service-assurance-manager
Photo: ”Business Models Inc meeting” by Sebastiaan ter Burg / CC BY. Adapted from original.

SERVICE ASSURANCE – Another new passing fad in ITSM industry or may be another important concept in ITSM?

Yesterday, my manager asked me to do some research on this topic SERVICE ASSURANCE and after reading few articles; I was confused, do we really need this?

Okay let me explain what I have figured out:

Incident management service assurance is defined as “The Actions, Tasks or Activities performed, using the Solutions that are in place and available, to instill a level of confidence or certainty that Incident Management related Service Level Agreements, Targets, Objectives, Requirements and Contracts are all being met according to the expectations of the Incident Management Service Owner and other key Service Stakeholders, such as but not limited to Customers, Clients, Consumers, End Users and Sponsors.”

Release management service assurance is defined as “The Actions, Tasks or Activities performed, using the Solutions that are in place and available, to instill a level of confidence or certainty that Release Management related Service Level Agreements, Targets, Objectives, Requirements and Contracts are all being met according to the expectations of the Release Management Service Owner and other key Service Stakeholders, such as but not limited to Customers, Clients, Consumers, End Users and Sponsors.”

Service management service assurance is defined as “The Actions, Tasks or Activities performed, using the Solutions that are in place and available, to instill a level of confidence or certainty that Service Management related Service Level Agreements, Targets, Objectives, Requirements and Contracts are all being met according to the expectations of the Service Management Service Owner and other key Service Stakeholders, such as but not limited to Customers, Clients, Consumers, End Users and Sponsors.”

Reference: http://www.if4it.com/SYNTHESIZED/GLOSSARY/S/Service_Management_Service_Assurance.html

Okay, so what did you understand out of these definitions?

Okay, let me explain it in our ITSM terminology “It is a set of activities performed using a set of capabilities (knowledge, experience, etc.) and resources (tools or products – monitoring tools, reporting tools, configuration management tools) to ensure that all agreed SLAs, SLTs, SLOs are being met without any deviations ”.

Wondering what’s so new in it? Feel like, it’s the same old wine in a new bottle/ vessel.

Okay let’s stop that pessimistic approach and let’s look it in contrasting approach! At least for the sake of people who have invented this new terminology!

So SLM (Service level management) is a process for drafting, negotiating, agreeing, monitoring, and improving the SLAs with respect to incident management, problem management, change management …etc.

So who is ensuring whether if we are meeting the SLAs, SLRs, SLTs, SLOs, and SLXs????

Ideally, Service level manager is supposed to do it; but our Service level manager is super busy in drafting, negotiating, agreeing, monitoring, and improving the SLA’s and FOR THAT REASON WE NEED A NEW ROLE CALLED SERVICE ASSURANCE MANAGER.  Hope, I have convinced you all 🙂 ; well, I have tried to convince myself too. 🙂 🙂

I know, you have another doubt now – Then what the hell is Incident/ Problem/ Change manager is doing? Can’t he/ she take care of this thing (ensuring that all agreed SLAs, SLTs, SLOs are being met without any deviations)?  

Oh common, my so called Incident/ Problem/ Change/ X manager is super super busy doing – people management and project management stuff, acting as a SME, attending numerous meetings, doing reporting, …….and many more things…you know! 🙂

And for that reason WE NEED A NEW ROLE CALLED SERVICE ASSURANCE MANAGER.  Hope, I have convinced you all again.

OKAY, LETS TRY TO ASSIGN SOME RESPONSIBILITIES FOR THIS  ROLE – SERVICE ASSURANCE MANAGER DOES?

Service assurance manager can focus on ensuring that the IT services are delivered as per the agreements, requirements, targets, objectives and can also works on providing the customer delight. So, Service assurance primary activities can be mentioned as:

  • Identification of all services,
  • Classification of services (VBF, CBUs),
  • Collation of services and its associated SLAs,
  • Monitor the SLAs with respect to all service and components through the help of capabilities (experience, knowledge, etc.) and resources (monitoring tools, reporting tools, configuration management tools).
  • Analyze availability, performance and configuration events to identify the root cause of the issues,
  • Analyze the operational metrics, and its adherence,
  • Analyzing the feedback from customers,
  • Involve while SLRs, SLAs, OLAs & UCs are drafted and agreed,
  • Involve while architectures and metrics are defined and base lined,

So, that was about Service Assurance and Service Assurance Manager…..let us know your opinions what you think of Service Assurance.

Kiran Kumar Pabbathi has 10 plus years of experience, he is a Master in business administration (IT), Bachelor in Computer Applications, and a certified professional in ITIL Expert, PRINCE2 (Foundation and Practitioner), Six Sigma Green Belt, ISO/IEC20K Foundation, Cloud Computing Foundation, TMAP Foundation (Test Management Professional), MCP in SharePoint 2003 Customizations, and MCTS in MS Project 2007. He is the author of 8 books: "PDCA for ITIL" published by TSO, UK (available HERE and also HERE) and "Guidance for ITAM", "Guidance for Enterprise Asset Management (EAM)", "Focus on IAM", "Guidance for Incident Management", "Guidance for Problem Management", "Guidance for Change Management" published by Servicemanagers.Org (all available HERE at Amazon). He worked for various conglomerates in the IT industry focusing on ITSM domain, which gave him detailed insight of ITSM, ITAM (IT Asset Management), IAM (Identity and Access Management), Quality assurance, Project management, Test management, and Technical writing. Currently, Kiran works as an IT Process manager and ITIL Trainer in Shanghai Bizenit Information Technology, China. You can reach him on Linkedin (click here)