Organizing for Service Operation Tutorial

5.1 Organizing For Service Operation

Learning Unit 05: Organizing service operations. This unit refers to the implementation considerations of service operations in an organization. Let us go ahead and learn more about Service Operation implementation in the next few slides.

5.2 Functions Within Service Operation

Before we proceed with the considerations for implementing SO, firstly we need to understand the considerations of its functions . Let’s look at the details in this slide. A function is a logical concept that refers to the people and automated measures that execute a defined process, an activity or a combination of processes or activities. In larger organizations a function may be broken up and performed by several departments, teams and groups, or it may be embodied within a single organizational unit. Let us now look at the categorized functions: Service Desk function, Service Desk is the primary point of contact for users when there is a service disruption, for service requests or even for some categories of Request for Change. Technical Management function provides detailed technical skills and resources needed to support the ongoing operation of the IT Infrastructure. Technical management function is the Custodian of technical knowledge and expertise related to managing the overall IT infrastructure. IT Operations Management is the function responsible for the daily operational activities needed to manage the IT Infrastructure. This is done according to the Performance Standards defined during Service Design. In some organizations this is a single, centralized department, while in others some activities and staff are centralized and some are provided by distributed or specialized departments. Here it overlaps from the Technical and Application Management functions. It consists of IT Operations Control, which ensures that routine operational tasks are carried out and Facilities Management which manages the physical IT environment, usually Data Center's or computer rooms. Application Management is responsible for managing applications throughout their Lifecycle. The Application Management function supports and maintains operational applications and also plays an important role in the Design, testing and improvement of applications that form part of IT services.

5.3 Functions Within Service Operation

In our last slide we discussed about the factors to be considered while organizing SO functions. This slide provides a pictorial representation of the functions and the overlapping of the functions. As we can see, the functions are overlapping in IT operations control. This also shows that Service Desk is kept separate to be focused on the CSF which includes serving customers and value delivery. This function is critical, thus it has to be kept separate to avoid the focus shift of goals. In technical management function, IT infrastructure components are taken care when the technical management activities are taken care by operational control. Thus IT infrastructure components are shown as overlapping with operations control. Similarly Application Management related activities also can be a part of operational control. IT operational control refers to providing centralized Monitoring and Control activities, usually using an Operations Bridge or Network Operations Center and Facilities Management refer to the management of the physical IT environment, data centers etc. Some organization will have their own IT department under operations control for technical and application support. That is where the overlapping of function is carried out. Let us move to the next slide and learn about the functions of Service Desk.

5.4 Service Desk

In our last slide we discussed about the representation of the functions and their overlapping in SO. This slide explains the Service Desk function. Service desk is a function which has dedicated resources to deal with issues reported by event, other process interfaces, telephone calls by users or auto generated event and acts as Single point of contact. It is the second Customer facing organization structure and Customer facing skills are crucial for service desks success. The value of an effective Service Desk should not be underrated – a good Service Desk can often compensate for deficiencies elsewhere in the IT organization; but a poor Service Desk (or the lack of a Service Desk) can give a poor impression of an otherwise very effective IT organization! It is therefore very important that the correct caliber of staff is used on the Service Desk and that IT Managers do their best to make the desk an attractive place to work to improve staff retention. Let us learn more about the Service Desk in our next slide.

5.5 Business Benefits Of Service Desk

In our last slide we discussed about the concept of Service Desk function.. This slide explains the business benefits of Service Desk function. Many organizations have become convinced by the benefits of Service Desk as the best approach for dealing with first line IT support issues. Benefits of Service Desk at the primary level are many like better Customer service, understanding and satisfaction. Being SPOC Service Desk offers increased accessibility to their users. Much faster turnaround time and quality service is provided to the users. Being a single function, communication and teamwork is more effective. The staffing of the Service Desk is clearly trained on the skills of communication, Customer handling skills, rapport building etc. Care should be taken to select appropriately skilled individuals with a good understanding of the business and to provide adequate training – thus preventing reduction in levels of support due to a lack of knowledge at the first line. Let us learn about the objectives of service desk in the next slide.

5.6 Service Desk Objectives

In our last slide we discussed about the business benefits of Service Desk function. This slide explains the objectives of the Service Desk. The primary aim of the Service Desk is to act as a single point of contact with the incident management activities. Service desk has to focus that normal service is restored to the users as quickly as possible. In this context ‘restoration of service’ is meant in the widest possible sense. While this could involve fixing a technical fault, it could equally involve fulfilling a Service Request or answering a query. Moving on let us study the responsibilities of Service Desk.

