Idwell on Service Management

Thoughts on how to design and implement IT Service Management

Paul Leenards

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The 5 P’s

In the ITIL book Service Design there is a model called the 4 P’s: People, Process, Product and Partner. Product is also known as Technology, but that doesn’t sound as good. I personally like to talk about the 5 P’s and add Performance to the model. Actually, for me performance is the pivoting point or central axis of the model. It all revolves around the Performance the IT organization has to deliver to add value to their customer. In order to improve the performance their are 4 main domains or areas you can intervene in: People, Process, Product/Technology and Partner. Of course there are people who say that there are more domains you can intervene with like organization, culture, politics, knowledge, etc. For me, organization is a combination of people and process and culture is a people aspect. Culture is defined by the behavior of people and by changing the behavior of people the culture will change as well. And knowledge is part of people which can made available first through processes and supported through technology.

The most effective way to improve performance is to address the people aspect first. When staff adopts the performance goals they will start improving the process or renegotiate the contracts with partners. And this will probably lead to the deployment of new technology. Of course, that is all in theory. But in practice it turned out that people are the true engine of change. It is people who want to get the results and people who will make change to the processes. It is a pity that most implementations of IT Service Management of ITIL do not sufficiently address the people domain and concentrate too much on technology or process handbooks. Unfortunate, this is also in the ITIL books itself. They talk a lot about people being important but do not address HR or any other best practice concerning people.