Digital Service Management
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Exceeding expectations

Here at Spark Ventures (in New Zealand) we have taken the “less is more” approach to Digital Service Management, where we are utilising only the essential parts of a process to deliver maximum customer agility, and ultimately exceeding their expectations.

Our customers, or “partners” as we like to call them in Spark Ventures, are those Ventures that were created from concept through to market analysis – MVP (minimal viable product) through to launch. These Ventures include, Bigpipe (ISP), Lightbox (Video on Demand), Qrious (Big data Platform and Analytics) & Morepork (Home Automation and Security).

Just enough process

Service Management has been critical in bringing some process to the way operations manage these Ventures once their product(s) have been launched; but not so much process as to slow down the pace in which they need to adapt or grow to meet the market.

Before there was a focus on service management, operations experienced frequent outages and there was no way of tracking and reporting on incidents or changes. Therefore there was also little evidence of any value being gained by the Ventures from the services provided to them by the operational teams.

To facilitate our journey to full adoption of service management processes we deployed a service management solution. This allowed us to report on all incidents and problems and to capture all changes. We implemented the solution we chose pretty much out of the box with most of our effort spent on change management.

Agility critical in the market

Depending on the Venture or type of change selected, a particular level of approval is required (technical, business and change manager approvals), all of this is automated through a system generated email or via an app. We also run virtual CABs, with all changes added to a forward schedule of change once approved. Due to the high levels of automation we can turn around a change from creation to approval within 30 minutes. This is essential for these Ventures to remain agile and adaptable to market forces.

Our approach to change management has resulted in only two failed changes in more than a year since we started on this journey. This is a great example of using enough process to aid success, without slowing down the rate of change which the Ventures require.

Ease of adoption

We have found that to adopt service management within a digital world requires a being able to support a fast rate of change, and there must be processes that enable agility within your chosen ITSM systems and these must be easily adopted by your teams.

Not only are we utilising digital service management across the Ventures but we have adopted it within Spark Ventures itself to deal with internal user service requests, incidents and changes.  This has given our users the ability to easily request access to systems or log incidents with the support teams, either via email of through a self-service portal.

Reporting is critical

We have also managed to further demonstrate the value of the operational teams by creating extensive reporting that reflects the value these teams bring to the Ventures (for example, percentage of SLAs met, number of changes/incidents created as well tracking outage times). If you cannot easily demonstrate the value you are providing to the organisation, are you still relevant?

Our future priorities with regards to developing digital service management within Spark Ventures will be centred around further adoption of the change management process to fit in with the rapid rate of releases within the software development space.

Bringing DevOps in

Our latest adoption of change has been through the DevOps teams where production releases are carried out by those teams (instead of by the software teams) once approved by the Venture heads and product teams.  Incident management has also recently been adopted by the software development team who are now tracking incidents through the service management solution.

Benefits of adopting Digital Service Management:

Environmental stability
Cross team collaboration
Enabling the organisation
Greater visibility of activities
Clear reporting of value created
Enough process to allow agility
User flexibility

This post was adapted from a blog I originally wrote for: IT Chronicles.

Views expressed in this post are my own

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