Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and YaSM

 

     

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The ideas behind Enterprise Service Management (ESM) and how YaSM helps service providers with introducing ESM.

Enterprise Service Management (ESM) is a growing trend in the service industry but it's not a new invention. In fact, we've been using the ideas behind ESM for decades, but mainly in the field of IT services.

In this video Stefan Kempter explores the roots of enterprise service management in IT service management (ITSM) and explains what it's all about. And he shows how the YaSM framework helps you with introducing the enterprise service management approach in your organization.

Please ask your questions and share your thoughts in the YaSM support community!

Resources and further information

Video series: The simple principles of good service management
Related pages

Video transcription

Enterprise service management or "ESM" is - as its name suggests - an approach for managing services, and if you are in the business of providing services, you should definitely check it out because ESM offers lots of valuable advice.

There's much talk these days about enterprise service management so one might think it's a new invention - but it's not. In fact, we've been using these methodes for decades, but mainly in the field of IT services.

What's happening now is that a growing number of people realize that these methods can be applied in all sorts of organizations offering services, such as human resources, healthcare, legal services, etc.

And this opens up exciting new horizons for the traditional service management best practice.

So today we're going to explore the roots of enterprise service management in ITSM, and we try to get a better understanding of what it's all about. And I'm also going to show you how the YaSM framework helps you with introducing the enterprise service management approach in your organization.

How enterprise service management grew out of IT service management

Let's first take a quick look at the history of enterprise service management and its roots in ITSM:

A key event was the publication of the first ITIL® book, because it is often said that enterprise service management evolved out of ITIL®. ITIL® is today almost a universally accepted IT service management framework. It was updated several times. The latest edition was published in 2011.

As ITIL® grew ever more popular, companies started asking for a certification scheme, and ISO/IEC 20000 emerged in 2005 as the leading service management standard. The latest edition of ISO 20000 was released in 2011.

Along the way, other frameworks emerged, such as COBIT® with COBIT® 5 as its most recent incarnation, and CMMI-SVC®. This may look like a confusing array of concepts, but it is pretty clear that all these frameworks and standards share the same basic ideas about how to manage services.

Naturally, companies and organizations also needed tools to support their service management processes, so lots of vendors started supplying them.

We could thus say that the service management discipline is some 30 years old, yet some of its ideas are much older. For example, in the 1950's the Plan-Do-Check-Act or PDCA cycle for continual improvement was made popular by Dr. Edwards Deming. And we find this method as a key principle in all modern service management frameworks.

Benefits of enterprise service management

Now, despite the long history of service management best practice, the interest in applying it outside of the IT organization was more or less flat for most of the time. But recently the concept of enterprise service management has been growing more popular, mainly because of two reasons:

  • Many companies want to grow with services, so these companies look for advice and there is more demand for service management best practice.
  • What's more, vendors of service management tools seek new markets and promote the use of their products in new areas (such as HR, financial services, healthcare, etc.)

So the interest in enterprise service management is on the rise! But of course the question is: What's in it for you?

Well, if your organization provides services, enterprise service management can teach you how to do it successfully. By applying its advice, you can expect many improvements, such as more efficient processes and higher customer satisfaction.

ESM best practice: The service lifecycle concept

To make this point a bit clearer, we are now going to look at a definition of enterprise service management and explore the kind of advice you will find in service management best practice.

There is no "official" definition of enterprise service management yet, but here's my favorite one:

"Enterprise service management (or ESM) is an approach for providing value to customers in the form of services."

That's a nice and short definition, but what exactly does this approach include?

Again, there's no official answer. What I can tell you is that, from my own experience, most experts in the field would agree with the following:

We can assume that the service lifecycle concept known from ITIL® and ISO 20000 is a good starting point.

The service lifecycle includes stages for

  • setting the service strategy,
  • as well as for designing,
  • implementing,
  • operating
  • and improving the services.

