Category: Design

The Service Management Solution Framework (SMSF)

Because IT services continually proliferate, the supply of people taking on ITSM at the beginner level never decreases.

And because there are so many pathways to management maturity within ITSM, many different uses of language compete to define, explain, or justify relevant ideas.

Consequently, despite even the most popular “standards”, such as ITIL,  ITSM practitioners and commentators constantly regenerate confusion about providing and acquiring “solutions” to the problem of managing IT services for the business.

The confusion means that the investment in prescribed activities and offered support can be difficult to assess for its probable effectiveness. Many activities have immediate measurable effects, but the objective is to know when an effect is specifically constructive as evidence and progress of a “solution”.

A Solution Framework provides a standing reference for recognizing when and how something qualifies unambiguously as a solution. This Archestra Research notebook narrows the scope of the problem to exposing what a “solution” is, regardless of its source.

The framework consists of three perspectives: Business-centric, Capability-centric, and IT-centric.

Service Management Solution Framework Part 1

Service Management Solution Framework Part 1

The framework standardizes uses of terminology, while it calls out issues and activities that are usually already underway but that need to have their coordination specified.

By tracing the business view through the enabled capabilities supported by IT, all areas of managed contributions are aligned under accountability for inclusion and completeness in covering issues that make something a “solution”.

The full discussion of how to use the framework is available in PDF form at this link to its Slideshare location.

 

 

 


Service Design Modeling

DevOps works with the presumption that Operations are directly involved in the interpretation of requirements and use cases driving the development of solutions.

Including that perspective, this design model for a service presents a high-level abstraction that isolates the supply and demand sides of service production but aligns them within the decomposition and assignments of requirements, deriving the design implementation from the use case through sourcing and into development.

Archestra Service Design Model_v_DevOps

An extended discussion of the DevOps influence on the design model is found on Slideshare as DevOps and the IT Consumer.

All Archestra models and frameworks are subject to revision at any time.

 


Digitized Production Service Solutions

Some companies are literally in the business of engineering IT infrastructures and managing the exposure of the company operations to those infrastructures.

For them, ITSM is part of a strategy to protect the value of providing IT to the business operations.

But from the demand side of things, credible providers are increasingly non-proprietary to the company. Meanwhile, the production value of IT utilization simply outweighs the impact on the Providers of doing the providing.

For companies not operated directly to engineer IT infrastructures, services still align IT to usability. The concept of a service and the agreement that defines service availability remains instrumental to making IT a part of business capacity.

But business seeks to align services to productivity. The point is that productivity dictates the requirements of capacity — instead of capacity dictating the potential value of availability.

 

SERVICES VERSUS DEMAND

Actual demand for service is linked closely to production requirements.

The value of production is far more sensitive to (a.) exposure to complexity and (b.) unreconciled scheduling. From the demand-side point of view, the primary assumption is that engineering creates an environment in which there can be reliable standing conditions supporting the opportunity to deliberately generate desired real-time outcomes. But, the on-demand world is emerging under management as a compilation of innovation, mobility, A.I., predictive analytics, dev/ops, lean, virtualization, and broadband. Meanwhile, the influence of competition, economies and cultures now more frequently causes changes in requirements. Consequently, use of services must be more flexible.  This means that the specific pathways and requirements of production may not be predefined and may need to be detected and composed “on the fly” with easily tolerable risk. Systems must continually or even suddenly generate processing that is immediately available to business operators.

Production Services Digitization

 

MANAGEMENT FOR BUSINESS

Demand-based strategic management of the production environment can be viewed thematically.

The management themes put an explicit emphasis on recognizing systemic conditions that promote immediate and adequate throughput of technology power, at low risk of misalignment to work objectives. The key themes ( in gray below) address the throughput constraints of on-demand production including target outputs, adaptability, governance, optimization and standards. They expect that management, services and needs are always negotiated in production.

Production Services Digitization2

 

Solution Providers are expected to address the elements of the model and the alignment of the elements. The elements shown in the model (such as context, knowledge or presentation) are all independently variable. But this means that the components of a solution can change asynchronously, directly affecting the complexity and integrity of the overall production system.

Elemental variability also highlights the hypothetical case of implementing full production throughput on terms other than through a single-source provider. A provider’s components offer more or less elegance and coherence to the production, and from one component to another, different providers have different levels of achievement in that regard.

In turn, that highlights the true importance of current-state digitization in IT.

 

DIGITIZATION

Digitization primarily means two things: one, the difficulty of engineering functional objects is greatly reduced; and two, the practical access to any implemented functionality is greatly increased. Digitization gives the same benefit to multiple sources, making each of the sources more likely useful to a given customer.

As a result, business requirements, for rationally maximizing the utilization of automation technology to exploit information, can be more generically defined by the customer aside from particular sources.

Said differently, essential business-relevant information uses such as explanation, instruction, communication and recording can be more readily modeled with a simpler architectural level of logic. In turn, the implementation of that logic in action can proceed in a faster time frame and with more assurance of operational stability.

Production Services Digitization3

 

THROUGHPUT DESIGN GLOSSARY

The business version of the production throughput model applies strategic goals (productivity, provision, management) to the production conditions, not just to the production outputs. It also applies goals (convenient, dynamic, integrated) to the runtime experience of the production.

In that demand oriented framing, the model broadly solicits the pertinent elements of a desired production solution. For example, catalogs and  location-triggered alerts both address service awareness. Collaboration functions and publishing both address knowledge. Discovery and mapping both address surveillance. Rules address interpretation; versions address referencing; and user interfaces address workflow.

More of the logic: demand-based management views on systems involve solution features that are automated and integrated specifically to apply to supporting production’s enablement with IT.

  • Presentation: consistent recognition and display of symptomatic evidence
  • Interpretation: formulaic or heuristic semantics and analyses
  • Referencing: policies, standards and specifications
  • Surveillance: real-time detection and exploration of states

Those assignments are part of the model’s persistent logic, while allowing both current and future components to apply.