Monday, 12 May 2008

HE Day

Good session on service management - some thoughts jotted down during it - in note form as I'm still in the sessions:

Why would you run IS as a business?
External competition – it's a generally held view that a monopolistic organisation must be more inefficient than one that has competition! Therefore there is a perception there must be better services outside the organisation.
Most IS organisations are funded to supply core services – one size fits all – finite funding – demand perpetually exceeds supply! Only recourse is to say no – not a good way to win friends and influence people – so we often say yes and struggle to deliver.
Value – what have IT ever done for us? Why am I spending so much money on IT? – need to be able to answer these questions

First thing to do is look at the market – your customers. They have needs – you have to address them. But first you need to know what your services are - need to be explicit and understand the services.
Then look at processes – these are the ways we deliver services.
Services and proceses are not the same thing!
Cannot optimise what you don’t understand, which is not explicit.
ITIL etc is good, but understand their limitations.
Stop being a victim! Step up.
Bring perceptions in line with reality
Understand what you’re good at, and what not good at. Maybe source some stuff elsewhere?

What is a service – it’s an action not a thing!!! Software applications are not services. Processes are not services. People are not services. Put them together to deliver benefit to a customer. Describe services in terms of a benefit.

A well positioned service portfolio which describes who you are and why you exist and–why a customer should use you is a valuable tool which can help you establish credibility in the organisation.

A service portfolio and a service catelogue are different. The portfolio is targeted at senior management (ie the people who pay the salary bill!). A catelogue is targeted at people who use the services - the customers.

Start with the portfolio and move down to catelogue – top down - not hte other way round.

When benchmarking, benchmark to the competition. Don’t compare to yourself to other HE IT organisations – you'll just be seen as comparing yourself to other non credible organisations!

Get some of basics right – eg start by implementing ITIL.
Take a few processes at a time. Slow incremental change is better than a big bang.

Not a one to one relationship between processes and services - will have many more processes than services. Need to map processes to services. Can see which processes are core. Which ones need to be optimised. And which ones if you change, might change other services.

A profit and loss statement for services is also a useful tool. "If I was to charge at or near market rates for my services, would I cover my costs?"
Can put a value on your services. Measures expenditure the organisation has avoided by you being good at what you do.

Don’t have to actually charge – but can say if we were charging you, this is how much it would cost.

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