An Overview of ITIL CSI and the 7-Step Improvement Process

An Overview of ITIL CSI and the 7-Step improvement Process

Continual Service Improvement is a type of process which utilizes techniques from quality management in order to learn from prior successes and failures and aims to constantly increase the efficiency and effectiveness of IT services and processes.

Objectives of ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

Service improvement must primarily focus on maximizing the effectiveness and increasing the efficiency of the IT serves and the IT Service Management processes. The following are the objectives of Continual Service Improvement.

  • Increasing the cost-effectiveness and process efficiency of the IT service.

  • To evaluate, analyze and make recommendations to improve the existing opportunities in each phase of the service lifecycle such as Service strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, and Service operation.

  • To ascertain and implement activities to increase the quality of the IT service and improve the effectiveness and effectiveness of the IT service management process.

  • To increase the cost-effectiveness of IT service delivery while maintaining the same level of customer satisfaction.

  • To ensure that a standard and relevant method is used for quality management.

Processes of ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

  1. Service Review: The objective of this process is to review the infrastructure and business services periodically. Service review also aims to improve the quality of service wherever it is necessary and to identify economic ways of providing a service.

  2. Process Evaluation: The objective is to evaluate the IT processes on a regular basis. It aims to identify the areas where the process metrics which have been targeted have not reached, to hold regular audits, benchmarks, assessments, and reviews.

  3. Definition of CSI initiatives: The objective of this process is to define the particular initiatives which aim to improve the services and the processes on the basis of results of the service reviews and process evaluations. The initiatives which arise as a result of this are either ones which require customer cooperation or are internal initiatives which are being pursued by the service provider themselves.

  4. Monitoring CSI initiatives: The objective of this process is to check the improvement initiatives and verify if they are proceeding as per the plan. If they aren’t, then it aims to implement corrections wherever required.

ITIL Continual Service Improvement (CSI) - Seven-Step Improvement Process

The focus of Continual Service Improvement is on service improvement to support business processes. In order to do this, Continual Service Improvement uses a seven-step process plan for improvement which is crucial for CSI and other stages in the ITIL lifecycle.

Purpose of the Seven-Step Improvement Process

The main purpose of the seven-step improvement process is to define and manage the steps which are required to identify, define, gather, process, analyze, present and implement the improvements which have been made over a period of time.

Objectives of the Seven-Step Improvement Process

The objectives of the seven-step improvement process are:

  • To identify the opportunities available for improving services, processes, tools, etc.

  • To bring down the cost of providing services and to make sure that the IT services allow the required business goals and results to be achieved.

  • To identify the areas that need to be measured, analyzed and reported to establish improvement opportunities.

  • It should continuously review the service achievements to ensure that they are properly aligned with the requirement of the organization.

  • To understand what needs to be measured, the reason for its measurement and to define the successful outcome carefully.

Scope of the Seven-Step Improvement Process

  • The seven-step improvement process includes analysis of the performance and actual capabilities of the services and processes throughout the lifecycle, partners, and technology.

  • It includes continuously aligning the portfolio of IT services of the organization to the present and future business requirements.

  • It looks to make the best use of whatever technology the organization possesses and tries to acquire and utilize new technology when a business case demands it.

  • To determine the capabilities of the personnel in the organization and to inquire if the right people with the relevant skills are working in appropriate positions.

Value of the Seven-Step Improvement Process

  • The seven-step improvement process ensures that the current and future business requirements can be met by constantly monitoring and analyzing the service delivery.

  • It enables constant assessment of the present situation against business requirements and identifies the opportunities available for improving the provision of service to the customers.

Principles and Basic Concepts of the Seven-Step Improvement Process

  • The service providers operate in a very competitive market, and they need to assess their services against the expectations in the market constantly.

  • New delivery mechanisms such as cloud computing can increase the efficiency of the service and need to be considered for implementation.

  • The service provided must be compared to the present market offerings to ensure that the service adds actual business value to the client so that the service provider remains competitive.

  • The services must be regularly reviewed to keep up with the latest technological advances to ensure that the services they are delivering are the most efficient.

Stages in the Seven-Step Improvement Process

The seven steps constitute what is known as a knowledge spiral. The knowledge gathered from one level becomes the input to the next level. It moves from operational management to the tactical management and finally the strategic management.

The stages in the 7 step improvement process are as follows.

The stages in the 7 step improvement process

  1. Identify the strategy for improvement

    We must take into account the final goals we have set for the business and see how the IT organization can assist in achieving those targets through continuous improvements. While doing this, future and present plans need to be considered as well.

  2. Define what should be measured

    A comparison should be made between what we can ideally measure and what we can actually measure. Gaps should be identified and a realistic measurement plan should be developed to support the strategy for improvement.

  3. Gather the required data

    Data is gathered through constant monitoring. The process of monitoring can be done manually or technology can be used to automate the whole process and simplify it.

  4. Process the data

    The data which is gathered through monitoring is converted into the form required by the audience. This can be considered as a conversion of metrics into Key Performance Indicator (KPI) results and turn the available data into information.

  5. Analyze the information and data

    The multiple sources of data are combined to transform the information into knowledge. Through this, we can develop an understanding of the actual meaning of the identified patterns and trends. It also helps us to answer questions regarding whether something is good or bad and is it expected and in line with targets.

  6. Present and utilize the information

    The information which is gathered and analyzed needs to be presented in a proper manner with the right amount of detail so that the information is understandable and provides the right amount of detail to support informed decision-making.

  7. Implement the improvement

    The knowledge obtained should be combined with previous experience and used to make informed decisions and necessary improvements. The improvements which are made must focus on optimizing and correcting the services, processes, and tools.

The Seven-Step Improvement Process of CSI thus identifies the opportunities available for improving services, processes, tools, etc. By bringing down the cost of providing services it makes sure that the IT services allow the results to be achieved.

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