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Home Page for the Information Technology (IT) Discipline

"Consumer Service Management"


Table of Contents

Introduction: Introduction to Consumer Service Management
Framework: Using This Artifact as a "Consumer Service Management Framework"
Key Terms: Key Terms for Consumer Service Management
Glossary: The "Consumer Service Management Glossary"
Capabilities: Consumer Service Management as an Enterprise Capability
Ownership: Clearly Defined Consumer Service Management Ownership is Critical for Success
Verbs and Actions: Understanding Why Verbs and Actions are Important to Consumer Service Management
Roles: Key Verb and Action Driven Roles For Consumer Service Management
Taxonomy: Understanding Consumer Service Management Classifications or Categorizations
Ontology: Consumer Service Management Ontology as a Means for Language Standardization
Life Cycle (Lifecycle): Lifecycle Phases for Consumer Service Management
Inventories: Consumer Service Management Inventories
Environments: Consumer Service Management Environments
Metrics: Consumer Service Management Metrics
Services: Consumer Service Management as a Set of Services (a.k.a. Consumer Service Management Services)
Service Paradigms: Centralized Consumer Service Management vs. Federated Consumer Service Management
Principles & Best Practices: Common Principles and Best Practices for Consumer Service Management
Further Reading and Reference Material for Consumer Service Management


Introduction: Introduction to Consumer Service Management

This document represents an aggregated, ordered and contextualized view of the material we've been able to compile and publish that is related to the topic of "Consumer Service Management." The goal is to make this page a landing and launch point for all things related to this topic. As our content becomes more complete and more accurate, this page should become a very useful and powerful knowledge base for this topic and all parties interested in it.

You'll find that the content for this document is consistent with that of other discipline related documents. This is intentional. The consistency is based on a knowledge pattern that helps individuals learn more about different topics, quicker and more efficiently. We hope you find the material useful and easy to learn.

It's important to realize that content in this document and any related sub-documents are constantly evolving. Therefore, we recommend you check for updates, regularly, to keep up with the latest material.

The Foundation always welcomes your feedback and suggestions for improvement, as we're always looking for ways to improve our solutions and offerings to the general community.

All solutions published by the Foundation are subject to the terms and conditions of the Foundation's Master Agreement.


Framework: Using This Artifact as a "Consumer Service Management Framework"

This document or artifact, along with everything in it, is intended to act as a "Framework" that addresses various aspects of Consumer Service Management.

The readers will notice that most sections in the Table of Contents (TOC) use a format where the TOC entry is prefixed with a topic name, followed by a short descriptive title (i.e. "TOPIC_NAME: TOPIC_RELATED_SECTION_TITLE"). This is intentional and represents a format by which the Foundation may achieve things like the identification of appropriate topic areas, the segregation of distinct topic areas from each other, the appropriate ordering of topic areas, and achieve the maintenance of consistency, both, within and across different IT Disciplines.

To elaborate, this artifact is intended to:

  1. Organize different areas of the discipline known as Consumer Service Management into clear and compartmentalized areas that allow the Foundation to more effectively and productively collect, document and publish information that pertains to this discipline.
  2. Decompose each area of Consumer Service Management into smaller and, therefore, more digestible units for more efficient learning and understanding.
  3. Document common industry wisdom about each area, piece or subcomponent of Consumer Service Management
  4. Act as a set of Consumer Service Management related best practices and guidelines that have been collected, documented, and published for the benefit of IT Professionals, regardless of their specific industry, line of business, or area of expertise.
  5. Act as a consistent and repeatable pattern for documenting, publishing and learning, both, within this Discipline and across "all" Disciplines.

From the Foundation's perspective, if done correctly, all of the above will allow the Foundation to properly decompose, document and publish content related to each sub-area or sub-topic for each IT Discipline, including this specific discipline (i.e. "Consumer Service Management").

From the reader's perspective, if done correctly, all of the above will allow him or her to easily find and learn about specific areas of interest associated with this and all other IT Disciplines in a manner where the reader may effectively consume and digest material in small atomic segments that act as repeatable and more effective learning units.

As this artifact evolves and progresses, the reader will see it address key areas of the professional IT Discipline "Consumer Service Management" that range from its detailed definition through closely related terms, phrases and their definitions, to its detailed specification of Consumer Service Management Capabilities, and all the way through to defining, delivering, operating and supporting Consumer Service Management Services.

As mentioned previously, this document will continue to evolve and the Foundation recommends the reader check back, regularly, to stay abreast of modifications and new developments. It is also important to understand that the structure of this artifact may change to meet the needs of such evolution.


Key Terms for Consumer Service Management

Before moving on to learn more about the rest of the Consumer Service Management framework, we suggest that you take some time to familiarlize yourself with the following very basic term(s)...

Consumer Service Management:

"1. The professional discipline that involves working with, in or on any aspect of planning, delivering, operating or supporting for one or more Consumer Service Items or any and all solutions put in place to deal with such Items.

2. The solution set that a person or organization puts in place to manage one or more Consumer Service Items.

3. The process or processes put in place by a person or organization to assist in the management, coordination, control, delivery, or support of one or more Consumer Service Items.

4. The Enterprise Capability that represents the general ability or functional capacity for a Resource or Organization to deal with or handle one or more Consumer Service Items. Such a term is often used by Information Technology (IT) Architects when performing or engaging in the activities associated with general Capability Modeling."

In addition to the above basic term(s), you can also learn a great deal about Consumer Service Management by familiarizing yourself with the broader spectrum of terms that make up the Consumer Service Management Glossary...


Glossary: The "Consumer Service Management Glossary"

IT Glossary

Language between IT professionals and the businesses we serve is often a significant barrier to success, as we often spend countless hours trying to interpret each other's meanings. This is often also true between IT professionals who are taught to use certain terms and definitions as part of the organizations and industries they serve. It's when you start to jump from organization to organization, from enterprise to enterprise, and from industry to industry that you realize how much time and effort is wasted on just getting language and meanings correct. For these reasons, the Foundation puts a great deal of focus on terms and phrases, as well as their corresponding definitions. We highly recommend you spend time learning and understanding all of the related terms and phrases, along with their meanings, for all areas of "Consumer Service Management."

