It may be unheralded, but service management is critical to delivering many vital elements of public life. David Evans of BCS explains why community and the VeriSM approach will ensure the discipline continues to deliver value.

Service management is not well known as a discipline outside those who use it, but at BCS we’re very aware of how much the general public rely upon it. Every day the people who live down our street rely on services for food, banking, transportation, health, and every other essential. When service management professionals do their jobs well, the world runs well – effectively, and efficiently, with customers and citizens at the heart of decision making. When they do their job badly, the result ranges from low-grade annoyance and friction on wellbeing through to serious risks to prosperity, health and life.

It’s been a major source of frustration for all of us that the core development of service management has in recent times become driven by a P&L rather than a vision.

It’s therefore with a great deal of excitement that we’re setting out on a new phase for the world of service management through VeriSM. Our primary reason for excitement is that this venture is a restoration of the values and approach that have built what’s currently good in service management; communities of professionals working together, professionals who take pride in what they do, and a shared vision for a well-run world that serves people and organisations.

Community
BCS is at its heart a community organisation, but with a particular requirement for entry – professional values. This is expressed by our desire to Make IT Good for Society together as a professional community, by our code of conduct, and our charter. It’s been a major source of frustration for all of us that the core development of service management has in recent times become driven by a P&L rather than a vision. The commercial exploitation of service management is essential to deliver what’s necessary; it’s necessary and beneficial. That commercial drive has to be part of a broader understanding of the role of service management, and serve the professional community, the organisations in which they work, and – for BCS in particular – the public. No organisation ever achieves perfect balance, but what’s important is the underpinning trust in the intent, real partnership and accountability.

VeriSM is set up and governed with all of this in mind; to ensure a bright and long-term future for service management. It is a collaboration between partners with a shared vision, a desire to proliferate and build that vision, and a desire to involve the professional community and put the outcomes that matter at the heart of strategy. That is our intention, that’s what we’ve worked together to create, that is what we will do.

Critical to the success of service management – not just VeriSM – will be engagement, acting with an expectation that the community will be listened to. We’re expecting that might be tumultuous, but in the end all the better for it!

No organisation ever achieves perfect balance, but what’s important is the underpinning trust in the intent, real partnership and accountability

It’s also worth noting that VeriSM is explicitly building on the good that already exists, and embraces the growing and shifting methodologies that organisations are using. Putting outcomes at the heart of our methods and our design is both common sense and a clear expression of what we value. Service management has suffered to some extent from methodological rigidity on the one hand, and on the other a failure to understand and respect hard-won understanding. VeriSM is set up to build and bridge that gap.

Nothing is static, and this is the start of a journey together with VeriSM and the next phase of service management. It’s a journey with partners at all levels – collaborating for the common good, and competing on a shared vision, and one we want to invite you to start on with us.

For more about VeriSM, read this blog from its chief architect, Claire Agutter.

Guest post by:
David Evans, BCS

David Evans

Director of Policy at BCS
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