Service Definition Process

INTRODUCTION

Service definition is foundational to service management. Clearly defined services enable customers to understand service offerings, including what each service does and does not include, eligibility, service limitations, cost, how to request services, and how to get help. A well-defined service also identifies internal processes necessary to provide and support the service.

At a minimum, every customer-facing service should have a high-level service definition as described below.


QUICK START

Fundamentally, five questions must be answered to define a service. These key service definition questions and a basic service definition checklist are below. Following this "quick start" section is detailed information about the service definition process.

The Five Questions

Five key questions must be answered when defining a service:

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

Service Definition/Support Readiness Checklist

This checklist lists elements to consider when answering each of the above five questions. Not all elements are required for every service; however, they should all be considered during the service definition process, and any “N/As” explained. Checklist


SERVICE DEFINITION PROCESS DESCRIPTION

STEP 1:
Determine whether the offering is a service or not

Before launching into the service definition process, it is necessary to determine whether an offering is a service or not.

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.

If the offering meets these broad criteria from the customer’s perspective, it is probably a service and should be at least minimally defined.

See "Is it a Service?" for additional information about determining whether an offering is a service.

STEP 2:
Is the service currently being provided or is it a service that you want to offer in the future?

Existing services benefit from service definition in multiple ways. Work with the existing Service manager and Service team for existing services to:

  • Develop materials that help customers better understand a service offering, including what each service does and does not include, eligibility, service limitations, cost, how to request services, and how to get help. (Questions 1,2 & 3)
  • Align service providers on internal processes necessary to provide and support the service (Questions 4 & 5)
  • Confirm that a service is operating efficiently and cost-effectively through a Service Review
  • When adding features or functions or making other changes to a service as part of continuous improvement. The service definition checklist can be used to update the relevant materials or ensure support readiness for a change to an existing service.

If it would be a new service or one for which there is no service manager or service team, continue to Step 3 to fill the key roles necessary for service definition: Service Sponsor, Service Manager, Service Team.

Otherwise, skip to Step 4

STEP 3:
New Services: Identify Service roles - Service Sponsor, Service Manager, and Service Team

Key roles for a services include:

  • The Service Sponsor is the business partner or ITS Director responsible for delivery of a service to clients. The Service Sponsor has the authority to accept service levels, costs, and risks associated with a service.
  • The Service Manager has overall accountability for service definition, ensuring services are delivered in accordance with agreed service levels and managing the service lifecycle. The Service Manager works with the Service Team.
  • The Service Team, with cross-functional team members, works with the Service Manager to develop the service definition as well as ongoing operations and continuous improvement (including changes and service reviews).

A Service Manager mentor from ITS' Client Service group orients a new Service Manager to IT Service Management tools and deliverables:

STEP 4:
Develop service definition

  1. At the start of service definition, the Service Manager works with Service Team to determine which elements of the 5 Questions Service Definition Checklist, are necessary to answer. Some may be in-depth, others may be high-level in nature.
  2. The Service Manager leads Service team through a development of applicable elements of the 5 questions.The Service Manager consults with users and subject matter experts to validate that the customer-facing material is understandable and actionable.
  3. Develop and publish Web Service Catalog pages. The Service Manager and Service Team work with Communications manager to publish Web Service Catalog pages. The Service Definition checklist includes the elements of the 5 questions that are part of the Web Service Catalog.
  4. Ensure Support Readiness. The Service Manager coordinates with Tier 1 support personnel (e.g. Support Center) to train and orient to support materials and processes. The Service Manager coordinates with Tier 2 and 3 support personnel on escalation materials and processes.
  5. Develop and publish SLA. The Service Manager and team work with Customer representatives to develop the SLA. The Service Manager coordinates with Communications Manager to get SLAs approved and published.
  6. Integrate with IT Request. The Service Manager and team work with IT Request team to implement service requests in the IT Request service catalog. The Service Manager and Service Team work with the Change Manager to approve standard changes in IT Request.
STEP 5:
Continuous Improvement

As part of ongoing service delivery, the Service Manager works with the Service Team on continuous improvement, including

  • Periodic Service Review
  • Review of the 5 questions with any service changes
  • Design review, including security review, as needed for any service changes
  • Regular Change Management activities

Additional Information

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