5.7 Service Desk Responsibilities

In our last slide we discussed about the objectives of the Service Desk. Now let’s look into the responsibilities of a Service Desk. Like the other operational processes, responsibilities of Service Desk would remain same like logging Incident requests, categorization and prioritization. Service desk’s responsibilities also include Identifying the issue, performing initial diagnosis to understand the series of occurrences, resolution , closure, functional or hierarchical escalation execution, act as a communication channel to users conducting user satisfaction surveys and CMS update Let us proceed to learn the responsibilities of Service Desk.

5.8 Service Desk Structures

In our last slide we discussed about the responsibilities of the Service Desk. This slide explains the various types of structures of a Service Desk. When it comes to organizing the Service Desk, there are many ways of structuring Service Desks and locating them – and the correct solution will vary for different organizations. The primary options of Service Desk structures are Local Service Desk, Centralized Service Desk, Virtual Service Desk and Follow the Sun. These options are discussed in the later slides, but in reality an organization may need to implement a structure that combines a number of these options in order to fully meet the business needs. Let us go ahead and learn more about Service Desk structures.

5.9 Local Service Desk

Let us start with our first structure of Service Desk: the local Service Desk. This is where a Service Desk is co-located within or physically close to the user community it serves. Local Service Desk often aids communication and gives a clearly visible presence, which some users like, but can often be inefficient and expensive to resource as staff is tied up waiting to deal with incidents when the volume and the arrival rate of calls may not justify this. There may, however, be some valid reasons for maintaining a local desk, this might include: 1. Language and cultural or political differences 2. Different time zones 3. Specialized groups of users 4. The existence of customized or specialized services that require specialist knowledge 5. VIP/criticality status of users. As we are now aware of the local Service Desk structure let us move to our next SD structure.

5.10 Centralized Service Desk

In the last slide we discussed about the local Service Desk structure. This slide explains the centralized Service Desk structure. It is possible to reduce the number of Service Desks by merging them into a single location or into a smaller number of locations, by drawing the staff into one or more centralized Service Desk structures. This can be more efficient and cost-effective, allowing fewer of the overall staff to deal with higher volume of calls, and can also lead to higher skill levels through greater familiarization through more frequent occurrence of events. It might still be necessary to maintain some form of ‘local presence’ to handle physical support requirements, but such staff can be controlled and deployed from the central desk. Let us move on to learn about another service desk structure known as Virtual Service Desk.

5.11 Virtual Service Desk

In the last slide we discussed about the centralized Service Desk. This slide explains the various types of structures of a virtual Service Desk. Through the use of technology, particularly the Internet, and the use of corporate support tools, it is possible to give the impression of a single, centralized Service Desk when in fact the personnel may be spread or located in any number or type of geographical or structural locations. This brings in the option of ‘home working’, secondary support group, off-shoring or outsourcing – or any combination necessary to meet user demand. It is important to note, however, that safeguards are needed in all of these circumstances to ensure consistency and uniformity in service quality and cultural terms. Let us learn about follow the sun approach concept in the next slide.

5.12 Follow The Sun

In our last slide we discussed about the virtual Service Desk. This slide explains the concept of follow the sun approach. Let us understand this concept. Follow the sun approach refers to the situation where some global or international organizations may wish to combine two or more of their geographically dispersed Service Desks to provide a 24-hour follow-the-sun service. For example, a Service Desk in Asia–Pacific may handle calls during its standard office hours and at the end of this period it may hand over responsibility for any open incidents to a European-based desk. That desk will handle these calls alongside its own incidents during its standard day and then hand over to a USA-based desk – which finally hands back responsibility for the Asia–Pacific desk to complete the cycle. This can give 24-hour coverage at relatively low cost, as no desk has to work more than a single shift. However, the same safeguards of common processes, tools, shared database of information and culture must be addressed in this approach to proceed – and well-controlled escalation and handover processes.

5.13 Specialized Service Desk Groups

Another organization structure that can be thought of is ‘Specialised Service Desk Groups’. Sometimes it can be beneficial to constitute a specialist group to handle incidents and service requests pertaining to vital applications or business processes. This arrangement enables routing incidents directly to specialist groups thus resulting in faster resolution. However, specialist groups should be considered only for a very small number of key services and where call rates justify the requirement. This is essential for maintaining the ‘single point of contact’ nature of service desk and also not to complicate service desk activities. Let us now proceed to learn about Service desk roles in the next slide.

