I am close to setting off for the next international standards meeting to progress the development of the 20000 series. Although Work Group 25 is an established group we are still growing, with more countries joining since the last meeting so new members will be getting up to speed on what we are doing.
We have also reached a major milestone - ISO have published Part 3, the first document in the series to be completed since Parts 1 and 2 were published in December 2005.
Part 3 went to ISO for its final editorial stage in the late summer and progressed very quickly. A few changes had to be made by the ISO editor. Despite all our efforts and frequent use of English language dictionaries we had used some jargon. Only a very little, but it meant changing the title of Part 3.
So used are we all in the service management industry to the idea of “scoping” it got to the ISO editor before it was noticed that “scoping” does not exist as a “real” word. There is nothing like working with an international community to teach you proper English. Oops!
So now Part 3 is “Guidance on scope definition and applicability of ISO/IEC 20000-1”. Part 3 covers the theory of scope definition, applicability and demonstration of conformance for service providers, but it is also useful for even the earliest stages of planning. You can’t plan service management implementation or improvements unless you know the scope of what you are including, basic common sense really. So it’s not just for those that want to agree a scope statement with their assessors.
Fortunately, the ISO editor had no problems with so much of Part 3’s content being scenario based examples – so Part 3 is mainly practical illustrations of defining scope and checking applicability of Part 1 – and so will be much easier to use as a consequence.
And the rest of the editorial changes? There was nothing of any real significance, to the credit of the technical expert who was WG25’s project editor, Anita Myrberg of Sweden. This even included all uses of shall, should, may, and can being correct.
So why is it so important that we have Part 3? As anyone who has tried to define the scope of service management can tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds, even though it’s really important. Most service providers are dependent on a complex supply chain for the delivery of the overall service. Most service providers provide a range of services to several different types of customer. This makes the definition of service management scope a complex stage, where practical examples are important, not just the theory.
It’s now on sale by ISO’s – from their online store.
Other national standards bodies are already planning to publish a national equivalent. Each nationally published ISO document has at its core the ISO text (which cannot be changed) but national bodies may add additional text as a foreword and include additional publications in the Annexes. This allows for references to related publications relevant to at national level that are not allowed at ISO level because all ISO references have to be internationally relevant. I don’t have information on the timetable but several countries also have plans to translate Part 3 into their own language, as they have for Parts 1 and 2.
And finally – although we are currently revising Part 1 this will not affect the advice in Part 3, so Part 3 will remain just as useful even after Part 1 edition 2 is published. This wasn’t easy to achieve but I think will be well worth the extra effort it entailed.
Any feedback and comments are always welcome!