Getting into shape is tough at the best of times. But when it threatens customers and business, it’s a relief to know there are tools are available. Kinetic IT has been part of a global leadership network developing the SIAM Health Assessment by Scopism – a tool designed to help businesses assess their service integration and management (SIAM) model, ensuring they are fit-for-purpose. And in an ever-changing world, we believe it’s better to be safe than sorry. The SIAM Health Assessment combines current SIAM knowledge, including Scopism’s own library, as well as expertise by other participating organisations. The result is a free tool that equips you with the knowledge you need to better understand your own SIAM journey.
As lead architects, we thought it might be useful to describe our thinking regarding how the assessment would be useful for organisations. So, we’ll share some use cases from our own experiences working for a commercial service provider which specialises in service integration. This means that we often get involved with organisations that either already have a SIAM environment or have decided that they want to create one.
PLAN AND DESIGN PHASE
Our first use case is one where the customer is ready to implement a SIAM environment or is already in planning or at the building stage of the SIAM roadmap or implementation journey.
As explained in Scopism’s SIAM Body of Knowledge, the roadmap is an iterative journey for organisations, Consisting of: Discovery & Strategy; Plan & Build; Implement; Run & Improve. Especially within the Plan & Build stage there is an expectation of iteration as an organisation refines their plans and creates their SIAM environment.
When an external service integrator is involved – like Kinetic IT – the iteration cycles can really help in achieving success through the inclusion of the integrator’s experience as well as adapting to changing needs.
It’s often the case that a customer organisation develops an initial SIAM model and then goes out to the market to engage with a service integrator. As the external party, once we’ve been selected and due diligence on the contract is taking place, we need to gain greater insight into the existing environment to ensure that our tender-response is accurate and feasible.
This is where the SIAM Health Assessment can help. It can be used to create an objective snapshot of the current, customer-designed SIAM model, to validate the integrator’s assumptions. This allows for an iteration of the SIAM model prior to its establishment.
Another example of when the self-assessment can be useful is when a customer arrives at the implementation stage of the SIAM roadmap. It can validate that the SIAM model, as designed, has been implemented successfully and can also provide input into an improvement plan to support ‘where to from here?’ conversations.
With one customer we actually used the assessment on both occasions (i.e. before and after implementation of the SIAM model). The ‘before’ assessment found a number of inconsistencies with the information provided during the tender, which led to reconsideration of the design and the priorities of the SIAM model that Kinetic IT implemented. The ‘after’ assessment provided input into a 3-year improvement roadmap that showed the customer what SIAM could achieve over that period.
RUN & IMPROVE YOUR SIAM
The most logical time for the SIAM Health Assessment is, well, any time really. A SIAM environment is focused on collaboration and improvement, so the assessment is a great tool to establish a snapshot of the current condition of the SIAM model and highlight pain points and opportunities for improvements – whatever stage or state the environment is at.
A good time to use the assessment is when you run into problems and something isn’t working as well as it could be. It’s not always easy to identify the cause of the issues between the customer and the service integrator, or between the integrator and a service provider. The SIAM Health Assessment can provide an objective overview of the current state by asking questions about the necessary elements of the SIAM environment, and uncover what is working and what isn’t. It even provides guidance on how to start to make the improvements.
Another example is to use the assessment as a periodic health check. Continuous improvement culture is about always looking for opportunities to make beneficial changes and improvements to all aspects of the environment; it can really help your business and team grow, too. Given the rate of change within most organisations, as well as changes driven by external factors, such as market forces, improvement must be continual, regular and iterative, and often in periodic cycles.
Undertaking the SIAM Health Assessment every 6 to 12 months, not only shows the current state of the health of the SIAM model but also establishes a trend which can show improvement over time or indicate a regression in certain aspects. This, in turn, can lead to a re-prioritisation of areas of attention and other useful input into the continual improvement journey.
The SIAM Health Assessment is a great companion to the SIAM Bodies of Knowledge (available to download here). It can provide organisations with practical insight into the current condition of their SIAM model and highlight areas for improvement.
The SIAM Health Assessment has been created by a group of global subject-matter-experts, including Kinetic IT. This provides the benefit of real world experience and a level of objectivity to the assessment which can be valuable if there are a number of service providers and organisations involved in the SIAM model – which is more or less the basic tenet of the SIAM environment.
Like the SIAM Bodies of Knowledge, the SIAM Health Assessment should become a standard tool as part of your practise assessing the health of any SIAM environment, at any time!
Kinetic IT Pty.Ltd., Australia