[CSG Spring 2010] Service Management – Service Lifecycle Cradle 2 Grage

Romy Bolton (Iowa) and Bernard Gulachek (Minnesota) are talking about service lifecycle.

At Minnesota they think a lot about service positioning – not to just react to perceived need. An unquenching appetite with limited resources is not a good recipe. Tried to apply a general administrative services framework for the institution about where services should be placed along a continuum from distributed to centralized. Developed principles and examples to help communicate with people in the distributed units.

At Iowa they started “Project Review” process in the late 90s. Tuesday afternoon meetings – employee time with the directors and CIO. Open to everybody. Re-tooled project framework in 2007, service lifecycle management in 2008. Light ITIL framework

Emphasis on service definition, publication, end user request, provisioning. They still have project review, plus a project called Discovery to explore ideas, ITS Spotlight to call attention of staff to services. IT admins on campus have regular monthly meetings with 100+ people. Beginning to work on Do It Yourself provisioning tool.

Service definition starts in project planning phase
– identify service owner and provider
– identify KPIs for service
– Reassess risks and cost-benefit for service
– Identify critcality of service on scale of 1-4
– Update 5 yr TCO and funding source
– Document service milestones
– Update status in ITS Service Catalog as appropriate

Iowa uses Sharepoint as intranet and for publishing their service catalog and Drupal for IKE (their knowledge management site). They’re just building out the self-provisioning service.

Tom Barton notes that there’s something called a Service Provisioning Markup Language – sort of languishing, but maybe some new energy is flowing into it.

Iowa – triggers for Service Review: User needs; environmental change (e.g. the cloud for email); financial; security event; hardware refresh; new software version; end of life for product. Review is not a small effort. Business and Finance office helps gather info. Includes: Service Overview, Customer Input, Financial Resources, Utilization and customer base, service metrics, market analysis, labor resource, recommendations. Owned by the senior directors.

At Minnesota they do annual service reviews of all of their common good services – “just began to enforce that”, in part borne out of frustration at not being able to sunset services. Two or three people focus on this, working with service owners. The current example is what services continue as they roll out Google Apps.

Service Performance and Measurement

Designed for strategic conversations with stakeholders that go beyond the operational. Began gathering availability data about a year ago – looking at whether services are alive. Klara notes that defining whether a service is up can be complex, but that it can be easier to measure simply whether a user can access a service. They have a systems status page showing current status – mixture of automated and human-intervention. Using Cisco’s Intuity product to track monthly/annual measures. They give roll-ups of info to deans and IT leaders. Include benchmark comparisons with Gartner or Burton benchmarks if available. They publish the cost of services annually, so they understand what they’re paying for and how that’s changed over time. http://www.apdex.org is a new alliance for understanding application performance measurement.

At Stanford they’ve established Business Partners – senior people who know the organization who act as the pipeline in to the service managers. They meet with clients at a senior level.

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