Understanding ITIL and the Service Lifecycle from a “Non-IT” Perspective – Part 4


Welcome back to Harbaugh’s! In case this is your first time stopping by, the last several weeks we’ve been learning about the different stages of the Service Lifecycle in “non-IT” terms, to help someone who is unfamiliar with ITIL conceptualize the Service Lifecycle. In order to do that, we have gone through the first three ITIL Service Lifecycle stages: Service Strategy, Service Design, and Service Transition by dining at our favorite restaurant, “Harbaugh’s”. In the Service Transition stage – we trained employees, built, tested, released, and deployed the services (or menu offerings) that we designed in preparation for moving us into the fourth stage of the Service Lifecycle, Service Operation. Now, we eat!

Service Operations

Since we’ve been seated in the restaurant, we’ll now take a look at the menu, and the waiter will take our order. The waiter (Jerry Rice) will pass our order to the kitchen (run by Joe Montana), and the team of cooks will work to fulfill our order as quickly as possible. Let’s look at this from an “IT perspective”. Our users will request services from the Service Catalog (requests will be taken via the Service Desk, Email, or Employee Self Service). The requests will be assigned to specific groups (or individuals) for fulfillment (if they cannot be handled by the first line of support). Some examples of Request Fulfillment include resetting a password, providing access, requests for information, requests for applications, or even requests for assets (laptop, desktop, mobile device, etc.). In some cases, when Harbaugh’s restaurant is not on top of their game (pun intended), he may receive a complaint or two. For example, let’s say that our lunch happens to be cold. We will notify our waiter, and Jerry will proceed to take the food back to the kitchen and work on fixing (or replacing) our meal. While we wait, Jerry will track the status and consistently update us on the progress of our meal. In the “IT world”, an issue like this might be a broken computer, or maybe our email isn’t working. Ever hear this one? “The Internet is DOWN! The entire thing!” That one always cracks me up. When service loss like this happens, we report it to the Service Desk, where they log it as an incident and work to restore service as quickly as possible – along with updating us on the status of the incident. IT’s goal is to try and minimize the impact to the business and ensure that Service Level Agreements (SLA’s) are being met. At Harbaugh’s, when Jerry comes back with our food, he informs us that multiple customers have been complaining about cold food throughout the lunch rush, and that the staff is working on finding the root cause of the problem. He also offers us a free appetizer to keep us happy while we wait for a resolution. It happened to be a chocolate mold of five Lombardi trophies. Just saying… From an “IT perspective”, these recurring incidents would be handled by Problem Management, where they would diagnose the root cause, driving towards a permanent solution (or workaround) that can be implemented to solve the problem. After our meal, Jerry will accept our payment and close out the order. Jerry will also offer us a customer satisfaction survey that will give us the opportunity to leave our comments and/or suggestions regarding the quality of food, service, or any requests for new menu offerings. In the “IT world”, the Service Desk (like our waiter) would track the incidents and service requests throughout their lifecycle. This will also result in a user satisfaction survey that will be sent to the user requesting feedback related to their experience. As you can see, the operations team keeps things up and running, they fulfill requests and restore services when required. It is crucial that the Service Operation team is able to maintain and adapt to changes in the environment while facilitating the day-to-day operations. At Harbaugh’s, it’s a good thing Jim hired highly trained staff such as Jerry Rice (waiter), Joe Montana (cook), and future Hall-of-Famer Colin Kaepernick (manager) to run his fine establishment. Thanks for having lunch with us at Harbaugh’s, I’m looking forward to having dessert next week while we discuss the final stage of the Service Lifecycle, Continual Service Improvement. Let’s talk about what Jim might improve to give us an even more enjoyable experience. Don’t forget to tip your waiter… Read More