Lesson 01: What is Service Management
Welcome to the course!
Based on AXELOS ITIL® material. Reproduced under licence from AXELOS. All rights reserved.
- 00:09 – Okay, so welcome to our new ITIL 4 course where we’re going to teach you, hopefully, everything you need to know about ITIL 4.
- 00:17 – First of all, though, I’d like to start with a more general perspective on why we’re talking about service management because ITIL 4 is a mechanism for allowing you to get better at your service management.
- 00:28 – So, let’s start at the beginning with an overview of service management.
- 00:34 – We want to think about why service management matters to you, what it does, what it doesn’t do, and therefore more importantly, why IT service management and ITIL, when we get on to the more detail later, will have genuine value for you.
- 00:51 – So, what problem are we actually trying to solve?
- 00:55 – Well, in everyday life, at work or at home, we all of us nowadays rely on services to do our job or live our lives.
- 01:04 – So, therefore the quality of that work performance that we deliver depends upon the quality of the services that support us, and the quality of the businesses that we work for depend on the quality of services that we in turn deliver to them, and at home, the quality of our life depends on our services.
- 01:23 – Life would be rather less pleasant if the electricity supply stopped or there was no water to use.
- 01:28 – So, we know that the services are important to us.
- 01:31 – We understand that when we stop and think about it.
- 01:35 – So, getting those services right depends upon how we manage those services, and therefore service management is about getting the best possible match we can between what is required, what the business needs when we do this work, and the services that support the business that we as service providers deliver to them.
- 01:56 – So, put simply, if we want our businesses and our companies to get better, we need to get better at service management.
- 02:05 – Now, let’s think about that. How do we get better at things?
- 02:09 – Do we sit in a quiet corner and invent something new?
- 02:12 – Possibly, occasionally, but much more likely, we’ll learn from what other people have done.
- 02:19 – We ask our friends, we read books, and we look at what has worked for other people.
- 02:27 – At work, we give that a fancy name, Best Practice.
- 02:31 – At home, we probably don’t use the term best practice, but we do it all the same.
- 02:37 – If we’re going to cook something, we don’t just invent it.
- 02:40 – We don’t find ourselves with a fish and think, “What shall I do to turn this into dinner?” We refer to best practice.
- 02:48 – We get a cookery book off the shelf, and we look up, Fish - How to Cook, in the index, and that will tell us what other people have tried in circumstances that were broadly similar to ours, and that’s what we’re going to do throughout this course.
- 03:04 – We’re going to suggest things to you that have worked for other people in similar circumstances, but that’s not enough.
- 03:11 – You need to adapt that guidance to yourself.
- 03:14 – You need to take these ideas in, you need to practice, you need to think about what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for and why you’re doing it.
- 03:23 – That’s why this is called service management, and why you actually have to be managers to do it.
- 03:30 – So, let’s think about that particularly in an IT service management context.
- 03:35 – If we’re going to manage the services we deliver, we need to know what they are.
- 03:41 – If we’re going to deliver value and make our customers and our users happy, then we need to know who they are.
- 03:49 – We can’t deliver this in a vacuum.
- 03:52 – So, we need to know what we’re delivering, who we’re delivering it to, what we’re delivering it for, and usually that means these days, what are our … the recipients of our service?
- 04:04 – What is the rest of our company trying to do?
- 04:07 – We need to understand, for example, that we work for a bank or a retail business or a manufacturing company or a government, not that we work in IT or in IT service management, but we need to understand that broader picture, so that we can deliver and support what’s required.
- 04:26 – We need to understand, for example, how important it is to them that services are there.
- 04:32 – How much damage will be caused if we get things wrong, and damage is not something we want to cause, but it’s a very key measure to the things we do, and unfortunately, all of us in our lives have had experience of what can go wrong and what damage can be caused when services fail.
- 04:54 – In the modern world, services are all IT enabled.
- 05:00 – So, if we’re talking about IT service management, we’re talking about service management.
- 05:06 – It’s really hard to think these days of something that is not dependent on IT.
- 05:11 – When I was younger, cars were mechanical equipment that you drove around, and if they didn’t work, you took them to pieces and you fiddled with them.
