ITIL® Continual Service Improvement (CSI), especially in 2011 edition has a lot of great concepts with clarity; however there are some others, which could have been enhanced with some more clarity.

In this post, I wish to discuss one such topic in CSI that need some clarity: The role of CSI Manager

To start with, let me quote a couple of statements in ITIL® regarding the role:

  •  In the CSI Principles section, ITIL notes that about the role:

A. CSI Manager is the chief advocate who owns all CSI issues

B. While CSI Manager is accountable and responsible for CSI, the CSI Manager is not accountable for improvement to specific Service. Specific Service improvements are responsibility of the appropriate Service Owner working with the CSI framework.

  • Further in the Organizing for CSI section, in the details of the CSI Manager Role, the following points are included:

a) CSI manager is ultimately responsible for the success of all CSI activities.

b) This single point accountability coupled with competence and authority improves the chances of a successful improvement program.

Here are the questions/confusions which I would love get some clarifications:

  • To start with, the mixed usage of ‘responsbility’ and ‘accountablity’ can be quite confusing. If the Service Owner is accountable and Responsible for improvement of specific service, what is the role of CSI Manager in the case of ‘Service improvements’? Responsibility of the improvement actions? Or just facilitation/consultation?
  • If we agree that accountability of Service improvements lies with Service Owner and not with CSI Manager, then won’t the same logic applies to Process as well? The accountability of the Process improvements should be with Process Owners, in the same logic.
  • Why is that we make CSI manager primarily accountable for improvements in Processes and Technology (as specifically indicated by the Table 6.8 in ITIL® CSI)? and not others?

The Organizing for CSI section goes on with a few more ambiguous points about the role:

c) Working with Service Level managers to identify monitoring requirements

(Q: Why only SLM here? The Monitoring requirements can be across Service, process and Technology metrics.)

d) Identifying and delivering process improvements in critical business areas across manufacturing and other divisions

(Q: Process improvements in business areas across manufacturing and other divisions? Are we talking about IT processes or business processes here?)

It would be well appreciated and will be useful to the ITSM community at large, if any one can clarify these areas and provide some insights on these.

Awaiting some insightful discussion on these!