This makes a lot of sense, because every service provider should, first, assess their current service offerings once in a while and define a longer-term strategy.

Then, when it's clear what services will be offered to customers, the expected outcomes of the services must be defined, and we need to figure out what it takes for setting up the services.

The third lifecycle stage takes care of implementing the services, which includes

  • acquiring,
  • developing
  • and testing of all required service components.

Once the services are operational, we need to ensure they are provided efficiently and effectively.

  • Here, we resolve issues and service requests,
  • take care of routine operational tasks
  • and produce service quality reports.

Finally, the fifth stage is about continual improvement:

  • We assess if the services are delivered as promised
  • and try to identify potentials for improvement.
  • This will often lead to the specification and implementation of service improvements.

And then the lifecycle starts over again with a fresh round of strategic considerations.

The whole point of this lifecycle approach is to ensure long-term success through efficient and effective processes and improved customer satisfaction.

Of course, this advice is not very specific, but a number of sources exist with detailed recommendations. One such source are the popular service management frameworks such as ITIL®. This is not a bad choice in principle, but ITIL® has grown rather complex over the years, and is somewhat biased towards IT services.

In my experience, it's much easier to start with something simpler, and here YaSM® comes into the picture:

Enterprise service management with the YaSM process model

With its clear structure and complete set of process and document templates it is much better suited for organizations that want to adopt the enterprise service management approach.

So before we finish today's session, I'd like to show you, very briefly, the kind of advice you will find in YaSM.

Let's first take a look at the YaSM process structure. It is rather straightforward and clear, and at first sight we recognize the service lifecycle that we identified earlier as a key principle of the enterprise service management approach.

But the service lifecycle is not the whole story:

Most organizations will need a number of additional, supporting processes in order to function.

An example would be the process for managing projects. This process can run, for example, alongside service design and implementation, to ensure that all design and implementation activities are properly planned and coordinated.

Of course you don't need to have all these processes in your organization. YaSM is not a standard but a set of recommendations, and you can pick and choose which processes you want to adopt in your organization.

Now, for each of these processes we provide detailed recommendations in the form of process charts. We call this collection of diagrams the "YaSM® Process Map", and here, for example, we have the YaSM® Process Map for Visio®.

As you can see it contains, first, a top-level diagram with an overview of the YaSM processes.

In the upper part we find the service lifecycle, and what's nice about these charts is that, from here, we can now drill down into details.

So if we want to know more about, say, service design, all we have to do is click on a link to open the service design diagram.

If we zoom in a little we can see that designing a service in YaSM is quite straightforward:

  • It involves defining the required service properties,
  • designing the required infrastructure,
  • outlining the implementation approach
  • and preparing the service implementation.

To give you a better idea of how service design works, we also show information flows in these diagrams.

Here's a typical example:

  • From the definition of the required service properties we get a draft service definition as an output,
  • which is an important input for the next step: Designing the required infrastructure.

For such documents, the YaSM® Process Map contains templates in Word™ format:

This one, for instance, describes the typical contents of a service definition, and you can use it as a starting point when you need to create your first service definitions.

If we close the template and switch back to Visio again, we can now go down further to the sub-process level where we describe in detail the activities to be performed.

So, for instance, the recommended steps for designing the required infrastructure for a service include

  • Identifying the required infrastructure and other capabilities,
  • Specifying the required modifications to the technical infrastructure,
  • and to the external supporting services,
  • and so on,
  • until, at the end of the process, a draft service implementation blueprint has been created.

In this way, the YaSM® Process Map explains how YaSM works, and of course you can also change these diagrams and adapt the processes to the needs of your organization.

I hope you will agree that with these templates, it shouldn't be too hard for your organization to get started with enterprise service management.

If you would like to learn more about YaSM and enterprise service management, please visit yasm.com - where you will find a complete service management Wiki and more videos about YaSM.

And if you have any questions, we are happy to answer them in the YaSM support community!