Mindful Monday: Is the Enterprise ready to strike back?

While simplifying things is not so simple, it remains an important key to a great customer experience. The enterprise needs to simplify services, as well as how they are managed.

The digital disruption we find ourselves in today has resulted in an almost unlimited number of choices, which can drive the number of customer touch points through the roof. This can have a negative impact on the customer experience.

A successful customer outcome/experience is one that makes the customer’s life simpler and easier— as well as more successful. The basic improvement techniques of eliminating moments of truth (MOT), process break points (BP) and business rules (BR) apply today more than ever.

These elements — MOTs, BPs and BRs — are often MUDA from the customer’s point of view. This is why we want to streamline the customer journey, right?

The desire to accelerate flow from concept to product through a CI/CD pipeline may also be important to customers. They all want desired new features as quickly as possible, right?

But be careful about our desire to accelerate flow and spew out hundreds of new features that may not necessarily be what the majority of your customers want. Often their basic desires are much simpler, and in fact our frantic desire to find ‘Muda’ inside CI/CD pipelines can lead us back to inside-out thinking.

Another reality is that service management in today’s world of digital disruption is made ever more complicated as existing and emerging practice frameworks evolve. In fact, as service management expands to the entire enterprise now might be a very good time to think about simplifying your service management system.

Why simplifying service management can accelerate value delivery

How you manage services across the entire enterprise is no longer just an IT responsibility.

Establishing a simple, sustainable service management system will provide the basis for meeting customer expectations on a consistent basis and applies to the entire enterprise.

“…simplifying internal processes and structures will have positive impacts on the entire value creation capability of a company.”


The USM Method’s 5 processes and 8 standard workflows apply to all service providers inside or outside the enterprise and is one way today’s enterprise can strike back against the exponential increases in complexity felt by employees and customers.

“Managing complexity well can create… higher returns…lower costs…improved customer satisfaction…”


Want to find out more?

Join me over at ITSM Academy:

September 15th, 2022 at 11:00AM EST for a webinar titled ESM and the Big Re-Think and find out more about the Unified Service Management Method.

I’ll be following this with a series of two webinars over at the itSMF USA with the first one on:

September 22, 2022 at 1:00PM EST titled Simplifying Service Management for the Enterprise: ITIL v4 and the Unified Service Management Method

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(another) Mindful Monday: The enterprise service management mountain

An enterprise service management system drives continual improvement, and for many this mountaintop seems far away. But a standard management system for the enterprise can be established one rock at a time.

The Unified Service Management Method’s universal approach to defining ALL services — along with 5 processes and 8 workflows that apply to ALL service providers — create uniform building blocks that enable a simple, sustainable service management system to be achieved incrementally over time.

Today’s service delivery involves complex ecosystems that involve multiple services within a larger supply chain or network. Regardless of where they are within this chain or network, every service organization performs the same activities to manage their part of the service.

Whether the provider is delivering an integral (i.e., end-to-end) service or is part of a larger network of services, they each strive to convert customer needs into predictable performance using people, processes, and technology.

All providers will make changes, handle incidents, deal with customer wishes and manage risk. Who and how they accomplish these activities will vary, but these routines can be structured in a uniform way that simplifies their management.

This enables an organization the flexibility to use the USM method anywhere in the enterprise, and incrementally expand it over time. USM provides a level of standardization and interoperability that allows for changes to procedures and work instructions without re-work, so as your service ecosystem changes or your ecosystem providers add new practice frameworks you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

This provides a service management system that can be built and maintained — one rock at a time — using simple, standardized and sustainable service management building blocks.

Mindful Monday: Wisdom and the Nature of the Beast

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.”


Perhaps the USM Method is something worth listening to.

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Mindful Monday: Ask yourself…………. is The USM Method 4me?

Today’s enterprise portal encompasses all enterprise services and demands a simple, sustainable service management system at its heart. Attempting to adapt a single practice framework makes service management increasingly complex.

