A Layered Service Process Model for Managing Variation and Change in Service Provider Operations
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In IT Service Delivery, the change of service process definitions and the management of service process variants are primary cost drivers, both for enterprise IT departments but also in particular for IT service providers. Consciously managing the evolution and variation of service specifications and understanding the impact on IT infrastructure in production or planning is necessary to manage – and minimize – the associated costs. Change in service definition management is typically driven from two sides: (1) high-level business processes, often based on a best practice, change and entail changes to the implementation of the business process; (2) an IT service on which a business process implementation is based is being revised. Variation is mostly common in large enterprise and service providers, offering the same kind of service to different customers or internal business units. This paper proposes a model of IT service processes that localizes and isolates change-prone process parts by introducing a layer of indirection. The model is borne out of experience gained in the large-scale service delivery organization of IBM. Enterprises and providers can use this model to manage their transition costs or to start offering variations of services as they now can assess better the impact.
KeywordsChange Management Variation Management Service Transition Service Workflow Management Service Process Evolution
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