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Service Management Organisation

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Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:11 am    Post subject: Service Management Organisation Reply with quote

Hello ITIL community,

Our organisation has started down the ITIL pathway by assigning a process owner to each of the service management processes. I am not entirely sure that this is working though and would like to pick some of your brains on how best to structure a service management organisation.

Some of the issues that I am seeing are that not all of the process owners are 100% dedicated to this role, they also have line responsibilities which is slowing progress. They are placed in different areas of the organisation. Each process owner is developing their own plans for process deployment (some following the CSIP some not). Each process owner is looking at the best tool to use for managing their process independently. The process owners are not necessarily managing their process on a daily basis.

We are a global company with three main hubs in APAC EMEA and Americas but also have smaller regional offices. The processes should follow the sun.

Questions: Would there be any benefit in having a service management department to drive the SD function and Request Management function, and all of the process managers? Should there be someone dedicated to managing each process and should that person also be the owner of the process?

Any ideas or real life experience of setting up a service management organisation would be interesting to read.

Kind regards, Matt
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Joined: Apr 10, 2006
Posts: 86
Location: Boise Idaho

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 12:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would agree to having the process owners fall under a service management group. With the fact the processes work/depend on one another to be effective, this type of line up within your organization would make the most sense. This is what we had in place in my previous organization and it worked out very well for us. We knew what each other was planning and ultimately we set goals for the service management group and each process would strive to achieve those set goals. Also because we were all on one enterprise wide tool for all processes it was very important that we knew what each was doing or planning as a modification it would module potentially could have a ripple effect into other modules. That being said, from your post one huge huge glaring red flag (did i mention huge):
Each process owner is developing their own plans for process deployment (some following the CSIP some not). Each process owner is looking at the best tool to use for managing their process independently.

This approach most certainly will lead to demise and frustration amongst your end user community. An important factor is tool integration. If each process owner is using their own tool, will they be able to talk to one another? If the answer is no, at the very least you'll just have a means to document items in your environment but no real way to effectively or efficiently perform analysis, planning etc and really will be no better off then were before process implmentation started.
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Joined: Mar 28, 2007
Posts: 4

PostPosted: Thu Mar 29, 2007 5:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Matt - first of all good luck with your ITIL implementation.

I suggest that the more centralized you can make the ITSM organization, the more integrated and effective your processes will be. If it is not practical that the process owners actually be in the same department, at the very least you should establish a steering committee comprised of the process owners and dept heads to ensure consistent development and common implementation plans.

And I agree with the previous respondant regarding the tool: different/separate/disparate tools are a sure path to disaster. If the practise doesn't just outright die, at some point your organization will go through a huge migration to whichever tool ultimately wins out.

Advise your executive now to bring the processes together (at least within a project or committee), analyze and determine the exact business need/problem which your are trying to meet/solve, decide on a sub-set of processes required to meet that immediate need, settle on one tool and then go forth and ITIL Cool.

and like I said before, good luck...
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Joined: Jan 01, 2006
Posts: 500
Location: New Jersey

PostPosted: Sun Apr 01, 2007 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hello Matt,

Unfortunately, in a large enterprise, it will be very difficult for you to centralize Process Ownership, just as it is virtually impossible to centralize Product Ownership or even Service Ownership. It's nice if you can achieve the centralization but it's rare that it will actually happen.

However, the most successful process groups we've seen have been centralized. They do not report into Service Management, though. They usually report directly into the master Strategy and/or Architecture group that usually reports into the CIO or some equivalent IT leader. It appears that the reasons such groups have success are:

1) They're centralized so most processes tend to get implemented consistently.
2) The ownership gets to consistently look across all areas of IT.
3) They report directly into the leadership and get the support of that leadership for implementation and support.

Another thing that we see in enterprises that have been successful implementing processes is that they treat Process Ownership just like they do Product Ownership and follow Product Management principles and proceedures for Ownership, Planning, Modification, Implementation, Release, and Support of their Processes. So, for example, as Processes need to be changed, new Releases of those Processes are planned for deployment/rollout to the enterprise and those processes have dedicated development and support resources, just like any Products that are deployed and supported.

Anyhow, I hope this helps.

My Best,

[Edited by Admin to remove link]
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Joined: Mar 29, 2007
Posts: 123
Location: FRance

PostPosted: Mon Apr 02, 2007 7:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote


I would consider the way your company plans to implement ITIL processes will not or very hardly be successful.

