During the many open USM workshops, we lots of questions about USM. These questions are listed below - with the answers.

Not a difference but rather a relationship: USM offers a systematic approach to realizing an ESM strategy. It answers the question “But how?” by defining the concept and the structure of a link for sustainable supply chains and networks.

It’s not USM versus/against ITIL, COBIT or FitSM, but USM with ITIL, COBIT, FitSM - or any other source of best practice guidance. USM serves as the fundament, the management system that is not described in a practice-based framework like ITIL or one of its alternatives. These best practice frameworks serve a rich source of inspiration about the how: which practices are available out there and which of have proven to be effective? If you consider your organization to be a building, these best practices describe the floors. But we've learned for centuries that you can’t just pile up the floors without having a foundation, a fundament below it.
If you want learn in detail how USM and ITIL relate, you can read “How to make a success of ITIL® 4 with USM”. In short: ITIL is about practices, USM is about principles. The same applies to COBIT, FitSM, or any of the alternatives out there: great additional guidance, but they lack the information on the foundation that can turn the guidance into a success. That's what you need USM for...

Ask yourself: “What is the benefit of having a fundament below the floors of my building?”. Your answer will contain terms like sustainability, efficiency, etc.

But in practice, of course, it is completely illogical not to lay a foundation under your building. And yet we neglect to do so in service management. With USM you can fix that.

First of all: if you find anything that really does the same as USM, please let us know. We can always learn and improve. But we consider USM to be new thinking, based on complexity reduction and systems thinking.
Making the world aware of this is done by means of knowledge exchange: the SURVUZ Foundation delivers a website, regular introduction sessions, articles, etc., and we manage LinkedIN groups with some 250.000 experts that we can send a message now and then. We trust that word-of-mouth will contribute to the spreading of the word. Also, our partners will approach their market sections with their own messages. And we invest in higher public education: we support business schools and universities with free online learning environment.

Once you understand USM, you will find that you will able to deliver much more value to your customer/employer in shorter time, and with a more sustainable effect. You will soon find out that your customer/employer will be very happy and reward you for this value.

It’s not the one or the other, but the one and the other. USM provides the information about the fundament (the principles and the management system) and ITIL, COBIT and other frameworks offer inspiration about possible practices.

Certified USM Coaches will be able to measure the performance of a service organization with the assessment tools in their toolkit. We’re working on a self-assessment that will provide an entry into the idea of assessing your performance.
Beware: if you would assess your organization, you should be very much aware of the reference model (USM) that you’re assessing against. As most organizations abuse the term ‘process’ and have an inconsistent use of the term ‘service’, you should first understand the structure of the management system that you’re assessing against.

USM will do much more than that. On page one, each of those standards refers to the required management system, and then describes a long list or requirements to fulfil. It doesn't say how to set up such a management system, only what you should do with it for that specific standard. The only information ISO offers on management systems is in ISO 9001, which again only describes the requirements for management systems. In that perspective, ISO is a dead-end alley. USM is the missing piece here: USM defines a service management architecture and then specifies how to set up a standard management system. Once you've deployed USM, you'll then see you have already complied with 60-70% of all requirements in each of these ISO standards. The rest of the requirements can then be realized with the USM management system, for a consistent result. It will not only save you huge effort and a lot of money, it will also be enough to do this only once, so you won't have to be afraid of the auditor coming by every one or two years.

First of all, you will need to find a definition that everyone can understand and that is applicable to each and every situation and to each line of business. This is the USM definition of a service: “A service is a supported facility”.

If you translate that to the business of these people, they will soon understand that it actually comes down to two things:

  1. making a facility available in such a way that it adds value to the user
  2. supporting these users during the time they have (agreed) access to that facility

That facility will vary with the line of business and with the organization, but the support is always exactly the same.

All these modes are practices, defined by the People and the Technology component of the management system. The universal USM management system supports all practices with the same service management principles, the same service management architecture, and the same service management processes. USM provides the patterns for all these practices.

For the simple reason that USM is complementary with the popular frameworks and standards. All frameworks and standards are based on practices, while USM is based on principles. USM provides the service management system that can realize all these practices, and even any combination of these practices. USM itself does not provide all the guidance of all these frameworks, and that’s why we still need them – to get inspired by the options we have. But USM then assures that the selected practices are always managed in a systematic way.