Who is the audience?

Today someone posed the rather straightforward question of who is the true audience for MOF, and why we'd focus entirely on the IT pro?  That's a very good question and it raises the point that I don't think we've done a good job to date in articulating our views on the target audience.  As we've been defining our requirements for the MOF Update, we've been looking at three core groups as the consumer of our framework:

  • The IT Pro

  • The IT Strategist (or Manager, or Service Manager)

  • The CxO

Now obviously, at this point we're covering a rather broad spectrum of the IT populace and I don't want to suggest that we'll be trying to address each group equally with our deliverables.  Yet there is a reason to address content to each level.  Starting at the bottom and working my way back up, the CxO is important as it's here that we have to show how Microsoft can help them achieve value, increase the value of IT, ROI, governance, etc.  If the CxO isn't bought into the value proposition of the framework as a whole, then it becomes difficult to implement in the organization, due to lack of resources and executive support. 


At the strategist level, we have to demonstrate the overall lifecycle and process flow.  This is the traditional audience, consumer, and champion of IT service management and it's critical that these people believe in and understand both what we're doing and why we're doing it.  They are close enough to the technology to understand the problems and removed enough to see the service as a whole.


Lastly, we come to the IT pro.  Here is where the actual work gets done.  The IT pro is the "doer," the one who performs every action that is described in the processes defined by the framework.  As these are the people who are working hands-on with our technology every day, it should be our company's goal to do everything we can to make their lives’ easier, to reduce complexity and minimize problems.  If the IT pro doesn't understand the why behind the processes they're being asked to implement, if they don't see the value to their day-to-day jobs, then the processes are very likely to fail.

So, if you were to ask today what the breakdown of our deliverables should look like for the above audiences, I might say 10% to the CxO, 40% to the Strategist, and 50% to the IT pro.  But instead, I'd rather ask you.  What do you think of the above?  Are we on track with our thinking about the different audiences that need to be addressed?  If so, what do YOU think the breakdown should be?  Why?  Click on Comments below and let us know your thoughts!


Jason Osborne

Frameworks PM


Comments (5)

  1. jasono says:

    To address some of the comments above….

    Rob: We are including the "implementer" in the IT Strategist, though we have not specifically called out the consultant.  That said, we have not forgotten the consultant in our use case scenarios and recognize that many IT organizations do require outside assistance to be successful in implementing an IT service management framework.  We do plan to address content to the partner, or consultant space.

    Steve: I understand where your concerns are coming from in terms of not wanting to forget the customer, however I disagree that they are a core consumer of the framework.  To use an analogy, if you’re writing a manual on how to rebuild Honda automotive engines, who would you describe as the core consumer for the manual?  Would it be drivers of Honda cars or would it be Honda mechanics?  I view our service management framework similarly.  While our goal is to ensure a better customer experience, we want to write our guidance for the mechanic (the IT department) to enable them to create a better world for their customers and users.

    John: You raise a good point and this is where we’re still trying to figure out who to break down the percentages.  Our feeling is that previously, there hasn’t been much in the way of service management guidance that the "doer" can connect to and as such service management implementations are long, painful projects.  Getting that balance right though, is going to be key.

  2. Robvdb says:


    Your core groups:

    – The IT Pro

    – The IT Strategist (or Manager, or Service Manager)

    – The CxO

    Who is the implementer? In a lot of cases that person will be a consultant in some sort of form. So if you include the consultant role in the ‘IT Strategist’ bullit I do agree, if not I would like to see this as core group of MOF consumer in your model.

  3. Steve McReynolds says:

    I think that we’re missing out the main audience here – the customer! I’ve long held the belief that unless we can make IT more effective and efficient then we’re wasting our time. To me this is a very simple statement, we either do more for the same amount of money or the same for a lesser amount of money.

    All of us know that unless we get the customer on board, as a sponsor, then most IT projects are going to be pulled or fail. So your original groups are fine (IT Pro, IT Strategist and CxO) but don’t forget the customer. IT has to be performed for the business not IT for IT’s sake.

  4. John says:

    Hi Jason,

    The problem with directing our content more heavily towards the "doer" than the strategist is that the "doer" will adopt the content in a piece-meal "what works for me" way. The strategist, backed by the CxO, will implement the end-to-end service management vision. Don’t get my wrong, piece-meal is better than nothing, but I’d like customers to take a holistic view of Service Management.



  5. Wally Eastland says:

    We also need to provide some guidance around how to implement a governance/service management program. Remember, we are talking about organizational change here and a lot of organizations don’t manage organizational culture change well. We should take a page from ISO 20000 and specifically lay out the actions and responsibilities of senior management necessary for success when rolling out a measured and managed governance/service management program.

    Question: When you say CXO, is your thinking that content in this band is consumable and at any C level exec or do you mean just CIO?

    My assumption is that it is the former, but I want make sure this assumption is correct. If we are looking at C level execs, I think we have a lot of opportunity here. Often the long term success or failure of service management in an organization depends on how well the service management champion, usually an IT executive but also maybe the strategist level, can articulate the value and benefit to the overall business of adopting a service management culture. If we had tools and content designed to assist in getting the value proposition across to all C level execs, we could greatly improve the success of building a long term service management culture.

    I agree that we need to make the value of Service Management and Service Management Processes more evident to the IT Pro. We should provide clear, real world examples and easy to implement, quick value added modules that help them see and experience how a well managed and planned service management program can actually help them do their jobs better, more effectively, and more efficiently.

    The result of these enhancements should be that IT Pros find more time in their day and start to step out of the firefighting status most IT shops operate under and find their own ways to drive service improvements. However, 0nce an IT pro sees the value and buys into Service Management, and starts injecting process into their day-to-day activities, they are going to need support and assistance in pushing their new found success  horizontally and vertically throughout their organization. Otherwise, some combination of the following will happen:

    1. Uncoordinated silos of service management may form within an organization. These silos may or may not use complimentary models and may or may not communicate with each other, and there will be some level of service improvement within the sphere of impact of the silos. It will not, however be a consistent, system wide program and is not likely to have nearly the impact a wider reaching, coordinated program would have. Hopefully, there will champion of high enough organizational stature to bring the successes to the attention of upper management but there is no guarantee of that happening.

    2. A single group will implement processes in their space and try to get other groups around them to collaborate in the effort with little or no success. This can create animosity between the groups (the SM group is seen as putting a lot of "red tape" in front of the other groups) and make intergroup relationships worse.

    3. Individuals or a group try to implement service management and fails. They then become bitter and apathetic and service management becomes another failed management "fad".

    This brings me back to the question Jason posed about the mix of focus between the three different groups of stakeholders. My thinking is that the mix should more like this:

    • 20% CXO

    • 40% Strategist

    • 40% IT Pro

    My reasoning for this mix is that it provides enough additional focus to the CXO level to cover the areas I discussed above while not taking too much away from the IT Pro.

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