Head of IT Service Management


A head of IT service management is responsible for setting the vision and strategy for service management, ensuring processes are owned and maturing.

At this role level, you will:

  • lead a team, ensuring adequate resources and capacity

  • represent the IT service management function at a senior level

  • act as an escalation point for business stakeholders

  • evidence specialist knowledge of various methodologies used to manage IT and Digital services and an ability to tailor methodologies and management practices

  • display a broad knowledge of techniques and approaches that can be used to deliver value, such as Agile, DevOps and Lean

  • have a broad understanding of managing products and services across the lifecycle

  • maintain an extensive knowledge of evolving and emerging technologies used to deliver IT and Digital Services and ability to adapt management practices to those emerging technologies.


Background Components

Description Background

Has a deep understanding of the concepts and practices of human resources and people management. Understands processes and procedures of performance management and how they support the achievement of strategic organisational objectives. Demonstrates a responsible and disciplined approach under pressure and at times of significant change. Has excellent and developed communication and negotiation skills. Understands the legal and best practice requirements of human resource development and management. Has a positive attitude towards diversity principles.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Has wide and detailed IT knowledge. Demonstrates up-to-date knowledge of the organisation’s policy framework, organisational relationships, business processes, procedures for service delivery, reporting procedures, and existing and planned information systems and services. Displays a comprehensive understanding of the commercial and other needs and objectives of the users of the services provided. Displays good interpersonal skills at all levels of contact and in a wide variety of situations. Demonstrates the ability to make, and take responsibility for, sound and far-reaching decisions on service level management and related service management process issues.

Prior Knowledge and Skills

Work Activity Components

Title Details

Implementation and controls

Ensures implementation of information, and records management policies and standard practice, ensuring that information is protected, available and accessible, and can be retrieved as required. Complies with all relevant information and data security policies and procedures.


Takes management responsibility for an area or complete function within IT, where the measure of success depends on achieving business goals, performance targets and agreed service levels as well as on the successful technical implementation or use of information systems.

Working practices

Develops new methods and organisational capabilities (including automation) for the management of systems and services.

Service operation

Plans and manages implementation of processes and procedures, tools and techniques for continuous monitoring and managing the performance of any automated systems and services, in respect of their contribution to business performance and benefits to the business, where the measure of success depends on achieving clearly stated business/ financial goals and performance targets.

Operational performance

Monitors performance and takes corrective action where necessary and in line with policies.

Lead, manage and supervise

Leads, supports and guides the work of senior staff, including allocation, to senior individuals, of management and supervisory responsibilities.

Probationary period and contract

Defines and manages probationary periods for senior staff, setting out the requirements of the job, monitoring progress (e.g., regular interviews) and reacting to variances from expectations, organising training and development as required within appropriate timescales.

Work allocation, support and delegation

Initiates strategic work packages and aligns these with the skills and abilities of senior staff teams. Supports senior staff in the delivery of high impact work packages. Determines and delegates work to individuals and teams, taking full account of skills and capabilities. Influences senior staff teams and is sensitive towards team dynamics.

Guidance, performance and feedback

Optimises performance of senior staff, measuring and reporting on performance against agreed high level strategy and key performance indicators. Collects data on the performance of senior staff. Gives regular feedback to senior teams as to their contribution towards organisational performance and strategy.

Formal appraisals

Conducts formal appraisals of the performance of senior staff. Facilitates a dialogue with senior staff about expectations, progress, performance and development needs. Leads on formal processes such as compensation negotiations, grievance procedures, and disciplinary

Empowerment and role model

Facilitates effective working relationships within and between senior staff. Motivates, engages with, influences and empowers senior staff. Acts as a role model for senior staff and staff at all levels across the organisation, setting a high standard, acting professionally at all times and working to the highest levels of conduct and ethics.

Team dynamics

Champions the importance of skill mix and the understanding of team dynamics to successful team creation, development, operations, and delivery.

Career paths and mentoring

Mentors and influences senior individuals in consideration of their career opportunities and contribution to the organisation talent pool. Advises on their career paths and encourages pro- active development of skills and capabilities.

