Vertically linking services to the business mission can be adequately addressed in the traditional hierarchical approach described above. The more complex object-oriented approach covered how services can be linked in multiple directions, again described above. Since services do not exist in a static state, the logical flow of the services is another view that must be addressed if the ISD concept is to be successfully executed.
The ability to link and trace each service delivered in an ISD program to enterprise goals and objectives and, ultimately, the mission itself, is key to being able to justify and, if necessary, defend resources utilized to deliver the services. Whether the linkage from the services to the mission is traditional hierarchical, modular, or object-oriented, relationships should be established and documented.
The ability for an IT executive to be able to directly and straightforwardly link the services his operation produces to the business element the service supports can be the key to survival for the service and, perhaps, the executive. Additionally, by being able to link the mission and the services that support its accomplishment, the communication of the enterprise's direction and path is made easier. When service providers have a clear understanding of how the work they are performing contributes to the enterprise as a whole, their tasks can be much more fulfilling.
Linking all enterprise activities, especially services, to a single mission provides a very powerful synergistic effect. It "puts a lot of wood behind the arrow."
The logical linkage of services takes the form of a flow of services that begins with the request for service and is fulfilled in a complete cycle of service delivery, validation of completion/completeness/quality, and an examination for service improvement opportunities.
Figure 4-5 depicts a basic flow or logical linkage of services.
The flow of services begins with the initial request flowing directly to a work management function to initiate provisioning of the service for existing services. In the event there is no existing service, service management creates a new service or if the initial request relates to a problem, problem management researches and resolves the problem and passes the services request to work management.
Change management performs an impact analysis and passes the request to service execution to perform the actual work, which is supported after execution by support management.
Quality management validates that the customer is satisfied with the service. If not satisfied, it passes the request to service improvement, for a continious improvement check, and creates an enhanced service, if appropriate.
This very simplified service flow represents a logical sequence of events that occur when a service is requested and is delivered in an ISD approach.
The ability to link the activities that comprise services to the business enterprise horizontally, vertically, and logically, will directly affect the value the enterprise will derive from their investment in IT.
Understanding the company mission, the framework, or context the integrated services will be delivered in, and how they should be balanced and linked, are key precursors to initiating the actual initial thrust of discovering the service requirements. As mentioned in the opening statement of this section, how deliberate and specific this exercise is will vary from firm to firm. The more the leaders of the effort have internalized the mission and direction of the enterprise the less deliberate the exercise needs to be.