Consumer Service Management Glossary
Centralized Consumer Service Management Consumer Service Management Program
Consumer Service Consumer Service Management Project
Consumer Service Automation Consumer Service Management Reference Architecture
Consumer Service Capacity Management Consumer Service Management Release
Consumer Service Catalog Consumer Service Management Report
Consumer Service Catalogue Consumer Service Management Reporting
Consumer Service Configuration Consumer Service Management Roadmap
Consumer Service Configuration Item Consumer Service Management Role
Consumer Service Configuration Management Consumer Service Management Rule
Consumer Service Cost Consumer Service Management Schedule
Consumer Service Data Entity Consumer Service Management Security
Consumer Service Database Consumer Service Management Service
Consumer Service Decommission Consumer Service Management Service Assurance
Consumer Service Delivery Consumer Service Management Service Contract
Consumer Service Dependency Consumer Service Management Service Level Agreement (SLA)
Consumer Service Deployment Consumer Service Management Service Level Objective (SLO)
Consumer Service Document Consumer Service Management Service Level Requirement (SLR)
Consumer Service Document Management Consumer Service Management Service Level Target (SLT)
Consumer Service File Plan Consumer Service Management Service Provider
Consumer Service Framework Consumer Service Management Service Request
Consumer Service Governance Consumer Service Management Software
Consumer Service History Consumer Service Management Solution
Consumer Service Identifier Consumer Service Management Stakeholder
Consumer Service Inventory Consumer Service Management Standard
Consumer Service Item Consumer Service Management Strategy
Consumer Service Lifecycle Consumer Service Management Supply
Consumer Service Lifecycle Management Consumer Service Management Support
Consumer Service Management Consumer Service Management System
Consumer Service Management Application Consumer Service Management Theory
Consumer Service Management Best Practice Consumer Service Management Training
Consumer Service Management Blog Consumer Service Management Vision
Consumer Service Management Capability Consumer Service Management Wiki
Consumer Service Management Center of Excellence Consumer Service Management Workflow
Consumer Service Management Certification Consumer Service Metadata
Consumer Service Management Class Consumer Service Migration
Consumer Service Management Community of Practice (CoP) Consumer Service Plan
Consumer Service Management Course Consumer Service Portfolio
Consumer Service Management Data Consumer Service Portfolio Management
Consumer Service Management Data Dictionary Consumer Service Processing
Consumer Service Management Database Consumer Service Record
Consumer Service Management Demand Consumer Service Records Management
Consumer Service Management Dependency Consumer Service Repository
Consumer Service Management Discussion Forum Consumer Service Reuse
Consumer Service Management Document Consumer Service Review
Consumer Service Management Documentation Consumer Service Schedule
Consumer Service Management File Plan Consumer Service Schematic (Schema)
Consumer Service Management Form Consumer Service Security
Consumer Service Management Framework Consumer Service Software
Consumer Service Management Governance Consumer Service Strategy
Consumer Service Management Knowledge Consumer Service Support
Consumer Service Management Lessons Learned Consumer Service Taxonomy
Consumer Service Management Metric Consumer Service Termination
Consumer Service Management Operating Model Consumer Service Tracking
Consumer Service Management Organization Consumer Service Tracking Software
Consumer Service Management Plan Consumer Service Transaction
Consumer Service Management Platform Consumer Service Unique Identifier
Consumer Service Management Policy Consumer Service Verification
Consumer Service Management Portfolio Consumer Service Version
Consumer Service Management Principle Consumer Service Workflow
Consumer Service Management Procedure Decentralized Consumer Service Management
Consumer Service Management Process Enterprise Consumer Service Management
Consumer Service Management Professional Federated Consumer Service Management
Consumer Service Management Program Regional Consumer Service Management

Please refer to the IT Glossary for other terms and phrases that may be relevant to this professional discipline.

Readers may also refer to the Taxonomy of Glossaries for terms and phrases that are semantically grouped according to IT Disciplines or enterprise domains.

This Consumer Service Management Glossary is a contextual subset of the master IF4IT Glossary of Terms and Phrases. The master glossary can be used by you and your enterprise as a foundation for broader understanding of Information Technology and can be used as a teaching and learning tool for those you work with, helping to ensure a common and more standard language.


Capabilities: Consumer Service Management as an Enterprise Capability

A Capability, as it pertains to Information Technology (IT) or to an enterprise that an IT Organization serves, is defined to be "A manageable feature, faculty, function, process, service or discipline that represents an ability to perform something which yields an expected set of results and is capable of further advancement or development. In other words, a Capability is nothing more than "the ability to do something" or, quite simply, a Feature or Function. Therefore, when applied to an enterprise, a Capability represents a critical Enterprise Feature or Enterprise Function.

When it comes to Capabilities, there are multiple types that an enterprise needs to be aware of. Examples include but are not limited to:

As can be seen above, there are Capabilities that are associated with Resources, Organizations, and Assets such as Systems. All are important to an enterprise.

In the case of this IT Discipline (i.e. Consumer Service Management), we use the word Capability in the context of an Enterprise Capability or an IT Capability, which are both equivalent to Enterprise Disciplines or IT Disciplines, respectively. In short, the Capability of Consumer Service Management represents the ability to deal with any and all Consumer Service Items and anything relevant that is related to or associated with any Consumer Service Items.

If you think about it, a capability is really nothing more than a "verb" or "action that represents "the ability to do something." Understanding this allows us to derive a consistent and highly repeatable set of sub-capabilities for any Noun we're dealing with. For example:

In summary, the implication is that the Enterprise Capability or Enterprise Discipline known as Consumer Service Management is the superset of all the above Sub-Capabilities, as they pertain to or are applied to the discipline-specific Noun: "Consumer Service." This now translates more specifically to:

For a more complete list of very specific Capabilities/Disciplines, refer to the Foundation's Master Inventory of IT Disciplines. It is important to note that this inventory is in a flat or non-hierarchical form, specifically because "hierarchy" is almost always a matter of personal preference or context (what hierarchy is important to one Resource or Organization may be unimportant to another's needs or requirements). Therefore, the Foundation has published its inventory of Capabilities in a non-hierarchical, flat form.

