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Universal Service Management: Foundation

The purpose of this course outline is to provide as much detail to you as possible so you can make a meaningful decision about an investment in attending this course.   The same learning modules are included in both the in-person class delivery, and the online virtual class (iClass).

Course Description

This course provides a comprehensive understanding of latest service management thinking, how to apply the methods used by today’s most successful service businesses to design an improved, agile service delivery and support strategy that is customer centric.

The course does this by uniquely combining the original concepts and proven methods of service management as designed by product marketing, with outside-in (customer centric) thinking and performance excellence principles, to demonstrate how to establish a continuous improvement program to pursue operational and service excellence.

The course also explains the latest best practices for service support operating in a social media connected world, and how these can work with a customer engagement strategy to gain real-time insights into customer needs, priorities, and satisfaction levels.

From a pure service management perspective, the course details the elements of a service management system, the key roles and responsibilities within a service organization, and how to identify and avoid the common pitfalls of traditional (IT) service management approaches. It provides often missing ‘how-to’ methods to define problems and their impact on stakeholders, and combines these with CAPA guidelines, and agile thinking, to rapidly translate issues into opportunities for improvement.

Also included in the course are methods to inspect, map and improve the customer experience on a case-by-case basis, how to identify and manage critical ‘moments of truth’ that are the basis for success and value, and how to determine the relationship between these and the internal work effort to target greater efficiencies.

The course also includes guidance on how to approach transform an organization from one focused primarily ion infrastructure (service, process and resources) into one centered on customer outcomes, the customer experience, and levels of customer satisfaction.

Course Objectives

This course has the following learning objectives:

  • To provide individuals working within the service industry with a comprehensive understanding of service management concepts and methods based upon international best practice;
  • To ensure participants understand the origins of service management thinking, the concepts missing from tradition (IT) service management references and approaches;
  • To ensure participants understand why traditional approaches fail, and how to avoid such failures;
  • To ensure individuals understand how to apply service management thinking within a service provider organization to achieve customer centricity and continuously improving performance;

Learning Outcomes (What You Will Learn)

Upon successful completion of this course, attendees will be able to:

  • Think, plan and act ‘customer first’, and select and apply universal service management best practices from the outside-in to manage the customer experience and better focus and target operational improvements;
  • Understand why traditional process improvement, capability maturity led initiatives fail and the key indicators you and your organization might be thinking ‘inside-out’, and the strategies to avoid;
  • Describe the origins of service and service management theory, and communicate what ‘service management’ is to customer communities and stakeholders within an organization;
  • Understand the principles of customer centricity, service experience management, and how to measure and manage customer satisfaction levels;
  • Explain the relationship between customer interactions, moments of truth and the internal work effort of a service provider organization;
  • Describe the purpose of a service management system and its constituent components and the elements of a basic service provision model, and service management framework;
  • Describe the responsibilities of the seven key roles within a service organization;
  • Describe proven techniques for designing, inspecting and improving customer interactions and the service experience, and relate these to drivers of internal work effort and costs;
  • Understand how to establish the organizational roles and functional backbone required to support a service management initiative;
  • Apply outside-in and agile thinking to continuous improvement program designed to enable and support a customer centric service strategy and the pursuit of operational and service excellence;
  • Formulate an approach for immediate used to transform an organization from one focused on managing infrastructure, to delivering true value based upon a combination of a superior service experience, and the achievement of successful customer outcomes.

Intended Audience

This course will significantly benefit service management professionals who need to understand the key concepts and components of a service management system and how to manage customer expectations and their service experiences.

Although universally applicable, this course is suited to service management professionals familiar with the traditional view of IT Service Management, but who require additional information on the elements of a service system, the key roles in a service provider organization, and how to ensure customer centricity. This course is especially important to any individual wishing to differentiate their skills by adding the latest knowledge used by leading service industry organizations. Other audiences include:

  • Any individual wishing to enhance their career by developing knowledge, skills and dispositions necessary for working within the service industry as part of a service provider organization;
  • Any individual interested in, or responsible for, transforming an organization from one focused on infrastructure management, to one focused on customer service, value, experience, and satisfaction levels;
  • Service industry professionals who need to understand the key concepts and components of a service management system and customer focused service management strategy;
  • Service management professionals responsible for the justification, design, development and introduction of a customer focused service management strategy;
  • Any IT Manager interested in becoming more proficient in the concepts and methods of service management;
  • Any Business Manager interested in becoming more proficient in the concepts and methods of service management.
  • Any professional interested in how to apply universal service management and outside-in thinking principles and methods to their organization;
  • Any individual interested in, or responsible for, transforming an organization from one focused on infrastructure management, to one focused on customer service, value, experience, and satisfaction levels, including staff, consultants, or service management professionals interested in programs designed to improve the quality or cost of providing services.

