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Reference and guide to SFIA version 7. Framework status: Current standard.

#75 IT Service Business Life-cycle Approach: change request declined

Current SFIA categories need to be expanded. I suggest taking a life cycle view of the service life cycle. To make it easy, imagine if one was setting up an IT business, division, project or initiative from scratch - then this list of categories covers not just people, processes, tools & partners but also the business philosophy, principles, drivers & strategy, finance & business, operations, managing for excellence, mergers, acquisitions & exits. Details below.

Overall Business Philosophy, Strategy & Drivers - Inception Stage

Comprises the busines case, business plan, overall strategy & model

(eg: we are going into a new market - Amazon Australia, and these are the reasons why we are going to do it)

Service or Business Initiation - Inception Stage

Everything it takes to set up a new business or service. Related to program and project pojects, also related to startups. More to do with location, hiring, core infrastructure, core systems and processes, almost a pilot or MVP to get started to deliver the new model, division, department, initiative.

(eg: the outsourced model has not worked, let us set up a new in-sourced contact centre in the Philippines - a Telco)

Technology or Tools - moving from inception to growth

The tools required to manage and deliver the IT services to the customer once the service has been stood up.

Includes channels (email, web, apps, contact centre, telehony, email), monitoring tools, management tools, reporting tools to keep the server infrastructure, network connectivity, operating systems, databases, applications, end user devices, security, identity & access management - delivering once stood up and in BAU ops.

Totally related to Delivery & Operations, but the list under Service Operations needs expansion to cover the entire stack.

(eg: a government department needs to monitor its infrastructure, respond to after hours alerts & alarms, plan for capacity, ensure availaibility of all components so that the service to end-users is not impacted - particulaly VIP users with BYOD devices after hours AND also guest WiFi users in its facilities)

People - inception to growth and maturity

While covered under Skills and Quality, this needs many more categories. Some examples are: creating and managing effective teams, performance appraisals, goal setting, compensation, incentives, rostering, career planning & growth, retention, succession planning, knowledge management, trainig & development, team dynamics & staff morale, transforming teams, internal communications 

(self explanatory, no example required)

Customer - Maturity Phase

Probably the single biggest missing category. While covered under Relationships & Engagement, additional items include: customer segmentation, key account management, customer communications, new customer onboarding, customer satisfaction measurement & benchmarking, customer satisfaction improvement, proactive service, escalations, customers in intensive care, reference customer program, marketing communications, customer loyalty, customer retention, user groups

(eg: a 90% customer retention rate is mandated, customer satisfaction not less than 7 on NPS and a User Group needs to be set up for a large multinational in a given geography) 

Finance - Maturity Phase

The skills for managing the business of IT involves understanding and setting up the business model.  

Once set up it involves billing, invoicing, contracts, renewals, retention, budgeting, forecasting, new business development, designing and rolling out new services.

Related to Business Strategy & Planing, and FMIT, it nees a lot more granularity as above.

(eg: new sales target is USD XXXM, services target is USD YYYM, and support is USD ZZZM; break the support component by geography, by hardware maintenance, software support and additional services. Reduce costs to achieve requird margin)

Operations - Maturity Phase

The section under Development & Implementation, Service Operations either needs to be collapsed to make it generic; or expanded to make it detailed and consistent with some of the others.

My list for BAU operations includes reporting, kpi's, scorcards, capacity planning (which is alredy included - but people capacity, not technical capacity), escalations, critical situations, call flow models, service delivery continual improvement, alliances, external providers, offshore providers, 3rd level support, organistional readiness for new products, versions and releases, 24 hour support. 

While this comes from a support and service delivery perspective, it also needs to come from a sales, pre-sales & consulting perspective.

Existing skills (DCMA, PBMC, NTAS, STMC, ITOP, ASUP, PNET, SYSP) are very focussed and not all encompassing - see first statement above.

(no example provided)

Excellence - Maturity Phase

Covers frameworks, standards & industry practices. This should include customer satisfaction measurement, benchmarking & improvement, ITIL, Lean, ISO20000, Agile, Scrum, SIAM, eTOM, TOGAF etc. 

Essentially the category is about managing for excellence in an organisation and related closely to customer management above.

SFIA has Quality & Conformance; this category needs to be expanded.

(eg: a new broadband service provider has a for someone who has a good understanding of eTOM to help them develop requirements for acquiring or developing tools to provision, deliver, maintain & bill broadband internet service to its customers)

Mergers, Acquistions & Exit - Decline Phase

Integration of operations on account of mergers & aquisitions OR un-bundling systems on account of disvestitures, spinoffs and exits.   

(eg: a large telco has acquired another, the people, processes, tools, partners, operating model need to be integrated to ensure costs are reduced, duplication is eliminated, customers have consistent experience and business benefits are realised)  

I am sorry this is a lengthy post, I was not able to upload the accokpanying graphic, here is a link to it:


What we decided



Sunit Prakash says:
Dec 06, 2017 11:35 PM

Forgot to add: Supplier, Vendor & Alliances

SFIA covers this under Stakeholder Management. I suggest this needs to be expanded significantly.

SIAM covers this from the perspective of a customer having multiple suppliers.

They can be aggregated, in-sourced, outsourced, multi-sourced, off-shored, near-shored and each of these models requires certain competencies.

From a service provider perspective (think Oracle, Microsoft, SAP, IBM globally, and smaller regional and national level players) - you have resellers, channels, implementation partners, consulting partners, support partners & technical partners, global partners, local partners.

Each of these have their own role, responsibilities, contracts, KPI's, processes, operating and engagement models - and so SFIA needs to be updated to take into account suppliers, partners & alliances.