Case Study – Successful ISO/IEC 20000 Certification

A Case Study by Mark Sykes, Principal Consultant at Fox IT: ‘Successful ISO/IEC 20000 certification for leading Irish Managed Services provider’.   This shows how Fox IT helped this leading telecoms organisation become certified in their delivery and management of voice, data, mobile solutions and managed services.


This managed services provider (MSP) identified that ISO/IEC 20000 certification would support their future bid activities and provide a differentiator from some of their competitors, as well as enhance their existing and future service delivery capability.

Background and Requirements

The MSP was finding that an increasing number of requests for proposals (RFPs) that they were interested in responding to were mandating that the organisation be ISO/IEC 20000 certified.

Alongside this requirement, an initiative was underway to upgrade their Service Management toolset, but there was a lack of process definitions and supporting documentation with which to ensure that the toolset was aligned to their ISO/IEC 20000 certification requirements and hence make sure that maximum value was derived from their upgrade investment.

Scope and Approach

Fox IT® consultants, with a wealth of experience in ISO/IEC 20000 certification, were engaged to assist the MSP in obtaining certification as part of a wider business transformation programme. Initial activities focussed on two days spent on-site performing a high-level review of their current state in order to develop a roadmap that would support the MSP in implementing and operating a service management system (SMS) that fully supported the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000 certification.

Following this first exercise, Fox IT then undertook a number of key activities as part of that roadmap, which led to the implementation of an efficient and effective SMS:

  • Performing a detailed assessment against all 403 requirements of ISO/IEC 20000 certification to review the current state and to identify all existing non-conformities
  • Developing both a service management system policy and plan
  • Creating separate policies for each individual SMS process
  • Assisting in the creation of a service catalogue upon which the certification scope was to be based
  • Developing a new process for the ‘design and transition of new or changed services’ but which was also to be fully integrated with their existing project management methodology
  • Reviewing and revising all process and procedural documentation
  • Reviewing Stage One audit output and recommending actions to correct identified deficiencies
  • Providing guidance and mentoring to process owners and managers in the implementation of their respective processes
  • Delivering a pre-audit prior to the final certification audit, in order to ensure a high degree of confidence that the MSP would pass the final audit without any issues.

Results and Outputs

The results of the detailed assessment enabled all existing non-conformities to be identified and provided an accurate baseline upon which to measure future progress, as well as supporting the evidentiary requirements of continual improvement activities. Non-conformities were detailed along with specific recommendations for addressing these issues, providing the MSP with a clear understanding of the work required prior to being formally audited.

The Fox IT consultants created the SMS policy and plan, as well as the individual process policies, which significantly accelerated the delivery of these key SMS documents. The consultants also oversaw the development of process and procedural documentation, while encouraging owners and managers to take the initiative and lead the overall direction; a tactic that ensured that the key stakeholder’s maintained ownership, while also meeting all the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000 certification.

A number of existing documents were already in place to support their internal project management methodology and it was important to utilise as much of this material as possible when introducing the ‘design and transition of new or changed services’ process. This material was elaborated on to ensure all specific requirements of the Standard were being met, whilst still providing a level of familiarity to existing users. The process was also integrated into the MSP’s project lifecycle, delivering to the organisation a single end-to-end process – indeed, some elements were found to be beneficial for projects that were outside the scope of the SMS.

Another key output from the overall project to implement a service management system were processes aligned to ITIL®2 whilst at the same time supporting the requirements of ISO/IEC 20000. The MSP saw this programme as an ideal opportunity to introduce best practice based on the latest revision of ITIL and Fox IT provided the appropriate advice and guidance to successfully deliver this.

Value and Benefits

The attainment of ISO/IEC 20000 certification was a crucial factor to the MSP’s ongoing success. It has not only provided the opportunity to submit more responses to RFPs, but being certified has enabled the organisation to clearly demonstrate their capability to provide consistent delivery, service and management of all voice, data, mobile solutions and managed services in their service catalogue.

The processes that have been implemented have also lead to better communication and improved understanding between internal parties and other key stakeholders, directly leading to better control and more efficient delivery of new and changed services.
These benefits have also lead to the scope of IEC/ISO 20000 certification being expanded to other areas of the organisation; so it continues to help them on their transformation journey.

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