Service Offerings: The Heart of ITRP

Other systems make a big noise about SLAs so that they seem to be the most important aspect of an ITSM system. In ITRP, the most crucial part is the Service Offering: that which is offered to the customer.

Service Offerings must be understood in context within the service hierarchy.

Service Hierarchy

ITRP relates four aspects of a service in a hierarchy that starts broadly at the top and becomes more specific on the way down.

Services

What service is being offered? This is the definition of the service in the broadest sense. Email, internet connectivity, repair of a computer when it breaks down, the provision of a space for conferences, a website used by the public, e.g. a banking portal. Services are expressed in the broadest terms: EmailInternetComputer RepairConference Room, Banking Website.

Service Instances

The service can be broken down into pieces, each piece retaining the same service but split off for a different purpose. You may have two offices and could create two instances of Email to serve the two locations. You may have a production instance of your website (one that is currently in use), and testing and development instances. This allows the same service to be used in different contexts, without any of them interfering with the others.

Service Offering

This is the most important level of the service hierarchy. It's at this level that the service is explicitly defined for use with customers.

This is a service offering relating to server repair. It's available, meaning it's not in development or cancelled, so this is an active service offering that people can use. The service hours within which the team performs the service are given. Expected performance is noted. A plan for continuity is mentioned.

The form continues as follows, with the Response and Resolution Targets section:

The expected percentage of responses and resolutions within target are noted, then four possible sets of response and resolution targets are listed, based on impact to the organisation. This is the core of what SLA means to most ITSM systems. Here these are merely part of the definition of the service offering.

If a backup is applicable to the service offering, it is noted here:

Details are then provided, such as prerequisites, any reporting schedule if applicable, charges, penalties and termination.

Finally, a list of SLAs to which this service offering applies:

Note that an SLA in ITRP is vastly simplified, being a means of connecting a service offering to an organisation. The really unique data here is the set of dates that record when the SLA went into effect, when it is to expire and a date of notification before expiry. These will be different from organisation to organisation, thus their presence here.

Variations of the service offering can be made, for example, to create a tiered range of offerings based on speed of response and resolution. All these offerings constitute the Service Catalogue for the service organisation and can be chosen from a menu when entering a work order.