Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a “Non-IT” Perspective – Part 5

Over the course of the last month, we’ve had a great time at Harbaugh’s restaurant. As a reminder, I created Harbaugh’s Restaurant to help readers understand the ITIL Service Lifecycle in relatable, “non-IT” terms. The owner, Jim Harbaugh, and his staff (Jerry Rice and company) have gone through the first four stages of the Service Lifecycle, bringing us to the final stage, Continual Service Improvement. Let’s briefly review the first four stages:
in the first stage (Service Strategy), Jim and his team created a strategy for his restaurant, they clearly identified the services they would provide, and other logistics for the restaurant such as location, type of food, etc. In the second stage (Service Design), they designed the menu, the ambiance for the restaurant, and the infrastructure required to deliver the food and services offered by the restaurant. In the third stage (Service Transition), Jim and his team built, tested, and trained the staff on various aspects of the offerings, validating the design of the food items and services. In the most recent stage of the Service Lifecycle (Service Operation), the operations team kept things up and running and managed the day-to-day operations. This brings us to the final stage of the Service Lifecycle…

Continual Service Improvement

Overall, Harbaugh’s Restaurant delivered as advertised, and we left a great tip. Jerry Rice, our waiter, can now afford to redecorate his trophy room (he was running out of space on his wall for all the news clippings he gathered from his record-breaking games). I digress… We also left some suggestions on how to improve a few minor details. During our meal, some issues occurred in the kitchen that we didn’t see – This is why our food came out cold. This would normally have a negative impact on our experience at Harbaugh’s, however, we found out that it was due to hiring some retired Raiders players that were up to no good (they’ve been let go…). The management at Harbaugh’shas decided to take the initiative and fix some things that will improve the customer’s experience. Jim decided to hire a few recently retired 49er Hall-of-Famers (with experience working for successful organizations) to be waiters in his restaurant. He also decided to upgrade his industrial strength oven that kept breaking down. Lastly, he decided to implement some standard processes for his kitchen to function more efficiently. Over time, Jim will take a look at how those processes are improving (or negatively impacting) the quality of his restaurant’s food (and/or service) and continue to fine tune them as required. In the “IT world”, we look at our aging infrastructure, our engineers that need more education and training to deliver and support the services offered, and implement best practices around process. These are a few things that will improve the experience and perception of value that your organization provides to its users. In CSI, we ask ourselves questions like, “Where are we now?”, “Where do we want to be?”, “How do we get there?”, and “How do we keep the momentum going?” In the “IT world”, we will identify some metrics to help us monitor achievement and opportunities for improvement. All of this helps us to continually improve our service and provide value to our customers/users. After all, if we don’t, they can always go somewhere else. In Jim’s case, the customers can put him out of business simply by going to a different restaurant. In the “IT world”, with so many options made available for outsourcing services, IT organizations have an incentive to improve the end-user experience and continuously provide value. Just as any IT professional would hate to lose their job due to issues like these, Jim would hate to lose his perfect restaurant and have to go work for one run by a NY Giant (or even worse, a NY Jet). Jim’s not one that’s used to losing… Well, thank you for joining us at Harbaugh’s! I hope this series of explanations about the stages of the ITIL Service Lifecycle (in “non-IT” terms) helped clear up some of the fog around that crazy buzzword that’s going around, ITIL. We hope to see you back soon.

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