Service Management

Service Management Leadership is dedicated to improving outcomes. Everything we do is focused on helping organizations deliver the best outcomes possible. We specialize in all areas of Service Management, including CMDB, Change Management, Vendor Management, Continual Improvement, and Process Maturity Assessments and improvement.s

Service Management Leadership can provide your organization with program-level Configuration Management (CMDB) expertise for transformation and improvement initiatives.  We have successfully led multiple CMDB (Configuration Management Database) remediation efforts and know-how to turn the CMDB into a trusted source for all Service Management practices and processes.

Most companies and firms see Configuration Management as a tool-based problem to solve.  We do not.  While the ITSM tool is vital for success, far too many have taken a tool-centric view and failed miserably.  The ITSM tool will do what it is programmed to do.  That is not the issue.  The problem most organizations are trying to solve is how to create a CMDB that enables great decisions by leadership and a solid foundation for the other Service Management processes which rely on the CMDB data.  For example, when reviewing a Change, understanding the potential impacts of the change is important when assessing the change for authorization.  The same goes for an incident where a database server is down.  The same goes for the other Service Management processes and practices.  The CMDB gives a visual of what application is down (or about to be) and the integrations that may be impacted.  Bad CMDB data costs organizations millions of dollars annually.

At its basics, a CMDB is made up of Configuration Items (CIs) and their respective relationships.  This is what differentiates Configuration Management from Asset Management, where Assets are tracked for financial (and similar) reasons.  In the CMDB, the value is in the relationships.  Knowing what server is connected to what database supports what application is extremely valuable.  On this topic, we can help determine how granular you want to be with your CMDB.  This is a business – not technical – decision.

A strong Configuration Management process should have three things:

  • Defined process with roles and responsibilities identified. Every user or participant in the Configuration Management process needs to understand what is expected of them.  A RACI should be developed, and role-specific training provided.
  • Defined metrics strategically selected for your organization. Yes, most ITSM tools will have metrics in place.  However, every organization needs to ask the right questions to understand if the straight-out-of-the-box metrics align with the strategic initiatives and requirements of the organization.
  • Scope of CI Classes and Attributes your company wants to track. Each CI Class and Attribute tracked comes at a cost.  The cost comes from the tool and personnel to keep the CMDB up-to-date.  These Attributes come in two types: discoverable and non-discoverable.  The discoverable ones will be populated via discovery.  The non-discoverable Attributes are the ones that will determine the success of your CMDB.  These will include CI Class Owner and all people data.

Service Mapping and Application Portfolio Management also fall into our scope of expertise.  Like Configuration Management, many are too reliant on the ITSM tools.  Service Mapping is more of an art than a science.  How can a tool know your organization well enough to split applications into services?  It cannot.  Your organization has too much to lose if this is done poorly.  Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are based on the services defined.

While there are endless technical service providers to help your ServiceNow, Salesforce, BMC Remedy or Helix, or another ITSM tool provider, Service Management Leadership is the one to help you mature and remediate your CMDB, yielding value for your business customers.  We take a program-level view of the CMDB, knowing how it works for different ITSM tools and ensuring you get the best outcomes from it.

Service Management Leadership brings in-depth Change Management expertise to ensure your deployments meet business stakeholder objectives.  Business Stakeholders are increasingly unhappy with outages created by failed changes.  These customers depend on their applications being up.  A strong Change Management process will enable both increased controls and speed-to-delivery.  The answer can be “both”.  While most organizations rely on the capabilities of the ITSM tool, we push deeper to leverage what is best for you.  How can you get the most from the tool and its capabilities?

Every public company in the U.S.A is compelled to comply with Sarbanes-Oxley, better known as SOX.  SOX compliance relies on a mature Change Management process.  The key comes in two forms: a thoughtful, documented process and training to ensure the users comply with the process.  A strong Change Management process will include metrics and measures to determine both the health of the process and to monitor compliance.  We encourage metrics that measure strategic performance more than the rote volume metrics that every ITSM tool provides.  The value is pushing deeper into matching the metrics to strategy.  Training can be in many forms but is necessary for process adoption.