This now brings us to a very obvious problem that surrounds Capabilities, which is the fact that there are simply too many "granular" or "specific" Capabilities to document and publish in any single Capability Model. The end result is that a Capability Model may become unwieldy because of trying to incorporate so many different specific Capabilities. Also, Capability Modeling "Purists," who all have their own (and very differing) opinions about how Capability Models should or should not be represented, almost always refuse to get into the details. To address this, we recommend using a generic set of Capabilities that map to and are driven by the Systems Development Life Cycle. For example:

As you can see from the above, we now have a very limited, controlled and manageable set of Discipline-specific Capabilities for the Discipline Consumer Service Management.

As a reminder, the above Capability representations are "suggestions" for baselining or initializing your own Enterprise Capability Model (ECM). It's recommended that you take the time to work with your enterprise stakeholders to improve upon and/or customize your own ECM so that you can help meet their needs. However, with that being said, it's always a better idea to go in with a baseline that you can modify rather than building your own solution from scratch, especially if your goals are to standardize, not reinvent the wheel, and not deviate too far from what other enterprises are doing to model their own environments. This is especially true if you've never had any experience building ECMs that have gained and maintained full adoption.

Why do enterprises perform Capability Modeling? Enterprises most often build Capability Models that are associated with Consumer Service Management for the following reasons...

Capability Modeling Recommendations: Some things to consider and keep in mind when working on or creating your Consumer Service Management and Enterprise Capability Models...

Learn More About Capability Models: Taking the time to learn about and understand Capability Models, what they're for, and how they're used may help you learn how Consumer Service Management better fits into the broader enterprise. Therefore, we suggest you spend some time reviewing and understanding the IF4IT Enterprise Capability Model...

Enterprise Capability Model

Ownership: Clearly Defined Consumer Service Management Ownership is Critical for Success

IT Discipline Ownership

Here's a very simple fact... If an enterprise does not establish and enforce clearly defined Ownership (i.e. a Resources and his or her Organization are assigned as accountable ownership) for Consumer Service Management, the enterprise has automatically set itself up for failure in its implementation of that discipline. Therefore, if you and your enterprise want to implement and maintain a successful solution for Consumer Service Management, there must be a clearly defined Owner that can and will be held accountable for getting work done, providing transparency, helping with strategy setting, and coordinating implementation of Consumer Service Management as a fully functional and mature enterprise Service.

Having clearly defined Ownership should not be confused with having fully dedicated Resources that spend one hundred percent of their time working on Consumer Service Management. In fact, smaller enterprises can rarely afford to dedicate full time Resources, like larger enterprises can, to all enterprise IT Disciplines. This being the case, all IT Disciplines, including Consumer Service Management, should "always" have clearly defined Owners so that there is always a clear point of accountability and contact for any issues or work that need to be addressed.

In addition to the common best practice of having clearly assigned Ownership for Consumer Service Management, it is also considered a best practice to clearly publish and socialize Consumer Service Management Ownership details to a centralized location (often referred to as a "Service Catalog" or an "Enterprise Service Catalog"), along with Ownership details for all other IT Disciplines, so that the entire enterprise has constant access to it.

Canonical Ownership of an Enterprise Capability

Figure: How Ownership of the Capability Consumer Service Management fits into the Canonical Model for IT

The above figure helps us understand how Capability or Discipline Ownership fits into the Canonical Model for Information Technology (IT) (i.e. "Think," "Deliver," and "Operate"). Owners are assigned to individual Disciplines or Capabilities, such as Consumer Service Management, and are instantly made accountable to the enterprise for the results of all Consumer Service Management Thinking activities (i.e. Strategy, Research, Planning and Design), all Consumer Service Management Delivery activities (i.e. Construction, Deployment and Quality Assurance), and all Consumer Service Management Operations activities (i.e. Use, Maintenance and Support). Done correctly, Consumer Service Management Ownership is constant and ongoing. It's important to understand that such assigned Ownership should "never" end so that there is clear and constant accountability and transparency for all aspects of the Canonical Model to the enterprise.

Not having clear Ownership for Consumer Service Management means that there is no clear understanding of who is accountable for it, who can provide understanding of what's going on within it, who can help the enterprise provide short term and long term descriptions of work being performed within the Discipline area to improve it over time for its customers, and who can help with getting work done that's associated with it. It means your or your enterprise's implementation for Consumer Service Management will be highly incomplete and erratic because no one is constantly (or even partially) watching over the Discipline and its needs for maintenance and evolution. Not having clear Consumer Service Management Ownership is a recipe for confusion and, sometimes, even chaos.

In summary, if you and your enterprise truly want to be successful with your implementation of Consumer Service Management, ensure that a clear and highly accountable owner is identified and assigned to the Discipline. Publish those ownership details, preferably in an enterprise's Service Catalog, and socialize it so everyone knows whom to go to for answers and for help with Consumer Service Management related work. In other words, if you want to implement Consumer Service Management as an enterprise Service, then you absolutely must start with clearly defined, published and socialized Ownership.


Verbs and Actions: Understanding Why Verbs and Actions are Important to Consumer Service Management

Throughout the Foundation's documentation, you will continuously run into the references of "Nouns and Verbs." These concepts are key to consistency and standardization, throughout the IT Industry, down to each and every IT Discipline. Given that we've discussed the impact of "Nouns" on the discipline of "Consumer Service Management," this section will start to discuss the importance of "Verbs" or "Actions" that can be performed with or against the key Noun or Nouns associated with this Discipline. To reiterate, Verbs or Actions allow us to clearly understand what can be performed on or with the Noun in question. As will be discussed in the next section, Verbs or Actions will also help us clearly identify whom it is (i.e. the "who" or more specifically the Roles) that performs or executes such Verbs or Actions against a Discipline and its associated Noun or Nouns. As will be discussed later, Verbs or Actions will also help identify key Attributes (i.e. Field Names) that are necessary for the very data definition of the Noun or Nouns for this Discipline and will even help identify which Verbs or Actions can be automated for this Discipline.

As a reminder, the base Noun for the discipline known as Consumer Service Management is: "Consumer Service," which is sometimes referred to as a the Noun: "Consumer Service Item."

