What is a service?
Large fleas have lesser fleas,
Upon their backs to bite 'em,
Lesser ones have lesser ones,
And so on, ad infinitum.
The Adaptive Service Model (ASM), produced by the Taking Service Forward initiative (TSF) does an excellent job, resting, as it does, on the shoulders of many others who have worked to define services before. It shows how a service interacts with resources, service suppliers and providers, and the other essentials to deliver value. The site is takingserviceforward.org, and the latest diagram is:
The difficulty is how to define the service itself. There are many different sorts of service, and they all must be served (if you excuse the term) by the definition. For example:
Currency conversion services
Wreck recovery services
..And many more. How is it possible to have a definition that encompasses all these, without it being horribly complicated with lots of exclusions or possible alternatives?
There are other requirements of the definition, including:
Not confusing 'service' with process, activity or procedure
Not getting involved in trying to distinguish 'produce' & 'service'
Making it, if possible, easy to understand and remember
What about using a recursive definition?
It has been done before. For example:
Gnu: Gnu is not Unix
Recursion : See Recursion
There's a problem with these two, they go on, like the fleas, ad infinitum.
Mathematicians and programmers have known a solution to this for some time – mathematicians call it 'induction', rather than recursion, but it's the same thing. The solution, is to have an end-stop. Like this:
Calculate N! – that is N x (N-1) x (N-2) x …. x 1 [ 6! = 6 x 5 x 4 x 3 x 2 x 1 = 720
A recursive solution could be:
Function factor(N) returns an integer
if N > 1 then N * factor(N-1)
If you called the function like this:
Then the answer would be 720.
Definition of a service:
The Adaptive Service Model describes the context within which a service exists. The service is either:
An Atomic Service (or quantum service)
A service that is supported by other services that contribute to it delivering value.
Definition of an 'Atomic/quantum service':
An Atomic/quantum service is a service at the lowest level of useful description for the circumstances.
The picture below shows the breakdown of a service into its component services. It only goes down one of the trees to the bottom (and there could be services below that), to give the idea.
Usually it would be silly to go below the e-mail service for most purposes, but it's useful to see that you can go as far as you want, if it is useful for a particular purpose.
- University of Natal, Pietermaritzburg, BSc. 1979
- Major Subjects; Maths & Physics
- ITIL V2 Manager’s Certificate in IT Service Management
- ITIL V3 ITIL Expert Certification
- ISO20000 Consultant’s Certificate Management
- Fellow in Service Management (FSM)® (prISM)
- Certified ISEB instructor for ITIL Foundations + Service Manager courses
- FISM - Fellow of the Institute of IT Service Management
- Marketing and Business Development Director itSMF International
- Marketing Director itSMF South Africa
- Member of itSMF South Africa Western Cape
- Policy Consulting - start up organisation
- Service Governance
- Business Analysis
- OpenView Network and System Management; design and implementation.
- Secure web implementation.
- HP Service Desk implementation.
- Application, System, and Network Consolidation.
- Business Disaster Recovery process consulting, implementation and testing.
- ITIL process management (practical consulting delivery):
|Service Portfolio||Service Strategy||Service Desk|
Specialties and interests
|ASM||Adaptive Service Model|
|Service Governance||Business Analysis|
|KPI||Metric Design and Implementation|
|I have never been further|
|north||Helsinki 60°10′15″N 024°56′15″E|
|south||Dunedin 45°52′S 170°30′E|
|west||Sausalito Coordinates: 37°51′33″N 122°29′07″W ]|
|east||Rotorua 38°08′16″S 176°15′05″E|
|... and higher than 3.050 m|
|... and faster than 320 kph (on the ground)|
Adopting Service Governance
|ISBN: 978-0113314652||ISBN: 978-0113313914|
|Webinar: Adopting Service Governance: Governing portfolio value for sound corporate citizenship||Review in International Best Practice|
|Issues in corporate governance and service governance as a solution|
|AXELOS interview with Peter Brooks|
|Service Governance in the Cloud|
|Adopting Service Governance - Governing portfolio value for sound corporate citizenship - AXELOS 2015 ISBN: 978-0113314652|
|Collaborative Consulting – TSO 2013 ISBN: 978-0113313914|
|Review - Ivor Macfarlane|
|An Integrated Requirements Process - Governing Cost & Risk in Business Analysis - itSMFsa 2013 ISBN: 978-1490489162|
|Review - David Lowe|
|Review - Karen Ferris|
|Metrics for Service Management: Designing for ITIL – VHP 2012 ISBN-13: 978-9087536480|
Metrics for IT Service Management – VHP 2006 ISBN-13: 978-9077212691
Definition of Service Governance
Service Governance describes the means of achieving effective corporate and portfolio governance, within the ‘comply or explain’ framework, by designing the service portfolio as the overarching management system that monitors & controls corporate financial performance & value delivery.
From '''Adopting Service Governance''' http://service-governance.org/index.php?title=Category:Best_Practice Service Governance - Best Practice