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Objectives of Service Operation Lifecycle Stage

1. What are the principal objectives of the service operation lifecycle stage? Use an example from the scenario to illustrate your answer. 

2. Metrics are often used to monitor the performance of a function such as a service desk. Suggest three metrics that could be used in order to monitor the service desk described in the scenario. What kinds of issue need to be considered when collecting and interpreting metrics?

3. BoilServ case study

There are field engineers who work for a company called BoilServ that services commercial boilers. The engineers used to be able to access contact details for their customers through BoilServ’s public website, using mobile devices. Owing to increasing data security concerns arising from the recent upgrading of data protection regulations, the chief information officer has proposed that there should be better access controls for this data. She has assigned one of her managers, who has transferred recently from managing a sales call centre, to design the security protocols.

The initial change that the manager imposes is that the customer data can be accessed only through the company’s headquarters network. As the field engineers are not actually working at the headquarters, he also arranges standard virtual-private-network (VPN) access for the engineers’ devices. Unfortunately, standard VPN clients drop their connection whenever the client machine is suspended, so every time an engineer closes the lid on their laptop, they lose their VPN connection. Re-establishing a connection is tedious because it requires three passwords and a time-dependent numeric code generated by a small device each engineer carries.

Experience has shown ordinary post to be too unreliable for delivering VPN code generator devices to the engineers. Hence, should an engineer ever need a replacement code generator because they have lost or damaged their current one, they have to visit BoilServ’s headquarters in order to get a new one, which could involve a round trip of several hundred miles.

Furthermore, the manager is aware that some engineers are installing uncertified software on their mobile devices that could possibly pose a security threat. Hence the manager immediately bans unauthorised software installation, even though many of the non-approved applications installed by the engineers actually help them to do their jobs.

Then, to ensure even greater security, the manager insists that all of the mobile devices are reconfigured to use only standard software installed on a headquarters server, with the mobile devices operating over the VPN as thin clients. No requests for additional applications are likely to be considered because of the cost of licensing them for use on a server. Unfortunately, the VPN system supports this architecture even less well because any partially completed operations are lost whenever the VPN connection is lost, which can happen spontaneously if the mobile device should lose its signal.

To compound matters, BoilServ’s servers are scheduled to be offline for up to three hours for preventative maintenance on Thursday mornings. Sometimes, however, they don’t recover until much later than planned and, because the maintenance section of the IT department works only standard office hours, sometimes not until the next day. During these prolonged periods, the field engineers have no access to either the software or the data they need to do their work.

Metrics for Monitoring Service Desk Performance

Finally, the manager is concerned that the service desk could be overwhelmed by reports of service issues faced by the engineers, so he has made the sole point of contact for the service desk a password-protected web form that can be accessed only over a VPN connection.

When reviewing the impact of the improvements to data security, the chief executive officer expresses concern to the chief information officer that half of the engineers have now resigned, and the productivity of the remainder has fallen by two thirds.

a. In the BoilServ case study, what is the overriding service management principle that has been violated? Give an example of how this principle has been violated.

b. When challenged about having overlooked several service management principles, the manager responds that service management is not relevant, as Boilserv’s customers do not use the IT services, and the engineers are only employees. With the aid of examples from the case study, describe the likely impact of the changes imposed by the manager on the value of the services the engineers provide to theircustomers. What does this imply?

c. Identify three ITIL processes, from any stage of the service lifecycle, that are relevant to the case study but appear to have been ignored. For each process you identify, explain why you think it is relevant, and what the consequences are of it being ignored.

d. Reflecting on the case study and your answers, discuss how a service management approach, such as that expressed in the ITIL service lifecycle, might have led to an approach that is different from that adopted by the manager.

4. The five main characters in the service management simulation represent functional roles within the fictitious enterprise. The events, as they unfold, are concerned with service continuity.

a. Discuss the impact of whether the characters’ perspectives are technical- or service-focused, and the effectiveness with which they communicate (respond to emails), on the likely outcome of the developing crisis depicted in the simulation. Use your common sense to analyse what happens in the simulation – don’t try to be too theoretical!

b. Hence, comment on the more general importance to an organisation of effective communication and a service management focus.

5. All of us consume services from a variety of providers, many of them IT services. For example, you may use obvious ‘IT’ services such as broadband, a hosting service, email or video streaming. You probably have a PC with an operating system, which needs to be kept up to date, as does other software such as antivirus. Or you may make a lot of online purchases, or use online banking, both of which are mediated by IT services.

You probably also use various IT services in your workplace, or in a voluntary setting, or in some other context.

Whatever the context, things sometimes don’t go quite according to plan, quite often following a change or an upgrade. The reputation of the supplier will then be affected by how they manage such issues.

a. Describe briefly an IT service that you use – whether in your personal life, for work or in some other context – which has suffered an incident (degradation of service) or series of incidents. The incident(s) may or may not have followed a planned change or upgrade to the service. Identify clearly how the incident affected the service you received, and what actions appeared to be taken by the service provider to resolve the situation.

