Understanding ITIL Service Continual Service Improvement

5-Understanding-ITIL-Service-CSI-AA050636BlogIn my last blog post I discussed three of the most important parts of the “ITIL® Service Operation” book. In this post I will give the same treatment to the “ITIL Service Continual Service Improvement” book.

The Continual Service Improvement Approach

  • What is the vision?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get there?
  • Did we get there?
  • How do we keep the momentum going?

The list above is the continual service improvement approach. The CSI approach gives the path that the adoption of any aspect of ITIL® follows. A successful adoption always begins by understanding the vision, or the desired end state. Next, with respect to the vision, the organization must understanding its starting point. Once the vision and the starting point are understood, then the organization can work backward from the vision to the starting point to define specific measurable targets. After those measurable targets are known, then the organization can implement specific improvements to achieve those objectives, and can measure the success of the improvement and the progress that has been made. Finally, the organization may need to adjust the vision as conditions change, or continue to energize the organization as it is moving toward its desired vision.

The CSI Register
Organizations are often pretty good at identifying improvement opportunities. What they tend to not be good at is ensuring that those improvement opportunities are tracked, managed and that they actually are implemented over time.

The method that ITIL provides to help an organization manage, prioritize and ensure that improvement opportunities are implemented over time is a Continual Service Improvement (CSI) Register. A CSI Register is really simple to build and use, however, many organizations fail to take this simple step, described by the best practice, which helps to get control of improvement activity within an organization.

The Relationship with Service Level Management
Those who are new to ITIL might not realize that back in v2, there was not an independent CSI defined within the best practice. For all intents and purposes, CSI was part of service level management. As ITIL has matured different parts of service level management have been carved into other more specialized processes. One significant example of this is the CSI book itself.

The link between CSI and service level management specifically refers to the service review meeting activity of service level management. In a service review meeting, a service provider discusses with the customer the performance of a service over some period of time. The objective of a service review meeting is to identify improvements that can be fed into a formal service improvement plan.

In other words, the activity that generates improvements to be managed by CSI is the service review aspect of service level management, meaning that this aspect of the CSI book is one of the more important items that is discussed.

There are many things that are useful and important about the ITIL CSI book. This post discussed the CSI Approach, the CSI Register and the relationship with service level management, which are three of the most important concepts discussed in the ITIL CSI book.

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