Communication and Service Management

What Is Service Management?

In our last article we briefly mentioned that defining communication as a service allows it to be managed using service management frameworks such as COBIT® and ITIL®.

ITIL defines service management as "a set of specialized organizational capabilities for enabling value to customers in the form of services".

That isn't particularly helpful without some dissection:

  • Specialized organizational capabilities include people, processes, and technologies.
  • Enabling value to customers means managing communication in a way that makes it valuable to recipients.
  • A service is something offered to customers. In the case of communication, no acceptance is required on the part of the customer, but it's helpful if they are involved in tailoring communication to their needs and the needs of their uers.

It can be helpful to understand how communication fits within a service management framework. The diagram that follows displays a framework-agnostic view of communication and how it might interact with processes (or "practices") in service management frameworks.

Absent from this diagram is continual improvement, which as a process or practice may be used to improve communication as a service.

GAP Analysis

When you are just getting started, it can be useful to establish a baseline for how well you are doing with communication today. A GAP Analysis can be a useful way to approach this.

You want to answer questions like:

  • How well do we communicate on projects and changes?
  • How well do we promote and sell our services, accomplishments and success to customers?
  • How well do we communicate before, during, and after a major incident?

Getting Started for Real

A communication plan is the foundation of communication as a service. If you haven't already, you'll also want to invest some time in researching and selecting a service management framework. Training in your selected framework (such as ITIL) may be advisable as well.

After that, you adapt your communication service to service management guidelines, utilizing processes and practices to manage and improve your communication.