Foster-Melliar, which provides ITIL  and ITSM, is offering clients an assessment service to determine their readiness for ISO/IEC 20000 certification.  This offering also includes the development of a roadmap to assist organisations with the initial planning for achieving certification.

“ISO/IEC 20000 is the international standard for IT Service Management against which an organisation can ultimately be certified and formally prove they possess world class, managed ITSM processes,” says Ian Butow, General Manager: Business Development Foster-Melliar.  “Certification gives objective proof of an organisations commitment to and quality of IT Service Management.  This is a must have for all organisations operating in today’s market.

“An ISO/IEC 20000 Readiness Assessment is the ideal starting point to determine the road to certification," he adds.

The assessment begins with a workshop that is aimed at defining the formal scope of services and organisational units to be assessed.  The assessment then flows into a detailed assessment covering the People, Process, Product and Partner aspects of IT Service Management, covering the Fourteen ISO/IEC 20000 processes and the Management system surrounding the processes.  

The management system itself plays an integral part in the success of effective ITSM and the assessment will shed some light on the management process responsibility, documentation, competence, awareness and training status.

Following the assessment and delivery of the Report, a Service Improvement Programme (SIP) or “roadmap” workshop is conducted to assist the organisation with the initial planning and prioritisation of the improvements identified through the assessment process.

The ISO/IEC 20000 standard is structured into two parts, the first being the specification of the requirements for the standard. Organisations must comply with all of the requirements in order to be certified. The second part takes the form of a code of practice with recommendations on embedding quality into service management processes and organisations.

The Foster-Melliar Readiness Assessment covers these aspects in addition to providing companies with practical advice and guidance that is crucial in building an effective roadmap.

A formal ISO/IEC 20000 certification can only be awarded to single companies (legal entities) who manage the full range of Service Management processes and retain management control of these processes, even if some aspects are outsourced to business partners.  Prior experience with ITIL is not required, but ISO/IEC 20000 is, however, a natural progression as it is closely aligned to ITIL.

“It is vital that senior management show commitment to not only the assessment but throughout the entire certification process, and continually emphasise its importance to participating staff and the organisation as a whole.  The effectiveness of the assessment alone will be profoundly affected if top management buy-in is not achieved,” says Butow.

Only a Registered Certification Body (RCB) can conduct the final audit and grant ISO/IEC 20000 certification.  RCB’s are accredited by the itSMF under a scheme delegated by the ISO and cannot be conducted by organisations who provide ISO/IEC 20000 training and/or consulting – effectively maintaining their independence.

“It is important to understand that the ISO/IEC 20000 standard, and the steps an organisation must go through to achieve and maintain certification are stringent.  The standard has been specifically designed in such a way as to ensure that IT Service Management is actually the organisations way of operating and is essentially its lifestyle.

"IT Service Management has to be entrenched within the company and culture of all employees.  Documenting and not holistically practicing ITSM is not an option.  This is why the standard has such prestige and provides certain organisations with distinct competitive advantages,” he adds.