IT Service Management Frameworks
By Lisa Gough, director, Clarion Consulting
Most organisations are not starting from scratch on their journey to achieving
excellence in Service Management! Considerable investments are likely to have
been made by organisations in putting best practice foundations in place.
Investment in training has resulted in resources building a capacity and capability to better manage
service delivery. Investment in Service Management tools has provided capability to scale processes
and semi automation of Service Management process work flows. The foundations are in place in the
majority of organisations and the next step on the journey of continual improvement is to develop
their roadmap for implementation of a Service Management Framework.
On the basis that all processes are designed to underpin the delivery of a Service then a service is
only as strong its weakest component. An effective IT Service Management provides IT
managers with a tool to identify and assess the impact of varying levels of process maturity and their
impact on the design, implementation and delivery of IT Services.
Mature processes strengthen the components in a service chain and bring consistency and
effectiveness to IT Services. It is important to recognise that not every process needs to be at the
same level of maturity. Developing a firm understanding of the interdependency and business
criticality of each process will provide a map of the relative process maturity that should be targeted.
Developing the capability to identify where more mature processes are required is fundamental to
effective IT Service Management.
• An effective IT Service Management framework must be able to identify and assess the impact
of different maturity levels of individual processes, and how that affects overall service
Due to the complexity of modern IT operations, a holistic approach is required to manage process
design, integration, dependencies, and performance and improvement initiatives. A good design of an
IT Service Management framework will, therefore, bring together many processes that must be
designed to integrate effectively with all other business processes, delivering optimal business
• Adopting a framework approach to IT Service Management is key to improving business
An ITSM Framework includes the following essential ingredients; ITIL processes e.g. Incident,
Problem, Change, Release and Service Management etc, a management system such as
ISO/IEC20000, Process owners, Managers and Operators. The recipe that binds them all together into
a coherent IT Service Management Model is a continuous improvement plan focused on initiatives to
• Meet and exceed customer service levels
• Optimise process performance at appropriate level of maturity
• Integrate processes
• Enhance service delivery and support through enabling technologies
(Sample ITSM Framework)
Continual improvement is not destination, it is a departure point. Conducting an IT Service maturity
assessment and gap analysis will establish the maturity of each process and allow them to be
assessed against the required level of maturity. The gap analysis will drive the prioritisation and
sequencing of a roadmap plan from which the Service Management Framework is built and sustained
through continual improvement.
What we have said can be summarised in the following key points:
1. Customer Satisfaction is measure of the quality of IT Services.
2. An IT Service is only as strong as its weakest link.
3. Relative process maturity matters and impacts the quality of IT Services.
4. IT Service Management Frameworks provides IT with a decision support mechanism to guide
the design of IT Service improvement plans
5. ITIL best practice and ISO/IEC 20000 standard are key ingredients for effective service
6. Continual Improvement is not a destination but a departure.
Clarion Consulting has extended its service offering to include a full range of IT Service Management
services including, ITIL and ISO/IEC20000 assessments, roadmap planning, IT Service Management
Framework development and Process Improvement.
Clarion Consulting, Clarion House, Northwest Business Park, Blanchardstown, Dublin 15.
T: (01) 802 5182 F: (01) 813 0017 W: www.clarionconsulting.ie E: email@example.com
Clarion Consulting (UK), Token House, Token House Yard, London, EC2R 7AS.
T: 0800 0439002 W: www.clarionconsulting.co.uk