LP5: Improve the services
Previous process: Operate the services
The continual service improvement process in YaSM (fig. 1) performs regular service reviews to check if the delivered service quality is in line with the contractual commitments or if there are better ways of providing the service.
Service reviews are held for all types of services, i.e. for customer-facing services as well as (internal or external) supporting services.
Suggestions for service improvements may also originate from other sources, for example from
- Strategic assessments
- Customer meetings
- Supplier meetings.
If potential for improvement is identified, this may lead to the definition and execution of service improvement initiatives which are managed through service improvement plans.
While the implementation of some improvement initiatives can be coordinated by the service owner, initiatives of a larger scale should be run as formal projects (the project policy contains the rules for deciding if a project must be set up).
Compatibility: The YaSM CSI process is aligned with ISO 20000, the international standard for service management (see ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018, sections 5 to 10), and it corresponds to the practice of 'ITIL 4 continual improvement'.
The continual service improvement process in YaSM has the following sub-processes:
- LP5.1: Perform service reviews
- Process objective: To identify potentials for service improvement. This includes assessing if the delivered service quality is in line with the contractual commitments, as well as finding weaknesses in the way the service is being provided.
- LP5.2: Define service improvements
- Process objective: To define the objectives of service improvement initiatives and the approach for their implementation. This includes creating business cases for the initiatives.
- LP5.3: Start up service improvement initiatives
- Process objective: To launch service improvement initiatives. This includes obtaining authorization by requesting a budget and submitting a request for change.
- LP5.4: Implement service improvements
- Process objective: To implement, test and deploy service improvements. This includes updating the related service definitions and agreements.
- LP5.5: Monitor service improvement initiatives
- Process objective: To assess if the service improvement initiatives are proceeding according to plan, and to introduce corrective measures where necessary.
This section lists the documents and records produced by the CSI process. YaSM data objects [*] are marked with an asterisk, while other objects are displayed in gray.
- Budget request
- A budget request is typically issued to obtain funding for setting up, improving or operating a service or process. An approved budget request means that the required financial resources have been allocated by the financial manager. [*]
- Change record
- A change record contains all details of a change, documenting the lifecycle of a single change. In its initial state, a change record describes a request for change (RFC) which is to be assessed and authorized prior to implementing the change. Further information is added as the change progresses through its lifecycle. [*]
- Change status information
- Current status information related to the implementation of a change. This information is sent to the change manager from the various processes that implement authorized changes. It is used by the change manager to keep the change records and the change schedule up-to-date.
- CI record
- Configuration information is maintained in CI records for all configuration items (CIs) under the control of the configuration manager. In this context, CIs can be of various types: Applications, systems and other infrastructure components are treated as CIs, but often also services, policies, project documentation, employees, suppliers, etc. Configuration information is stored in the configuration management system (CMS). [*]
- Data for project plan update
- Current information related to project progress and resource consumption. This information is sent from various service management processes to the project manager as input for project control.
- Purchase request
- A request to procure goods or services from an external supplier. Purchasing requests are typically sent to the supplier manager, for example if applications, systems or other infrastructure components are needed for setting up a new service, or if standard infrastructure components and consumables are required for service operation.
- Request to add skills and human resources
- A request to add skills and human resources to the service provider organization, for example issued during service implementation if new or changed skills and/ or additional human resources are needed for a new service.
- Request to assess compliance implications
- A request to assess which compliance requirements are relevant for a new or changed service, typically issued during service design.
- Request to assess continuity risks
- A request to assess risks associated with disaster events, typically issued during service design if new or changed service continuity arrangements are likely to be needed for a new or improved service.
- Request to assess security risks
- A request to assess security risks, typically issued during service design if new or changed security controls and mechanisms are likely to be needed for a new or improved service.
- Request to set up an external service
- A request to set up an external supporting service, typically issued during service implementation if new or changed external supporting services are needed for a new service.
- Request to update customer service agreements
- A request to the business relationship manager to update one or several customer service agreements, for example following the modification of a service.
- Request to update the service portfolio
- A request from a service management process to change the service portfolio. This request is sent to the service portfolio manager for example if the status of a service changes or of services are updated through service improvement initiatives.
- Requirements specification
- A requirements specification document contains a complete description of the behavior of an application, system or other infrastructure item that is to be developed or acquired. Requirements specifications typically include functional and non-functional requirements, such as performance requirements or design constraints. The contents and degree of detail will vary depending on the nature of the system specified and the purpose of the specification. [*]
- Service definition
- A service definition specifies the service properties, in particular the offered functionality and the guaranteed service levels. Service definitions also describe how the organization's resources are used in order to provide the service. A service can be provided using one or several other (internal or external) supporting services. See also: Service definition checklist. [*]
- Service improvement plan - SIP
- The service improvement plan (SIP) is used to manage service improvement initiatives and report on their status throughout their lifecycle. There may be one service improvement plan for all services or dedicated plans for the various services managed by the service provider. The addition of new items to the SIP is often triggered by service reviews, although other service management processes may also suggest improvements to services. See also: Service improvement plan checklist. [*]
- Service operation manual
- A service operation manual specifies the activities required for the operation of a service and its underlying infrastructure. The information in the service operation manual is meant to describe the day-to-day tasks in a way that is useful for operational staff. Some instructions related to the operation of particular applications, systems or other infrastructure components may be documented in separate technical manuals or 'standard operating procedures (SOPs)'. [*]
- Service review report
- A service review report records the details and findings from a service review. This report is an important input for the definition of service improvement initiatives. [*]
- Suggested process modification
- A suggestion for modifying one or several service management processes. Suggestions for process modifications or improvements may originate from anywhere within the organization.
- Suggested strategic initiative
- A suggestion to start up a strategic initiative. Such suggestions often originate from service or process reviews if issues are detected whose resolution is beyond the scope of 'ordinary' service or process improvements.
[*] "YaSM data objects" are those documents or records for which the YaSM model provides detailed recommendations: Every YaSM object has an associated checklist (see "Service improvement plan" template and more examples) describing its typical contents, and an associated lifecycle diagram depicting how the status of the object changes as it is created, updated, read and archived by various YaSM processes (see example).
"Other objects" are mostly informal data or information where YaSM has less strong views about their contents. There are no associated lifecycle diagrams or checklists.
Process metrics are used, for example, to assess if the service management processes are running according to expectations.
For suggestions of suitable metrics, please refer to the list of metrics for YaSM's service improvement process.
Roles and responsibilities
Process owner: Service improvement manager
- The service improvement manager is responsible for managing improvements to the service provider's range of services. In particular, this role will identify improvement potentials by analyzing service quality reports and performing service reviews.
|YaSM role / sub-process||Compli. mgr.||Cust.||Cust. relations. mgr.||Oper.||Secur. mgr.||Serv. cont. mgr.||Serv. imprvmt. mgr.||Serv. owner||Techn. domain expert|
|LP5.1||Perform service reviews||-||R||R||-||-||-||AR||R||-|
|LP5.2||Define service improvements||R||-||-||-||R||R||AR||R||R|
|LP5.3||Start up service improvement initiatives||-||-||-||-||-||-||AR||R||-|
|LP5.4||Implement service improvements||-||-||-||R||-||-||AR||R||R|
|LP5.5||Monitor service improvement initiatives||-||-||-||-||-||-||AR||-||-|
Is based on: The service improvement process from the YaSM Process Map.
by: Stefan Kempter
Why continual service improvement is so important, and how YaSM helps service providers with a readily implementable CSI process. [...]