5.14 Service Desk Roles

We discussed about different types of service desk. In this slide we will discuss about service desk staffing. The different roles used in service desk function are Service Desk Manager, Service Desk Supervisor, Service Desk Analysts and Business users/Super Users An organization must ensure that the correct number of staff is available at any given time to match the demand being placed upon the desk by business. Call rates can be volatile, usually peak during start of the office day and then fall off quickly and may be another peak during afternoon and so on. The factors that should be considered when deciding staffing levels are: Customer service expectations Business requirements such as budget, call response time The level of self-help tools and automation of service request handling Size, relative age, design and complexity of IT infrastructure and service catalogue Number of customers and users speaking a different language Skill level Apart from this the staffing level depends based on types of response required like telephone, email, text, online etc… In the next slide let’s understand the levels required for service desk staffing

5.15 Service Desk Roles

In this slide we will look at skill level, training, staff retention and staff users. An organization must decide on the level and range of skills it requires of its service desk staff and then ensure that these skills are available at the appropriate time. This can be taken care by facilitating training programmes. Some of them are: – Interpersonal skills – Business awareness – Service awareness – Technical awareness – Diagnosis skills – Usage of support tools and techniques – Awareness of training, process and procedure – Typing skills Training is vital; all service desk staff must be adequately trained before they are called upon to staff the service desk. Investment should be made in the professional development of service desk staff. Internal mentoring and shadowing at second and third level staff is good start. Organizational commitment is must. This leads to innovation and which in turn increases the efficiency. The next important point is staff retention. Any significant loss of staff can be disruptive and lead to inconsistency of service, so efforts should be made to make the service desk an attractive place to work. Many organizations find it useful to appoint or designate a number of super users throughout the user community to act as liaison points with IT in general and the service desk in particular. With this we covered about service desk. In the next topic we discuss about Technical management.

5.16 Technical Management

In the last few slides we discussed about the Service Desk function. This slide introduces us to the Technical Management function. Technical Management refers to the groups, departments or teams that provide technical expertise and overall management of the IT Infrastructure. Technical management performs a dual role. They are: In the first role Technical Management function acts as the custodian of technical knowledge and expertise related to managing the IT infrastructure. In this role, the Technical Management function ensures that the Knowledge required to Design, test, manage and improve IT Services is identified, developed and refined. In second role, it provides the actual resources to support the ITSM Lifecycle. In this role, the Technical Management function ensures that resources are effectively trained and deployed to Design, build, transition, operate and continually improve. By performing these two roles, Technical Management is able to ensure that the organization has access to the right type and level of human resources to manage technology and, thus, to meet business objectives. Part of this role is also to ensure a balance between the skill level, utilization and the cost of these resources. For example, hiring a skilled resource at higher salary scale and then only using that skill for 10% of the time is not effective. A better Technical Management strategy would be to identify the times that the skill is needed and then hire a contractor for only those tasks. Let us go ahead and learn more about Technical Management, let us begin with the objectives of Technical Management.

5.17 Technical Management - Objectives

In the last slide we understood the concepts of Technical Management. This slide explains the objectives of Technical Management function. The objectives of Technical Management are to help plan, implement and maintain a stable technical infrastructure to support the organization’s business processes through well designed and highly resilient, cost-effective technical topology. Technical Management also has to ensure the use of adequate technical skills to maintain the technical infrastructure in optimum condition and apply the Swift use of technical skills to speedily diagnose and resolve any technical failures that do occur. Moving on let us learn about the various roles involved in Technical Management.

5.18 Technical Management - Activities

There are a number of generic activities performed by the Technical Management staff. The key ones are : • Identifying the knowledge and expertise required to manage and operate the IT infrastructure and to deliver IT services; • Documenting the skills that exist in the organization, as well as those skills that need to be developed. This will include the development of skills inventories and the performance of training needs analyses; • Initiating training programmes to develop and refine the skills in the appropriate technical resources and maintaining training records for all technical resources; • Designing and delivering training for users, the service desk and other groups; • Defining the standards to be used in the design of new architectures and participation in the definition of technology architectures during the service strategy and design stages; • Participating in projects, not only during service design and service transition, but also for CSI or operational projects; • Engineering availability and capacity management for IT services to meet the levels of service required by the business; • Assessing risk, identifying critical service and system dependencies and defining and implementing counter-measures; • Managing suppliers – many technical management departments or groups are the only ones who know exactly what is required of a supplier and how to measure and manage them; • Defining and managing event management standards and tools; • Participating in resolution of incidents and problems. Technical management as a function provides resources that contribute to the execution of incident and problem management processes; • Supporting the change management process where reliance on the technical knowledge and expertise may be needed to evaluate changes; and • Providing information for, and operationally maintaining, the Configuration Management System and its data. In the next slide, let us learn about the Technical management roles.

