With the advanced version ITIL®4, the discipline of Service Management has been catapulted back from the supposedly old, past world to the center of current reality. No, not bureaucratic processes should manage resources or utilities anymore. Rather, holistic practices are to be developed as strategic capabilities within the organization and aligned with a constant focus on the value of the customer. With the seven central guiding principles, the essential values of the service organization are to be reviewed again and again before important decisions are made during the design and implementation of services and products. Agility is not simply a new method, but anchored in the DNA of the newly created Service Value System.
This new memorandum is very well received by companies. Finally, the framework has opened up to new build-outs and created a bridge to new technologies, automation and new agile methods. The attempt to define new agile approaches was contradicted. Rather, the coexistence of the various approaches was emphasized, paving the way for the transfer of existing, often rigid IT service management to a more open, flexible and agile service management.
A central notion in the contemporary Service Value System of ITIL®4 is the Service Value Chain with the Service Value Streams. Value chains and value streams are not really new, butprocured from lean management. The Lean Management concept procured from the optimization of Toyota's assembly lines to discern and avoid fritter in the production chain has basically existed since the middle of the 20th century and was claimed in various management areas. This is now also the case in service management. But how can this notion be seeked in practice? How do you identify and optimize your value streams? How do I transform an IT service management organization fragmented by many individual processes into an end-to-end value stream oriented service management organization with a common vision and focused on value?
We pursued this question in an intensive workshop with the Service Management Team of Swiss Post. What was important at the beginning was a common discernment of the difference between action and practices and between processes and value streams. In the beginning, an understanding of value generation, fritter, workflow, lead time and effective working time were also important prerequisites for working together on a value stream.
When identifying a value stream, it is ideal to look at the entire value chain from the customer request to the delivery of the service or product. In our workshop, we looked at the prevalent process from ordering an electronic workstation with a notebook to providing a managed workstation service. We divided this seemingly trivial process into four phases: Selection & Ordering, Review & Approval, Staging & Deliver and Monitoring & Billing. The question arose right at the start: where do we start? From the beginning of the value flow - or from the desired result?
Traditionally, the process has been viewed from the order and developed through to delivery. If the focus is now to be on the value for the customer, this expected value must first be clearly understood. This means that the result, the outcome, must be the start of our design. During the workshop it soon became clear that the result of an order for a workstation system cannot simply be the provision of a notebook alone. Preferably, this workstation should be managed and integrated into the support, lifecycle, reliability and monitoring.
In two teams, the Value Stream was developed from two sides. One team is based on the outcome of the value stream, the other on the input. The different problem zones on the way from input to outcome were electrifying to see. A lot of fritter was located around the securing of all necessary information until an order for the provision of the workplace was accrued. Cost and other release points, roles and permissions, identity and password information, licenses and billing models. Or also input fields such as a "comment field", which ultimately nobody really entails in the processing of the order has been identified as a waste. Media breaks and breadlines can also be identified as problem zones. All these problem zones must be systematically recorded and systematically analyzed and eliminated by means of suitable problem management methods such as the problem solving circle with 6 steps.
In the subsequent examination of the value stream recorded in this way, the various ITIL practices used in the processing of customer orders were discerned. These were for this value stream: Service Catalogue, Request Fulfillment, Infrastructure Management, Identity & Access Management, Asset Management, Service Configuration Management, Change Enablement, Event & Monitoring, Service Desk, Financial Management and Information Security Management. Each of these practices must now be able to make an optimal contribution on the path to value creation of the value stream. These practices now provided by ITIL4 can help design an optimized value stream with all four facets (people and organization, information and technology, value stream and processes, and partners and suppliers).
This is one of the key annotations of this workshop. If the focus has so far been on the performance of the respective process, the interface of the actions up to the desired value suddenly becomes obvious. Alignment of the processes with the overall result now seems much more central to the workshop contributors than appraising any self-defined KPIs. The focus on value bespeak in this way and the insight gained that all employees intricate in the value stream will now be able to better identify their staging with the overall result was also regarded as one of the main aid from this workshop.
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