Deployment guidance

From USM Wiki

Three deployment strategies

For the deployment of USM in your own practice, you can choose from three strategies:

  1. Do it yourself. Read the USM book and the other resources of this USM wiki and the USM portal and apply what you have learned. This way, the knowledge that is the result of 30+ years of evolution in service management is made available to everyone.
  2. Training. If these resources are not sufficient, use USM training to get all noses in the same direction. This can be done with a USM Foundation training. Participants will learn in two days how the principles of USM are applied to their own situation.
  3. Supported deployment. If there are no qualified resources available internally to manage a USM deployment project, you can opt to do so under the supervision of a qualified USM professional. A USM coach can support the internal project leader in managing the organizational change, and USM product experts can coach internal product experts in designing the local tools. USM offers a standardized deployment method, based on an agile improvement initiative by your own staff.

USM products are available to assure your USM deployment.

Sustainability is at the heart of USM. A USM deployment works from the idea that organizational improvement is based on the promotion of self-managing capabilities, with learning as the central focus. Organizational improvement is only permanently effective if it is controlled and carried out by internal employees. External support should be limited to the coaching of internal employees. No expensive consultants who do the work for you, but a 100% investment in your own employees. Coaching is the most effective tool for personal development and performance improvement.

Three USM deployment strategies


USM deployment overview

Deploying USM is based on a step-by-step approach: it takes time to get away from the old thinking that organizations have followed for so long. They need to take their time to overthink this before they start a USM deployment.

Deployment may be formatted in a project, so a decent preparation is in place. The shop will stay open during the organization's reconfiguration, so they'll need small steps. That's why deploying USM is based on small incremental steps: an agile approach, with small improvement sprints.

The USM Portal offers more information on this approach.

Before you begin...

Before an organization begins to improve its practices, a number of preconditions must be in place. These are things that must be in place for every service organization: the foundation under any sustainable improvement plan. Consider, for example, the following 10 points for an improvement initiative based on USM:

  1. A sustainable improvement strategy requires the visible commitment of management. This means that management (e.g., the director of the organization) must have made it clear to all employees that their management supports the path being taken, and is working on it itself. That message must have named the scope of the initiative, the statement of need (what is the reason and what do we want to achieve), and how the initiative will be implemented.
  2. Progress and improvement require a positive feedback mechanism. To determine whether an improvement plan is producing results, the organization must know where it is now. Thus, a scan of that starting situation is required to determine progress. The same technique is used to determine progress during the improvement project.
  3. Knowledge and insight are key to getting all employees to move along toward the intended goal. Employees who do not yet have the required knowledge should receive basic training so that every employee understands the path being taken.
  4. Coordinated improvement requires a structure, with resources. This can be a project, or it can be embedded as an activity in the regular management system. The appropriate structure must be in place before improvement begins.
  5. To manage progress, the organization must have adequate management tools, with the following functionalities:
    [a] The management of work. This is accomplished with products we call service delivery coordination tools (SDC tools). SDC tools cover workflow coordination, and a managed infrastructure register (MIR).
    [b] The technical support for the execution of this work. This can involve an endless number of technical tools, which are often task-specific (visitor registration, rental, monitoring tools, antivirus systems, remote control for locks, etc.) but can also have general support functions (project management tools, reporting tools, etc.).
  6. To secure progress, improvements must be managed. Improvements can be defined as risks, so the organization must have a risk database. That risk database is part of the SDC tooling.
  7. In order to know what improvements need to be realized, an inventory of improvements is needed. These are then the risks registered in the risk database.
  8. Improvements to work practices can be compared to "a reconstruction while the shop is open". This means that the improvements should not interfere too much with the daily service delivery. Improvements are therefore best realized in an agile way with small steps: improvement sprints. In each improvement sprint, the organization must make a selection from the registered improvements (risks) based on prioritization. To do this, the organization must first establish a prioritization mechanism.
  9. Structured improvement requires communication with all stakeholders. That communication must be established before the initiative starts.
  10. Sustainable improvement of practices requires involvement of all staff. The operators must have a say in the choices made in the areas of improvement and their prioritization. Regular consultation with the operators can be organized, for example, with a USM panel.

The list of techniques for improvement initiatives is extensive. For all these techniques, tools in the USM Deployment Toolkit have been developed and are deployed by certified USM Professionals.

Free support for USM user organizations

Organizations that are convinced of the value of the USM Method and want to apply USM in their practice, can register themselves as USM user organizations. After registration, they have access to certified USM tools:

  • process model
  • workflow templates
  • forms
  • diagrams
  • graphics
  • documents
  • default profiles
  • additional guidance

Registration as a USM user organization is free of cost.

The SURVUZ Foundation offers these USM resources for free on one condition: the organization is willing to share their experience and lessons learned with other USM users. USM is a community effort. For that reason, the registered users of USM are listed in a register (unless, for some compelling reason, they cannot disclose that they use USM). Learning and improvement never end, so knowledge should be shared as much as possible.

Interested organizations can register here.

The free USM resources for user organizations are located in a managed environment where SURVUZ adds new resources after testing and certification (see the figure of the USM knowledge platform). In this way, SURVUZ guarantees the quality of the resources and their connection to the architecture of the USM method.

USM cases & backgrounds

Starting 2017, Dutch organizations have used USM for the improvement of their service delivery and cases are being documented.

In other countries, cases are emerging from the end of 2022 onward.

Cases and presentations are shared on the USM Portal.

USM downloads

The USM Portal offers a range of free e-books and other downloads, with additional information about USM.

Downloads are available in English, Dutch, and German.

Certified products

The SURVUZ Foundation is working with its USM Product Partners to further optimize the most common management tools and other open or partner-specific USM products in order to better support the management system and the workflows of the service organization. The products that fully pass the USM audit are listed on the USM Portal. We distinguish:

  • Tools that support the coordination of workflows and the administration of infrastructure: service delivery coordination tools (SDC tools), including the tools for a MIR (CMDB) and the BPM tools that cover parts of that functionality. Service delivery coordination tools are also known as 'helpdesk tools', 'service management tools', 'ticketing tools' , etc. Such tools often also contain functionalities aimed at automating the execution of actions in specific support domains (human resources, building management, finance, etc.), thus moving more into the realm of an FMIS. The FMIS automation tasks are beyond the scope of SDC tooling.
  • Tools that support the learning of USM: training tools.
  • A wide range of other products.

Certified professionals

After a thorough training, service management experts can be certified as USM professionals. USM professionals can assist a user organization if external expertise or resource volume is needed.

The USM Professionals can have the following profiles:

  • USM coaches receive a comprehensive toolkit of roadmaps, templates, and tools, to support user organizations that want to apply USM. Internal USM coaches only use these in the organization (the USM Associate) where they are permanently employed. External USM coaches are deployed exclusively through accredited USM Deployment partners.
  • USM trainers deliver the USM training products to users. They are deployed exclusively through accredited USM Training partners. Certified trainers receive the USM training materials, slide decks, exercises, and online tools for free.
  • USM product experts assist internal product administrators with the configuration and use of USM products. These professionals also need to be certified by the product owner.
  • USM tool auditors can deliver an audit of a tool against the USM tool requirements.

All USM Professionals are registered in the USM Professional Register. They get a set of tools and templates for their support of USM. The SURVUZ Foundation provides that toolkit for free, on the condition that these experts have demonstrated their capability to use these tools and explain USM to others. Because USM is new thinking, they'll have to prove that they can convince others - who have learned to think about service management the traditional way.

More details are available at the USM Portal.