A road trip to SIAM — keeping the wheels turning

Road trip to SIAM 3

In her final article on the journey to service integration implementation, Michelle Major-Goldsmith considers the best way to get going and maintain momentum.

This is blog three of my SIAM roadmap trilogy. Here, carrying on with the journeying theme, I want to look at putting the car on the road and keeping it there. In the second blog, servicemuse.com/siam-road-trip-part2, I wrote about the approach required for the Plan and Build stage of the SIAM roadmap, where the focus is on creating an adaptable, scalable model that is responsive to the inevitable changes within the business and service provider environments. This final blog looks at the final two stages: Implement, then Run and Improve. After the ecosystem is created, how do you keep it fuelled, serviced and in optimal condition?

The objective of the Implement stage is to establish the transition from the organisation’s ‘as is’ current state to the ‘to be’ desired future state – the new SIAM model. At the end of this stage, the new SIAM model will be in place and in use, and the focus will then be on managing its health and the quality of service being delivered to the customer organisation (Run and Improve).

So, on to some suggestions for smoothing the journey

First, take time to consider an implementation approach and how you are going to arrive at your destination.

“All you need is the plan, the roadmap and the courage to press on to your destination.” – Earl Nightingale

This involves considering the available options, as well as any specific associated factors and risks to the customer organisation. There are two possible approaches to implementation. The first is ‘big bang’ where all elements are introduced at once within a specified, limited timeframe. This might be appropriate, perhaps due to the start or end of specific key contracts or when a very clear start or end to a new approach is required. The benefits of this approach mean that, if things go well, the organisation has its new model in place quickly and can achieve a steady state, likely lowering costs and risks and hopefully creating a positive user experience. It provides an opportunity to make a clean break from all legacy issues and undesired behaviours and to introduce the collaborative, end-to-end SIAM practices across all services and all providers at once. There are some risks, however. Using a big bang approach means it becomes almost impossible to see if the transition has fully captured all the requirements until it is released. Exposing a whole organisation to a new model can cause fear and disruption, so organisational change and stakeholder management become important here.

The alternative option is a phased approach, which counters some of the risks associated with a big bang approach. Here, a series of phases are defined with deliverables at the end of each phase.

Managing phases is easier as real-time feedback can be given at regular intervals on necessary adjustments. The phased approach still has challenges, especially if phases relate to strategic service providers tasked with delivering core business functions or services. In this instance, it is not always possible to limit the potential impact on core services. It is critical that an overall end date for the phased approach is specified, with clear and regular communication to and from users. This allows for clear understanding when the SIAM model is created, when the Implement stage is complete, and during the Run and Improve stage, which is when business as usual commences. Adopting a phased approach might provide a decreased level of risk, but it can take longer for benefits to be delivered, so the benefits realisation planning needs to be carried out carefully to take this into account.

Understand what the approaches are and consider their limitations and benefits fully. Look at the SIAM Professional Body of Knowledge (BoK): www.scopism.com/free-downloads, which gives practical advice on when, and under which circumstance, an approach might make more sense. There are so many considerations here that it isn’t something I could prescribe in a blog.

Creating a ‘one team’ culture

“If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself” – Henry Ford

Motivation and morale can be an issue during these stages. The management of staff within an outgoing service provider, or where staff are retained but their roles and responsibilities change, and the maintenance of morale towards the end of a contract are particularly challenging for even the best of managers. There can be a struggle to maintain concentration on business-as-usual obligations and service levels and, at the same time, there are demands on the existing service staff to participate in knowledge transfer and other requirements from the incoming service provider. Strong management support will be required and early, ongoing, purposeful and timely communication, as well support from HR, Legal and Union representatives, can make a world of difference.

Keeping the wheels turning and optimising through collaboration and innovation.

“Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success.” – Edward Everett Hale

How do you sustain positive relationships and promote proactive working and innovation once you have your SIAM model in place? This is certainly a challenge. Within a SIAM ecosystem, the structural elements provide stability, support and governance, that enable collaboration activities, ease smooth running and that focus on continual improvement.

There are several structural elements defined within SIAM, which take the form of Boards (whose focus is on decision making: strategic, tactical and operational), Process Forums (with a set and regular meeting frequency, aligned to a specific process and focused on improvement thereof) and Working Groups (ad hoc, convened to discuss and resolve specific issues). Each one spans the SIAM layers, which means that they support relationship building and collaboration.

At an operational level they help to establish relationships and encourage communication between service providers and the service integrator. Process forums provide excellent opportunities to evaluate the overall effectiveness of the processes and the collaboration in everyday life and allow the service integrator to identify operational challenges and drive continual improvement. They also allow the fostering of required culture or behaviours.

The service integrator must work to balance the requirement to bring teams together against the impact on service delivery. It is necessary to ensure that they do not create a challenge where the overhead of participation at such events may be too much, as this will negate the value. Create these elements, and define their scope, contribution and effort, based on the scale of the SIAM ecosystem to maximise their worth.

Once you’ve reached your destination…

One’s destination is never a place but rather a new way of looking at things.” – Henry Miller

So, having arrived at our SIAM destination, I will leave you with some final thoughts…

SIAM has evolved in response to business problems, and there isn’t one SIAM solution, nor is there intended to be, but the Body of Knowledge provides answers to a common challenge. SIAM is designed to provide support in complex multi-provider models. Service and supplier landscapes that many service management functions were set up to manage are now subject to significant change. This necessitates a shift in the way that these services and their suppliers are managed. For me, it is refreshing to see a collective view of SIAM and some practical guidance on how to apply it in different circumstances. If you’d asked for formalised guidance on SIAM 18 months ago, it would not have been available. If you haven’t done it yet, I encourage you to download both the SIAM Foundation and Professional BoKs and take a look… www.scopism.com/free-downloads

Road trip to SIAM part 1
Road trip to SIAM part 2