Home > Articles > Software Development & Management

The Integrated Service Delivery Strategy

Outsourcing doesn't mean foisting off all the work on the provider. For outsourcing to do you any good, you need a dedicated, resourceful, and carefully defined team in house - one that knows exactly what problem they're trying to handle, and uses the best methods and people to accomplish their goals.
This article is part of the Harris Kern Enterprise Computing Institute Series. Placing special emphasis on a comprehensive approach combining organization, people, process, and technology, Harris Kern's Enterprise Computing Institute is recognized as one of the world's premier sources for CIOs and IT professionals concerned with managing information technology.
Like this article? We recommend

As discussed in our earlier article, "Keys to Successful Outsourcing," many factors come into play when deciding whether to outsource. Before an organization acquires the services of an outsource provider, however, they must define their requirements, expectations, and metrics thoroughly through the use of a multi-tiered team structure that will support all functions. Once these issues have been addressed and documented, the organization, its IT services provider, and its support teams can judiciously take on other factors—customer satisfaction, measurability, scalability, and so on.

Writing the Job Ticket—"The Ask"

One key to a successful development strategy involving Integrated Service Delivery (ISD) is setting problems, scope, and boundaries, and defining the expected deliverables through a job ticket. There is no mystery to the job ticket; simply put, it lists the problem, sets the scope and boundaries of the job, and defines the expected set of deliverables. The job ticket helps you to determine the skills mix of the team you'll need to assemble, and helps to "chart the course" for the team. A well-crafted, clear, succinct job ticket serves as a charter by which the team will measure its progress.

Let's explore the components of a job ticket:

  • Problem Statement
  • Purpose/Statement of Deliverables
  • Scope/Boundaries
  • Team Definitions

Problem Statement

The problem statement is exactly what it suggests. The point is to define the problem, and yet formulating a problem statement isn't always easy:

  • You must thoroughly analyze the problem, or you could end up spinning your wheels, treating what turns out to be only a symptom rather than the real problem.

  • Don't get caught in the trap of prematurely deciding the root cause.

  • It's important to understand all of the symptoms, which are the manifestations of the root cause(s).

For example, Figure 1 shows a situation of sagging customer satisfaction, decreasing Level of Service (LOS), and increasing cost of outsourced services. Given that this graph is a representation of symptoms experienced from an outsource partnership, there might be a tendency to have the problem statement read like this:

Our outsource partner cannot deliver the required customer satisfaction, level of service, and required cost targets necessary to support a globally distributed environment.

Figure 1 Symptoms of a problem.

It may not be immediately obvious, but this statement has a fundamental flaw. The way it's written implies a root cause; therefore, you may immediately focus your attention on replacing the existing outsource partner, or on insourcing. Both options could be very costly mistakes if the root causes actually lie in poorly defined requirements or a poorly defined portfolio of services. A more suitable problem statement might read as follows:

The current infrastructure supporting our globally distributed environment is experiencing trends of sagging service levels and rapidly increasing costs, both resulting in customer satisfaction woes.

This statement makes no implications as to a root cause, but it clearly defines the symptoms of the problem, keeping the focus fact-based. You can see the importance of clearly understanding and defining the problem statement.

Purpose/Statement of Deliverables

The purpose/statement of deliverables should tie directly to and actually be a function of the problem statement. Stating the desired deliverables not only conveys the expectations of the management team, including timeframes for delivery, but serves as a framework for the team. Consider the following example:

The purpose of the team is to develop and provide alternatives for delivering an infrastructure that supports a globally distributed environment and provides a consistent and predictable level of service, increased customer satisfaction, and predictable and manageable costs. The final deliverable should be in the form of a proposal detailing each alternative, including relevant supporting facts, cost model, quality, and delivery metric impacts. The initial draft is to be delivered six (6) weeks from the start of the project.

As this example shows, the purpose is a direct function of the problem statement, and the statement of deliverables is defined at a high level.


Boundaries serve multiple purposes. They provide a definition of scope and magnitude, and even more importantly they define the limits of the team's empowerment. The team needs to understand the limits of their ability to effect change. For example, your company might be under a sole source agreement with a third-party vendor regarding certain aspects of your data center. This would clearly be out of scope, and therefore a boundary would be set to protect this agreement. It's not always enough to define what is in scope; it's often equally important to define what specifically is not in scope.

Here's an example of a subset of scope/boundaries:

In Scope

  • UNIX-based servers, hardware, software, and associated applications set

  • LAN networks within the walls of the data center in which the servers reside

  • Client software that supports the server-based application

  • Servers that reside in the Northeast Region

  • Production, Test, and Development environments and associated servers

Out of Scope

  • The client itself and associated office productivity tools

  • The WAN outside of the data center

  • Mainframe servers and associated applications

  • Application XYZ being supported by Vendor UVW

Team Definitions

To ensure involvement, buy-in, and support across functions in the organization and across the corporation, it's important that a multi-tier team structure be put in place prior to the execution of the job ticket. Appropriate formation of the multi-tiered structure is essential to success.

  • Core team: This team is composed of the "doers," the main team chartered to execute the job ticket. The team should be small, with broad yet diverse expertise. It should include members with the following skill sets: applications development and management, database administration, system administration, infrastructure development and management, and facilities management. These skills represent the essential components for a complete Integrated Service Delivery model and therefore must be represented to ensure the appropriate coverage. It has been our experience that flexibility, dynamics, and velocity are in direct relationship to the size of the team.

  • Support team: The purpose of this team is really twofold: to provide guidance and/or a specific expertise to the core team, and to gain the buy-in of the middle management team through their involvement up front. Therefore, the team should be made up of those IT managers who will be directly affected by the core team's output. The thought here is that by putting them on the team it will force interaction, allowing for their input to be included, and gaining their buy-in early.

  • Extended support team (if applicable): The formation of this team depends on the size and structure of your company. Where it really adds value is when your IT organization is structured by division with an overlying corporate IT. If this is the case, this should be a team from outside the direct divisional IT organization. It's crucial to pull in these people to gain an expanded perspective as well as for cross-corporate buy-in.

  • Steering committee/decision team: This is the team of direct decision-makers who ultimately have authority over whether the proposal you'll be presenting is approved. This is why gaining their buy-in early in the project is so important.

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020