ITIL Lifecycle : Service Design

After establishing the Service Strategy, the organization must design the whole process by creating new services that are in accordance with the strategic objectives and prepare them for implementation into the Operation stage.

The Service Design (SD) module is one of the qualifications within the ITIL Service Lifecycle work stream. It focuses on the design of IT services and covers the architectures, processes, policies and documentation that will enable you to design services that meet the needs of the organization or programme. Service Design covers the fundamentals of designing services and processes. It provides a holistic design approach to help an organization deliver better services.

The Importance of Service Design Why do we need to bother with Service Design? Organizations can just allow people in the Operations division to develop new services. They somehow understand the customer needs, because they are on the front lines. Unfortunately, this strategy has been done numerous times during the early days of ITIL, and it has been determined as a bad practice.

For example, let’s say that an organization needs to offer a new service based on emerging customer demands. Their customers are clamoring for such service, and the organization wants to manage the production, delivery, and after-sales more effectively. Operations provideS them their in-house solution that covers the basic service delivery. It was implemented immediately and after some time, the system seems OK. Eventually, the system showed some flaws. The customer faced some problems with the service, the business development team is managing other projects and can’t provide extra hands, the manpower is not enough to provide services, and the database is not updated. Meanwhile, another business team is developing a similar type of service, which is seen as more aligned with the customer needs and easier to deliver. That is why organizations require an organized set of skills, processes, and knowledge that could help in creating effective and efficient services.

In order to do that, Service Design should effectively and efficiently use four Ps: People, Products, Processes, and Partners.

“People” refers to the manpower required.

“Processes” refers to the systems used to arrive in a desired outcome,

“Products” refers to the services, tools, or technology produced by the organization, and

“Partners” refer to manufacturers, suppliers, and vendors.

In the earlier version of ITIL, the Service Design factors are People, Process, and Technology. The recent version is now added with Products and Partners to recognize important stakeholders.

The five key aspects of Service Design are:

  1. Designing the service solution
  2. Management information systems and tools
  3. Technology
  4. Processes
  5. Measurements and metrics

Service Design Principles

To easily understand Service Design, it is crucial to learn its five key aspects:

  1. Designing Service Solutions It is crucial for the organization to create a clear system in developing services with the right balance of cost and function and within the time frame. Design Services should be aligned with fast paced business needs. To achieve this, the organization must properly assess the business needs and establish a set of Service Acceptance Criteria (SAC) in order to determine and evaluate costs, budgets, and deadlines. Also, organizations must align services with its policies, strategic goals, and changing business needs.
  2. Tools ITIL defines several management systems, among them the most important are configuration management system (CMS), service portfolio, availability management system (AMS), capacity management information system (CMIS), and security management information system (SMIS). Utilizing and preserving these systems is an effective approach in managing services. Among these management systems, the most important system is the service portfolio because it reinforces all processes.
  3. Designing Metrics and Measurement Methods This is a critical element that heavily relies on the scope, objectives, and size goals of a service. A frequently ignored aspect of the metric is behavioral change of the employees. For example, if the primary metric in Incident Management is the number of open incidents by the personnel, then people are encouraged to maintain as many incidents as they can in some type of pending status so that they will look busy. Once you shift the primary metric to the number of resolving incidents, they will have the tendency to deal with, easier incidents so that they can be easily resolved. Choosing the basic and obvious metrics will usually result in behavioral changes that are not aligned well with the tactical and strategic goals of the organization. The process metrics must be aligned with organizational goals, and made clear to every member of the organization.
  4. Designing Processes The processes paradigm is one of the most developed models in the ITIL world. The processes have their activities, inputs, and outputs. Each process must have an assigned person.
    Efficiency and effectiveness are two words that people often hear, but least understand. Efficient process concerns the use of resources, and if the process produces output based on specifications, it is effective.

Eight Processes of Service Design

Design is a significant aspect of ITIL, and it defines eight processes, more than any other stage. Important design processes depend on their descriptions defined during the Strategy phase.

In Service Design we come across eight processes which are:

  1. Service Catalog Management This refers to the information management of all live services, which develop operational services that are initiated into the Operation stage through Transition. It also includes the existing services that are already in the process of retirement.
  2. Service Level Management (SLM) SLM is an important process in Service Design. It makes certain that all services are provided based on the business agreement. This is aligned with other processes that emerge from the Service Delivery team, particularly Capacity and Availability. The primary mission of SLM is to enhance understanding and communication of Business and Service Provider.
  3. Design Coordination This is a new process introduced in ITIL in 2011. It serves as the central communication point and control for the processes within the Design stage. It handles all design activities, and it guarantees steady design services in accordance with the Strategy and their appropriate preparation for Transition.
  4. Capacity Management This is another developed process, which ensures that IT services and infrastructure meet the defined requirements in a timely and cost-effective manner. Capacity Management encompasses all life cycle in the ITIL method.
  5. IT Service Continuity Management (ITSCM) ITSCM is a process that ensures the alignment of Business Continuity Management and IT services.
  6. Information Security Management (ISM) ISM makes certain that the information security policy is aligned with the business security. It preserves and enforces the security policy.
  7. Availability Management This is one of the oldest ITIL service delivery processes. It makes certain that the availability of delivered services is aligned with the agreed business requirements in a timely and cost-effective manner.
  8. Supplier Management This process ensures that the organization will get the value for its money from suppliers. The activities included in this process are agreements, negotiation, performance management, efficient integration of underpinning agreements and delivered services.

Out of these eight processes Design Coordination is the new process added to the new syllabus. The main objective of Design Coordination is to coordinate between different processes with the Service Design stage to produce a Service Design Package.

By adopting and implementing standard and consistent approaches for Service Design will – Reduce total cost of ownership, – Improve Consistency of service, – Improve quality of service, – Improve service alignment, – Ease the implementation of new or changed service and Improve service performance.

Based on the examples above, it is clear that if you allow services to grow naturally, the processes will respond to specific short-term customer requirements, without considering the strategic business needs. Through this, organizations might waste essential resources, and so the services are costly to provide.

Designing services based on the five principles of design while still adhering to the eight processes described in this segment will enable the organization to establish efficient and effective, customer oriented services.

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