Tuesday, December 4, 2007

The Service Strategy Fire Triangle

Credit is given to Accenture in the ITIL v3 Service Strategy volume for defining the three factors that distinguish high performance service providers.

Accenture - and let's face it, as an organization these guys know a thing or two - correctly postulated that most vendors battle for supremacy on a single point of differentiation.

They (Accenture) claim that this is a flawed approach and that to fight the good fight required a balanced approach. They maintain that the three elements required to achieve competitive advantage is via:

1. Market focus and position
Understanding the market space that you are interested in and the subsequent outcomes that customers in that space are seeking.

2. Performance anatomy
A dissection of the service provider to ensure that their cultural beliefs and internal value systems match what they are trying to portray to the outside world.

3. Distinctive capabilities
Quite often a simple approach that is unique is the best solution, although many vendors aim for complex solutions in the hope that this will impress customers or potential customers.

The points that Accenture raise, reminded me of a time in shcool when we learnt about the fire triangle. Take away any element of the triangle (fuel, heat, oxygen) and you will extinguish the fire. The three elements listed above can be thought of in the same way.

Failure to consider all three elements will result in wasted efforts and ultimately poor sales.

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