5.19 Technical Management Roles

In last two slides we have looked at the meaning and objective of Technical Management. Now, let us learn about various roles in Technical Management. Firstly, let us understand the role of a technical manager / team leader. A Technical Manager or Team-leader (depending upon the size and/or importance of the team and the organization’s structure and culture) may be needed for each of the technical teams or departments. The technical manager/team leader responsibilities include taking overall responsibility for leadership, control and decision making for the technical team or development, providing technical knowledge and leadership in the specific technical areas covered by the team or department, ensuring necessary technical training, awareness and experience levels are maintained within the team or department, reporting to senior management on all technical issues relevant to their area of responsibility and performing line management for all team or department members. There is also scope for the role of Technical Analysts/Architects. This term refers to any staff member in Technical Management who performs the activities listed above. Role of Technical Analysts and Architects includes Working with users, sponsors, Application Management and all other stakeholders to determine their evolving needs. It is alsoWorking with Application Management and other areas in Technical Management to determine the highest level of system requirements required to meet the requirements within budget and technology constraints. Technical Operator can be any staff who perform day to day operational tasks in technical management. Usually these tasks are delegated to a dedicated IT operations team and therefore are discussed in detail as part of IT operator role in IT operations management function. This summarizes the technical management function. Let us move to our next function on IT Operations management.

5.20 Technical Management Organization

not normally provided by a single department or group. One or more technical support teams or departments will be needed to provide technical management and support for the IT infrastructure. Technical management organization is formed based on specialization. Some of the examples of technical management functions are – Mainframe team – Server team – Storage team – Network support team – Virtualization team – Desktop team – Database team – Middleware team – Directory services – Internet or web – Messaging team – IP based telephony team In the next slide we discuss about Technical design and technical maintenance and support

5.21 Technical Design And Technical Maintenance And Support

This slide is about Technical design and technical maintenance and support Technical management consists of specialist technical architects and designers who are primarily involved during service design and specialists in support and maintenance staffs who are involved in service operation. The organization sees them two parts. But the problem with this approach is coordination. The solution is support staff should be involved during the design or architecture of a solution. Design staff should be involved in setting maintenance objectives and resolving support issues. A change in how both design and support staff are measured. Accountability should be defined. In the next slide we see about Measuring Technical management performance

5.22 Measuring Technical Management Performance

In this slide we discuss about Measuring Technical management performance Performance metrics for technical management will largely depend on which technology is being managed. Some generic metrics are Measurement of agreed outputs like contribution to achievement of services to the business, service desk training, recording problem resolutions into the KEDB Process Metrics like problem resolution statistics, response time to events and event completion rates, incident resolution times for second and third line support, security issues detected and resolved Technology performance includes utilization of memory, availability of systems, network, accuracy of information and data presented and performance of response times. Mean time between failures of specified equipment used to ensure that good purchasing decisions are being made and when compared with maintenance schedules, whether the equipment is being properly maintained. Measurement of maintenance activity includes maintenance performed per schedule, number of maintenance windows exceeded and maintenance objectives achieved Training and skills development metrics like achieved skills performance levels, percentage of incidents caused by skills issues. In the next slide we see about Technical management documentation

5.23 Technical Management Documentation

In this slide we will discuss about Technical management documentation Technical management is involved in drafting and maintaining several documents as part of other processes. Technical management documentation includes Technical documentation which is about technical, management and administration manuals, user manuals for CIs. Maintenance schedules are drawn up and agreed during the service design stage related to availability and capacity management, but they are essentially the property of various technical management functions. Skills inventory is a system or tool that identifies the skills and skill levels required to deliver and support IT services. With this we have covered about Technical management. In the next topic we discuss about IT Operations Management.

5.24 IT Operations Management

In our last few slides we learnt about the Service Desk and its technical function. This slide introduces us to IT Operations Management. Let us understand the concept in detail In Business the term ‘Operations Management’ means the department, group or team of people responsible for performing the organization’s day-to-day operational activities – such as running the production line in a manufacturing environment or managing the distribution centers and fleet movements within a logistics organization. Operations Management has to ensure the functionality of the devices / service/ system or process as agreed with the Customer. This is where we see the plans defined in Design coming into execution. Operation management has to focus on the day-to-day small or short term activities which might be repeated or frequently occurring. Say for example daily maintenance, generic password resets etc. Now when it comes to executing these activities it is possible that the people who are managing these activities would require undergoing trainings to acquire knowledge on how to manage or handle these activities. Let us continue IT operations management in the next slide.