Today’s digital enterprise is leveraging multiple frameworks — ITIL, Scrum, COBIT, APQC, SCOR, IT4IT, NIST, ISO27001, and many others. The frameworks mentioned here are practice-oriented; they provide guidance on ways of performing tasks in actual situations. IT leverages ITIL, finance may use COBIT, and other business units may want to adapt APQC, Scrum or other ‘best practices’ based on their individual needs.

In 2015 I ran an IT Portal Boot Camp Series of webinars and talked about a one-stop IT shop which leveraged an IT portal and the ITIL framework. But attempting to ‘adapt’ a practice framework that was originally engineered for a specific business unit (such as ITIL for IT services) does not provide structural coherence with other practices within the organization.

A portal is a framework for integrating people and process across organizational boundaries, and this demands a unified service management system for the entire enterprise. USM provides a method for achieving this.

USM enables the enterprise to get in control of its service delivery, with a management system of 5 processes and 8 workflows.

“…Simplifying internal processes and structures will have positive impacts on the entire value creation capability of a company”


The Unified Service Management Method provides a standardized, unified link for sustainable supply chains in service ecosystems. The process model and standardized workflows are used by any organizational topology, leveraging any combination of practice frameworks for all internal and/or external service providers.

This step-by-step approach includes re-usable, standardized templates that easily apply to the entire enterprise and can be deployed incrementally. It improves interoperability between service teams by providing a level of standardization that does not limit localization of organizational structures or tooling.

“Managing complexity well can create … higher returnslower costsimproved employee satisfaction…”


If you are re-evaluating your current ITSM tool, struggling with ITIL or other practice frameworks or are looking to achieve a customer-driven level of maturity it’s clear to me that a simple, sustainable management architecture (not a technology architecture!) is what should be defined first.

4me, The USM Method fits this bill perfectly.

To see if The USM Method is 4you too, contact me today!

DevOps, USM and BeingFirst

As a cultural movement, DevOps is very much about people, and having been been strategic advisors to executive leadership for 40 years I wonder… have any of you DevOps fanatics leveraged the resources at BeingFirst?

Full disclosure, I am an Affiliate, but that won’t cost you any money and I’m not really interested in promoting them for my sake. But having read both The Change Leader’s Road Map as well as Beyond Change Management years ago I keep going back to their rich library of excellent resources.

For example, there’s an upcoming workshop on How to Launch Transformational Change Projects Successfully on July 26th, which I think will be interesting.

The nature of the improvement beast starts by looking in the mirror. It also requires us to pay it forward, think differently and engage everyone to roll that ball uphill.

Service management needs to mature quickly, and to achieve service excellence an easy to learn, inexpensive, and universal method of managing services should be available to all actors in supply chains and networks. The Unified Service Management (USM) method was developed for that purpose.

It allows flexibility for any organizational structure including matrix, team topologies, squads/tribes (i.e., DevOps), outsourcing, multi sourcing, or even a ‘Radical Enterprise’.

But as with all change, people are often the hardest part of the journey. USM and BeingFirst can be applied independently, but combined I believe they can help DevOps teams accelerate the path to transformative change and breakthrough results.

Will tomorrow always be another day away?

Starting my mindful Monday listening to Beaming Ortelius may have been a bad idea. Half-awake and listening to a podcast about CDEvents and a Keptn Deep Dive got me wondering if tomorrow’s always a day away…

Just because I’m not a developer doesn’t mean I’m not interested in development, and it doesn’t mean that lessons from the past can’t significantly benefit development either. Not everything good is open source, or even code related.

Open-source initiatives like Ortelius and Keptn are changing the game for developers, and we should encourage acceleration of efforts like these. But there are other things that matter as well, and that can directly impact both today’s value delivery as well as accelerate tomorrow’s.

The Unified Service Management Method (USM) is one of those things. As Jan van Bon stated in ITSM tools, using a methodical approach to establish an enterprise-wide management system for value delivery (i.e., services) that can accommodate different practices, toolsets and organizational designs can help today and tomorrow.

The use of 5 non-redundant processes and 8 standard workflows that can apply to any service and any service provider creates a simple and sustainable service management system that can be leveraged by the entire enterprise.

And the USM Method is not a day away; you can start today.