Learning Architecture & Style

This course is designed to support online in person facilitated, online on demand, and in class in person delivery. The in person course delivery involves more direct and personal interaction between the instructor, attendees, and the group at large, operates to a more flexible agenda, and allows for the discussion and review of individual situations.

The classroom version of the course is designed to allow for intermittent and regular instructor led sessions, used to collate student feedback as to course content and progress, and generally respond to student enquiries in a question and answer format.

The online delivery can be as part of a self-paced format, or based upon a series of scheduled modules completed within a set period. The online delivery includes scheduled in-person and live facilitation, with access to recordings on demand. Occasional ‘Town Hall’ sessions may be scheduled to improved groups interaction beyond the collaboration facilities provided through the Service Management University. The course is separated into modules, lessons within modules, and topics within lessons. In general and regardless of delivery method, the course has the following format:

  • All topics are constrained to one concept, artifact, or key term;
  • All lessons are limited to 45 minute duration;
  • All modules offer a response to a key question;
  • The availability of modules through the online service is sequenced based upon a predetermined time schedule;
  • Online session include a brief opportunity for discussion post topic, but use of the online support system and collaboration tools is preferred;
  • In class sessions provide additional time for group discussions and use of the online support system and collaboration tools are optional;
  • If a module is part of the optional examination test is clearly marked and emphasized by the instructor;
  • A ‘Check Your Understanding’ assignment, quiz or test, is offered at the end of every modules, designed to help the attendee self test their understanding and recall of key information discussed during the module.   These are optional.

The course includes and provides a listing of the recommended and optional reading and reference materials.

Lesson Modules (Lessons)

Module 00: Welcome and Introductions

This module introduces the facilitator to the class attendees, the attendees to each other, and to the objectives and scope of content of the class.

  • Welcome and introduction;
  • Introduction to the Universal Service Management Certification Scheme;
  • Course objectives and learning outcomes;
  • Overview of the agenda;
  • The timeline for lessons and study.

Estimated Duration: 15 minutes

Exam Weight: 00%, this lesson is not tested by the examination.

Module 01: The Digital Age and Experiential Economy

What is driving the IT expectations of today’s consumer and business enterprise?

In this module we shall discuss:

  • The Thank You Economy
  • How the impact of technological advances has given rise to the ‘digital age’;
  • The Digital Consumer: Habits and characteristics of the digital consumer;
  • Consumerization of IT: How the shift in corporate enterprise expectations has led to the ‘consumerization of IT (CoIT)’ movement, and changed how IT is acquired, used and disposed of, as well as how the enterprise interacts with an internal source of IT solutions;
  • How CoIT/BYODevice/BYOApp)/BYOCloud is affecting the expectations of the modern enterprise and digital consumer in how they interact with and receive help from an IT organization.
  • The importance of measuring levels of customer satisfaction, and how the ‘satisfaction pyramid’ is driving the consumer demand for the service experience from an internal IT source to be on par with that of an external source;
  • The next wave concept of the ‘Internet of Things (IoT)’.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 2%


We live in the Thank You[1] economy, where the ability to solicit this phrase regularly from customers is the greatest sign of success for a service business and service provider organization.

Today’s digital and mobile consumer requires “access anything, anytime, anyhow” (A4) access to the information they need at work and home.   The advent of mobile devices with almost identical interfaces that work according to the “swipe, swipe, select, submit” (4S) rule, has heightened the expectation for a seamless, low-friction service experience. In many cases our smartphones are now our most trusted personal assistants.

It’s no longer a case of just bring your own device (BYOD). It’s more a matter of bringing or using any device. Whether it’s an app on a phone or a desktop program, the Internet and the Cloud have conspired to turn information technology into invisible technology. The least friction there is between a customer and the desired outcome caused by technology, the better the perceived experience.