If you really can’t think of a suitable example from your own experience, you will probably have colleagues, friends or family members who have suffered such an issue, and you could discuss their example in your answer. In that case, ensure you make it clear that you were not yourself the ‘victim’, and give due acknowledgement to your source. Bear in mind that it may take significantly longer to gather together the information for somebody else’s experience than if it were your own.

b. Review your answer to part (a) from a service management perspective. Consider whether the incident, and the service provider’s response, suggest possible lapses in service management.

Hence, comment on how well the supplier’s actions suggest that they are focused on service management.

Objectives of Service Operation Lifecycle Stage

1. The principal objective of service operation lifecycle is that it works with the objective of delivering IT services efficiently and effectively. The stages included in the service operation lifecycle are full filling the user requests, fixing the problems faced, resolving service failures. The main principles are internal IT view and external business view, proactive and reactive, stability and responsiveness and service cost and service quality (Beloglazov et al. 2015). Service operation includes providing a service desk that will help them in satisfying the needs of the customer. There are four types of desk: central service desk, central service desk, local or distributed service desk, and virtual desk. For example: the case study chosen is BoilServ.

2. The three metrics that will be useful for the given case study are infrastructure stability, change success rate and cost per ticket. This will help in providing better measures for monitoring the service desk. While working with the metrics the information that are needed to be kept in mind are related to the infrastructure stability, the privacy policy developed by the company and measures that are taken by the organization to improve the efficiency (Ciesielska 2017). The reports based on the service issues faced by the engineers working in the organization will be helpful for developing the metrics.

3. a) Several policies were implemented with the aim of increasing data security and manager decides that customers data can be accessed only by the headquarter network. Apart from these security protocols are being designed on demand of the manager so that maximum security can be provided. The principle that has been violated by the engineers of the organization is that they are accessing and installing uncertified software on their mobiles that are likely to pose security threats.

b) BoilServ Company aims at serving commercial boilers. As the engineers of the company had the access to the customer’s data and contact details through the website of the company their lies a chance of data getting leaked or misused. Thus it becomes necessary increase security related to the data so that the data protection regulation can be maintained. In order to maintain the confidentiality the chief information officer has proposed a plan that will help in gaining better access controls for this data. Even the chief officer has assigned a manager for developing security protocols that will protect every data related to the customer. The manager included a change that allows the access of customers details only from companies headquarter. Apart from this, the manager has included standard virtual private network that will give access to the engineer’s device. However, the VPN drops their connection each time the engineer’s machine gets suspended and the connection needs to be reestablished. This is time consuming and also requires password verification (Drake and Ring 2016). Moreover in case the engineer loses or damages their VPN code generator device it becomes difficult to get the device back as the engineer needs to visit the BoilServer’s headquarters. This process is lengthy and time consuming. Apart from this, manager has banned installation of unauthorized software. After implementation of this rules, it is being observed that half of the engineers has resigned the job and the production of the company has fallen to two third.

Metrics for Monitoring Service Desk Performance

c) The phases involved in ITIL service cycle are service strategy, service transition, service design, service operation and continual service improvement. The important part of the lifecycle for this case study are service design, continual service improvement and service transition. Service design involves designing new and proper IT services that will help in improving the working and will achieve benefits. This was necessary for manager to evaluate the IT services before implementing them on the engineers (Arnold and Boggs 2015). Service transition includes building and deploying IT services and also ensures that these changes are carried out in a coordinated way and every members has agreed on implementing this IT services. This would helped the manager to understand the need of the customers and engineers and set services accordingly. This would have brought positive benefit towards the company. Continual service improvement includes developing methods that has learnt from past experiences so that the mistakes done in the past will not be repeated in the present (Kaiser 2017). This aims at improving the effectiveness and efficiency of IT processes and services. With this stage the manager will be able to take better decision in futures that will definitely improve the efficiency.

d) According to me the manager needs to implement a plan after discussing it with other mangers and chief officer. The decision took by manager lead to huge loss and apart from this half of the employees resigned their jobs. The motive of manager was appreciated but the way he approached the problem was not satisfying.  Thus, in order to conduct proper service management approach the manager needs to follow the ITIL service life cycle (Kierzkowski and Kisiel 2015). These would have helped in developing a successful management service. By implementing service strategy the needs of the customer can be analysed and also helps in understanding the service strategy that will be beneficial for organization. With the service design phase new IT services can be designed with the aim off improving the existing services. Service transition step includes deploying IT services and building a transition in a coordinated way with service management process. The stage of service operation would include effective way of service and also process the needs of the users. The organization would have gained a lot of profit if the manager followed this step. This steps are essential for improving the service management of the organization.

