The Mysterious Service Design Package

This week, I went to the itSMF regional meeting held at the Co-op Bank HQ in Manchester. We were privy to two superb presentations from the Co-op team. Ian Macdonald set us thinking about base-lining and benchmarking but, for me, the star of the day was Andy Birds who talked about the Mysterious Service Design package.

Anyone who has been around IT service management for a while will have lamented the lack of involvement of application developers in the overall service design process. For all too long, services are declared “live” even though the operational requirements of maintainability, availability and reliability have not been properly considered. The team at Co-operative Bank has taken this crucial area of service design to heart and embraced the service design package.

Andy was able to demonstrate that by paying due regard to the communication and documentation flow, from service design to everyone else downstream of an implementation, not only was there a considerable dividend in the quality of the implementation but that the total cost of ownership (TCO) was reduced.

Sure, things don’t always go by the book. When other pressures come to bear and incomplete services just have to go live, the Co-op team are not only well able to allocate responsibility but, more importantly, gain acceptance of the risks and consequences at the appropriate level.

There aren’t that many case studies around of successes in service design. This certainly was one that deserves a greater audience.

Stuart Sawle

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