By now, it should be becoming apparent that verbs represent a baseline for defining solid functional requirements and sub-capabilities for what would be a part of any good Consumer Service Management System or Service. What this means is that if you and/or your Organization is looking for a solution in this space (e.g. the purchasing or building of a software solution or the implementation of a Service to address the needs of Consumer Service Management), you could use discipline-related verbs to drive the foundation of what the solution should or shouldn't do, as mapped to specific stakeholders that will use or provide the solution.

Examples of the types of Verbs or Actions that are important to this Discipline include but are not limited to:

The above list represents a very small subset of all Verbs or Actions that are relevant for this Discipline. The more complete set can be found in the Roles section of this document, where readers can see the direct correlation of Verb to Noun and to, both, Generic Role and Discipline Specific Role.


Roles: Key Verb and Action Driven Roles For Consumer Service Management

An "action" or a "verb" is something that can be performed on or with a specific "noun." The reason it is important to itemize all relevant verbs is because we can now start to determine what we can or cannot do with the noun in question, where in this case the noun is "Consumer Service."

Actions/Verbs Example as Applied to "Consumer Service" Generic Roles Discipline-Specific Roles
Administrate Administrate Consumer Service Administrator Consumer Service Administrator
Approve Approve Consumer Service Approver Consumer Service Approver
Architect Architect Consumer Service Architector Consumer Service Architector
Archive Archive Consumer Service Archiver Consumer Service Archiver
Audit Audit Consumer Service Auditor Consumer Service Auditor
Bundle Bundle Consumer Service Bundler Consumer Service Bundler
Clone Clone Consumer Service Cloner Consumer Service Cloner
Code Code Consumer Service Coder Consumer Service Coder
Configure Configure Consumer Service Configurer Consumer Service Configurer
Copy Copy Consumer Service Copier Consumer Service Copier
Create Create Consumer Service Creator Consumer Service Creator
Decommission Decommission Consumer Service Decommissioner Consumer Service Decommissioner
Delete Delete Consumer Service Deletor Consumer Service Deletor
Deploy Deploy Consumer Service Deployer Consumer Service Deployer
Deprecate Deprecate Consumer Service Deprecator Consumer Service Deprecator
Design Design Consumer Service Designer Consumer Service Designer
Destroy Destroy Consumer Service Destroyer Consumer Service Destroyer
Develop Develop Consumer Service Developer Consumer Service Developer
Distribute Distribute Consumer Service Distributor Consumer Service Distributor
Download Download Consumer Service Downloader Consumer Service Downloader
Edit Edit Consumer Service Editor Consumer Service Editor
Educate Educate Consumer Service Educator Consumer Service Educator
Export Export Consumer Service Exporter Consumer Service Exporter
Govern Govern Consumer Service Governor Consumer Service Governor
Import Import Consumer Service Importer Consumer Service Importer
Initialize Initialize Consumer Service Initializer Consumer Service Initializer
Install Install Consumer Service Installer Consumer Service Installer
Instantiate Instantiate Consumer Service Instantiator Consumer Service Instantiator
Integrate Integrate Consumer Service Integrator Consumer Service Integrator
Manage Manage Consumer Service Manager Consumer Service Manager
Merge Merge Consumer Service Merger Consumer Service Merger
Modify Modify Consumer Service Modifier Consumer Service Modifier
Move Move Consumer Service Mover Consumer Service Mover
Own Own Consumer Service Owner Consumer Service Owner
Package Package Consumer Service Packager Consumer Service Packager
Persist Persist Consumer Service Persister Consumer Service Persister
Plan Plan Consumer Service Planner Consumer Service Planner
Purge Purge Consumer Service Purger Consumer Service Purger
Receive Receive Consumer Service Receiver Consumer Service Receiver
Record Record Consumer Service Recorder Consumer Service Recorder
Recover Recover Consumer Service Recoverer Consumer Service Recoverer
Register Register Consumer Service Registrar Consumer Service Registrar
Relocate Relocate Consumer Service Relocator Consumer Service Relocator
Reject Reject Consumer Service Rejecter Consumer Service Rejecter
Remove Remove Consumer Service Remover Consumer Service Remover
Replicate Replicate Consumer Service Replicator Consumer Service Replicator
Report Report Consumer Service Reporter Consumer Service Reporter
Request Request Consumer Service Requestor Consumer Service Requestor
Restore Restore Consumer Service Restorer Consumer Service Restorer
Review Review Consumer Service Reviewer Consumer Service Reviewer
Save Save Consumer Service Saver Consumer Service Saver
Search Search Consumer Service Searcher Consumer Service Searcher
Split Split Consumer Service Splitter Consumer Service Splitter
Sponsor Sponsor Consumer Service Sponsor Consumer Service Sponsor
Store Store Consumer Service Storer Consumer Service Storer
Strategize Strategize Consumer Service (or Set Consumer Service Strategy) Strategizer (or Strategy Setter) Consumer Service Strategizer (or Consumer Service Strategy Setter)
Support Support Consumer Service Supporter Consumer Service Supporter
Test Test Consumer Service Tester Consumer Service Tester
Train Train Consumer Service Trainer Consumer Service Trainer
Upgrade Upgrade Consumer Service Upgrader Consumer Service Upgrader
Upload Upload Consumer Service Uploader Consumer Service Uploader
Verify Verify Consumer Service Verifier Consumer Service Verifier
Version Version Consumer Service Versioner Consumer Service Versioner
View View Consumer Service Viewer Consumer Service Viewer

At a minimum, the above list of Verbs can be used to help identify, track, and manage the basic "Features" required by and associated with Consumer Service Management, even if your enterprise doesn't maintain a Capability Model that lists specific Consumer Service Management Capabilities. Application designers, developers, and architects often find such Verb Lists or Feature Inventories to be invaluable.


Taxonomy: Understanding Consumer Service Management Classifications or Categorizations

IF4IT Taxonomies

A Taxonomy, in its noun form, is defined as:

...a documented and orderly set of types, classifications, categorizations and/or principles that are often achieved through mechanisms including but not limited to naming, defining and/or the grouping of attributes, and which ultimately help to describe, differentiate, identify, arrange and provide contextual relationships between the entities for which the Taxonomy exists.

