To align IT services with changing business needs by identifying and implementing improvements to IT services that support business processes.
7.2 Objectives of CSI
1) To measure and analyze service level achievements by comparing them to the requirements in the Service Level Agreement (SLA)
2) To recommend improvements in all phases of the lifecycle
3) To introduce activities which will increase the quality, efficiency, effectiveness and customer satisfaction of the services and the IT service management processes
4) To operate more cost effective IT services without sacrificing customer satisfaction
5) To use suitable quality management methods for improvement activities
7.3 Scope of CSI
1) The overall health of ITSM as a discipline.
2) Continual tuning of the IT services to the current and future needs of the business.
3) Continual tuning of the IT service portfolio.
4) The maturity of the IT processes which enable the services
7.4 Value to Business
1) To validate previous decisions.
2) To set direction for activities in order to meet targets.
3) To justify (with facts) that a course of action is required.
4) To identify a point of intervention including required changes and corrective actions.
7.5 Basic Concepts in CSI
1) CSI Registry:
a) Is used to record all individual improvements as improvements may be made concurrently.
b) It is a service asset managed by the service knowledge management system (SKMS).
c) It includes: ID, Relative size, Timescale, Description, Priority, KPI metric and Justification
2) The Deming Cycle: The Deming Cycle is proposed by W. Edwards Deming.
The four stages of the cycle are Plan, Do, Check and Act, followed by a consolidation phase to prevent rolling backwards. PDCA sets a clear pattern for CSI efforts:
a) Plan - establish goals for improvement.
b) Do - develop and implement a project to close the gap.
c) Check - compare the implemented environment to the measures of success established in the Plan phase.
d) Act - determine if further work is required to close remaining gaps, allocation of resources necessary to support another round of improvement
7.6 CSI Improvement approach
The figure below shows an overall approach to continual service improvement (CSI) and illustrates a continual cycle of improvement. The improvement process can be summarized in six steps:
1) Embracing the vision by understanding the high level business objectives. The vision should align the business and IT strategies.
2) Assessing the current situation to obtain an accurate, unbiased snapshot of where the organization is right now. This baseline assessment is an analysis of the current position in terms of the business, organization, people, process and technology.
3) Understanding and agreeing on the priorities for improvement based on a deeper development of the principles defined in the vision.
4) Detailing the CSI plan to achieve higher quality service provision by implementing IT service management processes.
5) Verify that measurements and metrics are in place to ensure that milestones were achieved, process compliance is high, and business objectives and priorities were met by the level of service.
6) Finally, the process should ensure that the momentum for quality improvement is maintained by assuring that changes become embedded in the organization.
Figure: CSI Approach
7.7 Relationship between CSI and KPI's
1) Critical Success Factor (CSF) is something that must happen if an IT service, process, plan, process, or other activity is to succeed.
a) Associate no more than two to five CSFs with a service or process
2) Key Performance Indicators (KPI) are used to measure whether the critical success factors are achieved.
a) Define no more than two to five KPIs per CSF.
b) KPI's can be quantitative (e.g. cost) or qualitative (e.g. customer satisfaction)
3) Define, monitor and report on only two to three KPIs for each CSF.
a) As the maturity of a service and service management processes increase, additional KPIs can be added.
b) Based on what is important to the business and IT management, the KPIs may change over a period of time.
c) As service management processes are implemented, this will often change the KPIs of other processes.
1) Baselines enable a view of the current situation and also a clear starting point for feature measurements.
2) Baselines need to be documented.
3) Baselines are applicable at strategic goals and objectives, tactical process maturity, and operational metrics and KPIs.
4) Baseline is an initial data point to see if a service or process needs improvement.
7.9 Types of Metrics
A metric is a scale of measure that allows you to define what is to be measured. There are three types of metrics to collect to support CSI activities, they are:
1) Service metrics - these metrics are the results of the end to end service. Technology metrics are used to produce the service metrics.
2) Process metrics - these metrics are captured in the form of Critical Success Factors (CSFs), Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and activity metrics for the service management processes. Four key areas that KPIs can measure are quality, performance, value and compliance of following the process. CSI would use these metrics as input in identifying improvement opportunities for each process.
3) Technology metrics - these metrics are often associated with component and application based metrics such as performance and availability
7.10.1 The Seven Step Improvement Process
A) Purpose of Seven Step Improvement Process
To define and manage the steps required to implement improvements successfully.
To identify and define the measurements and metrics.
To gather, analyze and report the data.
To manage the implementation
B) Objectives of Seven Step Improvement Process
Identify improvement opportunities in cost and quality with financial justification (a business case if more complex).
Identify the measurements and metrics.
Continually review services to ensure they are aligned with business objectives.
Understanding what to measure, why it is being measured and carefully defining the successful outcome.
C) Scope of Seven Step Improvement Process
Analyze performance and capabilities throughout the lifecycle.
Make the best use of latest technology.
Improve organizational structures.
Continual alignment of the portfolio of IT services with the current and future business needs as well as the maturity of the enabling IT processes for each service.
D) The main steps of Seven Step Improvement Process
Figure: The Seven Step Improvement Process
1) Identify the strategy for improvement: Identify the overall vision, business need, the strategy and the tactical and operational goals.
2) Define what you will measure: There may be a gap between the capabilities of current tools and mechanisms to provide the necessary information. If the desired data really cannot be gathered or if the cost is prohibitive, the measures in Step 1 may need to be revisited.
3) Gather the data: monitor and capture exceptions, resolutions and trends with the data.
4) Process the data: Here the data is processed in alignment with the CSFs and KPIs specified. This means that timeframes are coordinated, unaligned data is rationalized and made consistent, and gaps in the data are identified. The simple goal of this step is to process data from multiple disparate sources to give it context that can be compared. Once we have rationalized the data we can then begin analysis.
5) Analyze the information and data: Transform the information into knowledge. Develop an understanding of the real meaning of identified patterns and trends, by querying the results to understand its intrinsic value.
6) Present and use the information: present in the correct format with the appropriate details according to audience types. Knowledge is presented to the business in a form and manner that reflects their needs and assists them in determining the next steps.
7) Implement Improvement: Knowledge gained is used to optimize, improve and correct services and processes. Issues have been identified and now solutions are implemented -wisdom is applied to the knowledge. Improvements to improve the service or process are communicated and explained to the organization, then the organization establishes a new baseline and the cycle begins anew.
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