Continual Service Improvement Review

Authors: George Spalding and Gary Case

Continual Service ImprovementContinual Service Improvement (CSI) is, as its name implies, an ongoing practice that is woven into the fabric of an organisation as opposed to a reactive response to a specific situation or a temporary crisis. Whether an organisation is making large scale or incremental improvements, it is the role of every person in the IT department to identify opportunities to improve services and IT Service Management processes.

CSI is often thought to be associated with the daily service operations but in fact, CSI will improve the lifecycle approach by identifying improvement areas for the Service Strategy, Service Design and Service Transition activities. CSI provides a continual feedback loop between each of the lifecycles (Service Strategy and Service Design – Service Design and Service Transition – Service Transition and Service Operations).

CSI is about formalising and documenting a practice: it documents key roles and responsibilities, such as the CSI Manager, Service Owner and Service Level Manager that are required to support the CSI practice. CSI also documents the types of metrics to capture service measurement. The key to CSI is identifying that there are three types of metrics: Technology, Service and Process. Most IT organisations have always performed some type of monitoring and measuring on technology, such as servers, networks, etc; but, they have not really been good at measuring and reporting on an end-to-end service, which is the service metric.

Goal of CSI

This title aims to provide practical guidance in evaluating and improving the quality of services, overall maturity of the ITSM service lifecycle and its underlying processes, at three levels within the organisation:

  • The overall health of ITSM as a discipline.
  • The continual alignment of the portfolio of IT services with the current and future business needs.
  • The maturity of the enabling IT processes required to support business processes in a continual service lifecycle model.

Objectives of CSI

  • Review, analyse and make recommendations on improvement opportunities in each lifecycle phase: Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operations.
  • Review and analyse Service Level Achievement results.
  • Identify and implement individual activities to improve IT service quality, and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of enabling ITSM processes.
  • Improve cost effectiveness for delivering IT services without sacrificing customer satisfaction.
  • Ensure applicable quality management methods are used to support continual improvement activities.