From this general definition, we can derive that the definition for a Consumer Service Management Taxonomy is:

...a documented and orderly set of types, classifications, categorizations and/or principles that are often achieved through mechanisms including but not limited to naming, defining and/or the grouping of attributes, and which ultimately help to describe, differentiate, identify, arrange and provide contextual relationships between Consumer Service Items, Entities or Types.

In short, what this means all means is that a Taxonomy is nothing more than a classification or typing mechanism and that a Consumer Service Taxonomy is nothing more than a classification or typing mechanism that helps people and systems distinguish between different Consumer Service Items, Entities, Types, Records or any other Consumer Service Management element you can think of.

It's important to understand that Taxonomies can be as simple as a list of relevant terms or phrases with respective meanings or definitions or they can take on more complex forms, such as hierarchical and graphical model structures that can be homogeneous and heterogeneous in nature. More complex Taxonomies include examples such as "Visual Taxonomies" and "Audible Taxonomies" but, expect in the case of very special technologies, are typically out of scope for general Information Technology (IT) Operations.

The Foundation directs readers to its ever-evolving Inventory of Taxonomies for Standard Taxonomy suggestions. Specifically, readers may want to start with the Taxonomy of Taxonomies, which helps make it clear that the IT Industry is composed of many hundreds if not thousands of Taxonomies, Classifications, Categorizations or Types.


Ontology: Consumer Service Management Ontology as a Means for Lanagugae Standardization

While Taxonomies represent organized classifications or types, you can think of Ontologies as the design and representation of entire lanaguages, with the specific intent to control things like structure, behavior, representation, and meaning. Without getting into a theoretical conversations about Ontologies, you can view this entire article as a foundation for the ontology of Consumer Service Management. Or, in other words, a Consumer Service Management Ontology.

Throughout this artifact/framework, you will find things like Consumer Service Management related terms, phrases, definitions, roles, responsibilities, nouns, verbs, classifications, and so on, all as a means of definining a standard representation for and interpretation of the language of Consumer Service Management.

It is only through the definition, communication, and establishment of such Ontologies that we can standardize language and communication associated with Consumer Service Management, whether it be between humans and/or systems.


Life Cycle (Lifecycle): Lifecycle Phases for Consumer Service Management

When we talk about Life Cycle (or lifecycle) for Consumer Service Management, it's important to keep in mind that there are two different types of Life Cycles that apply. The first is a Data Life Cycle, which addresses Consumer Service Management data or entities, and the second is associated with delivering Consumer Service Management Assets like Systems or Software solutions.

Consumer Service Management Data Life Cycle Phases:

Data Lifecycle (or Life Cycle) for any and all data is the period from the "inception" of data through to its ultimately being "purged" from existence. This is no different for Consumer Service Management related data.

Like the data associated with any other professional IT Discipline, Consumer Service Management related data adheres to the following common Data Lifecycle Phases:

Data Lifecycle Phases

Figure: Consumer Service Management Lifecycle Phases

  1. Inception: Data is in it's raw idea-like form and is not ready for consumption by the general population because it has not been documented or registered, anywhere, in a formal manner.
  2. Creation and Registration: Data is formally put into existence for day-to-day use by appropriate stakeholders.
  3. Iterative Maintenance: Data is in a mode of constant use and is updated and modified, as needed, to meet the needs of daily use by various stakeholders.
  4. Decommission and Deletion: Data is prepared for deletion and eventually deleted from daily operational use but still exists for administrative or organizational purposes, such as historical auditing. It can be restored to any one of its relevant last states and, therefore, can be brought back into existence for day-to-day use.
  5. Purged From Existence: Data is completely removed from an environment with no means to restore or reconstruct it, without recreating it from scratch and with no guarantees that it will match it's previous state.

The above Life Cycle Phases represent the high level transitions that occur from the inception of Consumer Service Items or Entities all the way through to their complete elimination from existence. A more detailed breakdown of these transitions or phases represents what are referred to as "Consumer Service Management States."

Consumer Service Management Systems Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases or Consumer Service Management Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC) Phases:

The SDLC is a means for facilitating and controlling how IT Professionals deliver Assets, such as Consumer Service Management Systems and Software. In this case, you should default to the master SDLC, which is used to deliver any Asset of any type, including those associated with the Consumer Service Management discipline.

Consumer Service Management SDLC Diagram

Inventories: Consumer Service Management Inventories

There are probably no greater or more important tools for providing Consumer Service Management transparency and direction than the collection, ordering, categorizing, grouping, and maintenance of all related Consumer Service Items. In other words, Consumer Service Management Inventories.

In short, an Inventory represents a list of individual things or instances of things that are typically all of the same Noun Type or Data Type, where these instances are described and detailed by their Attributes, along with the Data and Information that act as values for such Attributes.

At a minimum, Consumer Service Management Inventories are used for the establishment of solid Consumer Service Configuration Management practices, as the Consumer Service Instances tracked within such Consumer Service Inventories act as Configuration Items (in Target and/or Dependency form) for key Configurations (Consumer Service Management Configurations or otherwise).

Inventories are also used for solid decision making. Good decisions, either strategic or tactical, are made based on having good Data and Information. And, good Data and Information only come from taking the time to follow best practices associated with Inventory Management. It's only through building such Inventories that an enterprise can achieve solid Consumer Service Management Business Intelligence and Reporting.

Also, it's these very same Inventories that act as the foundation for understanding and managing Total Cost of Ownership (a.k.a. "TCO") for Consumer Service Management. Without such Inventories, trying to understand your costs can be nothing more than uneducated guessing.

The obvious place to start is with Consumer Service Inventories and then move on to surrounding Inventories that are directly and indirectly related to Consumer Service Management.

Additionally, there are many other types of Inventories that are common and important to Consumer Service Management, which include but are not limited to examples such as:

  1. People and Organizations related to Consumer Service Management
  2. Roles, Responsibilities, and Skills related to Consumer Service Management
  3. Products and Services related to Consumer Service Management
  4. Capabilities related to Consumer Service Management
  5. Contracts, Agreements, and Licenses related to Consumer Service Management
  6. Processes related to Consumer Service Management
  7. Tools and Technologies (e.g. Systems/Applications/Software/Computers) related to Consumer Service Management
  8. Data Types and Instances related to Consumer Service Management
  9. Data Interfaces related to Consumer Service Management
  10. Environments related to Consumer Service Management
  11. Facilities and Locations related to Consumer Service Management

If you and/or your enterprise are not collecting and maintaining such Inventories, you're probably considered to be very low on the efficiency and effectiveness maturity scale.