The use of local or federated Change Advisory Boards (CABs) enables the business or other key stakeholder groups to be more involved in the Change Management process.  This keeps the process from being overly bureaucratic and more of a valued governance provider.  Structuring all types of Change Advisory Boards is one key to success for your Change Management process.  But, sizing the framework to your organization is vital for success.  Every organization is different and there is no “one size fits all” or even most.

The matching risk to governance allows your IT organization to offer more speed-to-delivery for your IT organization.  Not all changes require the same level of governance due to the inherent risk variables.  It is the assessment of risk that permits your IT organization to be nimble and agile.  Most business stakeholders are demanding their IT organization deploy at a rapid pace.  The recent innovations in AI, RPA, CI/CD, DevOps, etc. require the Change Management process to enable these outcomes.  We can help.  We have done this before.  It saves the organization valuable time and money every week.

While some organizations are demanding greater velocity of deployments, others have grown weary of bad deployments.  The ability to strategically increase controls in some areas adds to the company’s bottom line due to increased uptime to the business’ clientele.  Ensuring the “right” people authorize certain changes is a core need for many IT organizations.  The auditors and senior leadership are accountable that no unauthorized changes go into production, and, if so, how is the situation addressed and corrected.

Your organization’s need may just be process maturity in the bright new world of innovation.  Our expertise will allow your Service Management – and, specifically, Change Management – processes to address Agile, Cloud, DevOps, and all other business variables.  We have solved these problems many times in many ways.  We can do the same for your organization.

Change Management, like the broader ITIL, is a framework.  Think of it as a toolset that allows your organization to build capabilities to meet the needs of stakeholders.  This is our core specialty.  For Change Management, the stakes are higher because of the needs of the business.  Whether it is for compliance, speed-to-delivery, increased controls, or process maturity, Service Management Leadership can help you utilize the right tools (parts of the ITIL Change Management framework) to meet stakeholder needs.

The ability to transition services to production is a core competency for our firm.  We can help you have quicker, safer, and more reliable deployments.  Contact us today to set up a free consultation and to hear more about our services.

Service Management Leadership has extensive IT Vendor Management experience providing valuable services including vendor selection, contract reviews, vendor monitoring, program-level through granular levels. IT Vendor spending is out of control for many organizations and we bring a unique and practical approach to how IT organizations should evaluate their vendors.

IT Vendor Management has become strategic to every organization looking to maximize strategic vendor partnerships, whether it be to save costs or to gain capabilities.  IT vendors come in all shapes and sizes.  The ability of an organization to gain the most cost-saving and value from these vendors cannot be underestimated.  These vendors are relied upon at an increasing rate.

Does your organization have rules for vendor engagement?  How about an official front door and vetting process for working with your company?  Service Management Leadership can help you institute vendor governance, measurement, and contract terms to save your company time, and most importantly, dollars.

IT vendors can be for IT software or hardware services and include all service providers.  We have extensive experience working with and leveraging vendors of all types.

The ability to consistently measure and improve your IT services relies on a strong Continual Service Improvement (CSI) initiative.  CSI can take many forms.  But, the one thing all successful CSI efforts have is that it is not just a process but is a way of life in the organization.  There is a thirst for improvement, knowing that the business stakeholder needs are constantly evolving, and the IT organization needs to continually be aligned.

Most CSI efforts start with identifying improvement opportunities, measuring and putting metrics in place, and end with implementing changes to existing services and processes.  While this is a start, much more is needed to continually improve.

  • The installation of a CSI log allows for suggestions by all stakeholders (business, user, and process) for improvements to all processes and services. Just the ability for all parties to have input will do wonders for the alignment with stakeholders.
  • While this CSI log will have new items added daily or weekly, the CSI process managers will need to work with leadership to prioritize the items based on how they align with business strategy. This is a continual process ensuring the right things are getting worked.
  • Those working on improvement items will come from all parts of the organization. This is not just a process effort, but an organization-wide one.
  • Another aspect is the Process Maturity Assessment. We have developed our own assessment and can help your organization know how mature each process is against an industry-recognized baseline.

With a lengthy history of saving organizations money and service disruption, Service Management Leadership can help your processes and services mature and provide outcomes your business customers demand.   One of our popular services is an ITIL Process Maturity Assessment.  We measure the process activities to help identify the weaknesses of your ITIL processes.