An Introduction to VeriSM

Steve Manjaly August 5, 2022
- 7 min read

VeriSM is one of the latest among the many different ITSM frameworks and approaches for service management. The system realizes that many organizations and departments use various frameworks for managing their IT and business. The approach is not limited to managing just IT but covers all the other aspects of a company, such as finance, HR, marketing, and others. 

In this article, we’ll tackle what VeriSM is and the management mesh, the similarities and differences between VeriSM and ITIL, and the benefits of VeriSM.

Read on to learn more!

What is VeriSM?

VeriSM is a service management approach developed by the International Federation for Digital Competencies (IDFC) in partnership with EXIN, BCS, and APMG. It stands for Value-driven Evolving Responsive Integrated Service Management. The approach was developed in 2017 in collaboration with more than 70 global experts in service management and development methodologies, and was first published the same year. 

The approach isn’t meant to replace the existing practices in an organization but rather augment them. It understands that every organization is different and so are their needs, and allows using elements from other frameworks to get the best results. VeriSM wants teams to use the best tools or frameworks for their needs. 

In this sense, if a team wants DevOps for developers and IT to work hand-in-hand for quick delivery and CI/CD, then go for it. If another team wants Agile, let them use it. Instead of the rules dictating how an organization runs, VeriSM enables it. 

VeriSM also applies the service-oriented procedure commonly to the entire organization. This means that the whole organization is a service provider, and the individual departments are responsible for different services. 

The core of the VeriSM approach is the management mesh. The mesh comprises four elements that influence service delivery and, in some ways, showcase what the service provider has to meet the customer's requirements. 

Based on the customer demand, the management mesh is changed according to the service management principles of every department. And the service management principles are defined by the governance and values of the organization. 

Every service goes through four stages - define, produce, provide, and respond - each of which will depend on the management mesh. 

VeriSM vs. ITIL

ITIL is one of the most popular ITSM frameworks, and when VeriSM was published, many believed that the latter would replace the former. But the VeriSM approach understands that different organizations have different needs, and that a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work. And it encourages organizations and departments to use the frameworks and methodologies including ITIL that work best for them. 

A significant difference between ITIL and VeriSM is that ITIL is very process-centric. ITIL discusses how a specific aspect of ITSM (such as change management and problem management) can be best handled. There’s a lot of discussion on how every process can generate value and be optimized. 

With VeriSM, the focus is on the customer and the customer demand. Customer demand dictates how the management mesh is adjusted and services are delivered. 

There’s also some difference in what ITIL and VeriSM consider a management practice. In ITIL, practices support the value chain activities in creating a value stream. In VeriSM, management practice is any framework such as ITIL or COBIT that organizations can choose to get the job done. 

There are also a lot of similarities between the two. For example, both VeriSM and ITIL have a service-oriented approach. After ITIL V3, the framework starts with service strategy and revolves around continual service improvement. 

While ITIL was initially designed solely for IT departments, many industries outside IT were using a similar approach. And with V3, this was made official, with IT Infrastructure Library becoming just ITIL. The idea is that all the departments in an organization can act as service providers with their service catalogs. This is very similar to the VeriSM concept in which the entire organization is a service provider. 

The benefits of the VeriSM framework

VeriSM framework offers organizations an approach that delivers the best services to the customer without the rigidity of similar other frameworks. It allows and even encourages internal teams to work as individual organizations or service providers with their tools and frameworks. 

But at the same time, it offers a holistic view of the entire organization in creating a service for the customer. VeriSM unites all the different departments and their tools and gives a complete picture of the organization. It is often referred to as a glue that connects the different approaches, frameworks, and tools instead of a brand new ITSM framework that replaces everything else. 

Another benefit is that VeriSM doesn’t want to replace existing frameworks already used in organizations. It can work with ITIL, COBIT, DevOps, Lean, and other methodologies and has drawn from them to create a flexible approach. 

This approach also allows organizations to evolve and adapt continuously. The framework also emphasizes innovation and continuous change driven by consumer needs. 

What is the VeriSM management mesh?

The main components of VeriSM are governance, service management principles, the different stages through which a product moves, and the management mesh. 

The governance aspect covers the goals of the organization or what the organization wants to achieve. The governance drives the service management principles for different departments. These management principles define how various activities will be carried out.  

Every product or service goes through four stages:

  • Define
  • Produce
  • Provide
  • Respond. 

Management mesh is at the core of the VeriSM approach. The management mesh defines everything an organization has to meet a client’s requirements. 

These stages and the VeriSM management mesh depend on each other. In every one of these stages, the organization relies on elements or the four poles of the management mesh. At the same time, these stages change or alter the management mesh as required by the customer needs. 

What are the 4 poles of management mesh?

The four poles of the management mesh are the elements that influence the production and delivery of services. They are Resources, Environment, Management Practices, and Emerging Technologies. You can picture these as the four sides of a mesh with the different strands represented by these poles crisscrossing across the mesh to support the services. 

  1. Resources: They mean the same as in every other context; everything the organization has to fulfill a customer’s requirement. It could be their assets, employees, infrastructure, machinery, etc.

  2. Environment: Factors like competitors, material cost, market situations, regulations, culture, tools, processes, etc.

  3. Management practices: They are all the frameworks and models that the organization may use, such as ITIL, COBIT, DevOps, Lean, ISO 20000, and others.

  4. Emerging technologies: Just about any new technology the service provider can use to improve their services. It could be AI, Cloud, IoT, deep learning, automation, frameworks like Flutter, or any other new technology. 

Final thoughts

In general terms, VeriSM is an ITSM approach that takes the best aspects of ITSM frameworks such as ITIL, COBIT, and methodologies like DevOps, Agile, and Lean — to provide a service-oriented methodology to organizations.

It's in no way a replacement for these other approaches, though. You don't have to abandon your existing frameworks or methodologies in order to implement VeriSM since its goal is to augment them.

At its core, it considers the entire organization as a service provider, keeps the customer at the center, and encourages the organization to adapt its practices according to customer requirements.

In conclusion, the VeriSM approach offers a lot of flexibility to organizations and acts as a glue that brings together the frameworks and tools used in the organization. The flexible system allows organizations to evolve, adapt, and use the best tools. 

Frequently Asked Questions 

What does the name VeriSM stand for? 

VeriSM stands for Value-driven Evolving Responsive Integrated Service Management. 

Who is VeriSM training aimed at? 

VeriSM is aimed at entire organizations and not just IT. The approach brings a unified, integrated approach to service delivery and considers all departments in this process, including finance, HR, marketing, and others. So it can be used by any organization that delivers value to customers. 

Who owns VeriSM? 

VeriSM was developed and owned by International Federation for Digital Competencies.

Does VeriSM replace ITIL?

No. The authors of the approach never intended or aimed to replace ITIL but instead recognized that a single ITSM framework cannot work for everyone. They incorporated the best practices from multiple frameworks, including ITIL, to develop an approach that can use other frameworks or models. 

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