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Service Design - Starting Design

Start simple, take an existing capability such as an infrastructure service you have in your environment and go through some workshops and formalise that item into a service model. Then identify that processes risks and gaps between the expected levels of service that the business or IT needs, and the current level that you're providing.

Common techniques for starting Service Design

  • Internal reviews and audits
  • Maturity assessment
  • Risk Assessment

Using a simple architecture approach, visually define the elements of the service to help us understand the different teams that are involved in delivering the service, the things that the service depends on so that we can build our operating level agreements. The portfolio will contain that information.

Now, let's expand the approach to include configuration items such as servers, hardware, software and the apps. Once we have that high level of detail we can gradually go down to the next level of detail to describe that particular configuration item. As we move from item to item, we begin to build ourselves a portfolio. Extra things that can be included in the approach could be the actual scope - what's in scope and what's out of scope. Including scope can be very helpful for people to know, for troubleshooting problems, major outages and the like.

Before we can start analysing a service or process, we also need to think about the data that needs to be collected in order to build the Score Card. Define appropriate measures and metrics.

Now that we have the outlines of the service, we move onto the Service Review. Here, we'll review the service via a 30 minute stand up presentation. We'll walk though the service, covering the major elements and talking through warranty etc. Ask the questions - "how are we doing on capacity, availability, security?"

Follow the maturity based approach, i.e. start small, take just a few metrics and qualitative measures to see how we're doing, for example, with the continuity plan. Then formalise that and use it as an engine for continuous improvement. Build up gradually, feed in more measurements on continuity. Look at new requirements to monitor our backup success rate and our recovery success rates. It's a continual approach to building on top of each layer.

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