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This chapter is from the book

We'll Have What They're Having, Please!

The companies that leave lasting impressions on us are those that offer the kind of service experience that stands out. The trick to getting it is to understand what makes it stand apart from the ordinary, and how you as the customer play a role in making that happen.

Good service management should be relatively invisible to the business. Services should operate as expected, and no service disruptions should be experienced. When support is needed, it should be provided efficiently and effectively, and it should resolve issues the first time. This is typically what we think of as a good service experience.

It takes planning, capability, competence, resource, and harmonious partnering to have good service. This, of course, takes place behind the scenes and thus is what makes good service invisible to the customer.

In the prior chapters, you've learned how to define the services you need and what you need from them. The next step is to look at how those services need to be managed by the ITSP.

There are basic service expectations for service management and specific characteristics within a service that define why it is perceived as good quality for investment. Generally, these are as follows:

  • The service does what you expect it to.
  • The service operates reliably and is dependable over its life span.
  • The service does not require many unplanned changes to keep its operations stable.
  • Changes the business does require are preplanned and do not require extensive redesign.
  • The service is cost efficient to operate and support.
  • The service delivers the intended business outcomes.
  • During periods of heavy use, the service continues to perform optimally.
  • The service will scale to the evolving needs of the business.

When any of these fail, we perceive the service to be of poor quality. In fact, there are mainly only two reasons why a service is perceived as having poor quality:

  1. The service's design does not meet the business needs.
  2. The way the service is managed does not meet the business needs.

These are two key areas that ITSM practices are intended to address. Setting achievable expectations depends on a common understanding of what the service is, what it should do, how it will be managed, and how it will be measured.

We now know what ITSM is, and what a service is; next, we'll define the details that set and manage expectations for both the business and the ITSP.

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