Changes to ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 – Service Management System (SMS) Requirements

Customer service employees happy to follow ISO 20000-1:2018 for service management systems

They say the customer is always right. Those who have dealt with some frustrated purchasers may disagree. Nonetheless, the benefits of successful customer service cannot be denied. In fact, 33 percent of Americans say they’ll consider switching companies after just a single instance of poor service, and companies in the U.S. lose over $62 billion each year due to poor customer service processes. Clearly, there is a need to conduct these processes with the best knowledge in mind. ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 – Information Technology – Service Management – Part 1: Service Management System Requirements provides agreed-upon guidelines to assist the delivery of services.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 specifies the basis for a service management system (SMS). However, the structure of this document is not unique to this type of system. In fact, the ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 standard was changed to include the shared ISO high level structure (Annex SL), which helps to assure the usefulness and interconnectivity of ISO management system standards.

As for the system itself, a SMS supports the management of the service lifecycle (planning, design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services) by incorporating the context of the organization, leadership, planning, support and operation of the SMS and its processes, and performance evaluation. This can provide a greater understanding of the customers’ needs and offer a better value for those customers in delivering services, giving ongoing visibility, and allowing for continual improvement.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 covers guidelines for an organization to establish, implement, maintain, and continually improve a service management system. This international standard document has a wide range of use, with potential users including: a customer seeking services and desiring assurance for the quality of those services; a customer needing a consistent approach to the service lifecycle; an organization needing to demonstrate its capability for and/or improve the planning, design, transition, delivery, and improvement of services; an organization desiring to monitor, measure, and review its SMS; an organization or other party performing conformity assessments against the requirements specified in this document; and a provider of training or advice in the field of service management.

While ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 has historically been used for IT services, it is increasingly being applied to other services to improve business processes and decision making. In fact, some of the changes that distinguish ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 from the previous edition of this standard—the second edition that came out in 2011—are focused on updating the document to better meet market trends. However, these changes and the inclusion of the high level structure are by no means the only alterations made to  ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018.

All hands in for ISO 20000-1:2018 and its changes

Some other notable changes made to ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 include:

  • Inclusion of the commoditization of services, the management of multiple suppliers by an internal or external service integrator, and the need to determine value of services for customers.
  • Removed some details to concentrate on what to do and to allow organizations the freedom of how to meet the document’s guidance.
  • Included new features on planning the services.
  • Separated previously-combined clauses for incident management, service request management, service continuity management, service availability management, service level management, service catalogue management, capacity management, and demand management.
  • “Governance of processes operated by other parties” was renamed “Control of parties involved in the service lifecycle.” In this section, the new edition of the standard clarifies that an organization cannot demonstrate conformity to the standard if other parties are used to provide or operate all services, service components, or processes within the scope of the service management system.
  • Clause 3 for terms and definitions was divided into subclauses. Beyond this general structural alteration, numerous revisions are present to definitions in ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018. These changes include:
    • Some new terms were added for the ISO management systems shared Annex SL, including “objective” and “policy,” while some new terms were added specifically for service management, like “asset” or “user.”
    • To fit with the Annex SL common text, the term “service provider” was replaced by “organization.”
    • The term “internal group” was replaced by “internal supplier,” and the term “supplier” was replaced by “external supplier.”
    • The definition of “information security” was aligned with ISO/IEC 27000. Keeping in accordance with this change, the term “availability” was replaced by “service availability” to differentiate from the term “availability,” which is now used in the revised definition of “information security.”
  • The needed documented information was minimized, leaving only key documents such as the service management plan.
  • References to the Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle were removed, as PDCA is not specifically used in Annex SL, to accommodate many applicable improvement methods with management system standards.
  • Detailed reporting guidelines were moved into different clauses.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 is part of a series of related standards devoted to service management systems. Standards packages can be a useful means to acquire multiples standards in this series. This document is available as part of the following standards packages:

ISO/IEC 20000-1 / ISO/IEC 20000-2 – IT Service Management Systems Package

ISO/IEC 20000 – Information Technology Service Management Package

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2018 – Information Technology – Service Management – Part 1: Service Management System Requirements is available on the ANSI Webstore.

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