I have been thinking about this for a while – why are we talking about 4 P’s of Service management? Where is the ‘Customer’?

Tweeted this thought earlier today – but definitely felt 140 characters are too less to express the thought clearly.

So what are the 4Ps of service management as per ITIL?

Oh – well, ITIL V3 has two sets of Four P’s . 4 P’s of Service Strategy and 4P’s of Service management (or Service Design). I am not talking here about the Four P’s of Service strategy. (So if you look at different books of ITIL v3 and search for Four P’s you get different full forms and explanations. Be aware…)

The four Ps that we are talking about here are:  People, Process, Products and Partners. Earlier, we used to talk about P-P-T ( people process and technology) or 3 Ps, which got extended to 4 Ps – understanding the unavoidable and significance and need for managing our partners (external suppliers) as well.

Still, aren’t we missing the core of Service management : the ‘Customer’?

Are we leaving out a core aspect because it doesn’t start with a P?  🙂 FivePs

Ok then how about calling it Patron (starts with P!). Not bad, if we can call External Suppliers as Partners, then why don’t we call customers as Patrons’?

So now, we have the Five P’s of Service management !

Why is this important?

I have a few thoughts on that:

  • This will make the whole Service management centred on the key thing (where it should be) – the Customer!
  • Managing (and taking care of) your customer is as important ( if not more!)as managing your People, Processes, Products and Partners. This is also justified by the importance of processes like Business relationship management and SLM
  • Service Design (where ITIL is introducing the concept of Four Ps) should actually start with customer or should revolve around the central P – and make effective use of the other four Ps.
  • Talking about Business- IT integration – what better way than make customer/business (Patron) as a core aspect of your Service management framework itself?

So will ITIL V3 Revision 2 (which I doubt) or Version 4 make the ‘Customer’ (or Patron – or any other word that start with P!) as the central P of the Service management? Hope so….

Your thoughts are welcome!