VeriSM is a new approach to service management gaining significant attention. We spoke to Claire Agutter, the chief architect of VeriSM to find out what she hopes it will achieve and what we can expect when it rolls out.
Claire, please tell us the thinking behind VeriSM
“VeriSM is an approach to help organisations deliver digital services in a time when the pressure to deliver value has never been higher. VeriSM is not a new product that competes with frameworks and methodologies like DevOps, Agile and ITIL; instead it’s a way to analyse them and place them in context. VeriSM is about taking a step back, looking at the problems you have, the methods you currently use and then rethinking and evolving your approach.
VeriSM stands for Value-driven, Evolving, Responsive, Integrated Service Management. It helps organisations respond to the recent proliferation of management practices, frameworks and standards by giving them a way to select what they need to meet their goals.
Many organisations are so busy chasing one method that they forget what they are trying to achieve and carry on with the same approach. For example, you might have mature ITIL, but you’re not quick enough. Or you use DevOps, but you’ve got poor relationships. Or you don’t follow any methodology but are bewildered by the choice. Regardless of the approach or methods use, VeriSM offers a way to establish what you need in your organisation.
We’ve spent too long in IT treating the business as a customer – it’s not working. Digital services are not just about the technology. Yes, you need technical capabilities but you also need people from the business areas involved in the decision-making process. You need to think about the business problem first, then the IT solution. VeriSM encourages this kind of thinking and acts as a signpost for your next step.
What does VeriSM comprise of and deliver?
The starting point is a set of principles that have been released as a draft book. This offers the basic ideas and introduces the ‘Management Mesh’ which underpins the approach. The Management Mesh is built by considering the organisation’s environment, the available resources, emerging technologies, and the methodologies, standards and frameworks that could be used. Together, these create an integrated, cohesive strategy.
Organisations with a high level of service management maturity may recognise this as being the approach they already take, but VerisM is about documenting this approach and offering it to a wider audience – and the next generation of service managers. Case studies will form an important part of VeriSM because we think it’s important to show practical examples of the approach being used, rather than explaining the theory in isolation. Training and certification will be available, but are not mandatory to gain understanding of the approach and its benefits.
We actively seek feedback from the community – it’s important that VeriSM reflects the industry as it truly is today, not how a small group thinks it should be.
Who’s behind VeriSM?
The company behind VeriSM is a not-for-profit organisation called the International Foundation for Digital Competences (IFDC). Its board is made up of people from training, publishing and accreditation companies including Van Haren Publishing, APMG, BCS and EXIN. The IFDC has appointed me as the chief architect for VeriSM.. IFDC wants to operate collaboratively and is already in discussions with The Open Group, itSMF International and the Innovation Value Institute amongst others.
The author team who worked on the first VeriSM publication included more than 70 people from around the world, with a variety of backgrounds and areas of expertise.
Given these are the backers, won’t it be assumed that VeriSM is about packaging training courses?
There are some people who have voiced that perspective, but there is no requirement to take a training course to gain benefit from VeriSM. The IFDC as a non-profit organisation has no commercial agenda and wants to work with the service management community. Training and certification are available, and some of that revenue will be used to fund further VeriSM development.
What’s next for VeriSM?
We’ll continue developing the approach based on community feedback. Training will begin in January and there are plans for VeriSM Professional to roll out next year with more advanced content to help individuals and organisations integrate management practices. We want VeriSM to be fresh and give the industry a renewed sense of purpose and so are working very hard to get this right. The purpose is to get people thinking about what the organisation is trying to do, rather than focusing on the method used to do it.
Claire Agutter is also a director of Scopism.