6.2 Developing the Service Model

6.2 Developing the Service Model

There are several quality tools and techniques you can use in the development of the service model: benchmarking, brainstorming, interviewing, surveying , and the tree diagram. In our example, the first four tools are used to determine what services should be provided; the last, the tree diagram, is used to systemically map the details of the services into a model. The objective of the service model is to list all the services provided by the ISD organization, both direct and indirect. The services should be at such a level that each service can stand as a separate task.

The following is an example of how a service model is built. The use of the quality tools and techniques will be demonstrated.

One of the best ways to begin development of the service model is by using the quality tool, brainstorming. Brainstorming is a spontaneous generation of ideas; in this case, services. Open thinking should be encouraged. Do not be concerned about judging each service idea generated during the session. Try to keep the focus of the brainstorming session on the customers that will receive these services. Refer to the list of customers generated before the session begins. Record as many possible services that can be thought of. The brainstorming session should continue until a point is reached where participants feel the list is exhausted.

Review the brainstorming list and look for services that have the same meaning and could be consolidated into one service. Look for services that are not within the scope of your customer's requirements. Even more important, ask the question ”Are there any services missing that the customer requires? Below is a sampling of services generated from a brainstorming session. This list, brainstorm list 6.2.1, will be used to walk through the development of a service model.

6.2.1 Brainstorm List

  • Provide server utilization reports

  • Monitor for down databases

  • ORASERV process alive and well

  • Cost reporting to customers

  • Troubleshoot database problems

  • Servers are running

  • Concurrent managers are running

  • Prepare yearly billing statements

  • Database listener is running

  • Maintain server history information

  • Maintain paging system

  • Detect server bottlenecks

  • Ensure transfer agreements in place

  • Monitor for database activity

  • Monitor for runaway process

  • Memory utilization within defined limits

  • Daily reporting of server backup failures

  • Disk drive capacity within defined limits

  • Network connectivity is available

  • Troubleshoot server problems

The next step is to organize the services into a tree diagram. A tree diagram is used to systematically map out increasing levels of detail for related goals, tasks , and in this case, services. The approach used to develop the service model uses a concept from the Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook called work breakdown structure, which pictorially resembles a tree diagram. A work breakdown structure, as defined by the Project Management Institute, follows :

A deliverable -oriented grouping of project elements which organizes and defines the total scope of the project. Each descending level represents an increasingly detailed definition of a project component. Project components may be products or services. [1]

[1] 1996, Project Management Professional (PMP) Handbook. "A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge," page 171.

Each tree branch on the work breakdown structure is called a work package. Work packages contain those services that can be grouped together. Each work package is given a name that best represents the collection of services. Work packages will be important in determining the resource load needed to perform all the tasks within the package. Figure 6-1 is an example of a work breakdown structure.

Figure 6.1. Work breakdown structure.
graphics/06fig01.gif

A numbering system is used to keep the work packages organized. The Project Management Body of Knowledge calls this number system the code of accounts. This allows work packages to be used in different formats than the tree diagram, while still keeping the packages organized. The numbering system is applied to the work breakdown structure after work packages are organized.

When creating work packages, try to group services by a specific type of skill set. Based on the services generated from the brainstorming session, you should have an idea of what type of skill set is needed. For example, from the brainstorm list 6.2.1, a skill set will be needed to perform server maintenance, database maintenance, and maintain cost/budget control. Knowing that these are the skill sets helps to group the services and name the work packages.

There is no clear-cut or wrong way to group services. The real importance here is being able to identify a group of tasks that can be performed by one skill set. Do not be concerned at this time how many resources will be needed to perform this work package. During the development of the resource model (Chapter 6), you can begin to determine staffing load.

The brainstorm list of services, for example, could be grouped a number of different ways. If you believe all monitoring type activities (database and server) can be performed by the same skill set, then create a work package for monitoring. A second work package could be created for server correction action, and a third for database correction action.