5.25 IT Operations Management

In continuation to our previous slide this slide explains the value of the IT Operations Management function. IT Operations Management function‘s focus is on building repeatable, consistent actions which if repeated frequently at the right qualitative level, will ensure the success of Operations. Success of operation will be measured on the quality of these frequently occurring actions. This is where the actual value of the organization is delivered and measured. Operations management will have a dependency on investment in equipment or human resources or both. The value generated, must exceed the cost of the investment and all other organizational overheads (such as management and marketing costs) if the business is to succeed. Let us move to our next slide to learn about the objective of IT Operations Management.

5.26 IT Operations Management - Objectives

In our last slide we discussed about concepts of IT Operations Management function. This slide explains the objective of IT Operations Management function. The objectives of IT Operations Management include Maintenance of as is state to achieve stability of the organization’s day-to-day processes and activities. Regular audits and actions to improve on the basis to achieve improved service at reduced costs, while maintaining stability. Operational skills will be applied to diagnose and resolve any IT operations failures that occur.

5.27 IT Operations Management Sub-functions

In our last slide we looked at the objectives of IT Operations Management function. This slide explains the sub functions involved in IT Operations Management. Let us understand them in detail. As we are aware of the role of Operations Management is to execute the ongoing activities and procedures required to manage and maintain the IT Infrastructure, and to deliver and support IT Services at the agreed levels. Thus there are sub functions which we had discussed earlier and they were IT Operations Control, which oversees the execution and monitoring of the operational activities and events in the IT Infrastructure. This can be done with the assistance of an Operations Bridge or Network Operations Center. In addition to executing routine tasks from all technical areas, Operations Control also performs the following specific tasks like Console Management, which refers to defining central observation and monitoring capability and then using those consoles to exercise Monitoring and Control activities., Another task is Job Scheduling, or the management of routine batch jobs or scripts. Then it is,Backup and Restore on behalf of all Technical and Application Management teams and departments and often on behalf of the users., Finally Print and Output management for the collation and distribution of all centralized printing or electronic output and Performance of maintenance activities on behalf of Technical or Application Management teams or departments. Facilities Management, which refers to the management of the physical IT environment is another sub function of IT operations management. Facilities Management also includes the coordination of large-scale consolidation projects, e.g. Data Center consolidation or server consolidation projects. In some cases the management of a Data Center is outsourced, in which case Facilities Management refers to the management of the outsourcing contract. Now, let us move on to the next slide to look into the different roles in IT Operations Management.

5.28 IT Operations Management Roles

In our last slide we looked at the sub functions of IT Operations Management function. This slide explains the roles involved in IT Operations Management. Speaking of various roles in IT operations management, firstly IT Operations Manager- An IT Operations Manager will be needed to take overall responsibility for all of the IT Operations Management activities. The responsibilities include providing overall leadership, control and decision making and taking responsibility for IT operation management teams and department, reporting to senior management on all IT operations issues and performing line management for all IT operations team or department managers/supervisors. This also involves shift leaders .Shift Leaders are required for organizations where some IT Operations areas will work extended hours – on either a two- or three-shift basis. The responsibilities include taking overall responsibility for leadership, control and decision making during shift period, ensuring that all operational activities are satisfactorily performed within agreed timescales and in accordance with company policies and procedures, liasing with the other shift leader/s to ensure handover, continuity and consistency between the shifts, acting as line manager for all operations analysts on his or her shift and assuming overall health and safety and security responsibility fpr je shift unless specifically designated to other staff members. Now let us know about the IT Operations Analysts. IT Operations Analysts are senior IT Operations staffs who are able to determine the most effective and efficient way to conduct a series of high volume operations. This role is normally performed as part of Technical Management, but large organizations may find that the volume and diversity of operational activities require some more in-depth planning and execution. Some organizations will also have IT Operators as the staff to perform the day-to-day operational activities that are defined in the Technical or Application Management and, in some cases, IT Operations Analysts. Typical IT Operator roles responsibilities includesare mentioned above. Performing backups, console operations which is monitoring the status of specific systems, job queues etc and providing first level intervention if appropriate, managing print devices, restocking with paper, toner, etc.., ensuring that batch jobs, archiving are performed, running scheduled housekeeping jobs such as database maintenance, file clean up, burning images for distribution and installation on new servers, desktops or laptops, physical installation of standard equipment in the data centre. This summarizes the IT Operations management function .Now let us move to our next topic on Application management functions