A common approach I use to make people understand ITIL and the process approach, is to explain that the Current IS/IT department organization is based on functions and roles that may be very well described and filled but such a hierarchical model usually misses to describe interactions and how the various groups work with each other to provide the services required or expected by the business, and so they all tend to work in silos.
I then explain that the process approach allows to specify each and every step in the supply of a target service, to define roles and responsbilities that can then be matched with the organization allowing to "fill the gaps"
In addition specifying processes means also specifying how the various processes interact , so at the end you have a formal and complete description of roles and activities to provide the expected services.

What you describe let me feel that you are going to generate (at least) 2 major failures:
- you are creating new silos (process management entities) that will even not replace the existing ones
- you are missing the coordination between processes that is mandatory to achieve the goals of service management.

So, in best case, you will replace a silo oriented organization by another one, and, worst case but highly probable, you will add a second silo organization to the existing one.

Whatever the size of your organization, all these efforts need to be coordinated and managed under one umbrella , at the highest level in your organization.

I have seen this approach being successful in a truly global-around-the-clock company and would think it can be applied to yours.

best regards and good luck.
JP Gilles
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Joined: Sep 27, 2005
Posts: 207

PostPosted: Thu Apr 05, 2007 11:36 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey Matt,

That sounds like a challenge I was part of last year.

You will need a coordinating body to keep the process owners aligned and going in the same direction. Whether that is a Service Management department, or a Project Management team depends on the cultural choices of the company.

You need to establish close relationships between the players in the different regions. The cultural differences and their different levels of maturity will make you want to adopt different paths to conformance to the ITIL model but I would fight that. The end goal, especially for a follow-the-sun format, is that the organization starts working the same way no matter the physical location. I would not set one target and then allow all to move into that direction. I tried that. It quickly gets messy. I would pick a target a third of the way, get everybody to that baseline, and then bring the everybody forward in sync.

The fact that they are not 100% dedicated is not that important because it is very likely that they won't be 100% after the project is done. What you need are project resources to get things done, and put those process owners into one single "way of thinking".

Find something fun to keep them motivated along the way. It's a journey. It's difficult to keep the interest level high. Spread out training opportunities throughout the program, have a communication plan in place, get some ITIL merchandise to keep it fun.

... And most of all, sell it, sell it, and sell it....

If you're working with AC, send me a mail fabien at I used to lead that initiative.
Fabien Papleux

Technology Consulting | Service Excellence
Red Badge Certified

Twitter @itilgeek
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Joined: Feb 24, 2007
Posts: 19

PostPosted: Fri Apr 06, 2007 12:29 am    Post subject: Re: Service Management Organisation Reply with quote

tolman101 wrote:

Any ideas or real life experience of setting up a service management organisation would be interesting to read.

Hi Matt,
I am involved in an organisation that has spanned 4 different divisions (customer base/retail concept). It has taken us approx 5 years to get to a level of ITIL organisation that we are ahppy with and have experienced a number of the failures identified in the other posts.

Our key structure at present is as follows:
1) Two senior manager report directly into the IS Director. These are responsible for Service Del & Service Sup respectively
2) The Serv Sup' person has myself as a direct report and then I am responsible for a service desk / incident, problem and change. I have an outsourced service desk, a change manager and a problem manager. Problem management is 24x7 with a rolling shift for out our hours between myself and my two reports
3) The Serv Del person has two SLM's and a Capacity Manager as direct reports
4) We have focused on these processes and have established a level of maturity to allow them to fit our organisations requirements and culture

Prior to this we tried various organisational structures and to be honest they had all worked to a degree of success, but the current model (which has been in place for 18 months) has been the most succesful

I completely agree that top level buy in and that of the whole IS department is important. We have just completed a training program with every member of the IS department (c45 people) and every one has passed to foundation level

good luck and best wishes
Pondering the question:
Why dont small companies get it ??
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Joined: Sep 26, 2005
Posts: 44
Location: Sweden

PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2007 6:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks everyone for your feedback, it was very interesting to get your comments and reinforced some of my own thoughts. I would be interested if Frank could recommend any product management literature.

The structure could be something along the lines of three groups; Service Desk, Service Support and Service Delivery. These three groups would then report to the ITSM Manager.

The objectives would be aligned to those of service management with a common CSIP. The tool should be ideally the same for all processes but it is perhaps acceptable if there was at least integration capabilites between tools.

Development of the processes could be initiated by process owners according to product management principles and connected to a System Architecture group who do not need to be dedicated at 100%. The processes would be managed by the ITSM group.
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