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5+1 Steps to Successful Service Design and Service Lifecycle

The Service Design is an imperative part of customer service. Its significance goes above and beyond the Service Desk, adding value to the organisation overall. Well-designed and effective Services bear a number of key business and operational benefits: they can help reduce Total Cost of Ownership (TCO), advance quality and consistency of service, enable service improvements, accelerate IT governance, boost the effectiveness of ITSM and IT processes, and improve information and decision making.

When we develop IT Services, we usually give them a lot of thought. We design our Services in line with governing IT Practices, processes and policies, to realise an overall customer strategy. The objective is to design them so effectively, that minimal improvement is necessary during their lifecycle.

The Services then form part of a Service Design Package or SDP. Someone needs to take care (ownership) of the SDP and it can take the form of a single document or several documents. Its use will ensure a uniform approach is adopted for all services.

Service Design takes into consideration People, Processes, Partners and Products. It is made up of:

  • Solutions for new or changed services
  • Management information systems and tools
  • Technology & management architectures
  • Required processes
  • Measurement methods and metrics

In summary, the SDP is produced during the Service Design stage, but can be used as a template. It documents all aspects of the service and its requirements through all stages of the lifecycle. The ITIL Service Lifecycle is based on Strategy, Transition, Operation and Continual Service Improvement.

There are 5+1 key steps to a successful SDP:

1.      Requirements: When designing Services, we have to think of the organisation and its objectives. The first crucial step is to know what we are after. We need to properly define and record all requirements, including business, functional, Service Level, compliance, interface, operational, migration, access rights, service applicability, information security and testing requirements.

2.      Service Design: This step includes the actual design and topology of Services, with details on the technical description.

3.      Service Transition: The Services are designed properly to match the requirements; we now need to make sure a smooth adoption. This step includes the transition strategy, policy and plan, the testing policy and plan, the technology and methodology, and the deployment policy and plan.

4.      Service Operation: The Services are there; we need to ensure that they actually deliver as expected. This step includes monitoring and reporting, comparison of requirements against operational procedures, description of needed tools and documentation and, of course, the human resources required to operate the service!

5.      CSI: The Continual Service Improvement helps ensure that our Services remain consistent with the organisation’s customer strategy. This step includes a detailed description of our approach to CSI, defining any skills needed.

+1 Organisation: Services are all about the customer, and customers are all about the business. This step takes up back to the organisation and describes any changes, capabilities and resources, assets and investment required.

And a little tip: Keep your Service Portfolio up-to-date so that you know what is planned, what is current and what has been retired.

Being a vital part of customer service, the Service Design can help any organisation reach critical objectives faster and easier, if done properly. Following the ITIL Service Lifecycle is a proven path to success.


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