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Using SLM to Improve Your Company's Bottom Line

Jul 24, 2009

Ami Nahari

Service Improvement

The output of reporting is the primary input of the Service Improvement phase. SLA compliance report, customer survey results and operational trend reports will all be used by the process to prioritize Service Improvement activities. Skilled service relation managers will concur that when it comes to Service Improvement there are two important terms: service review and SIP (service improvement plan). Luckily, these activities will not force us to go through another budgeting cycle―both activities are relatively easy and inexpensive to implement.

Service review is the connecting link between the reporting phase and the Service Improvement phase. ITIL explains that service reviews are “ ... periodic review meetings that must be held on a regular basis with customers to review the service achievement in the last period”. In my experience, brief weekly meetings and a more extensive monthly meeting will achieve the goal of service review.

The service relation manager will review the customer survey results and focus on those questions indicating negative trend. The discussion will be summarized by deciding what items deserve to be escalated through SIP, what items should be monitored, and what items can be ignored.

You can purchase a software solution to monitor your SIP activities. It will send alerts in case an activity threshold is reached, and it can tie together related incidents and problems. But it will cost you. One of the untold secrets of SLM is utilization of a simple excel spread sheet to manage one of your most important tasks, the SIP.

The SIP registry is a list of items that were escalated by the service relationship manager and customer and agreed to be improved. The list consists of Item Name, Description, Status, Owner, Date of Change and other attributes assisting the SLM manager to monitor and review the status of the item. The SIP is a great demonstration that advanced and efficient ITSM process does not necessarily mean expensive ITSM.

IT averages only about 2%-5% of the total cost in a business. Cutting IT cost by 50% will generate fewer savings than cutting business operations costs by 3%. Thus, IT leaders and CIOs are increasing the efficiency of business processes by enhancing ITSM process and, in particular, the governing process, SLM.

Ami Nahari is an ITSM consultant with BT. As an expert leader in the field of ITSM, ITIL and SLM, Ami has assessed and implemented SLM processes for Fortune 100 companies such as Siemens, Washington Mutual, and Lenovo. Within his impressive 10 years of experience, he brings first-rate project management skills, creative approach, and proven leadership to every engagement.