Developing the Process section of the SIAM Health Assessment

The SIAM Health Assessment is now live and you can complete it for FREE through our website.

The Assessment was created by almost 30 subject matter experts, from different location, different time zones, speaking different languages and all having different opinions and backgrounds.

Here, the Process author team give a better understanding on what is meant by processes in the context of SIAM, as well as outlining key topics that should be assessed when analysing the health of a SIAM ecosystem.

And we want to say a huge thanks to Chris Bullivant, Markus Müller, Doug Tedder and Samuel Santoshkumar for sharing this blog with us!

Trust the process

As with any complex project, team, service or framework, you have to trust the process, and SIAM is no different. In fact, it is particularly the case within complex multi-service provider ecosystems. A defined, documented and understood cross-provider framework for these repeatable approaches to tasks and activities is the beating heart of any healthy SIAM ecosystem.

Strong processes will successfully coordinate all body parts of the SIAM model, turning all relevant inputs into valuable outputs, and instilling trust that this will be done consistently to the required costs, time, and quality. All parties should be fully aware and accountable for their roles and responsibilities throughout each process, with all interactions and interfaces understood and carried out collaboratively. SIAM processes bring practices together, integrate tools and technologies, transfer decisions across governance forums, and deliver successful business outcomes, providing end-to-end integration across the ecosystem and delivering a seamless valuable service for customers and end users.

Without effective and trusted processes, the organization’s strategy will not be achieved, governance becomes irrelevant, measures and metrics become inaccurate and unreliable, and investment can be wasted on underutilized tools and technologies.

Now, this can be tricky to get right within a SIAM ecosystem. Service providers will each have their own processes, the customer organisation may have ideas of what they see to be correct, and the integrator will bring their view of best practice. Incorrectly or inefficiently implemented processes can lead to non-compliance, process gaps, duplication of work, waste and/or Shadow IT. Each of these issues can slow organisational speed and agility, hinder user journeys, and ultimately be to the detriment of the service customers are receiving. It is the responsibility of the integrator to work across the service provider ecosystem, providing common processes, ownership, ensuring end-to-end buy in and compliance to all roles and responsibilities, and embedding a mechanism for performance metrics and improvement, all wrapped up as a single customer service.  

So, how is this done? Organizations often introduce the service integration element without the management, incorrectly assuming that adding additional service providers to a documented process will result in the delivery of successful multi-provider services. SIAM processes are about much more than this and this has been reflected in the SIAM Health Assessment.

Authoring the process section

Given the importance of process to SIAM, a team of SMEs came together to produce a dedicated process section of the Health Assessment. Within the SIAM Bodies of Knowledge there are specific and separately documented Process Guides provided.  The key here though is how to integrate those process activities across the ecosystem.

The team described what was meant by processes in the context of SIAM, as well as outlining key topics that should be assessed when analysing the health of a SIAM ecosystem. The following topic areas are those that were identified to be most important when assessing the Process section of the Health Assessment:

Process Models

With multiple providers there needs to be a balance between mandating generic, uniformed activities and providing freedom for providers to apply their own, specialized processes and procedures. The role of the service integrator is to maintain and manage process models and interactions across all service providers to provide repeatability, coordination and collaboration.

Not only do the core process models need to be documented and embedded involving all necessary providers, but other key components such as the integration across these processes and providers, performance and improvement mechanisms, management of providers and their contracts, and the on/off boarding of service providers, need to be considered and in place.

Process Integration

Integration across processes, service providers and SIAM layers needs to be agreed, documented and performed with clearly defined roles, responsibilities, interactions and handoffs for seamless coordination. This can be aided through the mapping of RACI matrices and the use of collaboration models and agreements for successful service delivery through a ‘One Team’ culture.

Performance and Improvement

Importantly, the success of the processes, activities and integrations require measurement and improvement mechanisms to maximize performance across the SIAM model, through KPIs, continual service improvement reviews, and process forums. Continual Service Improvement is in itself a core process of SIAM, but it also embeds and drives a forward thinking culture, end-to-end across all service providers to ensure value is maxisimsed across the ecosystem.

On- and Offboarding

Of course, all processes are crucial in the operation of a SIAM framework, but there needs to be a particular focus on the on/offboarding process of service providers. This allows for a smooth integration and embedding into the SIAM ecosystem.

Supplier and Contract Management

Once onboarded into the SIAM model, service provider performance and contractual obligations must be managed through a consistent, transparent and robust supplier and a contract management process performed by the service integrator and customer retained layers respectively. This will be through centralized, integrated reporting, often making use of shared goals and KPIs.

With all these dimensions to consider, it is unsurprising that implementing and operating multi-service provider processes can be a tricky and complex task. It is therefore vital that organizations understand the performance, or health, of their SIAM processes to identify strengths and weaknesses, allocate resources and funding appropriately, and maximize value delivery. This is where the SIAM Health Assessment comes in.

A layered assessment

The SIAM Health Assessment comes in two layers which provides a progressive level of scope and detail. The first layer is a questionnaire style self-assessment that can be done by anyone within the organisation, to uncover the health of their SIAM capabilities at a high-level across five practices: Governance & Strategy, Measurement, People, Process and Technology. These practices are then split into topics with the five Process topics being as reflected above

The responses given will provide the participant with a level per practice, as well as a description of that level, and guidance for progressing to the next level.

The second layer of the SIAM Health Assessment is a deeper dive into the organization’s SIAM health. Performed by consultants, this assessment would add detail to the self-assessment and enable targeted diagnostics.  

A few final words…

Both layers of the assessment provide an insight into the organization’s SIAM health, enabling pain-point diagnostics and remediation planning, to get the SIAM ecosystem up to full health, transforming service delivery, unlocking value, and maximizing the customer’s potential.

Go with the (process) flow, take the assessment now to uncover and understand the health of your SIAM ecosystem!  

Trust the process, meet the team

Chris, Doug, Sam and Markus made up the Process Author team for the development of the content in this section of the SIAM Health Assessment. Each has unique insight and perspective in this space.

About the authors:

Chris Bullivant

Chris Bullivant has five years’ experience working with SIAM ecosystems, initially in Operations and Service Management, and now as an IT Operating Model Consultant. Chris has witnessed, and lived, the challenges and benefits that SIAM can bring and believes that a collaborative culture and ‘one team’ mentality is the key for a successful multi-service provider framework.

He has been part of the Scopism SIAM team since the writing of the Foundation Body of Knowledge and joined the assessment team to continue the creation and delivery of knowledge about this often-misunderstood topic.

Markus Müller

Markus Müller is responsible for GRC competency development at ABB for Corporate IS. Previously he built and led the IT Integrator at ABB and is a long-term member of the board of the Austrian itSMF. Markus enjoys an industry-wide reputation as a thought leader in Service Integration and Management (SIAM).

His passion for SIAM led him to co-found after 29 years in IT. Blueponte provides SIAM tools and skills in the form of training, consulting and managed services

Doug Tedder

In over 35 years in IT, Doug Tedder has seen IT become increasingly integrated and critical for daily business function.

At the same time, successful use of technology in the delivery of products and services has become heavily reliant on external providers.

These two facts are why Doug feels that SIAM is a vital competency for today’s progressive organizations, which is why he joined he joined the assessment team.

Samuel Santoshkumar

Samuel Santoshkumar has over 18 years of experience in a wide variety of technology-based and technology enabled industries which he brings to bear to produce the best SIAM solutions for customers. Sam is passionate about the value that SIAM brings to any organisation and will label himself a ‘SIAM Evangelist’. His favourite activity is designing business solutions on a whiteboard. He says he thinks with a pen in his hand.


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