The importance of establishing a service management system is old news; but it may be time to re-learn some old lessons: get your management system in order with a simple method.
It’s funny how wise words can seem boring; we’ve heard about establishing a service management system for years now. The nature of the improvement beast often comes from people who have been pushing the improvement ball uphill for a very long time.
The question is, have we been listening?
When I talk to people about the USM Method and say that it can help you establish a simple, sustainable service management system I can almost see the wheels in their heads spinning immediately to technology and ‘service management systems’.
And this completely misses the point.
Technology is only one of the organizational resources used in a management system:
Management system: the coherent set of organization resources that you organize and coordinate to realize your goals effectively and efficiently.
Applied to a service organization, a service management system defines the organizational structure, the roles, functions and profiles, the tasks, authorities, and responsibilities (TAR), the rules and guidelines, the culture, the means, and the routines: processes, procedures, and work instructions.
It is also well known that process comes before technology (remember that one?). Wise words indeed.
But are we listening?
Another common misconception about the USM Method is that it’s another practice framework. Even after repeatedly describing the differences between practice-based frameworks and a principle-based method (it’s even in the name!), I can tell that this has not always been fully understood.
Service management method: a fixed, well-thought-out course of action, based on principles, for the management of services.
A service management method is much more generic than a framework based on concrete practices. A service management method can produce all conceivable practices of a service organization and serves as a blueprint for practice-based frameworks. The method supports any organizational structure or technology.
With the emergence of enterprise service management and accelerating change, a simple and sustainable service management system is more important than ever.
It may not sound like ‘new thinking’, but the USM Method does take a look at service management from a perspective of wisdom.
“We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”Epictetus
Perhaps the USM Method is something worth listening to.
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