Friday, December 17, 2010

How do you measure the value of your services?

There's more than one way to measure value.  The obvious one is dollars and cents but the value of the service should always be measured in terms that are important to the business that drives it.  For example,  if you have a social media service offering, the business may want to measure it's value in terms of number of followers or engagement of the audience.

These things will ultimately affect the revenue bought in to your organization but it's very difficult to equate especially in the early days of a campaign.  Over time however, you'll be able to demonstrate the correlation between what you're measuring and it's affect on revenue.

So measure what the business sees value in and what is easy to measure.  By this I mean don't try to measure some obscure thing that you don't have the data readily available for.  If the cost to measure a specific value outweighs the benefits then you better be dissuading the executives and coming up with an alternative, easy to obtain, measurement.

If you're truly measuring something of value to the business then your reporting tasks will be much easier.  You'll be able to focus your continuous improvement initiatives on items that matter to your consumers and demonstrate the value your services bring.

For more information on measuring the value of your services contact

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is your service design proactive?

Here's what happens all too often with IT organizations;
  • Idea for a new product
  • Project is initiated
  • Designed
  • Built
  • Tested
  • Implemented
  • End of project celebration
  • Realization that new product needs support!
The result of this are IT services that are reactive to the operational need.  Usually IT starts with the "fix it if it breaks" approach and then as this becomes a pain point for their business partners they move on to some form of problem management and slowly mature the processes in response to the business frustration.

More mature organizations will realize that support will be needed before the implementation but usually there is little focus on what services need to be in place or how they should be delivered.

Listing the support you provide to each application may be a start but it's not the best approach to service design.  Good service design takes a step back.  Define what services you will provide, how and when you will provide them, understand the costs to provide them and understand the expectations of the consumers.

If you want truly world class service delivery you will need to think even bigger about your service design.  Does the way you perform the service not only keep the consumers happy but does it also give you ways to add more value?

Do you think it's just coincidence that the line in Starbucks passes the baked goods, mugs and holiday specials?  Of course not.  There are quicker ways of delivering the coffee to the customers but they cost more, are not expected by the consumers and would lose the coffee giant an opportunity to up-sell.  So service design is not just about making the delivery faster.  It's about making it better for everyone involved.

All of these things considered, you do have to do a balancing act.  The service must be efficient and add value but if it's badly designed and I now have to listen to 15 minutes of advertising to get my coffee, I'll be shopping somewhere else.

For more information on IT Service Design email

Monday, December 13, 2010

What's your Service Strategy?

At the heart of every IT service management practice should be the Service Strategy. Without a well defined service strategy it is very difficult to have any cohesiveness with how your services are delivered and therefore you may find yourself with a hit-or-miss approach to your IT service delivery.

If you find your organisation is delivering IT services inconsistantly or on their "best-effort" then you can almost guaranty that not enough time has been spent thinking about the enterprise service strategy.

You will need to make some decisions around how you want to support each service. Start by defining the services, what value they bring to the organization and how strategic they are to your company's goals.

Focus on the true value of each service. Not just on the dollar value but how poor delivery will affect things like customer relationships, employee moral, reputation, efficiency, safety and security. Without understanding the true value of each service it is hard to make decisions on where you should focus your resources and you will either end up with excessive redundency or lack of capacity to control the service delivery.

Once you have a solid strategy in place you can set the foundation for your service design, transition, operation and ultimately continual improvement.

For more information on IT Service Strategy email

Friday, December 3, 2010

Focus your IT goal on Service Delivery

Your IT department should be focusing on delivering the quality IT services to their business partners that allow them to service and provide value to the end customers efficiently. All too often the focus of IT is delivering projects on-time and on-budget. This of course is important and can affect the value that your business partners perceive but should not be the only goal of IT. One thing that should be kept in mind is the total cost of ownership of your IT solutions to the businesses challenges. Often more than 90% of the total cost of any solution is during its operation, this should really be the focus of any good IT service provider.

For more information on IT Service Delivery email

Monday, July 12, 2010

Connecting the Links in the Service Chain

This new course is intended for organizations that have adopted ITIL but are not seeing the expected improvements in their service delivery or those organizations that have issues with aligning their IT organization with the business’ expectations and are looking to introduce ITIL processes for the first time.

This is not another ITIL certification course. The intention is that this will be a workshop that will give the participants practical experience of how the different aspects of ITIL hook together to create a full service chain that will allow your IT team to better serve the business needs.

This program is totally scalable to the needs of the receiving organization. Depending on the maturity of the receiving organization the course can focus on implementing basic responsive incident management and then work through the connections between incident and problem management, the use of a knowledgebase, configuration management, service portfolio management, SLAs, etc until all aspects of ITIL are covered.

It's a highly interactive course and really helps dicipline managers see the big picture and work together on an integrated apprroach to service delivery.

For information on pricing and course delivery options, contact

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Dramatically reduce IT Support costs

In February 2009, I wrote a white paper on Sierra System's SMART methodology explaining how companies who were tightening their expenditure at the time could realize significant savings through the adoption of this ITIL / ITSM based methodology. Even though the worst of the recession seems to be over, the cost of operational support should be a constant focus of your IT department.

Click here to see the press release or
click here to jump directly to the white paper.