5.29 IT Operations Management Organization

In this slide we discuss about IT Operations Management Organization IT operations management is seen as a function in its own right but in many cases staff from technical and application management groups form part of this function. This means technical and application management departments will manage and execute their own operational activities. For example technical and application management areas that are fairly new and unstable tend to manage their won operations. Groups where the technology or application is stable, mature and well understood tend to have standardized their operations more and will therefore feel more comfortable delegating these activities. In the next slide we see about Measuring IT Operations Management performance

5.30 Measuring IT Operations Management Performance

In this slide we discuss about Measuring IT Operations Management performance IT operations management performance is measured in terms of its effective execution of specified activities and procedures as well as its execution of process activities. Examples of key metrics used to measure the performance of the IT operations function include – % age of scheduled job completed successfully on time – Number of exceptions to scheduled activities and jobs – Number of data or system restores required – Equipment installation statistics – Process metrics – Maintenance metrics – Cost vs budget – Reports to access facility – Number of security events and their resolution In the next slide we see about IT Operations Management documentation

5.31 IT Operations Management Documentation

In this slide we discuss about IT Operations Management documentation A number of documents are produced and used during IT operations management. Some of the documents include Standard operating procedures(SOPs) containing detailed instructions and activity schedules for every IT operations management team, department or groups Operations logs including successful completion of specific jobs or activities, IT services which are delivered as per agreement,etc.. Shift schedules and reports consists of number of routine items that are included in the SOP Operations schedule are similar to shift schedules but cover all aspects of IT operations at a high level. This include reviews of forward schedule of changes, an overview of all planned change actions taking place, maintenance, routine jobs and additional work, together with information about upcoming business or vendor events. With this we covered about IT Operations Management. In the next topic we discuss about Application Management.

5.32 Application Management

In our last few slides we learnt about the Service Desk, Technical management and IT Operations Management function. This slide explains the Application Management Function. Let us learn more about Application Management Function Application Management is responsible for managing applications throughout their Lifecycle. Let us understand who can perform the Application Management activities. The Application Management function is performed by any department, group or team involved in managing and supporting operational applications. Application Management also plays an important role in the Design, testing and improvement of applications that form part of IT services. As such, it may be involved in development projects, but is not usually the same as the applications Development teams. Application Management is for applications what Technical Management is to the IT Infrastructure. Application Management plays a role in all applications, whether purchased or developed in-house. One of the key decisions that they contribute to is the decision of whether to buy an application or build it which is done in Design phase. Let us move to the next slide on objectives of Application Management function.

5.33 Application Management - Objectives

Let us learn about the objectives of Application Management Function here: The objectives of Application Management is to support the organization’s business processes by helping to identify functional and manageability requirements for application software, and then to assist in the Design and deployment of those applications and the ongoing support and improvement of those applications. These objectives are achieved through applying applications that are well designed, resilient and cost-effective, Ensuring that the required functionality is available to achieve the required business outcome, The organization of adequate technical skills to maintain operational applications in optimum condition, Swift use of technical skills to speedily diagnose and resolve any technical failures that do occur.

5.34 Application Management - Activities

Application Management teams are generally responsible for a specific set of applications and the activities involved differ from one application to another application. Here, we shall discuss some of the generic activities performed by Application Management teams. These activities include: • Identifying the knowledge and expertise required to manage and operate applications relating to services provided; • Initiating training programmes to develop and refine the skills in the appropriate application management resources and maintaining the training records; • Designing and delivering appropriate end-user training; • Defining standards used in the design of new architectures and participation in the definition of application architectures during the Service Strategy and Service Design stages; • Researching and developing solutions that can help expand the service portfolio or to simplify and automate IT operations; • Participating in projects, especially those relating to Service Design, Service Transition and Continual Service Improvement; • Designing and performing tests for the functionality, performance and manageability of IT services; • Designing applications to meet the levels of service required by the business; • Providing assistance in assessing risk, identifying critical service and system dependencies and defining and implementing countermeasures; • Providing application management resources for Incident Management and Problem Management processes; • Supporting change management with technical application knowledge and expertise to evaluate changes; • Defining, managing and maintaining attributes and relationships of application CIs in the Configuration Management System; • Collaborating with technical management on performing training needs analysis and maintaining skills inventories; and • Assisting financial management for IT services to identify the cost of the ongoing management of applications.

