Service Review meetings provide a very important role in assuring the service(s) delivered, in this case, by a third party provider is aligned to the requirements of both IT ('Client') and ultimately the Business / Customer community. Secondly, the meeting enables Continual Service Improvement and refinement to take place and be formally tracked.
The diagram below provides a list of inputs to the Service Review meeting. The list is not exhaustive and we would welcome further suggestions of what could be considered for inclusion at such a meeting.
Please send us an email or a comment in the box at the foot of this article.
The information below provides further detail and explanation with regards to the inputs and outputs referred to in the diagram above - the numbers in brackets cross reference to those in the diagram.
Service Review Meeting Minutes (1) (14) (15)
The first item on the agenda of the Service Review Meeting is to review the 'minutes' produced from the previous Service Review Meeting. Updates to the agreed 'actions' are provided by the appropriate attendees. Each action should clearly display who is responsible for the action and a target completion date stated, as well as a 'status' assigned of:
- OPEN - signifying that the action is a new
- CLOSED - signifying that the action has been completed
- OUTSTANDING - signifying that the action has not been completed by the agreed target completion date
Target completion dates should not be changed in the minutes as they provide an indication as to how long an 'outstanding' action has not been completed. Any revised target dates should be captured and recorded in the minutes for review at the next Service Review Meeting. Once an 'Outstanding' action has been closed it is worthwhile reviewing why the original target date was missed and if any actions can be taken to prevent target completion dates 'drifting' in the future.
It should be noted that the purpose of capturing the 'actions' in detail is to assist with managing expectations of all parties and with exceptions should not be used to lambaste or 'beat-up' the Supplier. It is especially important to forge partnerships with Suppliers, whether internal or external, and honesty and trust are essential to such arrangements.
Finally, as the 'Client' I would suggest taking the responsibility of producing and distributing the minutes from the Service Review Meeting. The minutes should be written objectively and provide a true and accurate account of the meeting. The updated minutes are produced as soon after the completion of the meeting as possible and distributed accordingly. All attendees of the meeting should receive the full set of minutes, as well as those individuals who have requested a copy, for example Management teams, Business Representatives, Contracts teams.
In some organizations a 'Management Summary' of the pertinent elements of the meeting may be required and distributed to Senior Management and in some cases the Management Board.
Service Performance and Availability Report (2) (15)
The Supplier provides a summary of the Service Performance delivered since the last Service Review Meeting, highlighting and explaining any degraded or improvements in Service in the period. For trend analysis and comparison purposes it may prove beneficial to provide a rolling period of Service Performance over the past three, six or twelve months, such information is often best portrayed using bar graphs and spreadsheets.
In addition to the Performance of the Service the Availability of the Service should also be provided, once again attention is made to any unplanned (not agreed) unavailability and appropriate explanation provided. Once again the use of a rolling period of Service Availability over the past three, six or twelve months, such information is often best portrayed using bar graphs and spreadsheets.
An accurate measure of the actual Availability of the Service needs to be provided and compared against the agreed Availability target. In situation where the Service is provided by an external third party, there may be instances for recommending Service Credits to be provided by the Supplier when the actual availability of the Service is less than the agreed Service Availability target. In such instances a Service Credit Recommendation(s) is made and if necessary discussed further and agreed in a separate meeting from the Service Review Meeting, as members from Contracts and/or Legal team of each party may need to review separately and then convene accordingly.
For examples of how to determine an Availability measure please refer to the following article, which includes an Availability Formula:
Business Relationship Manager Report (3)
The Business Relationship Manager provides a report detailing how the Service has been perceived from the Business perspective, both positive and negative. Providing such information enables the opportunity for a balanced account of the Service delivered against that supplied.
Service Plan (4) (16)
The Business and Supplier Relationship Managers work together in advance of the meeting to produce the Service Plan for the forth-coming period, which shows the scheduled availability and non-availability.
Capacity Plan (5) (18)
The Capacity Plan provides details of the current levels of resource utilization and service performance. Consideration is also provided against:
- the business strategy or plans
- future requirements of resources to support IT services underpinning business activities
The Capacity Plan clearly states any assumptions that are made, together with any recommendations, including but not limited to:
- required resources
- associated costs
- the impact of not progressing the recommendation(s)
The Capacity Plan is essential to the business and budget lifecycle and assists with future budget negotiations.
Requests for Change (6)
A summary of 'change activity' over the previous period is provided, high-lighting where necessary specific RFCs. The summary may categorize those implemented, cancelled, backed out, and failed. Any actions identified from discussions should be captured in the 'Minutes' of the meeting.
A Change Schedule (CS) is produced providing a brief summary of each RFC together with the planned implementation date. Any potential conflicts are identified and appropriate actions assigned to re-schedule or resolve issues accordingly. Again such actions are captured in the 'Minutes' of the meeting but should also be captured within each applicable RFC, which provides a history of events, actions and decisions taken during the life of the RFC and which may provide invaluable information at the post implementation reviews of the RFC(s) and assist with Continual Service Improvement.
High severity incidents that have occurred in the previous month are discussed as necessary. More often than not visibility of such incidents would have risen at the time of occurrence, although post incident reviews may have identified subsequent improvements or actions, which may have not been fully circulated or may have culminated in the introduction of a Service Improvement Plan (SIP).
License Usage Report (8) (19)
The License Usage Report provides details of utilisation over the past month. The data when combined with the 'rolling' usage report, which covers a pre-defined period of six or twelve months, assists management with the opportunity to identify areas of cost saving, further expenditure or possible review of exiting licensing agreements.
The output from reviewing the License Usage report is an update to the License Procurement / Reduction plan, which is implemented as Licensing Agreements come up for review and or re-negotiation.
Risk Register (9) (20)
Potential risks to the service are capture on the Risk Register together with any mitigating actions that are identified. The Risk Register is reviewed as part of the Service Review although on some occasions some risks may need to be managed on a more frequent basis in an effort to mitigate them in a timely manner, an example would be the risk of adverse weather conditions that may affect staff attending site.
An updated Risk Register is an output of the Service Review meeting.
Issue Log (10) (21)
Any issues or circumstances that are currently a cause for concern regarding the delivery, support or management of the Service are recorded on the Issue Log. The Issue Log is reviewed as part of the Service Review meeting, although the Issues themselves will be managed and addressed as part of day to day operational responsibilities.
An updated Issue Log is an output of the Service Review meeting.
Financial Report (11) (22)
The Financial report provides details of any deviations from the planned budget provision for the previous period, as well as any potential fluctuations for the forth-coming period.
Once agreed the information is entered into the rolling Financial Report that provides management with visibility of the budgetary spend to date and planned spend for the remaining financial year.
Service Improvement Plan (12) (23)
A formal plan with clearly stated objectives, deliverables and timescales is produced and reviewed monthly. A Service Improvement Plan (SIP) is often initiated if the improvements to be made are complex, likely to take considerable time, or involve several parties.
Following review the SIP is updated to reflect the current state of play.
Requests For Change (RFC) (17)
During Service Reviews and the accompanying discussions inevitable lead to RFCs being identified and then needing to be raised following the completion of the meeting.
As mentioned earlier the list of inputs is not exhaustive.
If you have additional inputs and outputs then please send us an email or a comment in the box at the foot of this article.