The continual service improvement in ITIL using Six Sigma
Continual service improvement includes every aspect of ITIL service life-cycle and can be applied to provide a sustained improvement in IT performance.
The most important aspect of understanding how to improve is by knowing what to measure and understanding how those measures can be assessed, analysed and used as a basis for developing and delivering improvements. The ability to measure improvements and provide a “before and after” comparison is essential in being able to demonstrate the benefits of CSI and the value delivered.
ITIL process assessments are the mechanism used to create these measures for ITIL process environment. These then help identify the desired CSI improvement activities that can improve process maturity and the organisations overall IT service management capability.
- Assessments are the mechanisms for comparing the organisations current ITIL process environment against established industry performance standards and criteria for the purpose of identifying shortcomings, differences and gaps.
- Comparing the current ITIL process model against external industry references creates the benchmark against which the organisation can compare its existing maturity with industry norms. This provides guidance and direction in ensuring resultant CSI activities reference and leverage acknowledged industry best practice.
- The measures and results from a well-structured ITIL process assessment create the baselines and benchmarks against which the progress of CSI activities instigated as a result of the assessment can then be demonstrated.
The primary differentiator between Six Sigma and other quality initiatives is that Six Sigma improvement efforts are based on the ‘Voice of the Customer’ (VOC). This concept provides a lens through which a quality initiative can be directed. Quality improvement efforts address those quality issues, and only those issues, that impact the customer. And it is the VOC that creates a linkage between Six Sigma and ITIL. VOC is the process of gathering customer comments regarding a process, product, etc., usually in the form of surveys. VOC statements are translated into quantitative specifications for the process. Those specifications determine what will be Critical to Quality (CTQ), such that the customer believes that the process, product, service is meeting his or her quality expectations.
Let say ABC IT Company is handling the website of XYZ travelling company. ABC has service level agreement with XYZ that their website will not hang till 2000 customer hits. But XYZ receives the customer complaints related to website hang problem due to which customers are not able to book tickets and information gathering about travelling packages. XYZ complains ABC about website hang problem. ABC collects data around the problem and notices that in last 6 months website of XYZ not responding after every 1200 customer hits. So, ABC is not meeting SLA, which they have signed with XYZ. Now here, Six Sigma comes in play to meet the signed SLA because ABC has collected data which can be measured and analysed.