11.1 Defining Success

11.1 Defining Success

The functional responsibility to understand who the consumer of IT services is and how they define success falls to the account management role in most IT organizations.

The charter of account management is to ensure that positive, constructive relationships are maintained between IT and its customers, develop service solutions, and manage the movement of service requests from initiation to implementation in support of business needs.

The general responsibilities of the account management function are:

  • Ensure that a proactive, positive relationship is maintained between IT and users

  • Provide a formalized planning process to ensure that current and future needs of business units are satisfied

  • Ensure that all changes to the technology environment are authorized, analyzed , approved, implemented, and tracked in a timely , controlled manner

  • Improve processes on an ongoing basis

11.1.1 Define Success Before You Start

In the IT service delivery arena "beginning with the end in mind" translates to understanding what the business needs are and how their satisfaction can be supported or enabled.Chapter 4, "Business Linkage," describes the path of linking the enterprise mission, strategies, and objectives to the IT services, and the people, processes, and technology that support/enable the satisfaction of those needs. Once the business needs are identified, a plan should be constructed to meet them.

Account planning should include the following steps or processes:

  • Determine Business Needs

    The purpose of this procedure is to gain input into the account planning process with respect to changes that need to be factored into the business unit account plan and ultimately into the overall IT plan.

  • Review Previous Experience

    The purpose of this procedure is to gain an understanding of the service history of a specific business unit user and provide a foundation to begin an account plan for them.

  • Review Existing Service Level Agreements

    The purpose of this procedure is to review existing SLAs to determine where IT has performed admirably and poorly. The results of this review or audit will provide input into an account profile and evaluation of processes. The following is an outline of what should be included in an account profile. This profile should be maintained on an ongoing basis.

    • Business unit or subunit profiled

    • Applications supported and associated SLA

    • Other services provided

    • Composite or summary service satisfaction query responses

    • Service satisfaction survey responses

    • Service level agreement audit results

    • Gaps in service expectations and actual service provided

    • Future service needs

  • Determine Satisfaction Level

    The purpose of this procedure is to develop a broad view of the overall satisfaction the user is experiencing from IT.

  • Determine Expectations Gap

    The purpose of this procedure is to complete the account profile by analyzing the information contained in an account profile and highlight the gaps uncovered between the user's expectations and the service provided by IT.

  • Develop Account Plan

    The purpose of this procedure is to create a document for each business unit that will serve as a focal point for planning how to provide service to that unit in the future. The following is an outline of an account plan:

    • Applications Supported

    • Services Provided

    • Service Improvements Required

      • Process Improvements Planned

      • Staffing/Training Plans

      • Technology Changes Planned

        • Hardware

        • Software

        • Network

    • Expansion/Contraction Predictions

      • Process Changes Planned

      • Staffing/Training Changes Planned

      • Technology Changes Planned

        • Hardware

        • Software

        • Network

    • New Business Needs

      • New Process Requirements

      • Staffing/Training Requirements

      • Technology Requirements

        • Hardware

        • Software

        • Network

    • Resource Changes Required for Business Unit for FY

      • Staffing/Training Requirements

      • Technology Requirements

        • Hardware

        • Software

        • Network

    • Changes in Service Level Agreements Required

11.1.2 Service Level Agreements

The attributes of a service level agreement (SLA) was described in Chapter 5. The importance of an initial mutual agreement on what services are required to support applications cannot be underestimated.

Harris Kern, in his book Rightsizing the New Enterprise, provides an excellent description of the objectives of the SLA. The objective of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) is to define a framework for managing the quality and quantity of delivered services, in the face of changing business needs and user requirements, at a price the business is able to afford. Specifically, this document intends to:

  • Synchronize IT services with the business needs of the customers

  • Set the correct level of service expectations and responsibilities for both IT and the customer

  • Enable IT to be an effective and flexible partner to the business unit, aiding rapid response to the changing business environment

  • Enable IT to plan for the delivery of required services at the lowest cost to the customer

  • Enable IT to maintain quality and visibility of the services that they can provide, and thus demonstrate value for money. [1]

    [1] Harris Kern and Randy Johnson, Rightsizing the New Enterprise, SunSoft Press, 1994.

You can find an example of SLA in Appendix B.



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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