ITSM Guiding Principles & 7 Rs

The Guiding Principles were developed to ensure all design decisions are aligned with our ITSM vision and goals. They are based on ‘Hammer & Champy’ business process re-engineering principles, adapted to McGill’s ITSM context, and are to be used as a framework for decisions both within the context of the ITSM project, and ongoing ITSM operations.

The 7R’s is a checklist of process innovation best practices to ensure processes are designed to be efficient and effective.

ITSM Guiding Principles (based on Hammer & Champy BPR Principles):

  1. Design with ‘service consumer’ usability and transparency in mind
    • Focus on easy access to information, minimal burden on end-user.
  2. Work holistically with a focus on value; organize around the outcome, not the specific task
    • Design top down with the end vision in mind; validate bottom up
    • Manage exceptions as exceptions
    • Challenge our processes against best practices
  3. Those closest to the process should perform the process. Instead of fielding out different types of easily managed work, ownership is given to the people who need the quick outcomes from simple tasks.
  4. The ITSM tool should consolidate information to cut down on redundancies and increase flexibility.
    • Information should be collected once and at the source. Data redundancies (i.e. shadow systems) are erased when processes are connected in a central database.
    • Have the people who produce the information process it as well. This streamlines the outcome of the information gathered into useable data.
  5. Have the decision points controlled and where the work is done. Built-in controls and key performance indicators enable the employees who perform the work to be empowered, so that managers can become supportive rather than directive.
  6. Don’t be afraid of change, but leverage existing best practices (i.e. “don’t fix what’s not broken”) – leverage the 7Rs (working guidelines) at the beginning and end of the process/activity design.



Evaluate processes against guiding principles to ensure the principles have been upheld, during:

  • BNS creation (i.e. ‘which guiding principles does this BNS support’?)
  • Process reviews by Process Facilitator (i.e. BA) during the Design & Construction phase
  • Specs for the next phase of the project
  • Process Manager Peer Reviews

7R ‘Checklist’ for ITSM Process & Activity Design (based on Shapiro’s 7Rs of Process Innovation):

1. Rethink

  • Depending on the context:
    • What is the root cause of the problem?
    • What is the process/activity seeking to accomplish? What is the desired outcome?
  • Has the context of the existing process changed since it was initially designed?
  • Why do it this way? What are the assumptions?
  • Should the process/activity be fixed or eliminated?
  • Is there a completely different way to accomplish this objective?
  • Is there a better, faster, cheaper way to complete the most expensive, slowest, poorest quality steps?
  • (After re-design): has the updated process/activity been validated with the end-users?

2. Reconfigure

  • How can the activity be eliminated?
  • Can we consolidate common activities?
  • Can we reduce reconciliation efforts by putting quality at the source?
  • Can we eliminate handoffs and non-value adding work?
  • How can sharing information with suppliers and clients improve the process/activity?

3. Reassign

  • How can existing activities be moved to a different unit?
  • How can cross-training integrate and compress tasks?

4. Re-sequence

  • How can predicting increase efficiency?
  • How can postponement increase flexibility?
  • How can we minimize the number of interconnections and dependencies?

5. Relocate

  • Can the activity be moved closer to the client or the supplier?
  • Can an activity be moved closer to related activities?

6. Retool

  • How can technology transform the process/activity?
  • How can the activity be automated?
  • How can skill-level changes improve the process/activity?
  • What are the potential impacts on total cost of ownership? Can the value be demonstrated?

7. Reduce

  • How can we reduce (or increase) the activity frequency?
  • How can critical resources be used more effectively?
  • Would less information or controls simplify and improve the process/activity?
  • Would more information enable greater effectiveness?


  • To be employed by Project Team, in the spirit of a ‘checklist’:
    • During the development of the work processes for the remaining ‘to-be processes’
    • At the start of process/activity review or re-design
    • As a final validation after re-designing an activity or a process, prior to implementation
  • To be integrated into the CSI (Continual Service Improvement) process

Comments are closed.

Blog authors are solely responsible for the content of the blogs listed in the directory. Neither the content of these blogs, nor the links to other web sites, are screened, approved, reviewed or endorsed by McGill University. The text and other material on these blogs are the opinion of the specific author and are not statements of advice, opinion, or information of McGill.