Tag Archives: ISO/IEC 20000

Do metrics / KPIs help deliver real Business benefit?

This week Robert E Stroud posted a message asking whether #itil or #iso20000 metrics were more important in your organization.

RT @wdgll @RobertEStroud ITIL KPIs too broad. ISO20000 reqs are too easy. My choice is COBIT 5 where you are on the ISACA board so u know
@wdgll I am looking forward to #Cobit5 – it will assist business and IT to drive value whilst effectively managing #risk  
So what does the ITIL 2011 Edition have to say.  Continual Service Improvement core volume states that the treatment of service measurement and service reporting has been clarified. Because all processes have an element of measurement and reporting embedded within them, service measurement and service reporting are not considered to be processes.

Metric definition – (ITIL Continual Service Improvement) Something that is measured and reported to help manage a process, IT service or activity.

[youtube http://youtu.be/z5N-vPPP8SQ]

Malcolm Fry talks about the power of metrics. IT measures what we can do rather than what we can achieve.  IT must set targets that make sense to the Business.

KPI definition – (ITIL Continual Service Improvement) (ITIL Service Design) A metric that is used to help manage an IT service, process, plan, project or other activity. Key performance indicators are used to measure the achievement of critical success factors. Many metrics may be measured, but only the most important of these are defined as key performance indicators and used to actively manage and report on the process, IT service or activity. They should be selected to ensure that efficiency, effectiveness and cost effectiveness are all managed.

Achieving ISO/IEC 20000. Making Metrics Work – Jenny Dugmore and Shirley Lacy.  This book gives a practical view of metrics and service reports and explains their importance in delivering an effective service and to service improvements.

COBIT 5 describes Enterprise Goal Metrics and IT Related Goal Metrics.  Here is an example of the goals and metrics:

Enterprise Goal – Agile response to a changing businesss environment.

Enterprise Metric – Level of Board satisfaction with enterprise responsiveness to new requirements

IT Related Goal – Adequate use of applications, information and technology solutions

IT Related Metric – Percent of business process owners satisfied with supporting IT products and services

Regardless of whether a service organisation is measuring performance using metrics (efficiency, effectiveness) or KPIs the metrics that matter most are those that are aligned to Business outcomes.  A business metric is any type of measurement used to gauge some quantifiable component of a company’s performance, such as return on investment (ROI), employee and customer churn rates, revenues, and so on.

When a service organisation has identified and deployed the right capabilities major transformation is possible.  Here is an example: 

[youtube http://youtu.be/Ny5S8Kt7Txw]

The key stakeholders for any Transformation programme must be the CFO and the COO.  GBS has freed up $560-$690m of value

It is recommended that a service provider take an “Outside In” approach in order to define and agree the metrics that matter most to the Business. 

To all you Business Relationship Managers or Business Partners, I recommend that you become familiar with the Goals and Metrics set out in the COBIT 5 Process Reference Guide.  This will better enable you to focus on delivering real  benefits to the Business.


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“Smart” Service Management

So the IBM share price peaked to an all time high this week.  On Friday, International Business Machines Corp (IBM:NYQ) closed at $190.53.  This reflects an increase of 32% in the last 12 months.

IBM is a sales organisation and Global Services is responsible for over 50 percent of IBM’s total revenue.  So it would appear that IBM is doing the right things for all key stakeholders. Global Business Services (AM etc.) and Global Technology Services (infrastructure on demand etc.) are their two market facing divisions.

Thomas Watson implemented “generous sales incentives, a focus on customer service and an insistence on well-groomed, dark-suited salesmen”.

The Client Solutions (Sales) Executive is typically a trusted advisor who understands client needs and shapes the solution to meet these perceived needs.  The CSE is allocated a % of the Total Contract Value as a bonus.  The CSE also dictates the amount of bonus paid to each of the defined names in their team.  As you can imagine by taking this approach the team is highly motivated to win.  However, it is important to note that if the deal goes bad within 2 years the CSE must repay their bonus amount.

In contrast, the IBM Delivery Executive and Service Delivery Manager manage to the letter of the contract and typically act in a transactional manner.  There is little partnering with the retained client organisation or desire to work collaboratively with other service providers. In my experience IBM refuse to take ownership for incidents, fail to investigate or resolve problems and are not pro-active. It is a well known fact that IBM hide behind the Statement of Work which is used as a delaying tactic for the smallest enhancement request.

