A Service Manager should have each of the following 7 habits to be a Highly Effective professional:
1º) IT Governance: a Service Manager is a bridge between his internal organization (for example IT) and the Business (for example his Client, than can be internal clients or external clients). In this context, an article about Mission and Vision of a Service Manager has already been provided. It is necessary to have these two things always in mind. Additionally, two skills needed are good Communication Management and Integration Management (most of the time a Service Manager needs to consolidate deliveries built for several internal departments or suppliers and the deliveries it has as an unique global Service).
2º) Decisions based in ROI: a Service Manager must make decisions, and in these decisions the return of the investment should be always be the driver. Also a Service Manager must manage numbers (i.e., KPI, indicators, metrics) to always know what’s going on with his Service in regards to the Service objectives.
3º) Service Model Definition (SMD): a Service Manager must know how to implement the correct custom Service Model to deliver the Service contracted by his Client. The Service Catalog must be the first reference and then an interconnected processes model to deliver all of the services included inside the scope of the Service.
4º) Service Level Agreements (SLA): a Service Manager must drive the Service in regards to a scope defined in the Service Catalog and the quality objectives defined in the SLA. Therefore, the Service Manager can have certainty that he is agreeing with the terms of the contract and with his Client.
5º) Lessons Learned: a Service Manager must reflect upon the decisions he has made and learn from them. Sometimes there will have been things that have worked and at other times things that have failed (or have not met the Client’s expectations). A Service Manager must be very alert in order to identify all these experiences, write about them, and transform them into habits. It is also very helpful to share these experiences with professional fellows.
6º) Frameworks: a Service Manager must have a deep knowledge of standard well-known best practices in the market (i.e. ISO, ITIL, COBIT, PMP, PRINCE2, etc.). With these criteria in mind, he can then decide to adopt or not adopt some of these best practices, but always consciously making an informed decision (based in knowledge, not in ignorance).
7º) Tools: a Service Manager, before making a decision about tools, must know what information he is going to need for managing the Service from all the views covered in the points previously mentioned (Governance, Decisions based in ROI, indicators about the processes of the Service Model, Service Level Agreements, etc.). Then, based on this information needs, he must choose the correct tool that best fits and that can just give him the right information (always keeping in mind simple solutions for covering needs, because there is no need to implement more complex solutions that exceed what is necessity).
In summary, I hope to count on all your participation to work in these 7 management keys for High Effective Service Managers at ServiceManagers.org
Author: Angel Berniz (All Rights Reserved by the author). Source: Original Text (based upon first hand knowledge).