5.35 Application Management Roles

In the last slide we looked at the objective of Application Management. This slide explains the roles involved in Application Management Function There can be various roles depending on organization to organization but let us discuss a few here. The commonly seen role is Applications Managers/Team-leaders and Applicatin Ananlysts/Architect. Firstly Applications Managers/Team-leaders is the role which provides technical knowledge and leadership in the specific applications support activities covered by the team or department. They also have to ensure necessary technical training; awareness and experience levels are maintained within the team or department relevant to the applications being supported and processes being used . Some organizations would also have an applications Analyst / Architect who has to work with sponsors and all other stakeholders to determine their evolving needs. These needs can beWorking with Technical Management to determine the highest level of system requirements required to meet the business needs within the given budget and along with the technology constraints. Developing Operational Models that will ensure optimal use of resources and the appropriate level of performance. It is also toensure that applications are designed to be effectively managed given the organization’s technology architecture, available skills and tools. This slide summarizes the Application Management Function; Let us now move on to our next Topic on Organization structures.

5.36 Application Management Principles

In this slide we discuss about Application management principles One of the key decisions in Application management is whether to buy an application that supports the required functionality or whether to build the application specifically for the organization’s requirements. These decisions are often made by CTO or steering committee. Application management will assist in this decision during service design during application sizing and workload forecasts, specification of manageability requirements, identification of ongoing operational costs etc… Also the question is if it is build, then should it be outsourced or in house? This point is detailed at service strategy and service design levels. The next principle is about operational models. It is the specification of the operational environment in which the application will eventually run when it goes live. This will be used during testing and transition activities to simulate and evaluate the live environment. It should be defined and used in testing during SD and ST In the next slide we see about Application management lifecycle

5.37 Application Management Lifecycle

In this slide we discuss about typical Application management lifecycle The figure is self-explanatory. The requirement stage gathers information for new application based on business needs. Some of the requirements include functional, manageability, usability, architectural, interface and service level requirements. In the design stage the requirements are translated into specifications. This includes design of application itself, design of environment or operational model that application has to run. In the case of purchased software, most organizations will not be allowed direct input to the design of software. In the build stage, both the application and operational model are made ready for deployment. Application components are coded or acquired, integrated and tested. Test is not a separate stage in the lifecycle, even though it is discrete activity and even though tests are conducted independently of both development and operational activities. In the deploy stage, both the operational model and the application are deployed. The operational model is incorporated in the existing IT environment and the application is installed on top of the operational model using release and deployment management process. In the operate stage, IT service organization operates the application as part of delivering a service required by the business. The operate stage is not exclusive to applications. In the optimize stage, the results of the service level performance measurements are measured, analyzed and acted upon. Possible improvements are discussed and developments initiated if necessary. The two main strategies in this stage are to maintain and/or improve the service levels and to lower cost. This could be the iteration in the lifecycle. In the next slide we see about Application management Organization

5.38 Application Management Organization

In this slide we discuss about Application management Organization Although all application management departments perform similar activities, each application or set of applications has a different set of management and operational requirements. Examples of these differences include, – The purpose of the application where each application was developed to meet a specific set of objectives. – Functionality of application is designed to work in a different way and to perform different functions at different levels – The platform on which the application runs – The type or brand of technology used to be understood in order to manage applications effectively. Application management teams and departments tend to be organized according to the categories of applications that they support. Typical examples are – Financial applications – Messaging and collaboration applications – HR applications – Manufacturing support – Sales force automation – Sales order processing applications – Call centre and marketing applications – Business specific applications – Web portal – IT applications – Online shopping In the next slide we see about Application development verses application management

5.39 Application Management Organization

In this slide we discuss about Application development verses application management Often application management and development teams have acted as autonomous units. Each one manages its own environment in its own way and each has a separate interface to the business. This is given in the table. Over the years these are being brought together with growing pressure from the business to be more responsive and easy to work with. It requires more integrated approach between application development and application management functions. This requires A single interface to the business for all the stages of the lifecycle A change in both the staff are measured A single change management process A clear mapping of development and management activities throught the lifecycle Greater focus on integrating functionality. In the next slide we see about Measuring Application management performance

5.40 Measuring Application Management Performance

In this slide we discuss about Measuring Application management performance Performance metrics for application management will largely depend on which applications are being managed. Some generic metrics are Measurement of agreed outputs including percentage of users able to access the application and its functionality, reports and files that are transmitted accurately and on time, availability for critical business transactions, service desk staff with appropriate support skills Process Metrics include response time to events and event completion rates, incident resolution times for second and third line support, problem resolution statistics, number of escalations, changes implemented, unauthorized changes, security issues etc.. Application performance like response times, application availability, integrity and accuracy of data reporting Measurement of maintenance activity include, maintenance performed per schedule and objectives achieved, number of maintenance windows exceeded. Measurement of project activity including time spent on projects, customer and user satisfaction with the output of the project, cost of involvement in the project Training and skills development In the next slide we see Application management documentation