People processes

Participates, as appropriate, in formal processes such as compensation negotiations and disciplinary procedures.

Transformation and change

Leads the organisation during times of change, aligning change programmes with the skills and capabilities of key senior staff. Support senior staff, through difficult and challenging change programmes.

Service level monitoring and reporting

Ensures that service delivery is monitored effectively. Reviews service delivery to ensure that agreed targets are met.

Customer relationships and negotiations

Develops effective relationships with customers. Negotiates with relevant parties in respect of disruptions and major amendments to the provision of services. Ensures that service level requirements are determined and that service level agreements, contracts and negotiations with customers and underpinning parties are agreed.

Customer service assessment

Works with customers to establish a qualitative assessment of the service provision, from the customers’ perspective, and initiates actions for improvement where appropriate.

Service level agreement maintenance

Prepares proposals to meet forecast changes in the levels or types of services. Negotiates with relevant parties in respect of disruptions and major amendments to the provision of services.

Operational management

Ensures that operational methods, procedures, facilities and tools are established, reviewed and maintained.


Knowledge/Skills Components

Title Depth Details Type

Decision Making

Making decisions at the appropriate time, taking into account the needs of the situation, priorities, constraints, known risks, and the availability of necessary information and resources.

Behavioural Skills

Commercial Orientation

Understanding commercial considerations and ensuring alignment with them when making decisions or recommending actions.

Behavioural Skills

Organisational Awareness

Understanding the hierarchy and culture of own, customer, supplier and partner organisations and being able to identify the decision makers and influencers.

Behavioural Skills

Cross-Functional and Inter-Disciplinary Awareness

Understanding the needs, objectives and constraints of those in other disciplines and functions.

Behavioural Skills

Interacting with People

Establishing relationships, contributing to an open culture and maintaining contacts with people from a variety of backgrounds and disciplines. Effective, approachable and sensitive communicator in different communities and cultures. Ability to adapt style and approach to meet the needs of different audiences.

Behavioural Skills

Influence, Persuasion and Personal Impact

Conveying a level of confidence and professionalism when engaging with stakeholders, influencing positively and persuading others to take a specific course of action when not in a position of authority.

Behavioural Skills


Working collaboratively with others to achieve a common goal.



Clearly articulating goals and objectives and motivating and leading others towards their achievement.

Behavioural Skills

Providing Direction

Directing others to undertake specified tasks within a defined timescale.



Delegating tasks, responsibilities and authorities effectively.


Follow-up and Monitoring

Checking progress against targets, taking action to resolve exceptions/ issues and reporting and escalating where necessary.

Behavioural Skills

National/International Standards

Proficient in

Current and emerging standards associated with IT practice nationally and internationally, published by authorities such as IEEE, IEC, BSI, ISO.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Corporate, Industry and Professional Standards

Proficient in

Applying standards, practices, codes, and assessment and certification programmes relevant to the IT industry, and the specific organisation or business domain.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Business Continuity Planning

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for risk assessment, business impact analysis, establishment of countermeasures and contingency arrangements relating to the serious disruption of IT services.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Business Environment

Proficient in

The business environment relating to own sphere of work (own organisation and/or closely associated organisations, such as customers, suppliers, partners and competitors), in particular those aspects of the business that the specialism is to support (i.e. localised organisational awareness from a technical perspective).

Technical Knowledge and Skills

IT Environment

Proficient in

The IT environment relating to own sphere of work (own organisation and/or closely associated organisations, such as customers, suppliers, partners), in particular own organisation’s technical platforms and those that interface to them through the specialism, including those in closely related organisations.

Technical Knowledge and Skills

Value Chain Concepts

Proficient in

Identification and representation of the primary and support activities required to deliver a product or service in order to analyse aspects such as inefficiencies and costs.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Presentation Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for delivering effective and accessible presentations, either face-to-face or online within various contexts and to a variety of audiences.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Appraisal Techniques

Expert in

Methods and techniques for appraising an individual’s performance and potential.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Operations Management

Proficient in

Methods, techniques and tools for planning, organising, resourcing, directing, co- ordinating and monitoring ongoing (non-project) activities.

