This article applies Steven Alter’s Work Systems method and the emerging Open Group IT4IT Reference Architecture to describe what IT departments do.

“A work system is a system in which human participants and/or machines perform work (processes and activities) using information, technology, and other resources to produce specific products/services for specific internal and/or external customers” – Steven Alter

“The IT Value Chain and IT4IT Reference Architecture are a new foundation on which to base your IT4IT operating model and provide a welcome blueprint for the CIO to accelerate IT’s transition to becoming a service broker to the business” – IT4IT snapshot v1.3, preface

The four major work systems of an IT department

Our starting point is to explore what IT departments do by looking at four major work systems:

  • Strategy to Portfolio (S2P)
  • Requirement to Deploy (R2D)
  • Request to Fulfil (R2F)
  • Detect to Correct (D2C)

The IT4IT reference architecture defines these work systems as “primary Value Streams” that form an “IT Value Chain”. These map to traditional concepts:

  • S2P  ~ Plan
  • R2D ~ Build
  • R2F ~ Deliver
  • D2C ~ Run

For IT services first you plan, then build before you deliver and run.  S2P is ‘upstream’ of R2D which is ‘upstream’ of both R2F and D2C:

  • S2P
    • R2D
      • R2F
      • D2C

There are also feedback loops and inter-relationships between the work systems.

The next section describes each of the four major work systems of an IT department.  A subset of the IT4IT Reference Architecture content is translated into a work system template.

Strategy to Portfolio (S2P)

  • Customers
    • Business leaders
    • Downstream work system participants: Requirement to Deploy (R2D)
  • Products / services
    • An IT portfolio based on business priorities
    • Accurate visibility of business and IT demand
    • Conceptual Service Blueprints
  • Processes and activities
    • Define objectives
    • Align business and IT roadmaps
    • Capture and consolidate demand for IT services
    • Prioritize and forecast investments
    • Shape the IT service portfolio
    • Prepare project proposals
    • Connect IT costs with business value
    • Define standards and policies
    • Establish and maintain Enterprise Architecture
    • Create and validate IT service concepts
  • Participants / roles
    • Business leaders
    • Chief Information Officer (CIO)
    • Chief Technology Officer (CTO)
    • Business / Enterprise / IT / Security Architect
    • Service Portfolio Manager
    • Service Owner
    • Business Relationship Manager
    • IT Manager
    • Project Management Office (PMO)
  • Information
    • Service Architecture
    • Policy
    • Scope Agreement
    • Portfolio Backlog Item
    • Conceptual Service
    • Conceptual Service Blueprint

Requirement to Deploy (R2D)

  • Customers
    • Business sponsors
    • Downstream work system participants: Request to Fulfil (R2F) and Detect to Correct (D2C)
  • Products / services
    • New IT services and enhancements, deployed and available
    • Logical and Physical Service Models
  • Processes and activities
    • Plan and manage projects
    • Define requirements
    • Design services
    • Develop new services / re-use and enhance existing services
    • Source IT solutions and services from vendors / external service providers
    • Integrate components that are required to form a complete solution
    • Schedule and co-ordinate releases
    • Test IT services
    • Identify and resolve defects
    • Deploy services into production
  • Participants / roles
    • IT Project Manager
    • Business Project Manager
    • Project Management Office (PMO)
    • Project / Program Advisory Board or Steering Committee
    • Business Sponsor
    • Business Stakeholder
    • Business Analyst
    • Business Relationship Manager
    • Enterprise / Security Architect
    • Application Designers / Software Architect
    • Infrastructure Designers / Infrastructure Architect
    • Solution Architect
    • Development Manager
    • Developer
    • Infrastructure Manager
    • Infrastructure Lead
    • Build Manager
    • Build Engineer / Build Automation Engineer
    • Test Manager
    • Tester / Test Automation Developer
    • Quality Manager
    • Security Test Specialist
    • Release Manager
    • Change Manager
    • Risk Manager
    • IT Operations Manager
    • Security Operations Center Manager
    • Technical Writer
    • Incident Analyst
  • Information
    • Requirement
    • IT Project
    • Service Design Package
    • Source
    • Defect
    • Test Case
    • Build
    • Release Package
    • Logical Service Blueprint
    • Service Release Package
    • Service Release Blueprint

Request to Fulfil (R2F)

  • Customers
    • Service owners
    • IT service consumers / end users
  • Products / services
    • IT services in use
  • Processes and activities
    • Establish and maintain IT service catalog and IT service offers
    • Publish and promote services
    • Discover, select and subscribe to services (including self-service)
    • Rationalize requests
    • Route fulfilments to responsible providers
    • Execute fulfilment, provision and activate services
    • Manage subscriptions
    • Track and report usage
    • Access and use knowledge base (including self-service)
    • Report service charges
  • Participants / roles
    • IT service consumers / end user
    • Shopping Experience Manager
    • Knowledge Manager
    • Subject Matter Expert / Knowledge Owner
    • Offer Catalog Owner
    • Service Offer Designer
    • Service Catalog Manager
    • Service Owner
    • Service Consumption Manager
    • IT Fulfilment Manager
    • IT Financial Manager
  • Information
    • Service Catalog Entry
    • Offer
    • Shopping Cart
    • User Profile
    • Request
    • Subscription
    • Fulfilment Request
    • Knowledge Item
    • Chargeback Contract
    • Usage Record
    • Desired Service Model

Detect to Correct (D2C)

  • Customers
    • Service owners
    • IT service consumers / end users
  • Products / services
    • IT services in operation
  • Processes and activities
    • Operate and monitor services
    • Detect and respond to events
    • Diagnose and fix operational issues
    • Resolve incidents that impact users and related problems / underlying root causes
    • Control changes
    • Manage service configuration
  • Participants / roles
    • IT Operations Team
    • Security Operations Centre Analyst
    • Event Analyst
    • Incident Analyst
    • Incident Manager
    • Service Desk Agent
    • Problem Analyst
    • Change Requestor
    • Change Manager
    • Change Owner
    • IT Operations Manager
    • Change Advisory Board
    • Configuration Manager
    • Enterprise Security Architect
    • Business Service Owner
  • Information
    • Event
    • Incident
    • Problem / Known Error
    • Service Monitor
    • Run Book
    • Request for Change
    • Actual Service Configuration Items