It really doesn’t matter how it works, as long as it does. It must work at any time and all the time a customer demands, and does exactly what the customer needs it to do. A customer wants to be able to access information, and do what they need to do as part of their personal or work life, using their device of choice.

This gives a whole new meaning to the phrase popularized by Apple’s Steve Jobs throughout his professional life, “IT JUST WORKS, SEAMLESSLY[2]”.

The outcomes we desire, and the experiences we perceive using products and services whilst interacting with the businesses and organizations providing those services, shapes our view of value, defines our level of satisfaction, and acts as the basis for loyalty and advocacy.

When there’s a question about what something is, an issue of any kind, or a question about how it works and can be used, a service support response is triggered. Some customers are prepared to help themselves, and others prefer the human touch. All of this is driving the expectations of today’s consumer’s and business enterprise.


[1] The Thank You Economy, by Gary Vaynerchuk

[2] “It just works, seamlessly”, Steve Jobs

Module 02: The Management Imperatives

What are the Business and IT Management Imperatives for Success?

This module discusses the above business and IT management imperatives, and others that collectively form the basis for applying service management thinking to design service strategies compatible with the needs of a modern enterprise and the digital consumer.  The topics include:

  • What is an imperative?
  • The business imperatives of an IT organization
  • The IT management imperatives

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%


A business or IT management imperative is something that is absolutely necessary or crucial to the success of the organization, typically stated as a goal.   The corporate enterprise can view IT as a “value added tax” for doing business.   Consequently, business management imperatives of IT might include:

  • Cost competitive IT, offered with optional levels of service, available and consumed on demand;
  • Faster time-to-market for technology solutions and a continuous cycle of innovation and delivery synchronized with business needs;
  • A service experience on par with non-IT service providers;

Industry analysts are warning IT organizations must evolve from a “process” orientation to one focused on business outcomes. They add this will demand a fundamental rethinking of IT’s mission, operating doctrines, organizational culture, and measures of success.

In response many IT organizations are aspiring to transform their operational practices and organizational culture to be that of a ‘service provider organization’, acting as the preferred broker, innovator and integrator of customer centric information technology solutions – ‘IT services’. The IT industry is coalescing around the term “IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS)” to describe the characteristics of a successful strategy. Consequently, the IT management imperatives might include:

  • To be a customer centric organization operating as the preferred and trusted provider of IT services to the enterprise and internal IT functions;
  • To provide IT services at a cost and service experience on par with and comparable with open market alternatives;
  • To be motivated, rewarded, and performance managed as a service provider organization, responding to customer needs in real-time with agility, and recognizing the implied responsibilities of service broker, innovator, and integrator;


Module 03: The Traditional IT Approach – IT Service Management

To what extent do traditional IT Service Management strategies succeed in addressing these management imperatives?  What are the most common mistakes and how can they be avoided?

The term IT Service Management (ITSM) emerged in the 1990s as the ‘go to’ strategy for many IT organizations in their desire to address the management imperatives as they were then, and today. Traditionally, an ITSM strategy is grounded in a gradual and continuous improvement in the maturity of internal processes, with the hope this leads to better quality ‘service’.

Traditional ITSM strategies are resource intensive, complex, lengthy, and typically based upon the application of one rigid set of practices or process ‘best practice’ framework to all customer situations.

The education programs associated with the sources of best practice lack updates to reflect the needs of the digital age, respect for the service experience, and agile methods, and consequently do not work for a contemporary business enterprise. In this module we shall discuss:

  • The origins and scope of IT’s traditional response – IT Service Management;
  • Why traditional ITSM strategies fail (especially those based on capability maturity and process improvement);
  • What key concepts and terms are missing from the traditional ITSM lexicon;
  • The most common mistakes in applying ITSM thinking, and how to avoid them;
  • How to position and exploit popular sources of IT industry best practices, improvement methods, and standard specifications, including: DevOps, ITIL®, COBIT®, ISO/IEC 20000, and Lean IT.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 5%

Module 04: Introduction to the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge

This module discusses the concepts of a body of knowledge and best practices. Specific topics include:

