On Location: Summer Wine Festival – Rheingau Region, Hochheim, Germany
Case Topic: ITIL Guiding Principles – Focus on Value: Start Where You Are
The summer wine festival. It is a celebration of previous years successes. Everyone is enjoying the bounty of past harvests while appreciating the health and progress visible on this year’s vines. Various vintners practicing their art to produce their products. The experience of everyone involved contributing to the final products. It’s “Old School” and “Tried and True” … but … can it evolve … should it evolve?
One small winegrower is establishing a well respected brand and looking to the future. Their operation has 30 workers across the vineyards, the cellar, the retail store and the oﬃce operations. They use software for compliance reporting, inventory management and retail point of sale. All of the vineyard activities are still performed the old fashioned way, by feel and by experience. Reliance on staﬀ and their experience has worked thus far – or has it? Could they have done better?
Maybe it’s time for change and growth. The winegrower wants to feel more confident with the vineyard operations. Just the specter of climate change requires a need for greater eﬃciency and the ability to react quickly. Inspecting the canopy, soil and fruit during a walkthrough is part of the artistry of wine making but more information and data could allow even better decision making for the prosperity of the business.
The winemaker has approached the supplier of their existing software systems to see if there are solutions to support their desired advancements in managing vineyard production. Let’s look at how ITIL concepts apply to the supplier relationship.
In the current situation the service provider could be very excited by the opportunity to implement all kinds of COOL technology for their customer. The provider might already be dreaming of installing remote sensors in each area of the various vineyards managed by this wine maker. The sensors would be monitoring diﬀerent conditions and sending alerts for disease conditions, pest infestations, frost conditions and more. This may even be the opportunity to get the first customer onto the spectral mapping service especially when they see how it links to apps that they can run on their phones. Apps for irrigation control or task allocations for work teams; and of course the new app for canopy analysis related to sunlight hours producing recommendations for cover crops and replanting rotations. Oh oh and lets also do the app that works with fruit samples to track Brix and pH values for the determination of prime harvest time and … STOP!
The service provider may have an extensive service catalog and may be able to deliver all of these services with very high levels of quality, availability, reliability and support BUT what does this winemaker actually want? This scenario calls for our service provider to concentrate on the guiding principles of Focus on Value and Start Where You Are. These principles then guide the activities to create a value stream for ascertaining and documenting service requirements for this customer.
Our service provider prepares for the meeting with the customer. These preparations are planning activities as they review the status of the vineyard products and the features and benefits associated with each. Our service provider then meets with the customer to gather and document information and also to present overview information.
Gather and document service requirements as well as current state.
- how does the customer describe their objectives
- how does the customer envision and describe success
- existing issues that customer wants to resolve
- priorities and timelines
- existing resources and capabilities within people, infrastructure and operations
Documenting these service requirements helps to ensure that the services to be recommended to the customer are ones that will directly provide solutions to meet their priorities. The current state details will also allow better release and deployment plans providing the customer the best opportunity to achieve the valuable outcomes that they desire.
The provider also provides information during the initial meeting –
- descriptions of available services and their features
- benefits typically associated with those services
- assurance of ability to deliver
The meeting should provide all stakeholders with a vision of a relationship that can be established for the co-creation of value between the customer and the service provider.
The activities of the service provider can be documented and described as a Value Stream. This Value Stream diagram shows an example of the activities that could take place in the Plan, Engage and Improve service value chain stages. Examples of the involved practices are also illustrated in the Value Stream.
Value Stream Diagram
Value: The initial meeting provides value. The stakeholders will have the information required to determine if they want to move forward.
About the Author
Jim Jackson is the Managing Director of Blue Sky AFC Associates LLC. Jim holds the ITIL Expert Certificate (V3) and has also completed ITIL 4 Foundations certification. Jim is a service management professional and has been an accredited instructor of ITIL Foundations since 2005. He has shared his open, non-restricted view of the ITIL framework as he has trained and assisted hundreds of candidates to prepare for and pass the ITIL Foundations examinations. Jim has also written accredited courseware for earlier versions of ITIL Foundations and he contributed to ITIL 4 accredited course materials for Thought Rock in 2019.
About the Series – IT Service Management Around the World
These are fictional stories of service management and any similarity, you may find, to your own organization is purely coincidental. The purpose of these service management musings is to introduce service management and ITIL concepts as well as postulate on how ITIL and its components could be at play in any size business located anywhere in the world. The opinion stories are written to motivate customer centric, service oriented thinking and discussions. The content is not intended to constitute advice of any sort. While every eﬀort is made to ensure the accuracy and reliability of the information no liability is accepted for any loss resulting from the use of or reliance on this content.
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Diagrams and images contained in this article have been created by Jim Jackson and remain the property of Blue Sky AFC Associates LLC, copyright 2019.