Showing Service Management Value

In tougher economic times many organizations will start to assess the value of the pieces which allow them to operate. A challenge for service management is to not only show the value that they currently bring to the company but the continued value that they can provide in regards to delivering services.
The term business value can be interpreted in slightly different ways however for the most part it speaks to the ability for an organization to realize its business outcomes. Typically this is done through financial means but might also be in other less tangible ways such as customer satisfaction.
It would sound sensible enough so why aren’t more organizations doing this? The reason is that service management has to understand how services are supported through their lifecycle and a detailed level. Basically, who is doing what and when?
In my experience we ‘think’ we know how this is done until we start to take a real close look. This is where many of these initiatives can fall off the rails so to speak. We need to look at this type of work as a continual service improvement activity. There should be iterative goals associated with this type of work as well as an understanding that we will likely find out that we know less than we thought about how the services are supported.
With the ‘how we support service’ as a foundation, the next step will be to address what the cost of delivering services are.
In the lifecycle of a service there will be many people who play a role though the various support pieces we have outlined above. In some cases teams will manage particular functions, while others will manage them all.  The trick is to understand to what level teams contribute to activities so that we can associate a cost to that delivery of service. From there a strategy for cost reductions can be outlined and then actioned.
Small improvements can add up. Think about it in these terms:
If we looked at the current state and saw that we had 1000 incidents last year which had a total resolution time of 6000 hours. If we could cut that by 10% we might be looking at a savings of 600 hours in its simplest terms. That’s 15 work weeks for one person to do something else more productive. 
Over the next few posts I will speak to a few processes and where they can specifically address the value that can be added.