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Introduction to the ?Continual Service Improvement Toolkit



Welcome to the Continual Service Improvement toolkit.

Within this toolkit you will find lots of useful information, that will not

only help you to update your knowledge and understanding of the new

ITIL version 3 Continual Service Improvement phase and

accompanying processes, but also provide you with relevant bonus

materials and practical, useable materials for use within your working


How it works

Follow the ‘Toolkit Roadmap’ to navigate your way through the

documents within the toolkit. This will direct you through the

relevant stages of Continual Service Improvement .

Aim of the Toolkit

Provide a detailed over view of the Continual Service Improvement phase from a ITIL Version 3 perspective .

Provide relevant bonus materials such as, ISO 20000, ISO 9000, Six Sigma and Return on Investment information and calculators.

Provide practical and user friendly documents for you to use within your organization, including a Continual Service Improvement Readiness Assessment.

CSI – Introduction


Purpose of CSI

The primary purpose of CSI is to continually align and realign IT services to

the charging business needs by identifying and implementing improvements

to IT services that support business processes. These improvement

activities support the lifecycle approach through Service Strategy, Service

Design, Service Transition and Service Operation. In effect, CSI is about

looking for ways to improve process effectiveness, efficiency as well as cost


Consider the following saying about measurement and management:

You can not manage what you can not control

You can not control what you can not measure

You can not measure what you can not define.

CSI Objectives

Review analyze and make recommendations on improvement opportunities in each lifecycle phase

Review and analyze 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 of effectiveness of delivering IT services without sacrificing customer satisfaction

Ensure applicable quality management methods are used to support continual improvement activities.

CSI Scope

There are 3 main areas in CSI that need to be addressed:

Overall health of ITSM as a discipline

Continual alignment of the portfolio of IT services with the current and future business needs

Maturity of the enabling IT processes for each service in a continual service lifecycle model.

To implement CSI successfully it is important to understand the

different activities that can be applied to CSI.

CSI Approach

Value to the business

There are 4 commonly used terms when discussing service

improvement outcomes:



ROI (Return on Investment)

VOI (Value on Investment).


To justify any improvement, the IT organization should compare costs

and revenue. The difficulty in doing this, however, is that while the

costs are relatively easy to measure the increase in revenue as a

direct result of the Service Improvement Plan (SIP) is more difficult to


Understanding the organization’s target and current situation should

form the basis of the Business Case for a SIP. A stakeholder

assessment and a goal-setting exercise will help focus on the results

and aims.


Benefits must be clearly identified to help justify the effort involved in

gathering, analyzing and acting on improvement data. It is important


Consider both direct and indirect benefits.

Identify the benefits for each group of stakeholder at every level in

the organization.

Define the benefits in clear measurable way.


Other benefits that will be realized by implementing CSI within an


Business/customer benefits

Financial benefits

Innovation benefits

IT organization internal benefits


A Service Improvement Plan (SIP), just like any other major plan, will

have cost associated with executing its activities:

Staff resources trained in the right skill sets to support ITSM processes

Tools for monitoring, gathering, processing, analyzing and presenting data

Ongoing internal/external assessment or benchmarking studies

Service Improvements either to services or service management process

Management time to review, recommend and monitor CSI progress

Communication and awareness campaigns to change behaviors and ultimately culture

Training and development on CSI activities.

Interfaces to other lifecycle practices.

CSI & Service Strategy

Service improvement opportunities could be driven by external

factors such as new security or regulatory requirements, new

strategies due to mergers or acquisitions, changes in

technology infrastructure or even new business services to be

introduced. Feedback from the other lifecycle phases will also

be important.

CSI & Service Design

Design takes the strategy described in the first phase and

transforms it through the design phase into deliverable IT

services. Service Design is also responsible for designing a

management information framework that defines the need for:

Critical Success Factors (CSF’s)

Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s)

Activity Metrics for both the services and the ITSM processes.

CSI & Service Transition

As new strategies and design are introduced this provides an

excellent opportunity for continual improvement. Service

Transition is also responsible for defining the actual CSF’s,

KPI’s and activity metrics, creating the reports and

implementing the required automation to monitor and report on

the services and ITSM processes.

CSI & Service Operation

Every technology component and process activity should have

defined inputs and outputs that can be monitored. The results

of the monitoring can then be compared against the norms,

targets or establishes Service Level Agreements. When a

deviation is identified, between expected and actual

deliverables, a service improvement opportunity Is created.

All or Nothing?

At this stage it is easy to assume that all aspects of CSI must

be in place before measurements and data gathering can

begin. However, this is not the case.

Measure now

Analyze now

Begin reviews of lessons learned now

Make incremental improvements now.

Don’t wait, improvements can start now!