ITIL 4 Specialist drive stakeholder value: maximizing the consumer experience

Team of ITIL practitioner sat around table with laptops, smartphones and documentation watching as two colleagues shake hands

Back in the industrial society, goods were a dominant factor in our lives. But in the “service era” we prefer to replace ownership of goods with access to services and resources without necessarily owning them.

This is happening with and without digital transformation, although the latter accelerates this phenomenon: think Uber and Airbnb.

In this context, the ITIL® 4 Specialist Drive Stakeholder Value module – within ITIL 4 Managing Professional – is about the engagement and interaction between service providers and stakeholders and the conversion of demand to value via IT-enabled services.

But what does this mean in practice?

Previously, services were treated in the same way as manufactured goods: it was the customer’s responsibility to derive value. Conversely, the core concept of ITIL 4 is that value is co-created.

Therefore, we have built this ITIL 4 module around the customer journey – from both parties engaging, agreeing to work together and interacting to co-create value.

While ITIL v3 taught a service provider to improve one-sidedly, ITIL 4 also encourages the service provider to help the consumer to improve. For example, the business product owner (the “consumer” in IT) is encouraged to adopt service management best practices as part of the product development relationship to elevate mutual capabilities and thereby increasing the co-created value.

Key elements of driving stakeholder value

What capabilities will an ITIL 4 Specialist in driving stakeholder value develop?

1. Ensuring high satisfaction levels
ITIL had previously considered satisfaction via service level agreements focused on outcome, utility and warranty. ITIL 4 judges the experience to be equally important as the outcome when consuming a service.

2. Using human-centred design when designing services
The module gives practical guidance about, for example, design thinking to achieve better usability and experience by understanding how the customer feels when using a service.

3. Customer experience (CX) and user experience (UX) design to optimize customer experience
These ideas add to the concepts of utility and warranty (achieving quality outcomes) but speak the language of experience based agreements.

4. Communication – influencing stakeholders, encouraging collaboration and transparency
To drive stakeholder value, good communication is a prerequisite of trust: listening and understanding what each party needs and wants. By understanding the dynamics in a service relationship, the practitioner will be better placed to provide services, drive and co-create value.

This is a very different approach from an IT technician setting up a server and concentrating on availability, utility and warranty. The difference is having an awareness that the way service management professionals interact with stakeholders will influence their ultimate experience.

Who benefits from ITIL 4 Managing Professional Drive Stakeholder Value?

As ITIL now includes consumers and producers together in multi-dependent workflows and systems, this module is focused on helping practitioners increase stakeholder satisfaction via the best service offerings; something that is essential to business success in today’s highly competitive landscape.

Read Christian Nissen's previous blog post for AXELOS, The ITIL update in a world of digital & service transformation: ITIL 4 - Evolution of ITSM Part 2.

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