Book Review – Creating and Driving Service Excellence


Creating and Driving Service Excellence
An Executive’s Guide to IT Service Management

ISBN: 978-0-11-706902-2

Sharon Taylor


This book is an introduction to IT service management targeted at the business executive.


This executive guide starts by describing IT service management as a business imperative. Sharon uses case studies to illustrate the return on investment and accomplishment of ITSM. ITSM is applied to the achievement of the top business priorities that are cited by Chief Executives around the world. ITSM as a concept is described along with the bodies of knowledge and frameworks that form ITSM best practice. The approach to implementation, the initial and ongoing costs and the expected ROI are covered. There is a section dedicated to the people and cultural considerations. The book concludes with some practical advice.



Karen’s Comment:

The aim of this book was to produce an introduction and guide to ITSM that could be read by a busy executive on their commute to work or on a short plane trip. Those needing to obtain executive commitment and buy-in to ITSM could slip this under the CxO door or into the briefcase in the hope that this 70 page booklet would be read and the understanding that “IT service management is a strategic asset; one that you can capitalize on as you would any other business asset” would be achieved.

This pocket book was intended to help overcome the reason why so many ITSM initiatives fail – lack of executive commitment.

This was a tall order for a small book but I believe that Sharon pulled it off. The case for ITSM is made loud and clear with facts and figures and case studies. Section 3 was a key section for me. Each year, surveys of Chief Executives around the world agree on what their priorities are in order to exist in the current climate and meet increasing business demands. The section lists the top ten priorities and then explores how ITSM has helped some businesses to meet the priorities. These include priorities such as ‘attract new and retain existing customers’; ‘grow revenues’; ‘improving business processes and effectiveness’; and ‘ encouraging the business / IT partnership’.

The book effectively introduces the concept of ITSM and the supporting best practice bodies of knowledge and frameworks. It describes where to start but also answers the question at the forefront of the executive mind – ‘how much will it cost?’
The one-off and ongoing costs are outlined but most importantly the ROI from ITSM is explained.

Another important and welcome inclusion in this book is a discussion of the people and cultural aspects of ITSM. Sharon writes ‘ I think it is important to mention here that there are a few things to remember regardless of what path you take to manage your services’. These few things include people as your greatest asset, the cultural fabric of the organization and the fact that ‘no amount of technology, process, procedures, work instruction, mandate, or management control, can replace the cultural acceptance and sense of value for IT service management within the workforce’.

What I also loved about this executive guide is the final section before the appendix of framework details and the recommended reading section. This final section provides some real-world advice such as ‘beware of the IT service management zealot’ and the fact that ITSM is not an IT thing but a ‘business’ thing.
As the foreword states ‘This book is different. It is not IT jargon; it’s business truths about why you need to seriously consider how important IT service management is to your business’.

So if you are a busy business executive who needs to know more about ITSM and its importance to your organization, or you know a business executive that needs to know, then this is the book you need. Grab a couple of copies and get those execs on board!

Rating: 5 stars out of 5

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