It's important to keep in mind that collecting and managing Consumer Service Management Inventories is something that should be performed across all phases of Consumer Service Management Lifecycle and across all Environments (i.e. Consumer Service Management Environments). Both are considered to be very important Best Practices. For example, you and/or your enterprise cannot get a complete understanding of Consumer Service Management costs or impacts without knowing all related Inventory Items in all environments. And, tracking across all lifecycle phases gives a temporal perspective that is important for things like problem analysis, historical reporting, and the reconstruction of state (i.e. Configuration Management).

NOTE: Consumer Service Management Inventories are also important for other enterprise functions, such as Architecture and Design. Such Inventories represent the foundation for understanding an enterprise's Current State and are critical for planning Future State and any related strategies, roadmaps, and transition plans for facilititating change.


Environments: Consumer Service Management Environments

Building environments that are specific to and for the discipline known as Consumer Service Management is no different than doing so for any other discipline area. The reader should, therefore, refer to the IT Environment Framework to understand such environments.

IT Environment Framework for Consumer Service Management

Metrics: Consumer Service Management Metrics

As with any professional Discipline, the place to start with when dealing with Consumer Service Management specific metrics is with standard metrics categorizations. Standard Metrics Categorizations, or what are commonly referred to as "SMCs," include but are not limited to...

Consumer Service Management Quantitative Metrics: Quantitative metrics for Consumer Service Management often revolve around the "counting" of key constructs that are associated with the Discipline. For example, the number of Consumer Service Items or Entities that have been Created, Edited or Modified, Copied or Cloned, Destroyed, Archived, Restored, etc. (Note the correlations to key Consumer Service Management Verbs!). Also, the counts for things like the number of Consumer Service Management Stakeholders, such as but not limited to Paying Customers, End Users, Employees, Consultants, etc. are also very useful.

Consumer Service Management Qualitative Metrics: Qualitative metrics for Consumer Service Management often revolve around concepts such as Consumer Service Management Defects, Failures, Problems, Incidents, and/or Issues. So, for example, if we were to capture the number of Consumer Service Management Defects (i.e. their counts) over time, we could do things like see if Defect quantities are going up or down, over time, allowing us to explore that area for things like correlating Causes and Effects.

Consumer Service Management Time Metrics: When dealing with Consumer Service Management Time Metrics, there are usually two forms. The first was introduced in the previous paragraph, which has to do with capturing and measuring things like Quantitative or Qualitative Metrics, over time. In this case, we capture other metric categories, over time, with the intent to see how they change and perform, based on modifications to the Consumer Service Management Operating Environment. The second form of Time related metrics has to do with system or operational performance, such as in the case of how long it takes to process a Consumer Service Management Request, from the time it is created to the time the Requester gets a satisfactory deliverable that allows him or her to move on with his or her work.

Consumer Service Management Utilization Metrics: Utilization Metrics specifically have to do with the consumption of Consumer Service Management specific solutions or deliverables. For example, tracking the number of Consumer Service Management Service Requests, over periods of time, along with their corresponding Consumer Service Management Deliverables, allows one to measure how active Consumer Service Management Services are against other Services that may exist within the Enterprise.

Consumer Service Management Financial Metrics: As is always the case for any single Discipline, Financial Metrics for Consumer Service Management always revolve around things like revenue, expenses, and profits, both, for operators of the Service or Services and for consumers of the Service or Services. For example, if a Consumer Service Management Request is invoked by a Consumer Service Management Customer (acting as the "Requester"), it becomes important to be able to identify and understand what the cost is to that Customer who is invoking the Request, and it also becomes important to understand why that cost is what it is. In the case of Services that do not yield revenue or profits, measuring costs is a strong way to, at very least, help understand the costs associated with each Service being performed by, within, external to, and for the Enterprise and its Customers.

Note: It's important to understand that, when it comes to metrics, enterprises should take a "Crawl," "Walk," "Run" approach to collecting, working with, and understanding them. That is, you cannot get to complex metrics collection, dissection, analysis, and understanding until you start with basic metrics and slowly work your way to more complex metrics representations.


Services: Consumer Service Management as a Set of Services (a.k.a. Consumer Service Management Services)

One of the most important concepts you will learn about Consumer Service Management (or any Discipline, for that matter) is the notion of implementing the Discipline as an accountable, planned, controlled, transparent, and managed "Service."

In short, Services represent a logically "bounded" and repeatable sets of work types, activities or tasks that are performed by humans and/or machines, with the specific intent to provide outputs or deliverables, in the form of solutions for the requesting Stakeholders who are commonly considered the customers of such Services. In other words, we perform and/or provide a Service to deliver very specific solutions to very specific Stakeholders who are looking for a means to solve a certain problem they have.

A Consumer Service Management Service is defined as:

"1. A set of solutions, either transactional (i.e. Transactional Consumer Service Management Services) or dial-tone (i.e. Dial-Tone Consumer Service Management Services), that are being or have been put in place to yield an intended, controlled, expected, repeatable and measurable set of results or deliverables for Consumer Service Management specific Customers, Consumers or Clients.

NOTE: Consumer Service Management Service Consumers or Clients can be either Human Resources or Systems."

All Services, including Consumer Service Management Services, can be performed manually (i.e. by people), automatically (i.e. by machines such as Computers), or by a combination of the two (i.e. a hybrid that is both manually and automated).

Also, all Services, including Consumer Service Management Services, can be either transactional or dial tone, in nature.

In the case of Transactional Services for Consumer Service Management, a Service Request is submitted and that Request is fulfilled as part of a process that is either manual, automated, or a hybrid of both (e.g. a Service to perform maintainance on your Consumer Service Management System).

In the case of Dial Tone Services for Consumer Service Management, a Service is expected to be up, running, available, and accessible to an End User so that he/she/it may perform some controlled and highly repeatable function (e.g. a "Consumer Service Management System" that is up and running all the time).

