Enterprise service management (ESM)

From USM Wiki

Introduction to ESM

Service management is managing services. The scope of the required management system is often a team, a department, or a business unit. Organizations that extend this scope to the entire organization, the 'enterprise', are therefore engaged in enterprise service management (ESM), or managing organization-wide services. The management system of such an organization then includes all parts of that organization.

Managing is organizing and coordinating resources to achieve goals effectively and efficiently. These resources are the business resources with which the organization provides its services: the people, the processes, and the technology.

The management system of that service organization is what we then call a service management system.

A service management system of an organization that follows an ESM approach is then logically an enterprise service management system (ESM system).

"Most of what we call management consists of making it difficult for people to get their work done." {Peter F. Drucker}

USM: the link of your ESM system

An organization that follows an ESM approach strives for an organization-wide management system for the integrated services of all its organizational units. In order to implement this successfully, that organization must forge all contributing units (the links) into one integrated collaborative system (the chain, network, or ecosystem) for all services of the organization. This means that this organization must have a uniform link. And that is precisely what it is lacking in practice.

A chain consisting of all kinds of different links can therefore never be an efficient and effective chain. The question now is: what is the link with which you can forge - preferably unlimited - all conceivable chains and networks?

The answer to that question is 'USM': USM provides the service management architecture with which you specify a standard service management system for any team involved in the corporate-wide service delivery.

That standard service management system functions as the uniform link with which you can construct an ESM system at will for your own integrated service organization: the LEGO building block for management.

"A chain is as strong as its weakest link. A strong chain requires a uniform link."

How do you set up your ESM system?

First of all: not by first choosing a tool and then thinking that you are putting together an integrated management system. Practice has taught time after time where this leads: not much good. The logical way is the other way around: if you determine the scope of your ESM system as 'all components of the enterprise', you will first have to design each of those components as that one, uniform link with which you want to forge your ESM chain or network.

This means that you first teach the teams involved to work according to one organization-wide, uniform management system: the LEGO building block of management. Only then you can support that chain or network with a shared tool. And if you then think you still need to reorganize the organization, you probably have done something wrong ... Organizing is optimizing, but if you already have the policies and the tooling fully integrated, it makes little difference how you set up the organization.

So, a smart approach to enterprise service management begins with adopting the LEGO building block that USM provides, then selecting a workflow tool that demonstrably supports the management system, and finally - if still worthwhile - optimizing the organization for the new policies.

"A fool with a tool is still a fool." {Ron Weinstein}

ESM versus supply chain and network management

The integral management of the services of all teams within one enterprise is similar to managing many suppliers in an ecosystem: ESM is still the same. In both cases the question is how we define a link in a system: whether that system is one organization or a network of organizations ... the key question is always how we turn it into one well-oiled machine.

In all those cases, the solution is 'chain technology': which link can you define to create every conceivable composition? The answer to that question is USM, the standard management system for every service organization, the manager's LEGO.

Build your house with USM building blocks

ESM with USM - 20 guidelines

The e-book "Enterprise Service management with USM" describes 20 guidelines for a [USM's service management architecture|Service Management Architecture] based on USM, in an enterprise service management context. The 20 guidelines summarize the simple but well-structured [USM's service management system|service management system] for your own organization, applicable to any internal or external service team involved.

Download your e-book from the USM portal.

Enterprise Service Management with USM, a free download from the USM Portal


The term integrated facility management (IFM) is often applied to the integration of task domains of building management, cleaning, hospitality and the like. In fact, IFM is the same as ESM, but viewed from a special lens. Shared service centers (SSCs) often play a role in IFM, just as they do in ESM. USM is ideally suited to support the standardization required for this, so that all the task domains involved function as links in a supply chain, whether that chain is called ESM or IFM.