Category: Strategy

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.




Presence On Demand – The New Productivity

A demand-based orientation redefines the way productivity is is defined and recognized — replacing the concerns of the supply mindset used by providers with the demand mindset used by consumers to evaluate their engagement with the influence of a company. The following figure illustrates the drill-down of concerns from Return on Investment in what the company does to the value attributes of its encountered activity and behavior. The concerns are highly summarized and contrasted between the supply orientation and the demand orientation.

Productivity On Demand_ROI and Value Matrix

Managing Assets in a Free-Wheeling World

Trillion-dollar dotcoms get trillion-ized by not carrying inventory. Wall Street creates “products” by packaging things that were NOT provided (payments due).  Employees bring their own devices. Lines-Of-Business grab what they want from the external Everything-As-A-Service buffet. And obsession with innovation, fueling the pace of change, makes almost anything in hand at risk of being “obsoleted” far sooner than was ever projected.

Story after story, being in charge of Stuff is an authority that has fallen on hard times.

Or not… A division of Needs has simply taken over from a division of Belongings, and the solutions to Needs are more clearly and vigorously attached to how things are obtained instead of what things are already in hand. It’s a natural evolution, allowed more speed and prominence by technology having finally gotten us past institutionalized scarcity.

It doesn’t mean, however, that assets have just gone away. It does mean that Resourcing is the big issue, and that managing assets is a requirement of resourcing. Resources are assets that have been given an operational assignment. Resources are derived from assets.

This takes place in three interesting scenarios, summarized in the chart here, and detailed in the document linked below it.

Managing Derived Resources

For a full description of why and how resourcing is the lead POV on asset management, see Assets as Resources in the Next Normal.

The provided logic, and the objectives of resourcing, explains how assets apply to innovation, XaaS, collaboration, “freemiums”, services, and many of the other defaults that have collectively and concurrently become “the next normal” of production.

Understanding Solution Implementation

We know that the idea of “solutions” is often abused. We intuitively understand that something called a solution is not solving anything if, for example, it is installed but not supported to any practically useful effect. But we understand why a provider calls something a “solution” even in advance of installation: the provider is pointing at its offer to respond to a designated problem. Then we’ll go on to talk and think about implementing the so-called solution.

But “Implementation” is a crucial concept that requires the determination to distinguish and recognize restructuring separately from installation.

The execution of implementation matures from concept to reality in a deliberate and overt way, with a predefined kind of completed change becoming a new regular element of the organization (structure) of a behavior or of a facility.

An implementation is, therefore, typically visible as a new formation put into effect. The primary responsibility of its finish is to be the platform for actual upcoming action, not to conform to historical prescriptions or precedents. This in turn means that measuring the success of an implementation is done by comparing the meaningful characteristics of the new behavior or facility against the old characteristics.

Installations can be completed and yet have no significant forward impact at all. In contrast, an implementation by definition has a measurably significant impact identified in terms of the behavior requirements or facility requirements; this means that implementations may proceed and progress with an understanding that there is a threshold to be reached and crossed, representing the intentions of the affected client. Thresholds may in fact move over time, in response to the influence of new circumstances developing around and within the affected client. Managerially, the imperative is to keep the current threshold explicitly defined and agreed.

Intention is primarily directional. Alignment to intention is not so much a matter of fixed positions but of consistent appropriate movement. Enabling the alignment is the primary objective of the implementation effort. This also means that “successful” implementations can initially be detrimental to desired results, while still being on the way to desired benefits. The affected client should expect that adjusting to the formation can introduce difficulties that are necessary to sustaining alignment, at the expense of conventional signs of good performance.

Alignment is not ambiguous. The terms and relations that affect alignment rarely need to be invented but they need to be orchestrated and their cooperation or other influences tracked. In the framework of implementation, the regular and distinctive factors of its progression are exposed (providing “transparency” of effort). Directionality, from hypothesis to realization, is identified bottom to top and left to right.

