As Lynda Cooper wrote in her blog the other day, the international standard for service management, ISO/IEC 20000-1, is designed to be used for any type of service for any type of organization. This, even though manynpeople think it is an IT Service Management standard. What needs to be done, though, is to take the language of the standard and translate it to the context of a specific service.
Just to illustrate this, I have taken a few aspects of the new 2018-version of the standard (to be released in September) and applied them to three non-IT services: a consumer bank, a restaurant and a car-repair service.
Demand Management and Capacity Management
Bank: Demand for financial services comes from consumers and businesses and should be easy to determine, monitor and report on. Capacity is mostly technological (Internet banking facilities, ATM capacity) and sometimes still human (customer-facing staff in offices), however the latter is declining nowadays.
Restaurant: Demand comes from guests wanting to eat – reservation systems are an easy way to keep track of demand. Capacity is very wide, including seats availability, staff, but also food ingredients, making sure that all items on the menu are available at all times.
Car-repair: Demand is from consumers wishing to have their car serviced – increasingly, appointments are made via the Internet, but in-store support is still heavily dependent on people serving the customers. Capacity hinges mostly on the facilities being available for repairs, sufficient mechanics and spare parts.
Bank: Changes to financial services should be well considered – a change in the interest rate of a savings account may cost the bank customers, for instance. Having a change policy on what elements of a financial service should be going through change management is therefore no luxury.
Restaurant: Here also, changes should be well-considered: even changing the recipe of a favourite meal should be managed properly before estranging customers who may not like it anymore after the change. Changes to the way guests are served most definitely have an impact on customer satisfaction.
Car-repair: Change management should apply to the type of services provided, the tools and materials used to repair cars and staff working with customers. Changes to all of these may impact the quality of the services provided and the satisfaction of the customers.
Information Security Management
Bank: Information Security Management has long been well-established in the banking world, so it is a straightforward process in this context, to protect customer information as well as information internal to the financial institute itself.
Restaurant: InfoSec here mostly applies to secure credit and debit card transactions, but also to safeguarding staff information (employment contracts and the likes) as well as customer information (reservations, names, payment info).
Car-repair: Similar to restaurants, InfoSec applies to financial transactions, staff information and customer data.
Service Design and Transition
Bank: This larger process is to be used for changes that have a significant impact on customers or other services, such as new services or removal of services. Introducing new services and removing existing ones may have a high impact on the customers, who may or may not be happy with a new service’s features or may get disgruntled when their old savings account gets changed to a newer type with different terms and conditions.
Restaurant: Service Design and Transition equally applies to new items being created and put onto the menu – these should be well planned, developed and tested before being served to the guests.
Car-repair: Here also, new services, for example based on new car technologies, need to be well developed, implemented and tested before being sold to customers. Staff needs to be trained on new technologies used and the new service needs to be announced to the customers via a “service catalogue” – essentially, a mention on the car repair shop’s website or brochure.
Bank: This is not financial asset management, but management of service assets. Think of all computer infrastructure needed to run the banking services, but also paper assets such as account statements being sent to customers.
Restaurant: Assets that need to be managed in a restaurant are foremost those that go into the menu items, but also the restaurant building and its facilities.
Car-repair: Here, assets range from tools and repair materials to records of repairs made and customers served. All these are part of the services and need to be managed.
Incident Management and Problem Management
Bank: Incidents, such as service interruptions with Internet Banking, happen frequently and need to be managed well. Root causes should be found to make the service more stable.
Restaurant: Incidents may consist of running out of food or seating capacity, which point to issues to do with e.g. capacity planning or supplier management. These incidents need to be fixed and their underlying causes found to improve the service levels.
Car-repair: Here, incidents may be wrongly executed repairs, which may have serious consequences. Pro-active problem management may be used to avoid these types of incidents from happening in the first place. But if they happen, very quick action needs to be taken to mitigate the potential impact of a wrong repair, such as recalling the car immediately.
As you can see, it does not require a whole lot of creativity to apply ISO/IEC 20000 to non-IT services, as long as you have a clear concept of what your service is.
Dolf van der Haven is the author of A Guide to ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 Service Management, which will be released in September by ITSM Press in both English and Spanish.