Other Knowledge and Skills


Proficient in

Principles, methods, techniques and tools for the preparation and monitoring of budgets to manage costs and ensure cost-effectiveness and value for money.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Risk Management

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for the assessment and management of business risk including safety-related risk.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Techniques for Effective Meetings

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for running effective meetings and for understanding and influencing the roles played by participants.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Coaching Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques for coaching individuals or groups by a balanced combination of support and direction, including use of virtual learning environments plus add-ons to augment feedback specific to work items, workflow or career plans.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Project Planning and Control Techniques

Proficient in

Methods and techniques associated with planning and monitoring progress of projects.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Own Organisation’s Learning and Development Procedures

Proficient in

The procedures used within own organisation for staff learning and development.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Resource Allocation

Proficient in

The effective and efficient routine deployment of resources, (but also including reassessment and reallocation in a dynamic multi-project environment), to achieve optimum results.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Service Delivery Economics

Proficient in

The economics of service delivery, such as the cost per service line in terms of hardware, software, and manpower used to deliver the service.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Service Level Agreements

Expert in

The purpose and composition of a service level agreement (SLA); the relationship between an SLA, an OLA (Operational Level Agreement) and an underpinning contract for the supply of services.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Financial Management

Proficient in

Knowledge of Financial Management and Management Accounting. Competent management of costs, budgets and cash flow.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Performance Monitoring

Expert in

Identifying, agreeing and monitoring (usually by face-to-face interviews) objectives and deliverables with individuals. Identifying under-performance issues against agreed quality standards and performance criteria. Identifying gaps in capability and causes, disciplinary or ability-related (needing assistance, training or other support).

Other Knowledge and Skills

Disciplinary Issues and Procedures

Proficient in

Managing episodes of unsatisfactory behaviour or performance in accordance with appropriate policies and legislative conformance. Includes changes to circumstances, such as sickness, disability and other personal issues.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Team Dynamics

Proficient in

Knowledge and understanding of the psychological and environmental forces that influence the direction of team behavior and performance and the tools and techniques to improve team cohesion and performance.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Information Assurance

Proficient in

Information assurance methods, tools and techniques (including the Caldicott Principles) used to protect the integrity, availability, authenticity, non-repudiation and confidentiality of user data and manage the risks related to the use, processing, storage, and transmission of information.

Other Knowledge and Skills

Training Activities

Training Components

Title Details

Service Delivery

The service delivery processes: the systems, products, services, hardware and software environment.

Stakeholder Relationship Management

Negotiation, presentation and engagement skills to adapt and address the needs of different stakeholders to develop and maintain strong stakeholder relationships.

Strategic Planning for Information and Communications Systems

The process of defining the ICT strategic plan of an organisation in a methodical way based on business aims and objectives thereby enabling the specification of options and associated action plans for the use of IT-enabled business processes.

Advanced Techniques for Business Process Improvement

More complex tools and techniques associated with the analysis, modelling and streamlining of business processes.

Contract Negotiation

Methods and techniques for negotiating contracts for the supply of IT-enabled products, services and contract personnel.

Human Resource Planning

Techniques and practices involved in planning the numbers and types of personnel needed over time by a particular skillset, department or function within an organisation.

Career/Talent Development Methods and Tools

The background, purpose and approach of the organisation’s career/talent development strategies and programmes. Their fundamental elements — competency and L&D frameworks, such as SFIAplus; talent management and development planning processes and tools; scheme administration and management; roles and responsibilities; and communication of the benefits.

Data Protection and GDPR

Data protection legislation, regulatory framework and compliance, including GDPR (General Data Protection Act).


Methods and techniques for providing mentoring support to less experienced individuals.

Latest Cyber Security Threats for Senior Execs

Short, high-level, up-to-date and to-the-point briefing on the latest threats and vulnerabilities in cyber security.