  • What is a Body of Knowledge?
  • Introduction to the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge;
  • Deciphering the ‘best practice’ concept;
  • The practice lifecycle.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%

Module 05: Service Management Related Knowledge Areas

This module discusses a number of generally recognized and peripheral ‘areas of expertise’ useful in ensuring successful service management strategy and operation.  Specific topics include:

  • The Baldrige Performance Excellence Framework;
  • Knowledge of Leadership, Operations Management, and Quality Management Skills;
  • Knowledge of Product Management, Performance measurement, Analysis and Improvement Skills;
  • Knowledge of Your Service Industry;
  • Knowledge of the Applicable Environment;
  • Knowledge of Governance, Risk and Compliance;
  • Knowledge of International and National Standards;
  • Knowledge of Related Bodies of Knowledge;
  • Knowledge of Program and Project Management Frameworks;

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 2%

Module 06: Principles of Service Management

What is service management? What are its origins, principles, key concepts, and value proposition;

This module provides a definition for service management that spans all service industries and traces its origins, historical journey, principles, as well as exploring its key concepts and beneficial value. Specific topics include:

  • What is service management?
  • Origins of service management in product marketing;
  • Service management historical timeline, pioneers, and significant references and publications;
  • The consumer – a definition;
  • The provider – a definition;
  • Common characteristics of a service;
  • The Goods-Service Continuum;
  • The humble coffee bean – a metaphor for the service experiential economy;
  • Transaction-based services;
  • What is universal service management?
  • Customer centric product management;
  • What is customer satisfaction?
  • The alignment models: (Enterprise, Customer and Service);
  • Hidden cost of quality – service support;
  • The service ecosystem;
  • The elements of a successful service management program;
  • Golden rules for service management.
  • The value proposition and benefits of a applying service management thinking.

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Weight: 15%

Module 07: The Service Management Manifesto™

This module discusses the Service Management Manifesto™, a companion description of the rights and responsibilities of actors in the service experiential economy. Specific topics include:

  • The concept of a manifesto;
  • What is the service management manifesto?
  • The origins of the manifesto and driving belief for its need;
  • The five perspectives:
    • Consumer, Provider, Third-party or supplier;
    • Industry professional and Trade association;
  • Guiding principles:
    • Rights and Responsibilities;
    • Template for defining additional principles.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%

Module 08: The Service Management Reference Model

The USMBOK Reference Model provides a user selectable and configurable view into 72 topical areas arranged by learning paths – ‘threads’. This module discusses the scope and use of the Model in general, and as the basis for assessing current service management capabilities, and includes:

  • Orientation: Threads and Topical Areas;
  • Universal Service Management
  • Outside-In Thinking
  • Strategy Generation
  • Performance Management
  • Continuous Improvement
  • Organization Management
  • Infrastructure Management
  • Universal Lean Thinking;
  • Universal Agile Thinking;
  • Using the Reference Model and Operational Model concepts within audits and assessments of service management capabilities.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%

Module 09: The Magic Number ‘42’

The ‘Magic Number 42’ concept is a fundamental concept of universal service management, representing the 4Es and 2 vital service equations at play in every service encounter, and at the core of a successful service management approach. A combination of successful outcomes, the 4Es, and the resources consumed by all involved drives levels of satisfaction – represented by the ‘satisfaction pyramid’ in the USMBOK. This topics discussed in this module include:

  • The satisfaction pyramid (what drives levels of satisfaction);
  • The 4Es:
    • 1E – Expectation;
    • 2E – Encounter (the service encounter, touchpoints, consumer interaction, moments of truth, moment of need, zero moment of truth);
    • 3E – Experience (the service experience, the experience lifecycle, elements of a service experience, the experience equation);
    • 4E – Emotions (the emotional genie)
  • The 2 vital service equations:
    • The value equation;
    • The expectation equation;
  • Zone of tolerance.

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

Exam Weight: 5%

Module 10: Outside-In Thinking

How do I ensure customer centricity and relevance?

