YaSM and FitSM: Lightweight Service Management (Video)

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FitSM (Federated IT Service Management) is a 'lightweight standard' that aims to help organizations with improving their service management practices.

FitSM is based on the same ideas as ITIL® and similar service management frameworks, but it's a kind of back-to-basics approach to service management - which is exactly what many organizations are looking for. And what's more, FitSM is free to use.

In this video, Stefan Kempter introduces FitSM and explains how YaSM and FitSM can be used together.

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Video: Introduction to YaSM service management.

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Video transcription

Perhaps you have heard of FitSM, a lightweight standard that aims to help organizations with improving their service management practices.

FitSM is based on the same ideas as ITIL® and similar service management frameworks, but, as the name (word) "lightweight" suggests, it's a kind of back-to-basics approach to service management - which is exactly what many organizations are looking for. And what's more, FitSM is free to use.

FitSM and YaSM are a good match, so today I want to tell you first a bit more about FitSM, before we explore how YaSM and FitSM can be used in tandem.

What is FitSM?

So, what is FitSM? FitSM stands for Federated IT Service Management, and its development was supported by the European Commission. That's why it is free to use for everybody.

FitSM is based on the same time-tested principles that we find in other service management frameworks and standards, such as ITILĀ® and ISO 20000. But it's focused on the essentials and provides, as the authors put it, a "clear, pragmatic, lightweight and achievable standard that allows for effective IT service management" (or: ITSM).

Although FitSM is called a standard, it is not published by a standardization organization such as ISO.

FitSM components

Now, what's in FitSM? FitSM is made up of several documents, defining requirements and providing guidance on implementing a service management system. These documents are organized into:

  • the core standard, and
  • implementation aids.

The core standard includes:

  • an overview of FitSM and a vocabulary
  • requirements for a service management system
  • objectives and recommended activities, and
  • a role model.

Whereas the implementation aids include:

  • selected templates and samples
  • implementation guides with advice on key aspects of good service management, as well as
  • a maturity and assessment scheme.

FitSM process model

As many other service management frameworks, FitSM is built around a set of recommended processes. Since it aims to be lightweight, the FitSM process model is made up of 14 processes, as opposed to the 26 processes in ITIL v3 and the 34 practices in ITIL 4.

Here's the complete list of these processes. If you know ITIL or ISO 20000, most of these processes will look familiar to you. For example, we have a process for managing incidents and service requests, one for managing problems, and one for managing changes. These are all well-known ITIL processes.

Since FitSM is published under a Creative Commons License, all parts of the standard are available for download at fitsm.eu. So you can easily check out those documents and I'll be surprised if you don't find some valuable advice in there.

FitSM downloads

So let's go the FitSM website and look at some of the content in detail. On the downloads page we find the complete list of all documents that are maintained by the FitSM working group. This includes

  • the FitSM Core Standard with requirements for a service management system,
  • the FitSM implementation aids with samples and templates,
  • and also, as you can see, the complete set of FitSM training material used in the official FitSM training and certification scheme.

Now, let's take a closer look at some of those documents. FitSM-0 provides an overview of the FitSM family and a common vocabulary. If we scroll down, we find an outline of all documents that are part of the standard with their relationships, where FitSM distinguishes between the core standard and the implementation aids.

After that follows an overview of the FitSM process model, since all parts of FitSM are based on an understanding of 14 core processes for service management. For each of these processes, FitSM provides more details, such as requirements and guidance.

So let's go back to the list of downloads and open the document called "FitSM-1: Requirements", which provides a set of requirements for a service management system (or: SMS). These requirements are made up of

  • general requirements for a service management system
  • and process-specific requirements.

FitSM process-specific requirements

As the name suggests, process-specific requirements are available for every one of the 14 FitSM processes, such as incident and service request management. For example, FitSM says that

  • all incidents and service requests shall be registered, classified and prioritized
  • incidents shall be resolved, and service requests fulfilled, taking into consideration information from SLAs
  • etc.

So FitSM specifies requirements for service management processes, but it also describes goals and recommended activities for those processes. If we open FitSM-2: Objectives and Activities, and scroll down to the incident and service request management process, we find

  • first, a brief definition of the process objectives
  • then recommended activities for the initial process setup
  • a list of key inputs for the process
  • recommended activities during ongoing process execution, and
  • a list of key outputs from the process.

So there's quite a bit of guidance for each FitSM process to assist you with fulfilling the requirements set out in the first part.

All of this is available for free so you can check this out on your own any time.

Now, since both FitSM and YaSM aim to provide clear and pragmatic advice and have their roots in the traditional service management frameworks such as ITIL, I also want to show you, very briefly, how you can use them together to improve your service management practices.

FitSM and YaSM

First, I'd like to elaborate a bit on how FitSM and YaSM compare. Both provide clear and pragmatic advice around service management processes, but they are not the same. FitSM specifies requirements and helps you with supporting guidance, while YaSM is essentially a complete set of process and document templates.

FitSM describes 14 core processes, while there are 19 in YaSM, so YaSM is a bit broader in scope.

The FitSM guidance is especially helpful for benchmarking your existing processes and identifying potentials for improvement. When it comes to designing and documenting the processes, however, YaSM, with its detailed descriptions and templates, helps you to get started and saves a lot of work.

Templates for YaSM and FitSM processes

We provide the templates in popular formats, such as Visio® and ARIS™ diagrams.

Let's open, for example, the templates for the incident and service request management process. As you can see, the Visio diagram depicts the 1st level support process in BPMN notation and includes a swim lane with activities. The yellow shape represents a role, so what we say here is that

  • first level support should first carry out an initial analysis,
  • then search the knowledge base
  • or, if possible, match the incident to an existing problem, and so on,
  • until we need to decide whether we can resolve the incident in 1st level support or have to pass it on to 2nd level support.

So what you get is a very detailed step-by-step description of the process. It's kind of an ideal process from the books, but we don't mean to say that you have to implement it as it is: Most organizations will modify and adapt our templates, for example by adding additional activities. This is quite easy, as you can see.

The whole point is that you get templates to start with, which is much better and less work than starting from nothing!

So, FitSM and YaSM work well together. On the FitSM website you can download all FitSM documents and also check out their certification and training offers.

In the YaSM Wiki we provide a complete introduction to YaSM and the YaSM process model and also explain how FitSM and YaSM are related.

And if you have any questions, please get in touch!


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