Enterprise Solution Implementation Framework

To reiterate: an important fact of the difference between installation and implementation is that installation projects come to a close, while implementation initiatives do not close; they mature.

The Experience Of The User

Engaging and Supporting the Personalization of Productivity

Individuals in action are simultaneously thinking and feeling; giving and receiving. Understanding the actual meaning of “experience” therefore requires crosses several boundaries and concerns.

It is tempting to catalog issues according to what giving and receiving means regarding thinking; then, likewise, what giving and receiving means regarding feeling. To some extent this cataloging might generate a set of items that are useful in profiling the individual compared to other individuals. But that profiling would still leave the matter of how it makes sense to purposefully interact with the individual. “Making sense” is likely our way of saying, what do we think the chances are that the effects we want would be obtained from the interaction we expect?

Profiling is certainly not obsolete. But meanwhile, with the dramatic rise of powerfully enabled individual actors, two new issues come up.

One is that an individual is more likely to have multiple profiles, variously active at different times and places. Another is that the individual has far more control over when or why they will be profiled, yet the tendency now is for far more voluntary self-exposure. As individuals observe other individuals, they are unpredictably attracted to the chance to pursue similarity or pursue difference.

In the science of relationships, we are generally now needing to observe very closely and react very quickly as a mode of gaining desired interaction with a desired profile. The alternative, however, still exists and is also itself more powerful than before. The alternative is cultivation, which requires strategy, logic, and being thorough. It begins with seeing how individuals generally behave as they try to obtain or cause what they themselves want.

Here we have derived the general model of the behavior that makes up an individual’s sense of personal productivity:

Personalized Productivity1


The model gives a clear view of the significant touch-points in the dynamics of the individual’s experience, along with the reasons to interact at those touch-points. What comes next is the identification of how the individual’s exposure and awareness is co-managed by the person and another purposefully affecting party. The framework for that describes the person’s exposure to support and engagement along with the affecting party’s means of impact in an interaction. The affecting party maps the items in the framework to the behavior cycle of the subject individual person.

Not only does this reveal the commonality of concerns across marketers, managers and teachers; but it illustrates points where peer interaction is able to intervene in a prevailing tendency and alter it. The net observation is that an affecting party supplies the impacts continually as features or properties of an environment in which it want the individual person to appear. That cultivation does not rigidly fix opportunities, nor outcomes; but it does generate histories that can be analyzed for patterns and statistical prediction both of value to future interaction logic and interaction strategy.


Personalized Productivity2


Along with the ability to invoke desirable interactions, cultivation is fundamental to change management and compliance, as they both call for a successfully negotiated agreement on the part of the individual personal actor.

Strategic Support Now

The customary “holy trinity” of People/Process/Technology still holds its place in IT strategy, accounting for key elements of managed value. Meanwhile, IT innovation has dramatically emphasized the central position of the individual user, who arbitrates tools and information with unprecedented liberties and options. This newfound power even directly challenges “process” by more frequently injecting improvisation into user procedures with beneficial results.

Because of this shift from process to people, it is far more important strategically to understand and manage why people do what they do. With that understanding, it is more evident that strategic support is fundamentally proactive, and is logically definable from the user’s point of view.


Support as Proactive User Empowerment

The general mindset of a User has an underlying structure that gives Support the indications of what generates manageability of the user’s acts and decisions towards getting “value” from IT utilization. The User’s self-image, desire, technology and information are all aimed at practicality, impact, expectations and decisions in a consistent way. The consistency comes from the User’s instinctive need to combine competency and autonomy (opportunity) for driving justified performance (outcomes). Proactive support consistently focuses on the practicality, expectations, decisions and impacts. The long-term significance of the consistency is that it accommodates the increasing breadth and pace of changes in user practices, tools and information without needing support to be re-conceived itself. Implementations of support can adapt and adopt within the same formula for generating business value.