Outside-In (OI) thinking is a philosophy and management approach created by product marketers for looking at your products and organizational performance from the perspective of someone else, typically the consumer, and placing their interests ahead of existing capabilities. Service businesses use OI thinking to achieve customer centricity based success, satisfying their customers efficiently and consistently through strategies of continuous engagement, expectation setting, and delivering a combination of superior service experiences and successful outcomes. Specific topics include:

  • The origins, principles, and key concepts of outside-in thinking;
  • Natural tendency and consequential issues for organizations thinking ‘inside-out’;
  • Key indicators of inside-out or infrastructure centric thinking;
  • The Outside-In, Inside-Out (OI-IO) Continuum;
  • Customer centricity – defined;
  • The key concepts of:
    • Consumer scenario, customer engagement, expectation management,
    • Experience management, successful customer outcomes;
    • Golden circle, service safari, shadowing, mystery shopper, undercover boss,
    • What our customers are saying (WOCAS), word-of-mouth, SCO maps, stickiness,
    • Journeys, encounters, episodes, personas, and stories.
  • Checklist – how customer centric is your organization?
  • The relationship between outside-in thinking and service experience design;

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

Exam Weight: 5%

Module 11: The Service Management Framework

Adapted from various research papers, and more recently reinforced by a paper authored by Frances Frei, and published in the Harvard Business Review entitled “The Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right”, the USMBOK’s service management framework provides six key operational elements for successful order-fulfillment. Specific topics discussed include:

  • “Four Things a Service Business Must Get Right”;
  • Elements of the Service Management Framework:
    • The Service Product (the offer);
    • The Service Management System;
    • The Service Provider Organization;
    • The Workforce Management System;
    • The Consumer Management System;
    • The Performance Excellence System;
  • The Service Management Framework in Action;
  • The Service Management Decision-Making Framework.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 2%

Module 12: The Service Product

This module discusses the first key operational element of the service management framework – the service product or offering. Specific topics include:

  • The service product;
  • Mandatory and optional components of a service product design;
    • Core benefit; basic, expected, augmented and potential product;
  • Bundling and unbundling the service product (packaging);
  • Relationship to the consumer scenario;
  • Relationship to successful customer outcomes;
  • Positioning;
  • Positioning statement;
  • Perceptual map.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%

Module 13: The Service Management System

What are the critical components of a service management system?

This module discusses the next operational element of the service management framework – the service management system, its component parts, key concepts, and artifacts. Specific topics include:

  • Service management system elements;
  • The business planning framework;
  • The performance management framework;
  • Service planning process;
  • The service management plan, customer service plan, service fulfillment plan, and service plan;
  • The service portfolio;
  • The service portal and its design elements;
  • The service catalog and service request catalog;
  • The service request management system;
  • The service calendar, service priority scheme;
  • Lifecycle concepts, the service lifecycle;
  • Key inputs to the service lifecycle;
  • The fifteen stages of the service lifecycle;
  • The service lifecycle – critical artifact path.

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Weight: 10%

Module 14: The Supporting Lifecycles

This module discusses the supporting lifecycles that can optionally engage to assist the progress of a service request through the service management system, and particularly the service lifecycle. Specific topics include:

  • Service requirement lifecycle – translating a need into a service level objective;
  • Service request lifecycle:
  • Service provision lifecycle;
  • Service operations lifecycle;
  • Service event lifecycle;
  • Service support lifecycle;
  • Service revision lifecycle;
  • Service release lifecycle;
  • Service asset lifecycle;
  • Service change lifecycle.

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Weight: 5%

Module 15: The Service Provider Organization

What are the key organizational roles and responsibilities?

This module discusses the next operational element of the service management framework – the service provider organization, as well as the general service management functional backbone. Specific topics include:

  • The concept of a service provider organization and role as;
    • Service broker, service innovator, and service integrator
  • The service management functional backbone and roles and responsibilities of:
    • Leadership;
    • Advisory Board;
    • Service Management Office;
    • Service Owner;
    • The Customer;
    • Service Manager;
    • Process Owner;
    • Process Manager.
  • Adopting a customer centric culture;
  • A service organization’s ‘Line of Visibility’;
  • The role continuum and role taxonomy;
  • Service Delivery Models
    • What is service delivery;
    • Types of service delivery models: Generic, Specialized, Personalized;
    • Relationship with the service portal, service portfolio, and service lifecycle;
  • Service Support Models
    • What is service support;
    • Types of service support models;

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Weight: 10%

Module 16: Service Management Knowledge Domains (Roles) and Knowledge Areas (Competencies)