Is IT4IT for you?

I recently took a look at IT4IT’s version 3, and while there’s a wealth of information in there, I’m not sure it’s for me. Frameworks and standards such as ITIL and IT4IT provide huge bodies of knowledge, but today’s complex digital services demand a simplified and sustainable management system.

As the name suggests, IT4IT is limited to digital services. In fact, the IT4IT standard not only changed IT service to digital product it ‘changes this focus to address technology or code as the main actor in the delivery of an outcome of a service, removing those services performed by human labor[1].’

People are still actors in the delivery of outcomes. USM provides a sustainable management system for any enterprise service, not just IT services, so it applies to everyone in the enterprise. This also makes it far easier to consume than the IT4IT standard.

Again, as the name suggests, IT4IT is inside-out. The seven value streams described in the standard are designed to ‘combine all of the necessary capabilities to deliver value and support to the dependent parts of the Digital Product lifecycle’.

USM describes customer-driven service delivery. Four of the five processes and five of the eight workflows are customer-facing; USM is very much outside-in!

IT4IT provides a very detailed reference architecture that is designed to manage the business of IT. It ‘prescribes the value streams and capabilities required to manage the Digital Product lifecycle’. Similar to ITIL, IT4IT is practice-oriented; it provides ways to perform tasks in actual situations.

Whether IT4IT is for you depends on who you are and what you’re looking for. Jan van Bon posted about this years ago. I think large enterprises in particular will find plenty of good information in the IT4IT standard, and it should find a place in the enterprise reference library.

But what all enterprises need today is a dose of simplicity, and the Unified Service Management Method delivers that very well, as outlined in a single book.

USM is a method that provides the architecture and the management system to deploy any combination of practices in one integrated system, for any combination of teams or organizations, in any line of business.

Get a simple, sustainable management system in place with the USM Method; then pick and choose what other parts of your reference library apply to you.

[1] The Open Group IT4IT Standard, Version 3.0

Mindful Mondays

Mindful Mondays
What a way to start the day

I used to hate Mondays.

They typically began with a ‘what have you done for me lately’ meeting, which was rarely enough even when I felt we were making very good progress.

So, I’m switching to ‘mindful Mondays’ and increasing my self-awareness (thanks to BeingFirst). Besides doing some yoga (which I’m doing almost daily now), I’ll basically take the day off and simply think about where I am and where I want to be.

And I’m liking it very much.

There’s no question about it; I very much want to continue to play a part in helping customers with the endless, uphill roll that is continual improvement, and it’s not easy to compete with decades of entrenched thinking. But I’ve been down this road before, and I’m quite convinced that the Unified Service Management Method (USM) is the right thing to do— worth a look by anyone struggling with getting their services under control (which includes most enterprises).

USM enables the enterprise to get in control of its service delivery, with a management system of 5 processes and 8 workflows. It is a methodical approach that is based on a service management architecture that establishes a service management system.

BeingFirst and USM think alike -- they both like Einstein!
BeingFirst and Einstein

USM requires service management professionals to think differently about traditional, practice-oriented approaches to service management. In fact, both BeingFirst and the SURVUZ Foundation are big fans of Albert Einstein for the same reasons.

It also occurs to me that as the humans of DevOps continue to seek ways to transform our digital lives it gives us another opportunity to put people first. In fact, USM’s ability to provide a standardized, unified link for sustainable supply chains in service ecosystems is an ideal fit for DevOps.

The process model and standardized workflows can be used by any service provider, leveraging any combination of practice frameworks and any organizational topology. A method (not a framework) that is different thinking than traditional best practice approaches and well suited to emerging ‘radical’ enterprises.

BeingFirst has a wealth of information on their web site, and if you’re leading a DevOps or service management transformation these resources are worth a look (tell them MyServiceMonitor sent you!).

Much of BeingFirst’s content is extremely well suited to advancing the humans of DevOps or helping any leader with transformative change. In fact, USM may be the easy part since it’s is simple, easy to learn and use and can be deployed incrementally at very low risk.

The humans of DevOps are always the tough part— and that always starts with you (or me).

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