Functions

All IT organizations have groupings that are engaged in activities and take decisions at different levels. The aim of The Rational IT Model (TRIM) is not to add groupings, but instead to help to sort out and clarify the purpose of the groupings which already exist. These groups are called functions. The reason for this is so the group is not linked to a part of the organization, but rather a group of employees which takes a specific responsibility for something. A function can be an organizational unit, but is more commonly a virtual group, staffed by employees from different parts of the organization.

The functions in TRIM are:

The IT Steering Group – the highest level within the IT organization, with responsibility for drawing up an IT strategy as well as defining the IT business’s parameters in a service portfolio. The function is staffed with key individuals from the IT organization and can usually be placed on an equal level with the entire or parts of the IT department’s management team. The IT Steering Group’s primary link to the business is the management team. It functions as the highest level for issues that affect several parts within the business besides the IT organization.

Service Management Office – The function is responsible for issues concerning how the IT organization performs its work, as well as for all levels of architecture. The aim of the function is to bring together common structural questions so that all parts of the IT organization work in a similar way and according to the same architecture. If necessary, large IT organizations can divide up the function into one for service management and one for technical architecture.

The function is directly subordinate to the the IT Steering Group and is usually involved in producing data for the majority of strategic decisions. The function is also responsible for drafting the policy documents which are ratified at strategic level and which subsequently govern work within the IT organization.

Customer Management – The function responsible for the delivery of IT services to the business. The aim of the function is to act as the business’s (the customer’s) single point of contact for the IT organization and also to ensure that the IT services supplied correspond with the business’s needs. The function consists of a number of groups which are divided according to business (customer), however for smaller IT organizations one group is usually sufficient.

Delivery Management – the function that is responsible for production of IT services, that everything is documented, that procedures are in place and that processes are followed. The aim of the function is to continually improve efficiency and also to govern and prioritize everyday operations. In a small IT organization Delivery Management can consist of a single group which includes all roles with production responsibility. However, it is more common for the function to consist of several groups divided according to system or technology.

Service Desk – The function responsible for all contact with the users of IT services. The function is the only communication channel to and from the users. Those parts of the ticket management system which are automated in the form of a web portal should be viewed as a part of the function. The aim of Service Desk is to serve the users in the business through processing orders, responding to questions and solve Incidents in the IT environment. If knowledge or procedures are not present within the function, the issue must be escalated according to procedure from the Delivery Management function, however, Service Desk still owns the contact with the user.

Technical Management – Technical Management is responsible for the everyday activities in the IT infrastructure. The function must ensure that all necessary expertise to manage the existing IT infrastructure is available. Technical Management functions acts functional escalation point for issues from Service Desk and also staff projects and activities determined at tactical level.

Application Management – Application Management is responsible for all applications and systems included in the IT environment. In distinction from Technical Management, they are groupings which manage applications that are often dispersed organizationally. Moreover, it is common that this function is managed by one or several suppliers. Application Management acts as functional escalation point for issues from Service Desk, and also staff projects and activities determined at tactical level.

The boundary for responsibility between Technical Management and Application Management is different in different organizations. For example, databases and integration platforms usually belong to the Application Management function, even though they can be viewed as part of the infrastructure. It is not important where the boundary lies, as long as it is clear and well communicated.

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