Developing a Standard Service Model Using the ITIL 4 Guiding Principles

Standard Service Model
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If you’re a large organization, or an IT service provider offering services to large enterprises, then reviewing your standard service model on a regular basis is imperative. Ensuring that it stays aligned with your business and IT strategy. Especially because understanding the outcomes your customers need is difficult in an evolving and changing business world.

This article looks at why reviewing your standard service model on a regular basis is imperative, and what you can use to help. #ITSM Click To Tweet

What’s a standard service model?

Well, if you provide a wide-ranging and complex set of IT services to your customers, then balancing return on investment (ROI) and value on investment (VOI) for customers is likely to be a challenge. Having a standard service model that delivers a standard set of outputs for your customers across your services could be the answer you’re looking for.

The benefits are economies of scale for your operational areas, a better understanding of your cost base, and every stakeholder in your service relationships knows what you’ll deliver (including, of course, the customer).

Using ITIL 4 to create your standard service model

To assess the status quo within your organization, and any existing service model(s), a great tool to use is the ITIL continual improvement model – which was called continual service improvement (CSI) in earlier versions of ITIL (please see the diagram below).

Continual Improvement
Source: AXELOS, Continual Improvement ITIL 4 Practice Guide

In addition to employing the continual improvement model as a way of reviewing and assessing the current standard service model position, even if you haven’t got anything in place right now, there’s also the ITIL 4 guiding principles.

These can be extremely beneficial when looking to ensure that the newly created standard service model is fit for purpose.

Getting a standard service model right is not an easy task in a large organization. However, the value it’ll bring is enormous. #ITSM Click To Tweet

How the ITIL 4 guiding principles can be used to create one

Guiding PrincipleStandard Service Model Application
1. Focus on valueUnderstand what makes your customer successful, how their business works. The service model should be designed to enable and deliver the outcomes and the value they need.
2. Start where you areNormally a service provider will have a wide range of established processes, procedures, and documentation. Take the best and use it. There’s no need to start from scratch (unless you feel you have to).
3. Progress iteratively with feedbackThe service model is likely to be quite complex, so approach it in an agile way, i.e. in small, bite-sized chunks, and get continual feedback from stakeholders to ensure that it’s fit for purpose. Then release regular iterations which will deliver value sooner.
4. Collaborate and promote visibilityThe service model is likely to be quite complex, so approach it in an agile way, i.e. in small, bite-sized chunks, and get continual feedback from stakeholders to ensure that it’s fit for purpose. Then release regular iterations which will deliver value sooner.
5. Think and work holisticallyThe service model will work across the organization, not just within IT operations. It will also – depending on if you’re an internal or business-to-business (B2B) service provider – impact product development, sales, bid teams, and delivery management. So, consider the end-to-end requirements and design the model accordingly.
6. Keep it simple and practicalKeep the model simple, because stakeholders will understand it better and it will be easier to deploy. Focusing on getting value delivered in the most straightforward way will also help to keep the model up-to-date and relevant.
7. Optimize and automateOptimize the service model by making things as simplified and efficient as they can be, then look to automate where possible. This will introduce additional efficiencies. However, please don’t automate just for the sake of it – focus on what value the automation will bring.

Getting a standard service model right is not an easy task in a large organization. However, the value it’ll bring is enormous.

Applying the seven guiding principles will help to deliver what ITIL 4 describes as “value co-creation.” Done right, the standard service model will evolve into a collaborative, well-designed, and valuable service asset. Delivering the business outcomes stakeholders need across the organization, including the end users and customers.

Getting a standard service model right is not an easy task in a large organization. However, the value it’ll bring is enormous. #ITSM Click To Tweet

If you have any thoughts, questions, or tips related to what I’ve written, please let me know in the comments section below.

Information Technology Service Management Consultant at Self Employed

Graham is an experienced IT Service Management practitioner and ITIL Expert with over 30 years’ experience in roles ranging from IT Operations, ITIL training, Pre Sales and more recently Service Design. This knowledge has enabled him to understand the challenges IT Professionals face on the ground and to apply both ITSM best practice and Operational experience to understand customer and strategic requirements in the real world.

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