Introducing - The Service Operation Octopus!

Over the next few posts - I will be highlighting the core content of the Service Operations book with a little help from... an Octopus!

Here he is...

Now, as we all know Octopii have eight legs, but our friend here has to have eleven (an extra three for V3!) to ensure that we can understand the complete contents of the Service Operation Book.

The ITIL V3 Service Operation Core Text

Service Operation delivers on the commitments identified during the Service Strategy and Service Design phases of the Service Lifecycle.

Service Operation achieves this by ensuring that the people, processes, tools and technology that deliver IT Services are all working to the same set of objectives.

Service Operation identifies how to link operational activities for the bebefit of the organization, and how to harness IT Infrastructure and IT Service management for optimum service quality and value.

Service Operation is not just about managing IT services or managing the infrastructure.

It is about achieving a delicate balance between:-

- Technology and the Business

- Cost and Quality

- Proactive and Reactive Service activities

Finding this delicate balance results in a more stable environment, which is able to anticipate and respond to changes.

The ability to monitor and decipher the continuous flow of information about the status of service components is key.

Formal Event Management detects changes in service performance and the underpinning Infrastructure.

Exceptions are resolved quickly and effectively through Incident and Problem Management, while established customer requirements are met through Request Fulfilment and Access

Service Operation also recognizes that processes alone do not guarantee a quality service.

It clarifies a number of issues related to the people who manage Service Operation.

It recognizes the role of the Service Desk as a key link between the business and IT at an
operational level, especially in restoring disrupted services and in providing an entry point for
accessing new or changed services.

In addition, Service Operation also specifies three new functions critical for executing process activities and managing service components.

These are:-

Technical Management which is the provider of expertise related to all service components. Technical Management manages the infrastructure from architecture and Design through Service Transition into Service Operation.

Applications Management which plays a similar role for software applications. Of particular importance is how this function interfaces with Application Development teams throughout the Software Management Lifecycle.

IT Operations Management which may be performed by the previous two functions, but is often centralized into a dedicated unit. This function executes routine activities, and monitors and controls the health of the infrastructure.

Service Operation Processes - There are Five!

Inside the new Service Operation Core Text of ITIL V3 - there are five core processes.

- Event Management

- Incident Management

- Request Fulfillment

- Problem Management

- Access Management

...Plus other processes contained within Operations Management.

Let's take a closer look at the purpose of the Event Management Process: -

Event Management.

An event can be defined as any detectable or discernable occurrence that has significance for the management of the IT infrastructure or the delivery of IT service.

Events are typically notifications created by an IT Service, configuration item (CI) or monitoring tool.

An Event is the fundamental basis for operational monitoring and control.

Events always need to be filtered correctly to prevent an unneccessary volume of 'non' events that are typically made up of "information" that does not require future action or intervention of any kind.

Event Management provides mechanisms for the early detection of incidents (before any actual service outage occurs) and typically this detection will occur within pre-defined and automated systems and network management tools.

Events should also be classified

Typical classification include: -

"informational event", "warning event" and an "exception event".

The second two classifications will involve intervention and action. Tools may already be configured to take action on pre-defined events in order to reduce the level of human intervention (and therefore time , effort and cost) involved in processing the event correctly.

Although considerable effort, in terms of identifying and configuring systems and network management toolsets, is required; the pay-back is considerable.

Once a system tool is configured to monitor and process events correctly the level of ongoing human intervention can be considerably scaled back and re-invested in more value add activities.

Additionally, only those events worth processing and taking action on, shall be considered. Again a valuable time saving.