Improved Process Efficiency and Quality in IT Service Management

IT Service Management (ITSM) is a strategy by which IT services are offered under contract to customers and performance is managed as a service. From a customer perspective ITSM is often seen as inefficient and costly. There are several frameworks/methods aimed at supporting improved process efficiency.

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However, these methods are criticized for being too complex and having too-high learning thresholds. Small- and medium-sized IT-enterprises (SMEs) simply do not have the resources to deal with frameworks such as ITIL and CMMI. SMEs need to quickly realize payoff and cannot afford to invest and maintain competence in too extensive and general methods, often is called best practice. SMEs do not need extensive methods; they need methods that are easily accessible and easy to adopt. This criticism is even more valid since 99% of Swedish enterprises are classified as SMEs.

Based on this criticism, we will develop a digital assessment method that is easy accessible for SMEs. The method development will be guided by the cornerstones “good enough” and “collaboration”. “Good enough” is motivated by the fact that it is hard for SMEs to benefit from best practices. Best practice is often defined as methods that have consistently shown results superior to those achieved by other means. A common criticism is that it cannot be assumed that there are general action patterns that span over time and space, and that provide superior results. In order to develop a method for supporting SMEs we will change perspective: from best practice to good enough. According to our understanding, the concept of good enough is not well-defined and there is an uncertainty about its meaning. Our initial definition of good enough is that there should be satisfactory results with fewer resources spent. One expected contribution beside an assessment method is increased knowledge concerning the concept of good enough.

We will also base the method development on collaboration. We have arranged a setting consisting of both service providers and customers. The purpose of this co-creation situation is to reduce or eliminate problems experienced by the two parties through close collaboration. Close collaboration means that the service provider and the customer can jointly apply their different competences and skills in a problem formulation and problem solving process. That is, input to the method development is based on both parties’ competences. The digital assessment method will offer possibilities for service providers to assess their own process efficiency and delivery of IT services and there will be support for the customer to assess their understanding of the delivery of the IT services. In this way, we will create good conditions for continuous improvement of the IT services. We are also viewing the co-creation situation as a means for the service providers and customers to strengthen and create a long-term relationship.

In collaboration with: Bankgirocentralen BGC AB, Borås Stad, Fritidsresor, Profecto Service Management AB, Pulsen AB, Sogeti Sverige AB, TeliaSonera AB, Tregamma Sverige AB,Varbergs Kommun, Volvo Personvagnar AB samt Volvohandelns utvecklings AB 


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