ITS Service Management: Key Elements


| Key Concepts | Key Processes | Roles and Responsibilities | Service Definition Products | Additional Information |

Key Concepts

Tools and Resources
What is Service Management? Service Management is a customer-focused approach to delivering information technology. Service Management focuses on providing value to the customer and also on the customer relationship. Service Management provides a framework to structure IT-related activities and the interactions of IT technical personnel with customers and clients. Service Management Resources
Is it a Service? A service is a coherent, ready-to-use deliverable that is of value to the customer. Services allow customers to do business without worrying about underlying technology or IT infrastructure.

Is it a Service?

Service Catalog

Service Lifecycle Services must evolve in order to continue to meet the needs of the customer and respond to technological changes and advances. The Service Lifecycle is the overall framework used to identify, define, manage, and retire IT services. Service Lifecycle Diagram

Key Processes

Tools and Resources
Service Definition
Defining services is the key to service management. A service definition enables both the customer and the service provider to know what they can and cannot expect from a service. Clearly defined services inform customers about service offerings, including what each service does and does not include, eligibility, service limitations, cost, how to request the service, and how to get help. A well-defined service also identifies internal processes necessary to provide and support the service.

Every customer-facing service should have a high-level service definition at a minimum. Answers to the following five questions will help define a service.

The Five Questions:

Customer facing questions:
1.  What is the service, and how do I get it? (Service Description)
2.  How do I get help? How do I use the service? (Help and Self-Service)
3.  What Does It Cost? (Service Cost and Pricing)

ITS (internal) facing questions:
4.  How does ITS support this service? (Service Support)
5.  How does ITS provide this service? (Service Delivery)

Outcomes of service definition include: Service Catalog pages, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and Operational Level Agreements (OLAs). See "Service Definition Products", below.

Service Definition Process

Service Definition/ Support Readiness Checklist

5 Questions/ Key Dates Flyer

Change Management
Change management helps to ensure that the risk of changes impacting the customer are minimized. Elements of change management include:
  • Risk Impact Assessment:  Scope and Effect
  • Testing and Back-out Plans
  • Communication

Change Management Website

5 Questions/ Key Dates Flyer

Incident Management
In the Service Management world, an "incident" is any event that causes an unexpected interruption or reduction in a service. The goal of Incident Management is the restoration of normal operations as quickly as possible with as little disruption for clients as possible. At UCSC, Incident Management applies to everything from handling a single trouble ticket to an entire service outage.

Key Roles and Responsibilities

Tools and Resources
Service Manager 
The Service Manager has overall accountability for defining the service, ensuring services are delivered in accordance with agreed business requirements, and managing the service lifecycle – often in conjunction with a Service Team (see below). Service Manager web page
Service Team
A Service Team's function is to provide service-related input, review and disposition of service change requests, and resolve service-related issues.  Service Teams can be formal or informal and are composed of individuals and groups that need to be consulted for service changes and development. This typically includes customer representatives, service providers, service support representatives, and subject matter experts.
Service Teams web page
Service Sponsor
The Service Sponsor is the business partner or individual responsible for signing off on and accepting delivery of a service. The Service Sponsor has the authority to accept service levels, costs, and risks associated with a service.

Service Definition Products

Tools and Resources
Service Catalog 
The ITS Service Catalog is a list of IT services provided to campus clients that is published on the web as part of the ITS web site.  Each "service page" within the catalog includes a description of the service, how to get the service, how to get service support, costs (if applicable), and other information regarding the use and capabilities of the service.

Service Catalog

Service Catalog page template

Service Level Agreement (SLA) 
A Service Level Agreement (SLA) is an agreement between a service provider and the customer which details the parameters of the services to be provided. Key elements of an SLA include
  • Service Levels, such as response time, availability and support parameters
  • Identifying responsible parties and processes for requesting service and getting help
  • Setting reportable metrics in order to measure the performance and health of the service

A service provider might have their own Service Level agreements with third party providers of products and services.

ITS SLA web page

SLA template (will open a Google Doc)

OLA/SLA Process

SLA process diagram (pdf)

Metrics worksheet and web page

Operational Level Agreement (OLA)

By contrast, an Operational Level Agreement (OLA) is an agreement with a department internal to the service provider detailing the provision of a certain element of a service. Key elements of an OLA include
  • Expectations and performance targets for each element in the support chain for a service  
  • Clear descriptions of the service ownership, accountability, roles and other responsibilities
  • Key interaction elements between ITS organizations or groups

OLA Template (link will download a Word file)

OLA/SLA Process

Additional Information

For questions, additional information, or feedback please contact Client Services and Security using the ITS Feedback form