- 05:20 – Nowadays, a car, a modern car will rest on something like 30 or 40 IT processes inside it.
- 05:28 – If one of them doesn’t work, it doesn’t work.
- 05:30 – We’re recording this on a piece of equipment that looks like a camera, but the technology is computer-based and if there’s a failure in there, we stop recording things.
- 05:41 – Technology is going faster today than ever before.
- 05:44 – We hear about it advancing farther and faster and changing faster, but the key thing is it’s going faster.
- 05:52 – And when things go quickly, then human beings can’t correct them when they fail.
- 05:58 – They go fast at a speed that we can’t cope with.
- 06:02 – That means we can’t afford the degree of failure that we were able to cope with in the past by correcting things.
- 06:09 – So, service management has to get its processes and its practices and its procedures right.
- 06:14 – It has to deliver things correctly because we don’t have that second chance to see things going wrong and correct it anymore.
- 06:23 – What that means, now that IT is in everything, and we go at IT speed, is that IT is absolutely a key business driver for organizations.
- 06:34 – I’ve talked about damage and what goes wrong, but let’s be more optimistic.
- 06:39 – Let’s talk about the benefits we deliver.
- 06:42 – IT makes companies different from other companies.
- 06:45 – It delivers competitive advantage.
- 06:47 – If the IT is reliable and successful and the services are matched to the business needs, then that company, that government department or whatever it is you’re in, will perform better and deliver a better service to its customers.
- 07:02 – This means that IT service management as a driving force behind that IT is a key strategic capability of an organization.
- 07:13 – Fancy words, key strategic capability.
- 07:16 – It means if you don’t get it right, nothing works.
- 07:20 – So, we have to get this right.
- 07:23 – We have to understand our services, document them in a way that people can access them.
- 07:28 – We’re used to this at home. We buy from eBay, we look at Amazon catalogs.
- 07:33 – We expect to see clearly laid out what we can have, what it will cost us, what the conditions are.
- 07:41 – We expect that at work nowadays and there’s no reason we shouldn’t have that at work.
- 07:45 – We know what our business needs, we know what they want.
- 07:49 – They’re not always the same thing.
- 07:52 – Seeing what the services can do, what they should do, and sometimes being brutally honest and seeing what they do, and understanding that what they do, what they could do, and what they should do are not the same thing.
- 08:06 – Our job is to actually bring it in line with what it should be doing.
- 08:10 – We need to understand the constraints behind it.
- 08:14 – This is not, for most of us at least, simply an opportunity of doing everything we can with limitless resources.
- 08:22 – I think most of you out there like me will have certain financial constraints in what we can do, which is why I don’t drive a Maserati and which is why I don’t live in a grand house, but I live in a compromise and those constraints are important to us.
- 08:39 – We’re going to look through this course at what we want to do, but always with the caveat that it’s constrained by what we can do.
- 08:48 – Be that money or our time or the skills that we have access to or other concerns, legal constraints, ethical concerns, concerns about our carbon footprint or whatever that may be.
- 09:01 – It’s really important that we understand those constraints, embrace those constraints, and deliver our best within them, not just grumble about them, but see them as positive factors that help us decide the best way to do things.
- 09:15 – So, that’s a basic background about why we think it’s important that the rest of this course is going to be useful to you, why we want you to pay attention and learn from it because it will help you do that broader management role, and what we’re going to look at in the next section and throughout this course is value.
- 09:38 – How we deliver value to you, how you deliver value to other people, and how you receive value.
- 09:45 – Value is a word you’re going to hear a lot on this course and that’s important because it’s the most important thing that we’re really going to judge everything by.
About your trainer, Ivor Macfarlane
Your trainer, Ivor Macfarlane, is a coauthor of ITIL (versions 1, 2, and 3), as well as ISO 20000 and ITSM library. He’s been an ITIL Examiner since 1991, and has delivered ITIL training in more than 40 countries.
Ivor was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding contribution to ITSM in 2017 by ITSMF UK; just a few weeks before we started recording this course!
His deep understanding of IT Service Management in general, and ITIL in particular, experience in training, and decades of hands-on experience in the field, are all used to bring you this course. We hope you’ll enjoy taking it as much as we did building it.
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