After careful strategizing and organizing, it’s time to take the giant step forward and see how well your plans apply to reality. When we get to the Service Operation stage of the ITIL service lifecycle, we finally see value realized. This is where understanding the results of all of that planning really becomes important. If we can parse end user experiences, service consumption, and various expected outcomes, then we can calculate how well our strategies are faring in real life. Essentially, planning is only one part of the game. You have to see whether your plans match with what actually plays out on the field as well.
Why Do We Measure Service Operation?
Before we can use the data that we collect we have to understand why it’s so important. To measure service operations in a business is to confirm a lot of aspects of your strategic planning. First of all, measuring success allows you to validate strategies and visions set for your business. If the measurements are not matching up with what’s expected of the business then you can head back to the drawing board before things get out of hand.
Measurement of service operations also allows specifics of strategies to be planned out, like targets and metrics. If you are keeping track of how the business is reacting to plans then you can further specify those plans to match realistic growth and progression.
Speaking of specifying the plans, measurement will allow you to justify future changes through the factual evidence to back it up. Changes, no matter how big or small, should be justified by the data we have. Acquiring more data on how value is being realized in the business is an important step for planning the next steps.
Finally, if things really aren’t going well, how will you be able to change course if you don’t fully understand the course you’re already on? This is why it is necessary to understand the trends in data collected for your business, as it allows you to make much more informed and corrective actions, changes, and improvements.
The Measurement Model
How do we decide what to measure for Service Operations? The Measurement Model is a good place to start figuring it out. It can be used to hone in on what Critical Success Factors (CSFs) should be defined and which Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) should be used to measure them. The process for the Measurement Model should go something like this:
The vision of the business is tailored into something more tangible — a mission. This gives us a cohesive idea of what the business strives to be and become. Objectives and goals give us ways to achieve the business’s mission. CSFs and KPIs are used to give us quantitative ways to monitor our progress on these goals/objectives, making our path towards success clearer. Metrics and measurements arise out of the quantification of the business’s goals. Finally, at the end of this process, you acquire data that can prove to be beneficial in the long run.
Side note, your goals should be specific to the business and IT. The two sides of the goals should be balanced and aware of each other. This way, the growth of the business doesn’t become unbalanced, favoring one aspect over the other.
Measuring service operations will lead to a much clearer understanding of what is needed to achieve success within your business, along with how close you are to achieving that success. Using the Measurement Model can guide you in planning exactly how to record information on your value realization. With this sort of information, it is much easier to make the next step forward a confident one.