Tips for Making IT Service Management & Governance (SM&G) Work

By Andrea Spiegelhoff, Director & Head, SM&G Competency, EMEA, TPI 

If you are planning to establish, re-design or improve your IT service management and governance (SM&G) operations, here are five key considerations for making it function most effectively:

1.  Align the organization to the business environment. IT organizations have become more sophisticated in managing their service providers; but on the other hand, effective service provider management is tied inextricably to the buy-in and cooperation of the business. To this end, establish IT operations with one face to the customer and service provider. Today’s sourcing models provide end-to-end services from multiple internal and external service providers, covering an integrated service catalogue, demand management, chargeback, etc.

2.  Plan for change. SM&G organizations should be as flexible as the businesses they serve. Create yours in a flexible way from the outset so that it can keep pace with change in the overall enterprise. Because organizations often have difficulty initiating change, use an impartial third party to provide insight and methodology for issue identification and remediation. Apply change management practices throughout the sourcing life cycle to make the necessary adjustments in philosophy and business execution to institutionalize the needed changes and enable effective SM&G. The mantra is “communicate, communicate, communicate!”            

3.  Find the right balance between centralized and local IT decision making. Take a close look at the drivers for centralization versus decentralization. The balance of decision-making power between centralized and local IT functions will have a major impact on the sizing — and therefore the cost — of the SM&G organization. Most organizations have experienced organic growth in their SM&G function as the services matured, with attendant cost ramifications. External benchmarks can provide a useful tool to help evaluate the sizing of the SM&G organization against market best practices.

4.  Retain the right skills within your organization. An organization is only as good as its people. Even if you are confident that your employees have the right skills to deliver excellence, continuously benchmark these skills by asking these questions:

  1. What are the considerations, skills and capabilities necessary for effective SM&G?

  2. How can we assess available resource capability and skills?

  3. What can we do to maintain these skills in the long run?

At each stage in the life cycle, the issues to be managed are different, and that often drives an evolutionary approach to organization, sizing and required skills.

5.  Create transparency in value creation and costs. Implement a central “gateway” process for all IT expenditures and projects to give a clearer view of customer demand and to help control decisions and costs across IT. Alongside this, establish a formal SM&G operating model and processes. These approaches will help to realize value and reduce any strife and conflict in the service provider and internal customer relationship.

The establishment of a strong and supported SM&G operating model will bring the organizational capability to its highest level. Interested in establishing IT SM&G operations or improving the process you have? TPI’s SM&G specialists can help you achieve your organizational goals through objective advice, knowledge of your industry and experience with SM&G arrangements from simple to complex. 
Contact us today to learn more.