..about your job as IT Service Manager

..about your job as IT Service Manager

About that. Your job as an IT Service Manager. Google it. What does an IT Service Manager do? I mean practically. In the office. On a day to day basis? What are you expecting to have to do? What is expected of you? It might not be obvious. I’m not sure it was obvious to me when I first started out.

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Fido, early in his IT Service Management career

If you Google the phrase “IT Service Manager definition”, many different results and specifications are returned. Some talk about managing services throughout the entirety of their life-cycle. Some talk about leading and managing IT teams, spotting issues before they arise. Some talk about process management and governance. I’m not saying any of these definitions are wrong, however, very few are alike.


I work with a number of product managers. They’re not going to be very happy with me when, sorry, if I start setting parameters around the product life-cycle. That’s their job.

Another example is the absolute overuse of “process management” and the acronym “ITIL” in ITSM definitions. It’s entirely possible (some would say encouraged) to be a successful IT Service Manager without using any ITIL processes (sorry ITIL lovers, there’s still gold in them there hills).

It’s very clear that the definition of IT service management means different things to different people. Right? I’ve experienced this first hand. My role has changed hugely since I started out.


The reality is, that as IT Service Manager, we should be whatever customers need us to be. If the business has an issue with incidents as a result of the changes they make, I’ll investigate the change management process, propose changes, and implement those changes. If customers are experiencing poor performance from a service, I’ll run a service improvement project to bring that service up to scratch (and add monitoring always). We solve problems and take responsibility, for our customers, of those problems.

There is no, one definition of what an IT Service Manager does. Or should do. There are common themes, throughout our industry, sure. Conversely, no two companies operate in the same way and you will have to wear many hats.

But in essence, our job can be distilled into some very simple, consumable steps for success, which are applicable to the many.

  • Our job is about protecting customer experience without affecting the delivery of value to our customers
  • Our job is to ensure that systems are in place to identify and prioritise the biggest risks to our services, ensuring those things get prioritised and re-mediated
  • We’re diplomats. Relationships are important. They make difficult conversations easier. Cultivate them, maintain them, try to create win/win situations
  • We’re leaders. Set standards. Make them clear, make them known. Hold people accountable
  • BUT, don’t be too hard on people when things go wrong. Just ensure the business reflects and learns from those mistakes
  • Finally. we’re communicators. Be confident in communicating with the business and your customers. Communicate clearly, communicate often. There is no such thing as over-communication.

Of course. This is my experience. Yours might be different. If that’s the case, email me! I’d love to hear about your experiences.

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