The Service Management Office

A Service Management Office (SMO) is an emerging idea in ITSM which I think is a very good one. It is directly analogous to a Project Management Office. I mapped out the deliverables of a Service Management Office recently, and thought I'd share.

A SMO acts just like a PMO: it provides a central point of focus within the organisation to drive efficiency and effectiveness: efficiency through sharing a common resources, and effectiveness through a central improvement programme providing education, techniques, tools etc.

There is a wide range of possible SMO models, much like the range of scenarios for a PMO that we see in the wild.

The SMO may own the people who actually do the service management and provide them to business units, or the business units may have their own people and the SMO just provides coordination and assistance.

So the SMO could have the Incident Manager, the Problem Manager or the Change Manager for the organisation. Then IT might have an IT-specific Problem Manager with a direct or dotted reporting line to the SMO's Problem Manager.

The SMO could own the service catalogue and SLAs, and service level monitoring and reporting.

The SMO could own the service desk tool, asset management, the CMDB, or other tools, provided centrally to all business units needing them.

The SMO could run the organisational Service Desk, taking calls for any business unit from IT to HR.

Or the SMO could be a small group who do little more than set policy and standards, and train and coach SM practitioners in the business.

I group the potential value of a SMO in three areas. I don't recall exactly where I got all these ideas from, but many will have come from Troy DuMoulin's podcast and writings. Sorry for any other writers who I have forgotten. (Plexent are trying to trademark the term - seriously? - but I haven't read any of their stuff yet.)

  • Centralised (shared) capability
    • Service Delivery Manager
    • Service Managers
    • Service Desk
    • incident Management
    • Major Incident Management and Disaster Recovery
    • Request Management (I hate "fulfilment" - that's one activity)
    • Problem Management
    • Change and Release Management
    • Configuration Management
    • Asset Management
    • Service levels: SLAs, monitoring, reporting
  • Expertise (Centre of Excellence)
    • knowledge
    • Training, coaching
    • Promotion, marketing, culture change
    • Tools and resources
    • People - shared staff
  • Service Assurance
    • performance against SLAs
    • Quality
    • Risk
    • Compliance

Thoughts and comments?
[Good point from Rui Soares: you can outsource the first part, Capability, but you can't outsource the other two: Expertise and Assurance, especially assurance. In fact the more stuff the business outsources/cloudifies/hosts/gives away, the MORE important assurance becomes]

Who has some tales of SMO in action? (You can google a few)

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