This module discusses the knowledge domains (representing key roles within a service provider organization), and the knowledge areas (the competencies or skills within each knowledge domain), and including:

  • Service Customer Management
    • Governance and Regulations Management
    • Customer Portfolio Management
    • Customer Relationship Management
    • Customer Continuity Management
    • Customer Risk Management
    • Customer Requirement Management
  • Service Fulfillment Management
    • Service Marketing
    • Service Planning
    • Service Provision Management
    • Provider Relationship Management
    • Service Request Management
      • Common characteristics of a ‘request’
      • Service request types
      • Common problems managing requests
      • Key concepts of service request management
      • Service request pathway
      • Key elements of a service request system
    • Service Opportunity Management
      • The benefit statement
      • The opportunity statement
    • Service Quality Management
      • Service Quality Planning
      • Service Excellence
      • Service Lifecycle Management
      • Capability Management
      • Performance Management
      • Audit and Assessment Management
    • Service Delivery Management
      • Service Level Management
      • Service Asset Management
      • Service Security Management
      • Service Capacity Management
      • Service Continuity Management
      • Service Availability Management
      • Service Operations Management
        • Service Support Management
          • Complaints and compliments
          • Pillars of Support
          • Service recovery paradox
          • Service recovery program
          • Service recovery program operation
          • Service recovery program – an example
          • Managing the support experience;
          • The support experience lifecycle;
          • Checklist for an enhanced support experience;
          • Role in soliciting and capturing feedback;
        • Operations Level Management
        • Service Supplier Management
        • Service Incident Management
        • Service Problem Management
          • The PIBO Model (problem, impact, benefit, opportunity)
          • The problem statement
          • Example problem statement
        • Service Impact Management
          • The impact statement
          • Example impact statement
      • Service Infrastructure Management
        • Service Facilities Management
        • Service Application Management
        • Service Systems Management
        • Service Configuration Management
        • Service Change Management
        • Service Release Management
      • Service Value Management
        • Financial Management of Services
        • Service Value Mapping
        • Service Lean Thinking
        • Service Knowledge Management

      Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

      Exam Weight: 5%

Module 17: The Workforce Management System

How do I transform organizational attitude, behavior and culture?

This module discusses the next operational element of the service management framework – the workforce management system, its component parts, key concepts, and artifacts. Specific topics include:

  • Workforce management;
  • Compensation;
  • Benefits;
  • Recruitment;
  • Talent Management, including rewards management;
  • Workplace culture;
  • Career development and training;

Estimated Duration: 20 minutes

Exam Weight: 2%

Module 18: The Consumer Management System

This module discusses the next operational element of the service management framework – the consumer management system, its component parts, key concepts, and artifacts. Specific topics include:

  • Consumer management;
  • Elements of a consumer management system;
  • Consumer journey catalog;
  • Common types of decision-makers;
  • Consumer engagement strategy;
  • Consumer communication plan;
  • Consumer feedback system and methods;
  • Consumer analytics, text analytics, insights and foresights.

Estimated Duration: 30 minutes

Exam Weight: 3%

Module 19: The Performance Excellence System

How do I transform organizational attitude, behavior and culture?

This module discusses the final operational element of the service management framework – the performance excellence system. Specific topics include:

  • Performance Management and performance excellence principles;
  • Relationship to management imperatives;
  • The 30-60-90 rule;
  • Right thing, done right matrix;
  • Principles of service excellence;
  • Principles of operational excellence;
  • Performance management framework;
  • The origins and principles of continuous improvement;
  • The continuous improvement system, its elements and general operational concepts;Gap analysis – using the operational and reference models concept;
  • Operational surveillance;
  • Relationship to audit and assessment;
  • CAPA guidelines and CAPA/AAFA requests as inputs to continuous improvement;
  • Issues management and the PIBO (Problem-Impact-Benefit-Opportunity) Model;
  • Balanced scorecards and dashboards.
  • Stakeholder voting;
  • relationship to opportunity management;
  • Opportunities to improve as inputs to change and release management;
  • Integration of the continuous improvement system with:
    • Universal Lean and Universal Agile Thinking;
    • Consumer and workforce engagement strategies;
    • Communications management and planning.

