated, realistic correction plans are established, discussed with the client and delivered as agreed.
- Meet your client regularly and be responsive and commercially aware regarding changing client business needs; always conduct formal service reviews in accordance with agreed governance mechanisms at contracted intervals.
- Continuous service improvement is essential to competitiveness, value for money, client confidence, and to maximising financial return; avoid being complacent and reactive – be proactive, take the initiative, and innovate to improve.
- Tightly manage costs and actively focus on budgeted savings planned at bid time or instructed after internal line management review; always actively manage and control materials, licences, expenses, supplier and subcontractor costs.
- Never build service cost savings into financial forecasts if there is no clear plan or active focus on delivering them.
- Actively manage the relationship with the client; avoid being remote – invite your client to visit your service operation centres to build trust, confidence, and correct negative perceptions (if necessary).