How to track a managed service successfully?
A managed service needs periodic monitoring to control its future, as well as the improvement needs that may arise. It is common to create different committees that, through meetings, evaluate the status of the different areas (customer service, application support, network support, …). But today we are going to focus on the Steering Committee. The term 'Committee' is often linked to the concept of 'meeting' and we all know what usually happens with meetings unless they are well oriented, right?
Key steps to achieve an efficient Steering Committee
The Steering Committees in which Izertis participates are formed by the head of the service by the client and our managers, headed by Service Manager and of course, the person in charge of the account. They are not committees with a massive influx and are oriented to inform about the “state of the art” as well as the fulfilment of the objectives established in the ANS. They are fully executive, with an agenda set in advance and prior sending of the information to be treated. Among others, the topics discussed are:
- Workload assessment by areas
- Compliance with KPIs
- Action planes for non-compliance and their monitoring
- Analysis of service costs
- Decision making and initiatives
Assessing the workload must be done, not from a technical team dimensioning point of view, since this is an exclusive task of the supplier, but doing so from a perspective focused on detecting possible needs or deficiencies on the different business areas.
Peter F. Drucker, considered the father of Management, wrote the following sentence: 'Unless a commitment is established, there are only promises and hopes; but there are no plans'. One of the objectives of service monitoring is precisely to ensure continuous improvement. For this improvement to take place, action planes must be established for each need and reviewed continuously until you see that they have had the desired effect.
Another of the important items to be discussed within the Steering Committee is the one related to the costs of providing the service. Analysing costs does not only mean to present a total of the amount of the period under review, in greater or lesser detail. In addition to this, it can be helpful to relate these costs to the business areas that have incurred them and how they have done so. That is to say, to make a division by business service to be able to have a relation of the costs in a detailed form and not a unique cost of the services of IT.
Finally, the Steering Committee is the appropriate body for decision-making concerning Managed Service such as the one provided by our CSG. Not only from an operational point of view but also to those that have to do with the future strategy of the service. Having daily information on how the IT infrastructure evolves and the relationship of the different departments with it is, in addition, a very great advantage to be able to contribute with initiatives to collaborate for the improvement of the business.
If there is no continuous monitoring of the service, it can be diverted to a wrong path, which will end up breaking the relationship between provider and customer. Without going into great technical details and focusing on maintaining the guidelines established by the business, the Steering Committee is the highest governing body of a service.