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.
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.
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.
Value to the business
There are 4 commonly used terms when discussing service
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
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
Define the benefits in clear measurable way.
Other benefits that will be realized by implementing CSI within an
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
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.
Begin reviews of lessons learned now
Make incremental improvements now.
Don’t wait, improvements can start now!