- What is Service Delivery Management?
- The Service Delivery Planning Process
- The Digital IQ® Framework
- The Proven Methodology for the Digital Age
…realise your desired business outcomes
Service Delivery Management encompasses the discipline of providing professional IT support and consulting services within an industry defined framework of best practice. Or in other words, its what elevates good IT support companies into great ones. You may be tired of asking yourself…
“what is going on and why is it taking so long?”– a frustrated customer experiencing poor it support
… and if you frequently ask this question when dealing with your existing IT support provider, then it’s time to make a change. The problem with many IT support companies is that they frequently refer to their clients as ‘users’ which indicates a problem. No other industry (other than drug dealing) refers to it’s valuable clients this way which may suggest a cultural issue. A lack of empathy and communication, or lack of respect for a clients time, mean the IT support experience is frequently a bad one. All too often, customers are treated like inferior beings for simply not knowing (or caring) what an IP address is or for failing to remember the twenty six character administrative password to their remote desktop. After all, technology should just work. It’s merely a tool to accomplish a task. Good technology should work like magic and be empowering – not debilitating. And here’s an inside secret for you from a 25 year IT industry veteran…
“IT isn’t complicated”– but IT support companies can charge more when it appears to be
A true IT expert can simplify the most complex of solutions into an easy to understand proposition. All that’s required is a proper understanding of some basic concepts and good communication skills. The key to effective communication is a framework of language, a glossary, an agreed context and a common purpose. And that’s where Service Delivery Management plays an important role.
1. what is service delivery management?
As stated above, Service Delivery Management encompasses the discipline of providing professional IT support and consulting services within an industry defined framework of best practice. It includes the creation of a Service Delivery Plan, the scheduling of a series of IT Consulting engagements within the plan which improve the overall IT operational maturity of a business. Service Delivery Management also includes analysing critical situations (CritSits) raised in the previous month and the data analysis of all tickets raised with the service desk so that trends can be identified and business processes improved.
ITIL (the Information Technology Information Library) created and introduced an early framework for Service Delivery Management designed to support organisations to gain optimal value from IT and digital services. However in practice, ITIL was difficult to implement and required a certification to fully understand. Subsequently, MOF (the Microsoft Operations Framework) was created to make ITIL recommendations and best practices easier to understand and more practical to implement.
Microsoft attempted to enable business leaders with responsibility for the IT function, by providing best practice and advice on how to improve IT Operational Maturity. Using a series of guided interviews, with key business stakeholders, to uncover areas for business improvement with a framework of guided steps to implement improvements. However, that approach also failed as it focused primarily upon technology, rather than delighting customers and employees.
2. the service delivery planning process
In response to this failure, Microsoft invested heavily through it’s Premier Services operations to improve the practice of Service Delivery Planning and Service Delivery Management. This led to the creation of the value triangle…
The Microsoft Premier Services Value Triangle is used as part of a framework with which to identify a businesses current state, and its desired state, of IT Operational Maturity. By identifying values, goals, improvement points and projects and to identify any issues and risks. These items are then entered in a Service Delivery Plan which is designed to help Microsoft employees ‘be more successful with their customers’.
Now that’s an interesting phrase. To help Microsoft be successful with its customers is not the same as helping customers to be successful. That slight nuance can have huge implications. For example, if a Microsoft employee knew of a way to save a client potentially millions of pounds from their Microsoft annual spend on software licensing and support, do you think they would be encouraged to do so if it wasn’t in Microsoft’s best interests?
And even if they were minded to do so, how would that deficit in spending hit their account portfolio target or that of their team’s whose annual bonuses depended upon collective and individual performance? I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, and Microsoft is in no way alone in this practice. All the big technology providers suffer from the same conflict of interests which is why independent Microsoft Partners (and in particular, ex-Microsoft Premier Services employees) are able to represent their clients best interests free of restrictive internal Microsoft Premier Governance.
But let’s return our focus to helping businesses to realise their desired business outcomes. What if I could show you a way to transform your business technology from a liability, into a strategic asset with which to unlock innovation and drive business growth? Well buckle up, because that’s exactly why I created the Digital IQ® Framework.
3. the Digital IQ® framework
Building upon both ITIL and MOF, Digital IQ® reframes the conversation between IT and the rest of the business. And Service Delivery Management is the key. We begin by interviewing key stakeholders within an organisation and seek to understand their problems, their challenges, what success looks like to them and how it’s measured. Then, we create a Service Delivery Plan which becomes a key deliverable in the Digital IQ® framework.
The Service Delivery Plan (SDP) details the desired business outcome which becomes the engagement vision and we work backwards to identify which steps are required, which projects need to be undertaken and in which order to make the engagement vision a reality. This technique is know as reverse imaging and is a sure fire way to avoid project scope creep, blowing the budget or just plain failure.
The unique and essential difference between the Microsoft Operations Framework and the Digital IQ® Framework is the focus on the clients needs. The client and it’s customers and employees are at the heart of the Digital IQ® Framework, which includes the primary principal of “save, grow, transform”…
- SAVE = Use every means available to save money from the IT budget for the client. With no internal governance or performance based targets, greater autonomy is available to consultants.
- GROW = Implement an inbound marketing strategy and growth driven design campaign to invest the savings from the IT budget into unlocking innovation and creating digital growth.
- TRANSFORM = Once innovation is unlocked and digital growth created, embark on a digital transformation to protect and monetise the new Intellectual Property and its potential.
Therefore, the fist step of the Digital IQ Framework is to use every means available to save money from the IT budget for the client. We do this by moving from a basic level of IT operational maturity (i.e. a business that simply reacts to problems as they happen) through standardised and rationalised to a dynamic level of IT operational maturity. A truly dynamic business makes data driven decisions that improve customer service, with faster responses and a more agile business model.
An example of a dynamic business in action is an oil exploration company that offers cost transparency to each business department. By offering email as a service with a cost per person, or desktops as a service or telephony as a service – a dynamic oil exploration company flexes their technology platforms based upon the price of oil. When the price if high, they scale up effortlessly. When the price is low, they scale down their systems and processes with relative ease. Through greater efficiency, we provider greater savings and so the Digital IQ® transformation begins.
4. the proven methodology for the digital age
Digital IQ® is the proven methodology for the digital age. We use it to save, grow and transform our IT support and business technology platform from a liability into a strategic asset.
“To go quickly we must go alone, but to go far… we must go together”OLD AFRICAN PROVERB
If you’d prefer to go quickly, here’s a free Service Delivery Planning template to get you started…