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Service Manager Role

The Service Owner and Service Manager roles are sometimes fulfilled by a single staff member. This is common for smaller services and for services that are delivered through cloud vendors (Platform-as-a-Service [PaaS] or Software-as-a-Service [SaaS]). In UIT, the role of Service Manager is frequently a Manager in the organization that owns the service.

What does a Service Manager do?

The Service Manager is responsible for the day-to-day management of the activities associated with the lifecycle of the service. These include:

  1. Service launch activities, including completion of all required deliverables for production readiness (see Service Development Checklist)
  2. Service improvement activities such as evaluating and streamlining operational support procedures and optimizing and automating service delivery processes
  3. Service sunset activities, which include the planned and orderly transition of clients to another service, shutdown of all billing processes and, where applicable, the removal of service related equipment from data centers

What are the general responsibilities of a Service Manager?

  • Reviews service budgets and expenditure plans to ensure financial health; manages costs related to the service
  • Manages vendor relations, escalating to the Cloud Vendor Manager, Service Owner, and vendor as needed for contractual issues
  • Ensures Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are being met
  • Designs support processes that foster service improvement

What ServiceNow tasks is the Service Manager responsible for?

Task Why it matters

You confirm service offering (CI) name and details with the Service Owner and submit a request for the addition of a new service in the Configuration Management Database (CMDB).

You maintain the data integrity of the CI by providing updates as needed for changes to staff assigned to service roles, assignment groups, and change approvers.

Having your service offering in the ServiceNow CMDB is foundational in order to receive incident tickets, ensure they are routed to the correct support groups, and manage change requests.

Updating the CI when staff change will ensure that tickets and change requests are routed quickly and efficiently to the appropriate staff and groups.

You confirm the service catalog description and details with the Service Owner and submit the request for a new entry to the service catalog.

You work with the assigned Business Analyst and other members of the service team to define a request workflow that supports the efficient delivery of your service.

A service catalog entry is necessary in order for your clients to order or request your service.

Request workflows can include integrations with cloud vendors to facilitate ordering, provisioning, and billing.

You maintain the list of service change approvers in the CMDB, and also prioritize and approve change requests at the appropriate level for the service. A current list of change approvers is essential to ensure rapid and efficient handling and approval of change requests.

You review the incident queue daily to ensure incidents are addressed as per the Service Level Agreement (SLA).

You review incident reports and trend data as a way to improve service health and delivery.

You are notified of Major (Priority 1) service incidents

The aim of incident management is to restore the service to the customer as quickly as possible. The regular review of incident reports is a way to identify issues before they become problems.
You review and approve knowledge articles prior to publication and on a regular basis to ensure they are up to date. You retire articles when no longer relevant. Knowledge articles reduce the burden on service staff by providing clients with self-service information. It is also possible to create articles that are only available to internal support staff.
You establish Root Caouse Analysis (RCA) Investigations as needed. An RCA will identify the underlying cause for recurring issues that impact the service health and delivery.

Key terms

  • Change Management: The process responsible for controlling the lifecycle of all changes, enabling beneficial changes to be made with minimum disruption to IT services.
  • Configuration Management Database (CMDB): The database in ServiceNow that holds information about the service including service name (CI), description, service role assignments, incident assignment tiers, and change approvers.
  • Incident Management: An incident is an unplanned interruption or reduction in the quality of an IT service. Incident management is the process responsible for managing the lifecycle of all incidents. Incident management ensures that normal service operation is restored as quickly as possible and the business impact is minimized.
  • Knowledge Management: Knowledge Management aims to gather, analyze, store and share knowledge and information within an organization. The primary purpose of this process is to improve efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.
  • Major Incident: A widespread, serious, major interruption or outage of a critical service that must be resolved with great urgency. They are classified as P1 and P2 incident tickets. The aim of the Major Incident Process is to quickly restore service with any means necessary, including workarounds.
  • Service Catalog: The only part of the ITIL Service Portfolio published to customers, used to support the sale and delivery of IT Services. The Service Catalog includes information about deliverables, prices, contact points, ordering, and request processes.

Additional resources