Estimated Duration: 90 minutes

Exam Weight: 10%

Module 20: Applying an Outside-In Service Management Approach to Continuously Improve Performance

What is the most successful approach, where to start and how to adjust an existing initiative?

This module provides an overview of a six-step method to apply outside-in thinking as part of a service management initiative. Specific topics include:

  • The objective: pursuit of ‘CASA’ – Centricity, Accountability, Synchronicity, and Agility;
  • The service request and scenario action plan approach;
  • The six steps of a program designed to continuously improve performance;
  1. Think, Plan and Act Outside-In
  2. Live the Service Experience
  3. Know Customer Satisfaction
  4. Align Supporting Processes
  5. Transform Organizational Culture
  6. Continuously Improve Performance
  • Using a phased approach:
    • The enable phase
    • The target phase
    • The improvement phase
  • Translating theory into practice
    • Selecting a target scenario
    • Defining a hypothesis
    • Applying front or back stage lens
    • Applying the theoretical model
    • Recording observations using the Reference Model concept
    • Defining the initial problem statement and stakeholder impact statements
    • Defining an opportunity to improve statement
  • How to integrate into an existing initiative, program or project.

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

Exam Weight: 0%

Module 21: The Service Management Town Hall

Using the format of a town hall meeting, prospective, past and present attendees of this course are invited to take part in an informal discussion of five key questions. Presented in the style of a rhetorical question and supported by a brief primer of information, questions voted as those of the most interest to the participants, and experiences applying service management thinking, are discussed by the group.

Estimated Duration: 45 minutes

Exam Weight: 0%

Course Materials

Authorized participants of this course receive:

  • Access to a complete program of in-person, live sessions;
  • A one-year subscription to the recorded digital version of the course, available on-demand;
  • 45 days priority support through a dedicated online mentoring and support service;

Access to any of the live scheduled Service Management Town Hall events.

Feedback and Customer Support

Feedback and Customer Support

Any comments, suggestions on how to improve the readability, accuracy, comprehension and general use of this document should be sent to: Ian M. Clayton, The USMBOK includes a complimentary Internet-based support service to help professionals and practitioners apply concepts and methods described within the USMBOK, and to collect and publish feedback and responses to questions. The support website address is:

Additional Information

Please visit the Service Management University website for additional information on this course and other related learning programs. You can also register there directly for any course: The international best practice website address is: The main website for the USMBOK is:

Prerequisites and Contact Hours


  • None

Contact Hours

  • This course requires twenty two (22) contact hours using a classroom delivery method, or sixteen hours via web based facilitation, including self-study.
Related Courses
  • Service Experience Design 101
  • Service Incident Management 102 – Practitioner Class
  • Service Problem Management 102 – Practitioner Class
  • Service Change Management 102 – Practitioner Class
  • Service Configuration Management 102 – Practitioner Class
  • Outside-In Thinking Fundamentals;
  • Continuous Improvement Fundamentals.
  • Primary
    • The A4 (anytime, anywhere, anydevice, anyreason) USMBOK Foundation Reference subscription service for Internet, iPad and Android access
    • On-demand replay of all live content
    • The Guide to the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (USMBOK™), Ian M. Clayton
About the USMBOK

The primary reference for this course is the Universal Service Management Body of Knowledge (USMBOK™), a comprehensive reference of service management concepts and methods for professionals working in service provider organizations or service businesses. The USMBOK helps professionals design and apply customer-centric strategies and practices, in pursuit of customer satisfaction, based upon a combination of successful customer outcomes, a satisfactory service experience, and cost competitiveness.

The USMBOK is a member of the International Best Practice Library alongside ITIL® and the Project Management Body of Knowledge (PMBOK®)

The USMBOK defines service management as, “a philosophy and management approach used by a service business or service provider organization to successfully deliver and support services based upon levels of customer satisfaction, the achievement of desired outcomes, and the customer perception of having received an acceptable or superior service experience.”.  IT Service Management (ITSM) is defined as, “the application of service management thinking to an IT organization performance managed as a service provider”.

This course is developed to ensure compatibility with the guidelines within the USMBOK™, as well as respecting and where appropriate being compatible with other popular, recognized sources of industry ‘best practices’, including the Control Objectives for Information and related Technology (COBIT®), the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®), and the Microsoft Operations Framework (MOF®).

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