Moreover, I understand that Global Technology Services has been put on “Notice to Cure” in some cases in the US, or has failed to live up to promises made during the solution sales process.  There is a serious expectation gap between clients and their IBM [Technology Services] delivery teams.  So what is really going on out there? This state of affairs is not a sustainable position for Global Services now or in the future.

If you Google IBM Service Management you will be directed to IT Solutions – Operations and Service Management where the focus is on Tooling (Netcool, Tivoli etc.)

Whilst Technology plays an important part in delivering predictable services it is much more about People and the Processes that they perform.

IBM allegedly claim to have shaped ITIL 1.0.  If this is indeed the case I would like to know why they have not maintained their thought leadership in all things related to excellence in Service Management practices.

Listed below are IBM entities which are certified to the International Standard for demonstrating excellence in Service Management

I wonder how many US and European outsourcing contracts are ISO/IEC 20000 certified given that only the Ministry of Defence in the UK and IBM Ltd in France are in the above list.
Furthermore, it is not clear to me how IBM Technology Services Delivery Executives are incentivised to succeed. Some clients definitely will not renew their infrastructure outsourcing contracts given the lack of response from IBM to their changing business needs.  As a minimum IBM should shift their service strategy from just doing the basics to creating demonstrable value through providing world class information services.
Advertorial suggesting that working smarter is all about having IBM assets (tools) deployed across your IT estate.  What about people, culture, values and generally accepted good Service Management practices?

It would be very helpful if IBM ate its own dog food and created aSmarter” Service Management capability that is not totally dependent on tools.

Ivor MacFarlane  was recruited by IBM, following the ITILv3 update, to help build a “Smarter” Service Management capability.  Ivor knows what good looks like.

Here is Ivor running an IBM Service Management Simulator session

Good luck Ivor in getting the IBM “Integrated” Service Management mantra [around tools] shifted to different messaging around the principles of Service Management excellence.

I have direct experience of two IBM AAA Business Partners in the UK who know what good “Service Management Practices” look like, namely PIREAN [Tivoli Enterprise IT Service Management] and Simon and Jason at ORB DATA.  To be clear these two partners sometimes confuse Tivoli Enterprise Systems Management with Service Management Practices.

doing the right things is more important than doing things right.

To recap “Smart” Service Management is all about embedding the right service focus into an established technology platform / skill based organisation.  “Service Matters” around here was a slogan that was used to good effect in order to get this message across.  At another client the top down message was that we have a”Zero Tolerance of Failure” not in a blame culture sort of way but in a collaborative let’s prevent this from happening again on our watch.

So in conclusion my exam questions is the following:  To what extent can your Service Provider predict the warranty and utility of their service: measured by the number of consecutive “Green Days” for service KPIs?

Service Providers who are able to deliver predictable Business outcomes sound much more “Smart” to me.

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Service Strategy

[youtube http://youtu.be/djS4JBIp8co]

At 06.27 the Product Manager role has been removed. It would be interesting to ask Michael Nieves & Majid Iqbal for their view on this deletion.

At 08.40 Customer Agreement Portfolio is mentioned on page 178, section and is a contract repository.

At 09.50 Business Relationship Manager is a major and important addition. BRM was in version 2, but not in version 3. BRM is also in ISO/IEC 20000.

At 12.45 Service Strategy should be mandatory reading.

BRM is a major and important edition

I definitely agree that this is an important topic and would like to amplify the following points.

ITIL 2011 Edition says – BRM is the primary process for strategic communication with Customers including Application Development.

In my experience Project Investment decisions are typically made by a different set of Business Stakeholders who are not engaged in day-to-day service conversations.

In the UK the Global/Retail Banks have addressed the overlap between the BRM/Account Manager/Service Manager responsibilities by calling their customer facing individual a Business Partner who is dedicated to real strategic dialogue with their stakeholders.  Contact Jim Ditmore CIO @ Barclays; Stephen Norman CIO @ RBS or Darryl West CIO @ LBG.

ISEB the Information Systems Examination Board also has a Specialist Certificate in Business Relationship Management Syllabus.


Ivanka Menken knows what good looks like she has authored a BRM Workbook and Toolkit.

Business Relationship Management – too much for one person?

Andrew Horne is global head of research at the CIO Executive Board, program of the Corporate Executive Board.

The task requires a range of skills that are hard to find in one person as described in the following article

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