Let us now take a look at the Goals, Purpose and Objectives of the Continual Service Improvement process.
Continual Service Improvement (CSI) aims to deliver business value by ensuring that the Service Management implementation continues to deliver the desired business benefits (and if possible add value to the service)
CSI has the following objectives:
• To review, analyze and make recommendations on where improvements could be made at any point throughout the lifecycle.
• To review and analyze service level achievements against targets.
• To identify and implement individual activities to improve service quality and the efficiency and effectiveness of service management processes.
• To improve the cost-effectiveness of delivering IT services without impacting customer satisfaction.
• To apply quality management methods to support continual improvement activities.
CSI must be an objective for everyone in the organization, but improvement activities will only happen if they are properly managed. A senior responsible owner must be appointed and they must possess the appropriate authority to make things happen. This is not a trivial role, since improvements may mean significant disruption of current work patterns.
Improvement activities need to be planned and scheduled on an ongoing basis and their effects monitored to ensure that the desired improvement is achieved. Ideally, the culture of ‘improvement’ will become embedded within the organization.
CSI is applicable across all stages of the Service Lifecycle and addresses three main areas:
• The overall health of Service Management as a discipline.
• Continual alignment of the Service Portfolio with current and future business needs.
• The maturity of the enabling IT processes.
Value to business
CSI recognizes that the value IT provides to the business can be realized and measured in different ways:
• Improvements: Outcomes that are better when compared with the previous state.
• Benefits: The gains achieved through the implemented improvements.
• Return on investment (ROI) : The difference between the realized benefit and the cost of achieving it.
• Value of investment (VOI) : The extra value created by the improvement including non-monetary benefits and outcomes.
Implementing CSI means committing to continued investment in order to create and maintain Service Improvement Plans (SIPs).
The expected value from an investment is a critical component of any business case, and CSI stresses the need for periodic re-evaluation following the implementation of improvements by:
• checking that benefits/ROI/VOI are realized by specific improvements;
• identifying the best investments by estimating benefits from different initiatives;
• Assessing the impact on current benefit of any proposed change of organization structure or business strategy, or of regulatory or legislative change.
Many organizations have been traditionally very poor at checking that planned benefits have actually been delivered in the manner intended and hence often compound the situation by making future decisions on the assumption that some significant change in value has occurred. This is not only incorrect but also creates chaos and service disruption.
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