Another approach would be to create a separate work package specifically for server monitoring and correction actions, and a separate work package for database monitoring and correction actions. In this case, you have a skill set experienced in server monitoring and the ability to fix the problems associated with the monitoring routines. A final consideration is that work packages are ever-changing. You will be adjusting, adding, and deleting work packages as the requirements of your customer change.

6.2.2 Work Package Grouping Example List

Server Monitoring and Corrective Action

  • Maintain paging system

  • Detect server bottlenecks

  • Monitor for runaway process

  • Servers are running

  • Memory utilization within defined limits

  • Disk drive capacity within defined limits

  • Network connectivity is available

  • Troubleshoot server problems

Operations Metrics/Utilizing Reporting

  • Provide server utilization reports

  • Daily reporting of server backup failures

  • Maintain server history information

  • Compile server and database statistics

Cost Management

  • Ensure transfer agreements are in place

  • Cost reporting to customers

  • Prepare yearly billing statements

  • Maintain charge back model

Database Monitoring and Corrective Action

  • Monitoring for down databases

  • ORASERV process alive and well

  • Monitor for database activity

  • Troubleshoot database problems

  • Database listener is running

Once work packages are created, they are then grouped into a tree diagram, known as the service Model. Figure 6-2 shows how the work packages from list 6.2.2 form a service model. Notice additional title boxes were created to group individual work packages. Title boxes are used only for grouping work packages. There are no services directly related to a title box. From list 6.2.2, title box Monitor 1.2.1 was created to group Server Monitoring and Corrective Action 1.2.1.1 and Database Monitoring and Corrective Action 1.2.1.2. A Support Services 1.2 title box was created to group Monitor 1.2.1 and Operations Metrics/Utilization Reporting 1.2.2. Finally, Integrated Service Delivery 1.0 was created to group all work packages under one package.

Figure 6.2. Creating title boxes from work packages.
graphics/06fig02.gif

Once you have completed the brainstorming session and organized the results into a service model tree diagram, there are several alternatives on how to proceed. One is to hold another brainstorming session to see if the team can generate more services. Adding and/or changing some team members might help to get new thinking in the session and uncover missing services. Start off this second brainstorming session by reviewing the service model tree diagram. Using self-stick pieces of paper to generate new ideas will allow for easy placement of the services into the service model tree diagram.

Another alternative is to proceed by using one of the other quality tools ”benchmarking, interviewing, and surveying. These tools can be used in any order or simultaneously , especially when there are time lapses in completion of the activities.

Benchmarking can be used to learn about the services provided by other competitors or those companies recognized as leaders in their field as information technology service providers. Benchmarking is a way to identify services that are common across all IT service providers. It should be used as a means to validate the ISD service model with other competitors . It can also be used to continuously redefine the service model to keep a competitive advantage in the marketplace .

Interviewing and/or surveying involves getting the input from the customers. Since the service model is being built around the needs and wants of the customer, it is essential that at least one of these forms of customer involvement activities takes place. Interviewing can be done with individual customers or groups of customers. Although interviewing can be done over the phone, an in-person interview allows facial expressions of the customer to be seen and judged.

Surveying is a type of interviewing done on paper via a questionnaire. Surveying takes considerably more time. First, a survey has to be generated ”this alone is no small task. The survey needs to be distributed to the customers. The customer has to respond to the survey and return it to you. Finally, the results of the survey have to be analyzed . The elapsed time could be months before useful information is obtained. It is recommended that you only use surveying when your customers are not available for face-to-face interviews or phone interviews. Phone interviews might not be an option to global customers due to the different time zones. There also might be a language barrier that could be overcome by the written communication of a survey.

With interviewing or surveying the objective is to gain customer buy-in to the service model. This is accomplished by reviewing the service model and seeking out those services that are missing and/or not needed. This also gives the customer a sense of being part of the building process.



IT Services Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing
IT Services: Costs, Metrics, Benchmarking and Marketing (paperback) (Enterprise Computing Series)
ISBN: 0132621959
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2000
Pages: 93

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