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Service Strategy - Proactive Not Reactive

The proactive story takes place throughout the whole of ITIL. As we assess and perform optimisation around operational health, Service Strategy really comes into play. The core of Service strategy revolves around alignment - in ITIL it's the alignment of IT visions and goals. Understanding the customer and their needs, but also understanding the opportunities. During Service Strategy, we talk about service efficiency and reliability to a greater level.

When we talk about being proactive, we imply increased awareness of choice and stimulating team innovation and creativity. Rather than waiting or something to trigger, then event, we actively go out and seek the goal. We use foreknowledge and creativity to anticipate the opportunities. Regardless of how bad a situation appears, we influence the system constructively instead of reacting to it.

By being proactive we seek to create an unmatched opportunity and a competitive business advantage, frequently but not always with fewer resources. In all cases, being proactive is a self initiated behaviour, acting in advance of a situation, rather than just reacting to it.

Researchers have identified that a proactive approach is an increasingly important factor in an organisations success, particularly in dynamic of uncertain economic environments.

Within aggressiveness strategies, a reactor has no proactive strategy. They only react to events as they occur and as such are classed as the least effective of the four strategies (prospector, defender, analyzer, and reactor).

Miles, Snow et al (1978) identified three reasons why organizations become Reactors:

  • Top Management may not have clearly articulated the organization's strategy.
  • Management does not fully shape the organization's structure and processes to fit a chosen strategy.
  • Tendency for Management to maintain the organization's current strategy-structure relationship despite overwhelming changes in environmental conditions.

See also

Deployment patterns

proactive service strategy optimisation health alignment goals reliability



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