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Continual Service Improvement ?& ITIL V3

Continual Service Improvement Phase

This phase is responsible for managing improvements to IT Service Management Processes and IT Services.


7 Step Improvement Process

Service Measurement

Service Level Management

Continual Service Improvement

Continuous Improvement –control and manage quality

7 Steps to Service Improvement

Continual Service Improvement

Service Measurement – Value to business

Responsible for defining how to measure IT Service Management and IT Service improvements. Coordinate the data collection for measurements from the other processes and functions.

There are four main reasons to monitor and measure:

To validate

To direct

To justify

To intervene


A benchmark used as a reference point for later comparison.


An ITSCM Baseline can be used a starting point to measure the effect of a Service Improvement Plan.

A performance Baseline can be used to measure changes in performance over the lifetime of an IT service.

A Configuration Management baseline can be used to enable the IT infrastructure to be restored to a known configuration if a change or release fails.

Types of Metrics

There are 3 types of metrics that an organization will need to

collect to support CSI activities as well as other process


Technology Metrics

Process Metrics

Service Metrics

Tension Metrics

The job from any support team is a balancing act of three


Resources – people and money

Features – the product or service and its quality

The schedule

Scale of measurement

In general, a metric is a scale of measurement defined in terms

of a standard, i.e. in terms of a well-defined unit.

The quantification of an event through the process of

measurement relies on the existence of an explicit or implicit

metric, which is the standard to which measurements are


Business Models

Metrics used in several business models, including

CMMI, are used in Knowledge Management (KM).

These measurements or metrics can be used to track

trends, productivity, resources and much more.

Typically, the metrics tracked are KPIs.

How many CSF’s and KPI’s?

It is recommended that in the early stages of a project only two

or three KPI’s for each CSF are defined, monitored and

reported on. As the maturity of a service and service

management processes increase, additional KPI’s can be


Based on what is important to the business and IT

management the KPI’s may change over a period of time.

In addition, as service management processes are

implemented this will often change the KPI’s of other


Next step

The next step is to identify the metrics and measurements

required to compute the KPI. There are two basic types

of KPI:




An important aspect to consider is whether a KPI is fit for

use. Key questions could be:

What does the KPI really tell us about goal achievement?

If we fail to meet the KPI, does it mean we have failing to meet our goals?

How easy is the KPI to interpret? Does it help us decide on a course of action?

When do we need the information? How often? How will it be made available?

To what extent is the KPI stable and accurate?

How easy is it to change the KPI?

How can we measure the KPI now?

Goals and Metrics

Each phase of the service lifecycle requires very specific

contributions from the key roles identified in Service Design,

Service Transition and Service Operation, each of which has

very specific goals to meet. Ultimately, the quality of the

service will be determined by how well each role meets its

goals, and how well those sometimes conflicting goals are

managed along the way.

Therefore, it is essential that the organization finds a way

to measure performance – by applying a set of metrics to

every goal.

Service Quality Metrics

Organizational or process metrics can be further broken

down into product quality metrics and process quality

metrics. Product quality metrics are the metrics that

support the contribution to the delivery of quality products.

Process quality metrics are the quality metrics related to

efficient and effective process management.

Using organizational metrics

To be effective, measurements and metrics should be

woven through the complete organization, touching the

strategic as well as the tactical level.

To successfully support the key business drivers, the IT

Service Manager needs to know what and how well each

part of the organization contributes to the final success.

Service Measurement

It is no longer sufficient to measure and report against the

performance of an individual component such as a server

or application. IT must now be able to measure and

report against end-to-end service.

There are 3 basic measurements that most IT

organizations utilize:

Availability of the service

Reliability of the service

Performance of the service

Measuring at component level

Measuring at the component level is necessary and

valuable, but service measurement must go further than

the component level.

Service measurement will require someone to take the

individual measurements and combine them to provide a

view of the true customer experience.

Developing a Service Measurement Framework

A challenge many organizations face is the creation of a

Service Measurement Framework that leads to value

added reporting.

It can prove difficult at first but the result over time prove

that it is worth the effort.

Keep in mind that service measurement is not the end

result, in itself. The end result should be to improve

services and also improve accountability.

Critical elements of Service Measurement Frameworks

For a successful Service Measurement Framework the

following critical elements are required:

Integrated into business planning

Focused on business and IT goals and objectives


Balanced in its approach on what is measured

Able to withstand change

Creating Reports

The most essential starting point when creating reports is to


Who is the target audience of the report?

What will the report be used for?

Who is responsible for creating the report?

How will the report be created?

How frequently is the report to be created?

What information will be produced, shared or exchanged?


Reports can be set up to show:

Results for a service – supporting reports would be the individual measurements on components

Health of a service management process – this report will have certain process KPI results

Functional reports – such as telephony reports for the Service Desk.

Continual Service Improvement

Service Level Management


To ensure that that the levels of IT service delivery are achieved,

both for existing services and new services in accordance with

the agreed targets.

Activities of Service Level Management


Once the SLA is agreed and monitoring begins, focus must be given to

producing Service Achievement Reports.

Periodic reporting should include:

Details of performance against SLA targets

Trends in Service Levels

Specific Actions being undertaken to improve service quality

Internal IT performance reviews and Supplier reviews

Any changes that need to be made to documentation

Reviewing and Evaluating

Periodic review meetings must be held on a regular basis with:

Customers to review service achievements and to preview any issues for the coming period.

Internal IT groups and Suppliers to review OLA’s and UC’s

Actions for responding to SLA breaches or identified weak areas

should be minuted and reviewed at the next meeting to ensure

that action items are being followed up and properly implemented.

Service Improvement Programme (SIP)

SLM should coordinate with Problem and Availability Management to instigate a SIP to identify and implement necessary actions to restore service quality.

Service Improvement Plans (SIP)

Service Improvement Plans are formal plans to implement improvements to a process or service.

The identified improvements may come from:

breaches of Service Level Agreements

identification of user training and documentation issues

weak system testing

identified weak areas within internal and external support groups.

Responsibilities and Skills


Senior enough to represent organization; with authority to do what is necessary

Manages Service Catalogue, SLA’s, UC’s, OLA’s

Identifies and manages improvements to services and processes

Analyzes and reports on SL Achievements


Relationship Management

Patience, tolerance and resilience

Understanding of the Customer’s business and how IT contributes to the delivery of that product or service



Number/Percentage of services covered by SLAs

Number/Percentage SLA’s supported by UC’s & OLA’s

Number/Percentage of service targets being met

Yes/Why Questions:

Are service level achievements improving?

Are customer perception statistics improving?

Are IT costs for service provisions decreasing for

services with stable (acceptable but not improving) SLAch?


Monitoring of pre-SLA achievements

Targets that are achievable

SLAs based on desire and not achievable targets

Insufficient focus, resources and time

Inadequate seniority of SLM staff

Underpinning contracts ignored

SLAs too long, not customer focused

Improvement actions not adhered to

The Continual Service Improvement Model

The Continual Service Improvement Model

CSI – Implementation Issues

Identify and fill critical roles and responsibilities e.g.

CSI Manager, Service Owner, SLM and reporting analyst.


CSI and Organizational Change

Communication and Strategy planning

CSI -value to the business

CSI and the Service Lifecycle