Consumer Service Management Service Components: The successful implementation of Consumer Service Management as a set of Services for your enterprise usually implies that a number of key components have been established to support it. These components are:

  1. A clearly documented and socialized Consumer Service Management Service Owner that is held accountable for Service performance, quality, and cost.
  2. A clearly documented and socialized Consumer Service Management Service Provider, Organization or Group who is performing the Service or work.
  3. A clearly documented and socialized inventory of all Consumer Service Management Service Inputs, including Consumer Service Management Service Requests and any artifacts necessary to support such Requests so that consumers of the Service know how to engage and request or take advantage of them.
  4. For every Consumer Service Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory of Consumer Service Management Service Outputs, making it clear to consumers what they can expect to receive as a result of a successful Service Request.
  5. For every Consumer Service Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory of the work being performed by the Service Provider to achieve such Outputs or Deliverables.
  6. For every Consumer Service Management Service Input, a clearly documented and socialized inventory Service Level Agreements (e.g. Service Availability, Service Duration, Service Guarantees, etc.) that can be used to set expectations and measure actuals against for said Service Outputs.
  7. Clearly specified Consumer Service Management Service Costs that help set expectations for Service Requesters (i.e. the cost of a request) and that provide clear transparency to the organizations that fund and sponsor such Services (i.e. the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) your Service(s).
  8. Consumer Service Management Service Request Patterns (Estimation Creation, Modification, Decommission, Support/Incidents, Complaints, etc.) in order to create intuitive and repeatable user experiences across different Service Types.
  9. Clearly understand what Consumer Service Management Service Resources are required, human or otherwise, to create and deliver your Consumer Service Management Service Deliverables, in a repeatable, cost-efficient, timely, and high quality manner.
  10. For every Consumer Service Management Service Request, understand the chargeback mechanism, in order to recoup your Service Costs.
  11. For every Consumer Service Management Service, it's important to understand the skills that are required, will need to be developed, and will need to be maintained by Service Resources, in order to deliver each Service Deliverable.
  12. It's important to understand who your Consumer Service Management Service Stakeholders are, this includes but is not limited to your Customers, Consumers, Clients, Sponsers, etc. are, as well as the types of problems it is that they're trying to solve or interests that they will have in your Services.

Consumer Service Management Ownership: The most important thing to understand about a Consumer Service Management Service is that, in order for such a Service to be successful, there must be a clear and accountable Owner for it. That is, there needs to be a very clear and accountable named person or organization that owns and is fully responsible for the Service, all of its sub-Services and, most importantly, all of the Service's "Outcomes." Without clear ownership, Services are almost never successful. And, for those few occasions where Services are successful without clear ownership, you can assume that they're successful because the people working in those Service areas are acting as heroes, or... the those Services are just plain lucky (that kind of luck doesn't last for long).

Consumer Service Management Service Inputs: There are typically two types of inputs to any Consumer Service Management Service. The first is what is known as a "Consumer Service Management Service Request" and the second really represents any and all supporting artifacts that are necessary to support such requests, including but not limited to Data and Information in the form of Documents, either electronic or paper in form. Many would argue that the "money" to pay for the Service execution of the Request would be the third but, for now, we will assume that payment is controlled through the Data and Information provided to the Service Operators, in support of the Request.

Consumer Service Management Service Outputs: The outputs of any Service are often referred to as the Service's Deliverables. Therefore, the readers should be aware that the terms "Consumer Service Management Outputs" and "Consumer Service Management Deliverables" are synonymous and interchangeable. All work performed in any enterprise is, by default, a Service that is being performed for someone else and, therefore, all work or Services yield results. These results are the Service's Outputs or Deliverables and a good Service ensures that such Outputs are appropriately documented to the consumers of said Service. This means that for any given Consumer Service Management Service Request Type or Category there will be one or more clearly defined and documented Outputs or Deliverables, making it clear to the consumer what he, she, or they will get in response to their Request. This can be as simple as an answer to a question or as complex as the Merger of two enterprises.

Consumer Service Management Service Levels: Service Levels represent "performance agreements," contractual or otherwise, that dictate how well a Consumer Service Management Service should perform, most often keeping the Customers, Consumers, Clients or End Users of the Service in mind. Consumer Service Management Service Levels can come in many forms and are often worked out by the Customers paying for the Services and the Service Providers who sell or provide the Services. In many cases, Service Levels are also self-imposed by the Service Providers performing the Services as a means to set expectations for Service Customers. In short, Consumer Service Management Service Levels are constraints, limitations, and/or expectations that are tied directly to Consumer Service Management Service Deliverables. They represent measures for things like quality, efficiency, and cost against said Deliverables or Outputs that allow the consumer of such Services to measure what they actually get against what they expected to get.


Service Paradigms: Centralized Consumer Service Management vs. Federated Consumer Service Management

Assuming an enterprise pursues the establishment of Consumer Service Management as a set of controlled Services, there are three common paradigms for doing so. These include:

  1. A "Centralized Consumer Service Management" implementation paradigm
  2. A "Federated Consumer Service Management" implementation paradigm
  3. A "Hybrid Consumer Service Management" implementation paradigm

Centralized Consumer Service Management is defined as:

"1. The term or phrase that implies establishing and/or practicing the Discipline known as Consumer Service Management as a concentric and singular set of organizations and services, usually in order to serve an entire enterprise, regardless of geographic location, further implying full centralization and no federation of any and all Consumer Service Management associated Work, Activities, Actions, Tasks, Capabilities and/or Services."

Federated Consumer Service Management, which is also referred to as Decentralized Consumer Service Management, is defined as:

"1. The term or phrase that implies establishing and/or practicing the Discipline known as Consumer Service Management in multiple pockets, communities, or organizations, further implying no centralization in the implementation and execution of Consumer Service Management associated Work, Activities, Actions, Tasks, Capabilities and/or Services."

There are clear tradeoffs to each of the two models. For example, in a Centralized paradigm, it's normally easier to coordinate work and provide broad coverage, across many areas of the enterprise and relevant stakeholders. However, it becomes far more difficult for a centralized organization to properly fund and staff resources and services in order to perform all required work across all stakeholders, in a much larger enterprise.

