The importance of successful SIAM collaboration
Service Integration & Management (SIAM) relies upon collaborative working amongst service providers in a SIAM ecosystem.
The concept of SIAM involves the creation of a single function that consists of service providers operating in a typical multi-service provider sourcing model.
They will be tasked with coordinating their activities, consolidating their data, and managing them from an end-to-end service perspective. This all sounds great in theory, but how does this activity translate in the real world? How realistic is this ambition, and why should the use of the SIAM badge suddenly make service providers change their ways of working?
Obstacles to collaboration
- Service providers in a SIAM ecosystem will still be governed by
- Service providers want to make money from their contracts, and will be unwilling to enter into too many vague commitments to collaborate without relevant caveats against SLA targets
- The act of collaboration is constrained by the desire to preserve contractual performance and by less scientific issues, such as culture
- Service providers want satisfied customers and will want to be recognised for a job well done. Therefore, when service target breaches occur, they will be keen to identify the accountable party. This act of “Blame Management” (an unwritten ITIL process!), can be counter-productive and can lead to poor working relationships and point scoring between service providers
Follow these 6 steps
True collaboration can only be obtained through extensive cultural change, within the customer organisation as well as in the service provider community. The entire landscape should be viewed as a single ecosystem, with cultural and behavioural challenges assessed and considered as a whole.
Mitigating actions must be developed specifically to address this and a sense of “one team” sharing common goals in delivering business outcomes must be established.
1. Reviewing, updating and writing of new contracts with collaboration at its core
This may mean reducing or removing some measures, and will certainly mean the introduction of a common set of metrics across all service provider contracts. Ideally, a standard Collaboration Addendum can be developed
which once accepted by all parties, can be added to the existing contracts. This is no small task, and must be undertaken with caution by those who are experienced in this field.
2. Developing a set of softer metrics
Developing a set of softer metrics, less focused on common measures of incident and problem performance and more focused on rewarding positive behaviours.
- Have incident, problem, change, development and project teams rank the service providers based upon their perception of how collaborative and helpful they’ve been. Have your CIO do the same
- Have service providers praise one another for positive collaboration experiences, and target them for the frequency in which they do so (i.e. >x“praises” raised per month)
3. Surveying service providers
Surveying service providers to ensure that they are satisfied with the working practices. Give them an opportunity to build and improve collaboration in the processes in which they are active. This can be achieved through the appointment of process owners and creation of process improvement forums where all service providers can participate.
Getting end-user input from key business stakeholders is also vital to ensure that the problem statement for the SIAM model is clear. This problem statement can then be referred to during implementation, along with other business requirements, such as the contractual framework. To succeed, the SIAM strategy must be aligned to these requirements.
4. Clarity between you and your service provider
Ensuring service provider teams understand the part they play in the delivery of business services. Instigate “back to the floor” sessions where they spend time in business departments.
5. Building positive relations
Building positive working relationships between the SIAM provider, (be they in-house or sourced), customer organisation and the service providers.
Host social events, preferably with a competitive edge to generate some friendly rivalry, and perhaps with teams drawn from different service providers.
6. Clear scope of the SIAM function
It’s essential to clearly define the scope of the SIAM function, whether retained or sourced, so that it’s clear where the accountability lies. The key considerations at process level are the degree of authority it possesses and the
level of interaction with sourcing partners and the business.
The best way to determine these are through scenario-based testing, which
will reveal the key roles you’ll require to manage common situations, such as the resolution of a major incident.