The CSI Model provides the basis by which improvements to IT Service Management processes can be made. They are questions to ask in order to ensure all the required elements are identified to achieve the improvements desired.

The Continual Service Improvement Model summarizes the constant cycle for improvement. While there may be a focus on a particular lifecycle phase, the questions require close interactions with all the other ITIL®® processes in order to achieve Continual Service Improvement.

Example improvement initiative for Service Operation:

* What is the Vision? Defining what wants to be achieved by improving Service Operation. Is the focus on Service Quality, compliance, security, costs or customer satisfaction? What is the broad approach that we should take?
* Where are we now? Baselines taken by performing maturity assessments and by identifying what practices are currently being used (including informal and ad-hoc processes). What information can be provided by the Service Portfolio regarding strengths, weaknesses, risks and priorities of the Service Provider?
* Where do we want to be? Defining key goals and objectives that wish to be achieved by the formalization of Service Operation processes, including both short-term and long-term targets.
* How do we get there? Perform a gap analysis between the current practices and defined targets to begin developing plans to overcome these gaps. Typically the process owners and Service Operation manager will oversee the design/improvement of the processes, making sure they are fit for purpose and interface as needed with other Service Management processes.
* Did we get there? At agreed time schedules, checks should be made as to how the improvement initiatives have progressed. Which objectives have been achieved? Which haven’t? What went well and what went wrong?
* How do we keep the momentum going? Now that the targets and objectives have been met, what is the next course of improvements that can be made? This should feed back into re-examining the vision and following the CSI model steps again.

Since Continual Service Improvement involves ongoing change, it is important to develop an effective communication strategy to support CSI activities and ensure people remain appropriately informed. This communication must include aspects of:

* What the service implications are
* What the impact on personnel will be
* Approach/process used to reach the objective.

If this communication does not exist, staff will fill the gaps with their own perceptions. Proper reporting should assist in addressing any misconceptions about improvements.

To aid understanding the differences in perception between the service provider and the customer, a Service Gap model can be used. This identifies the most obvious potential gaps in the service lifecycle from both a business and IT perspective.

SLM will produce Service Improvement Plans (SIPs) to meet the identified gaps.

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