5.41 Application Management Documentation

In this slide we discuss about Application management documentation A number of documents are produced and used during application management. Some of the documents maintained are Application portfolio which is used as part of service design. It consists of key attributes of the application, customers and users, business purpose, level of business criticality, architecture, etc… Application requirements contain Business requirements documents and Application requirements documents. The business requirements documents outline utility and warranty and any constraints. Application requirements documents are based on business requirements and specify exactly how the application will meet those requirements. Use cases are developed within SD and maintained by application management Design documentation refers to any document produced by application development. This ensures sizing applications, workload profiles and utilization forecasts, technical architecture, data models, coding standards, performance standards Manuals are of three types. One is Design manual which contain information about the structure and architecture of the application. The second is Administration or management manual describes the activities required to maintain and operate the application at the levels of performance specified in the design stage. The third one is User manual describes application functionality as it is used by an end user. With this we have covered about Application Management.

5.42 Structures

After understanding the functions involved in Service Operations let us learn about various types of organization structures. There are a number of ways of Organizing Service Operation functions, and each organization will have to make its own decisions, based upon its scale, geography, culture and business environment. Let us study them in detail. In Organization by technical specialization, departments are created according to technology and the skills and activities needed to manage that technology. IT Operations will follow the structure of the Technical and Application Management departments. The implication of this is that IT Operations is geared toward the operational agendas of the Technical and Application Management departments. The advantages of this type of organizational structure include the following. It is easier to set internal performance objectives since all staff in a single department has similar set of tasks on similar technology. Individual devices, systems or platforms can be managed more effectively, for people with the appropriate skills are dedicated to manage these and measured according to their performance. The disadvantages of this type of organizational structure include. When people are divided into separate departments the priorities of their own group tend to override the priorities of other departments. Knowledge about the infrastructure and relationships between components is difficult to be collected and fragmented. Individual groups tend to collect and maintain only the data that is required to support their own function, and do not give access to it very easily. It is more difficult to understand the impact of a single department’s poor performance of the IT service since there are many different groups contributing to the same service, each with its own set of performance objectives. Coordinating Change Assessments and Schedules are more difficult. As many different departments have to provide input for each change. Organization structure by activity focuses on the fact that similar activities have to be performed on all technologies in the organization. This means that people who perform similar activities, regardless of the technology, should be grouped together, although within each department there may be teams focusing on a specific technology, application, etc. The advantages of this type of organizational structure include the easy management of groups of related activities since all the people involved in these activities report to the same manager. Measurement of teams or departments is based more on output than on isolated activities. This helps to build higher levels of assurance that a service can be delivered. The disadvantages of this type of organizational structure include duplication of skills in resources across different functions, which results in higher costs. IT Operations can be physically distributed and in some cases each location needs to be organized according to its own particular context. This structure is typically used in the following circumstances Data Centers are geographically distributed, Different regions or countries have different technologies or provide a different set of services, Different legislation/ standards applies to different countries or regions (e.g. Safety regulations) and Cultural or language differences exist between staff managing IT. The advantages of this type of organizational structure include the following. Organizational structure can be customized to meet local conditions IT Operations can be customized to meet differing levels of IT service from region to region. The disadvantages of this type of organizational structure include the following. Operational standards are difficult to impose, resulting in inconsistent and duplicated activities and tools, resulting in reduced economies of scale, which in turn increases the overall cost of operations. Duplication of roles, activities, tools and facilities across multiple locations could be very costly. Shared services, such as emails, are more difficult to deliver as each regional organization operates differently. With this we come to the end of learning unit 5. Let us learn about Service Operation activities across processes in the next learning unit.

5.43 Summary

We have come to the end of learning unit 5, let’s have a brief look at the topics that were covered in this unit. 1. Organizing for Service Operation Objectives, Roles, etc of following Functions Service Desk Technical Management IT Operations Management Application Management Next, is the quiz section. Complete the quiz before you proceed to the learning unit 6 on Technology considerations.

  • Disclaimer
  • PMP, PMI, PMBOK, CAPM, PgMP, PfMP, ACP, PBA, RMP, SP, and OPM3 are registered marks of the Project Management Institute, Inc.

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