4. a)The characters perspective are service focused as the manager did not analysed nor she measured the problems that may come along with the implementation of this rules. In the given case study, the manager sets some rules and regulation and did not ask their team members about this. Before implementing any protocol it becomes necessary to discuss with the team members and other manager so that they can share their values and give better opinion. In the simulation given, the rules implemented by the manager becomes difficult to follow by the engineers and as a result half of the employees left their job and as a result productivity fallen by two third. If the manager communicated properly with other managers or with the chief officer this situation would have avoided easily. Even the manager may have avoided this situation by conducting meetings and informing the engineers about the problems faced by the organization regarding the data security (Mayo, Brown and Harris 2017). The manager could have asked for suggestions from employees as it is necessary to develop a service that will benefit the customer as well as the employees. Implementing so many rules lead to inappropriate working of the employees and as the employees were not able to handle the situation they left the organization. Before implementing any law it is necessary to conduct a meeting so that everyone associated with the organization can give their valuable feedback and can change the law if it is needed.

BoilServ Case Study: Violations of Service Management Principles

b) Communication is essential for every organization to maintain effective working. Effective communication helps in better growth of organization. Thus, it is important to maintain both internal and external communication. External communication helps the organization to understand the needs o the customer and manage deals with the stakeholders. Internal communication helps in developing a project within the organization effectively. Lack of communication leads to collapse of organization that occurred in this case. Due to communication barrier the company suffered a huge loss. Thus communication is an important factor. Better communication will improve the customer service and the relationship maintained between the employees. The main benefits of effective communication are improves productivity, increases customers satisfaction, employee moral gets activated and also beneficial for team building. Service management focuses on managing the service provided to the customers (Pollitt, Birchall and Putman 2016). This is necessary to focus on the services provided and the service cycle. IT service management is the way of implementing, delivering and managing the IT services so that they can meet the organizations need. This also ensures that appropriate people, process and technology are place in order to provide a more valuable working.

5. a) The IT service which is use by me in personal life is the broadband service. I obtain the internet service from the Vision Wills TD service providers. The providers have a steady internet connection throughout the year and hence, their services is highly rated by the people of the area. However, there has been disputes over the services provided by the company. It has been identified that the buffering speed over YouTube has been decreasing to a great extent. In addition to this, there were no issues such as this which were faced earlier in the year. Additionally, there has been steady degradation in the quality of the video. Earlier high quality videos played on YouTube without buffering. However, lately this, problem has been persistent and hence, a solution was required to this (Tao et al. 2015). After a complaint was registered to company, the company made changes to the cables and the fibre optics cables were provided, which resolved the issues to a great extent.

b) For the service providers point of view customer satisfaction is a huge criterion which is to be fulfilled and looked after. The operators make sure that the customer satisfaction level is maintained as the customer satisfaction level is directly related to the overall reputation of the company. In addition to this, the service providers are to make sure that the services provided by them are steady and of optimum quality so that their reputation is not hampered and they do not lose out on competition in the market. The service management sector of the company lags a bit in regards to the situations described above and hence, it needs improvement (Sandeep 2014). The maintenance sector of the company should be improved as they should be checking the connections provided to their clients at a defined intervals and making any upgrades if necessary. In addition to this, the sector of customer relations within the company is very efficient as they responded to my query with alacrity and resolved my issue as soon as possible.    

References

Arnold, E.C. and Boggs, K.U., 2015. Interpersonal Relationships-E-Book: Professional Communication Skills for Nurses. Elsevier Health Sciences.

Beloglazov, A., Banerjee, D., Hartman, A. and Buyya, R., 2015. Improving productivity in design and development of information technology (IT) service delivery simulation models. Journal of Service Research, 18(1), pp.75-89.

Ciesielska, M., 2017. Implementation of ITIL Service Lifecycle in small and medium-sized enterprises of Polish ICT sector. Information Systems in Management, 6.

Drake, M.L. and Ring, D.C., 2016. Enthesopathy of the extensor carpi radialis brevis origin: effective communication strategies. JAAOS-Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, 24(6), pp.365-369.

Kaiser, A.K., 2017. ITIL Service Lifecycle. In Become ITIL Foundation Certified in 7 Days (pp. 33-44). Apress, Berkeley, CA.

Kierzkowski, A. and Kisiel, T., 2015. Functional readiness of the check-in desk system at an airport. In Theory and Engineering of Complex Systems and Dependability (pp. 223-233). Springer, Cham.

Mayo, A., Brown, E. and Harris, R., 2017. Opportunities and Efficiencies in Building a New Service Desk Model. Medical reference services quarterly, 36(3), pp.211-219.

Pollitt, C., Birchall, J. and Putman, K., 2016. Decentralising public service management. Macmillan International Higher Education.

Sandeep, K., 2014. How Stay Secure On Public Wifi Spot by Using VPN. Benefits.

Tao, F., Zhang, L., Liu, Y., Cheng, Y., Wang, L. and Xu, X., 2015. Manufacturing service management in cloud manufacturing: overview and future research directions. Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering, 137(4), p.040912.

Tenório, L., de Assis, C.F., da Silva, A.M., de Paula Ferreira, W. and Tanaka, W.Y., 2018. Lean IT application in service desk in a wires and cable company. Journal of Lean Systems, 3(4), pp.02-14.

Trinkenreich, B., Santos, G., Confort, V.T. and Santoro, F.M., 2015. Toward using Business Process Intelligence to Support Incident Management Metrics Selection and Service Improvement. In SEKE (pp. 522-527).

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