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Figure 3.3 Project elements in a triangulated relationship

This concept is extremely important to Service Design activities and to the balance between the effort that is spent in the design, development and delivery of services in response to business requirements. Service Design is a delicate balancing act of all three elements and the constant dynamic adjustment of all three to meet changing business needs. Changing one side of the triangle invariably has an impact on at least one of the other sides if not both of them. It is vital therefore that the business drivers and needs are fully understood in order that the most effective business solutions are designed and delivered, using the most appropriate balance of these three elements. It is likely that business drivers and needs will change during design and delivery, due to market pressures. The functionality and resources should be considered for all stages of the Service Lifecycle, so that services are not only designed and developed effectively and efficiently, but that the effectiveness and efficiency of the service is maintained throughout all stages of its lifecycle.

Due consideration should be given within Service Design to all subsequent stages within the Service Lifecycle. Often designers and architects only consider the development of a new service up to the time of implementation of the service into the live environment. A holistic approach to the design of IT services should be adopted to ensure that a fully comprehensive and integrated solution is designed to meet the agreed requirements of the business. This approach should also ensure that all of the necessary mechanisms and functionality are implemented within the new service so that it can be effectively managed and improved throughout its operational life to achieve all of its agreed service targets. A formal, structured approach should be adopted to ensure that all aspects of the service are addressed and ensure its smooth introduction and operation within the live environment.

The most effective IT service providers integrate all five aspects of design rather than design them in isolation. This ensures that an integrated Enterprise Architecture is produced, consisting of a set of standards, designs and architectures that satisfy all of the management and operational requirements of services as well as the functionality required by the business. This integrated design ensures that when a new or changed service is implemented, it not only provides the functionality required by the business, but also meets and continues to meet all its service levels and targets in all areas. This ensures that no (or absolute minimum) weaknesses will need to be addressed retrospectively.

In order to achieve this, the overall management of these design activities needs to ensure:

  • Good communication between the various design activities and all other parties, including the business and IT planners and strategists
  • The latest versions of all appropriate business and IT plans and strategies are available to all designers
  • All of the architectural documents and design documents are consistent with all business and IT policies and plans
  • The architectures and designs:
    • Are flexible and enable IT to respond quickly to new business needs
    • Integrate with all strategies and policies
    • Support the needs of other stages of the Service Lifecycle
    • Facilitate new or changed quality services and solutions, aligned to the needs and timescales of the business.

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