IT Managed Services Support – Good Governance Elevates Relationships

Handmarc’s services aim to produce better outcomes and improved service delivery in ITSM agreements by building stronger and more productive relationships between IT and its service provider.  The goal for all parties is to provide consumers with either:

  • a superior and improving level of service, or
  • the same service levels at reduced cost. 

Customers benefit from improved services and lower costs that enable them to scale and grow their business.  The benefits to the service provider lie in learning innovative and improved methods that provide better service at lower cost (which, in turn, can be applied to other customers) and improving its prospects for retaining the company as a customer.

Invoice Validation 

Organizations are often uncertain whether they are being charged correctly in their monthly bills for services delivered.

  • Are the right things being measured?
  • Have the right things been included?
  • Have non-chargeable instances been excluded?
  • Is the calculated volume correct for the services actually delivered?

Sometimes doubts arise because the organization has no means of independent verification for a count. But more often it is because a clear repeatable process to validate counts and volumes has not been established, and accountability for performing the work and the associated due dates have not been assigned.  After the intensity of service transition, the pressures of day to day operations set in and can leave little time to attend to these needs. Indeed, the situation may not come to light until exposed by an internal audit.  Handmarc can help you define and establish a comprehensive invoice validation process and monthly operating calendar to provide confidence in monthly billing and the assurances needed to satisfy financial controls


An ITSM contract with a service provider is a long-term partnership:  the quality of the relationship strongly influences whether the provider delivers services at a level of performance that satisfies end consumers and if the organization is able to realize the significant benefits expected of the contract.  A thriving relationship is founded on honest but respectful discourse… which, in turn, is based on objective information and clear responsibilities within a well-defined governance structure.   

Monitoring operational status and identifying which parties are accountable for actions and decisions are fundamental elements of governance, but an effective framework involves more.  Regular review of procedures and infrastructure to ensure service levels can be maintained results in planned capacity increases, periodic technical and architectural refreshes, continual training, and pin-pointing and correcting service failures.  Investigating the causes of failure enables improvements to be made.  Instead of suffering a slow degradation in service, good governance ensures that understanding leads to insight, drives better delivery performance, and fosters innovation that improves services and increases efficiency.  Handmarc assesses your existing governance framework and works with you to strengthen weaknesses and fill gaps.

Service Design and Transition 

Whether a service is outsourced or provided in-house, Handmarc’s Service Design and Transition approach ensures the necessary pieces are in place.  It involves planning the process of launching and operating the service, identifies all preparation activities required, and confirms the capacity exists to successfully operate and maintain the service.  We look beyond factors such as the existence of processes for measurement and calculating charges to whether support is available and if the organization has the ability to identify problems with the service and take corrective actions to prevent recurrence. 

Performance Measurement 

The KPI is green and the net promoter score is high, yet our users are still grumbling about the service!  What’s going on?

It is distressingly common to find organizations that have invested considerable time and effort to define detailed key performance indicators (KPIs).  However, when put into operation many seem to provide results that are at odds with perceptions.   The reason, in part, is because KPIs measure operational factors rather than end user experience.  Handmarc can help you review your KPIs and Critical Service Levels (CSLs) and work with you to refine existing measures to align them more closely with perceived service levels.  We help you to identify the few that reflect end user experience and should therefore be exposed as CSLs and associated with financial incentives.

Informative Reporting 

The dashboard in your car tells you how fast you’re going, how much fuel you have, and alerts you to under-inflated tires or when it is time for a service.  But it generally doesn’t tell you much about the condition of the engine (just the check engine light) or the quality of your driving. 

So it is in IT:  a dashboard can be used to provide a readily accessible and digestible summary of the current state of a service or process, but it is not the tool you would use to diagnose the cause of a problem.  Dashboards and scorecards are most useful when they are focused on informing leaders and revealing current health and trends from past periods.  Our services help you focus on Informative Reporting, separate functional need distinct from equally important reporting for monitoring and diagnosis.


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