It's also important to note that a third paradigm also exists as an option. This is known as a Hybrid Consumer Service Management paradigm or model. In this case, there is a centralized Consumer Service Management organization that is often responsible for things like centralized governance, command, control, and communications, while federated staff and services deal with localized forms of Consumer Service Management. In this type of paradigm, federated staff and services usually report direclty into their local management but may have matrix reporting or responsibilities into the Centralized Consumer Service Management organization.


Principles & Best Practices: Common Principles and Best Practices for Consumer Service Management

A "Principle" is defined as being: "A professed assumption, basis, tenet, doctrine, plan of action or code of conduct for activities, work or behavior." Therefore, we can deduce the definition of "a Consumer Service Management Principle" to be:

Consumer Service Management Principle: "1. A professed assumption, basis, tenet, doctrine, plan of action or code of conduct for any activities, work or behavior associated with the Discipline known as Consumer Service Management."

A "Best Practice" is defined as being: "One or more Activities, Actions, Tasks or Functions that often do not conform with strict Standards and that have evolved, over time, to be considered as conventional wisdom for consistently and repeated achieving Outcomes or Results that can be measured as being equal to or above acceptable norms." Therefore, we can deduce the definition of "a Consumer Service Management Best Practice" to be:

Consumer Service Management Best Practice: "1. One or more Consumer Service Management related Activities, Actions, Tasks or Functions that often do not conform with strict standards and that have evolved, over time, to be considered as conventional wisdom for consistently and repeatedly achieving Outcomes or Results that can be measured as being equal to or above acceptable norms."

The plural form of this term would be "Consumer Service Management Best Practices."

Common Consumer Service Management related principles and best practices exist to help achieve higher than average expectations of quality and to ease in the implementation, support, operations, and future change associated with the solutions industry professionals put in place to address the needs of this Discipline and all its related stakeholders.

While this entire document is meant to represent and serve as a set of common principles and best practices for Consumer Service Management, the following list represents a summary of some very basic examples of what implementers, supporters, and operators of Consumer Service Management should constantly be working toward:

Principle or Best Practice Description
Establish and always have very clear Ownership for Consumer Service Management. Establishing, publishing and socializing clear Ownership for Consumer Service Management allows an enterprise and all its Resources, regardless of their geographic location, to assign accountability for all aspects of the Discipline. It also ensures that there's always at least one person that everyone can go to for transparency into the Discipline as well as for handling work that is associated with the Discipline.
Define, Collect, and Manage Relevant Consumer Service Management Inventories. As an IT professional, there are probably few things that are as important as knowing what is or is not in your portfolio, as well as understanding key traits about your portfolio. You cannot achieve this without the transparency provided by your inventories. Therefore, it is critical that you clearly define, collect, manage, and govern any and all relevant Consumer Service Management inventories. Lack of Consumer Service Management Inventories means no transparency, a chaotic and immature environment, and (even worse) the implication that you don't know how to do your job.
Always use standard terminology for Consumer Service Management, in order to standardize communications between stakeholders. It is often argued that the biggest mistake you can make is to create your own words and/or your own definitions, when communicating with others. There is no place where this is more accurate than in the field of Information Technology. IT Stakeholders make up their own words and definitions far too often, or let their business constituents do so. When you make up words or definitions, or you let others do so, you're creating a grave injustice for your organization. Self invented terminology and grammar often leads to poor communications, which in turn leads to redundancy of solutions, higher complexity of environments, slower delivery times, and much higher costs. Therefore, the IF4IT always recommends that you leverage standard terminology for Consumer Service Management, whenever possible.
Centralization of Consumer Service related data. While often impossible to centralize and collocate all Consumer Service related data and information, especially in a geographically dispersed environment, Consumer Service Management related stakeholders should always strive to centralize all data and information. The goals are to eliminate data fragmentation, improve source of truth for data, reduce the number of systems needed to support stakeholders, reduce the complexity of solutions, improve usability, and to ultimately reduce the costs associated with Consumer Service Management.
Clearly define, implement, track, and analyze Consumer Service Management Metrics. In order to successfully set up the discipline of Consumer Service Management and its related Services, it is critical to clearly define, track, and constantly analyze Consumer Service Management metrics. Such metrics include but are not limited to Supply and Demand Metrics (i.e. Operational Metrics), Performance Metrics, Quality Metrics, and Financial Metrics.
Transparency of Consumer Service related data. Stakeholders should always strive to make any and all Consumer Service Management data transparent to all other appropriate stakeholders, at a minimum, and often to the entire enterprises. The exception when private user data must be protected. Many stakeholders often make the mistake of treating internal operational data as private or protected. This often creates a data silo and will often lead to internally silo-ed organizations that revolve around such data silos.
Do not let "perfection" of Consumer Service Management solutions stand in the way of "good enough solutions". Often, Consumer Service Management stakeholders "overthink" solutions, leading to the impression that best-of-breed or perfect solutions are more effective than "good enough" solutions. Experience tells us that "good enough" is, almost always, the better path to follow. We live in an age where technologies grow old in the blink of an eye. Even the implementation of something that looks perfect, today, will look antiquated, tomorrow. This is especially true if your enterprise doesn't have a long term funding plan and commitment to improvements and upgrades of the solution(s) put in place.
Follow industry Standards, Best Practices, and Guiding Principles for Consumer Service Management, whenever possible". One of the most common errors many enterprises make is to create solutions from scratch or without the guidance, assistance and/or experience of others who have created such solutions, before them. Whenever possible, the IF4IT recommends that you research existing Standards, Best Practices, and Guiding Principles to avoid the mistakes of others, while also gaining from their successes. Remember, we live in a vast world. Chances are very high that someone else has already experienced the pain you're about to create for yourself. Wise people will always look to learn from such people's experiences before they go down the road of implementing their own solutions.
Work toward and maintain a Single Source of Truth (SSoT), whenever possible. While it may be impossible to truly maintain a Single Source of Truth (SSoT) for all data items at all times, especially in the case where the same data entity or instance enters an enterprise through unique data channels, it is an accepted, industry-wide best practice to always work toward such a goal.

Further Reading and Reference Material for Consumer Service Management

The Information Technology (IT) Learning Framework. A tutorial that helps understand Information Technology and how disciplines, such as this one, fits into the bigger picture of IT Operations.

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