Enterprise Service Management Essentials

Enterprise service management (ESM) is a hot topic and the focus of our latest briefing paper.  You can download the paper and learn more about ESM from some of our expert eConsultants. Visit the Free Downloads section to access your copy.

In this accompanying blog, eConsultant® Michelle Major-Goldsmith talks about how ESM is simplifying service delivery across the business. eConsultant Headshot Michelle Major-Goldsmith NEW

It’s all about delivering services

Enterprise service management (ESM) is the application of IT service management (ITSM) principles to other areas of an organisation. This typically means not only using the same core process but often benefiting from the same technology used to support those processes. Simply, applying the same process principles and workflow used to manage IT service delivery within other business departments that are delivering other types of services.

For many years, IT service management thought leaders throughout the world have been calling to drop the ‘IT’ from ITSM. The reason for this is simple. It’s all about ‘services’, delivering customer and business outcomes, IT or otherwise so why call the IT part out?

ESM is a process-based approach to aligning the delivery of information technology (IT) services with the needs of the organisation that uses them. So it makes sense, anywhere where you have a need for a consistent approach to delivering a service using process flow is a good idea. The benefits for those delivering the services is an understanding of both the defined activities that will guide their actions and the required outcomes they need to deliver. For the receiver of the service (customer or user depending on your terminology usage), this means a consistent and measured approach to the delivery of the service each time they engage with the provider. It’s a ‘WIN-WIN’.

The other thing about service management is that it elevates the provider from a professionalism point of view. Having a service provider that can tell the story of what they offer demonstrates their focus on service. For years, frameworks like ITIL have been emphasising how important it is for the service provider to understand what value looks like and generate an approach to delivering service that is consistent and measured and supports their business goals in the most efficient and effective way possible.

ESM in practice

I’ve had some recent experience of the benefits of developing ESM. I’ve been working with our Sales and Marketing Department. A small team of dedicated and talented staff whose scope is considerable. They were overwhelmed by requests for all sorts of things, some they expected and some they didn’t.

Their challenge – “How can we control this but still make sure we are deliver the services expected of us?”

So many things were deemed by their customers as “business critical” or “…important because it came from a senior manager” and the act of trying to decide who should do what for whom was inconsistently applied and causing some angst within the team who were just keen to deliver the best service they could.

They decided a workshop to explore their challenges was the way to move forward. With guidance and facilitation, they could see how service management principles could help. We worked together outlining their perceived scope, key stakeholders and current challenges and we agreed the solution would come in the form of a business facing Service Catalogue and associated Request Fulfilment, process where they could define and formalise standard requests and create a mechanism for dealing with ‘anything else’.

So, the work has started, they are very excited at what they perceive to be an answer to their challenges and they are currently busy defining what the services are, trying to work out effort to task comparisons, formalise Request Models and create sensible service targets. They have also recognised how the ‘IT’ service management tool can help them to both create a user interface and allow them to formalise and gather valuable management information about what they do. This will help them demonstrate what they do as well as be being able to paint the picture I mentioned earlier; essential in demonstrating that all important ‘value’. Service Management makes sense to them and they don’t do IT!

David Krieg, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, Kinetic IT said:
“The Stakeholder Engagement team followed service management principles to help in defining services for a team whose role and mandate expanded. The work to define services is an important stepping stone to developing a service catalogue and following on from this the next phase is to enable our customers (stakeholders from across the business) to access the services. Managing team work load, customer expectations and engagement through a more transparent and structured prioritisation process is also part of this service request system”
Below, a diagram developed at the team workshop to demonstrate their agreed ‘service wheel’.

The Service Wheel

Figure – Mind map form the Sales and Marketing Workshop

The team came up with a Service Wheel (like a high-level catalogue)

Real world benefits

ESM can deliver a wide range of benefits. The following are some of the most compelling.

tick_003_green_transAlignment leading to ongoing collaboration: ESM can unite business units to directly support an organisation’s vision and goals. Defining roles, sharing similar methods, tools and processes will break down silos and foster a more cohesive approach to tasks.
Increased accountability and governance: Implementing enterprise service management processes and tools can provide greater levels of internal controls and an understanding of roles and responsibilities.
Enhanced visibility and control: The definition and production of adequate and timely reports allows a higher level of visibility and tracking to demonstrate performance and identify issues.
Improved Collaboration and Knowledge Management: Functions and teams can capture, share and use information more easily providing access to the up to date, high quality knowledge that is required to perform activities.
Continual Improvement: With increased visibility into operational performance comes opportunities to identify potential improvements.
Optimised Costs: Through productivity, standardisation, reduced overheads and duplication, automation and rationalisation leading to increased value on investment.
Enhanced Customer experience: Being able vocalise the service approach and deliver in a consistent and effective enhances the delivery of customer- centric support

The benefits hoped for by our Sales and Marketing team were:

Understanding supply v demand: This was one of the important sought after benefits from our Sales and Marketing team. Understanding the activities (from process flows as mentioned above) also makes the act of being able to ‘model’ them too. It’s this kind of understanding that helps to frame ‘value’ as well as supply and demand levels.
Productivity: Defining processes from repeatable activities means you can identify, eliminate or even automate activities. Process flows provide structure and understanding allowing work to happen more quickly and smoothly.
Staff morale: This comes from ensuring that teams know what is expected of them, and ensuring they receive adequate training and support to undertake their role. Certainly, this was another benefit for our Sales and Marketing team.

The future of ESM

IT people often forget they are not the only ones who provide services within an organisation. The dynamics of service delivery are pretty much the same whatever the customer or service. It’s time we shared the secrets of service management and its benefits.

All service providers are continually seeking to optimise operations and interact more efficiently with their users and customers. ESM principles can help. Service Management isn’t just for the IT world; it is for the Enterprise. Almost everyone is a ‘service provider’ with customers. The very definition of service is about delivering valuable outcomes to support customers and their business. It seems to me that ESM can be implemented pretty much anywhere you have a customer receiving a service. As our Sales and Marketing team said..” Service Management makes sense to us and we don’t do IT!”

Let’s start selling the benefits of ESM more widely, there is so much to be gained from sharing the ESM love!

Michelle Major-Goldsmith – learn more and work with Michelle here.

Download the Enterprise Service Management Briefing from our Free Downloads section, including insight from eConsultants Daniel Breston, Damian Bowen, Simon Dorst, James Gander and Karen Ferris.  We’ve also got input from ITRP EMEA general manager Martijn Adams.