Diversity and Inclusion

Raise diversity in-the-workplace awareness in order to better understand how the world looks through the eyes of people of a different age, race, gender, sexuality, etc, improve communications with people from diverse backgrounds and reduce the levels of unconscious bias in decision-making.

Health and Safety

Understanding statutory health and safety requirements relating to the working environment and/or the tools and techniques to promote, communicate, implement and maintain a health and safety culture.


PDA Components

Title Details

Job Shadowing and Special Assignments

Undertaking temporary periods or secondments in other roles, inside or outside IT, particularly those that offer a new perspective on own function or exposure to other environments and cultures.

Project Assignments

Participating in a project team, working group or task force established to deliver a solution to a specific problem or issue – especially valuable if the group is inter-disciplinary.


Acting as a mentor, advising those for whom there is no direct responsibility, on matters to do with their job role, career and professional development.

Gaining Knowledge of Broader IT Issues

Increasing and maintaining currency of knowledge of broader IT issues through reading, attending and participating in seminars or conferences, special studies, temporary assignments etc.

Gaining Strategic Knowledge of Employing Organisation

Developing a comprehensive understanding of the business environment in which the employing organisation operates and its position, policies and direction in relation to industry, country and global issues.

Gaining Knowledge of Standards and Legislation

Gaining and maintaining knowledge of relevant national and international standards and legislation.

Participation in Professional Body Affairs

Taking an active part in professional body affairs at branch, specialist group, committee or board level.

General Management

Continuing learning and development in general management skills, such as effective communication, leadership styles and skills, team building and team roles, motivation and delegation, planning and resource scheduling, influencing, persuasion and negotiation, so as to be in a position to accept greater responsibility at senior management or director (including non-exec) level.


Qualification Components

Title Awarding Body

ITIL 4 Leader Digital and IT Strategy (ITIL 4 Strategic Leader Module)


CMgr Chartered Manager

Chartered Management Institute

ITIL 3 Managing Across the Lifecycle


Chartered IT Professional (CITP)

BCS – The Chartered Institute for IT

ITIL 3 Expert


ITIL 4 Strategic Leader


FEDIP Leading Practitioner


Organisation Skills

Framework » Organisation
Category » Subcategory
Skill Name and Description Level

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Asset and configuration management

You can conduct life cycle management for assets including hardware, software, intellectual property, licences and warranties. You can manage usage, disposal, compliance, inventory, sustainability, cost optimisation and protection of the asset portfolio. You can help to improve investment decisions and capitalise on opportunities. You can comply with international standards for asset management. You can document information relating to assets including identification, classification and specification of all items, and information related to storage, access and versions. You can apply status accounting and auditing in line with

4 – Expert

You can manage configuration management for the organisation, ensuring value for the business and adherence to company policies. You can ensure that changes to assets are recorded and controlled appropriately. You can advocate organisational commitment to asset control.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Business analysis (IT Operations)

You can visualise and articulate complex problems and concepts. You can apply logical thinking and solve complex problems. You can make disciplined decisions based on available information. You can gather and analyse information using comprehensive tools and techniques. You can use data to formulate both short-term day-to-day and long-term strategic plans. You can identify and analyse options, and assess feasibility and operational impact. You can ensure that the business solution aligns with the vision, mission, objectives, strategy, business and user needs. You can identify a viable solution or control.

3 – Practitioner

You can lead investigative work into problems and opportunities in existing processes. You can lead the collection of information and creation of recommendations for improvements. You can absorb large amounts of conflicting information and use it to produce solutions.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Continual service improvement

You can identify and explore opportunities for service and business improvement. You can produce analysis and identify, prioritise and implement improvements and efficiencies, ensuring that the organisation derives maximum value from services. You can recognise the potential for automation of processes, determine costs and benefits of new approaches, and manage change or assist implementation where

3 – Practitioner

You can analyse current processes, and identify and implement opportunities to optimise them. You can lead and develop a team of experts to deliver service improvements. You can help to evaluate and establish requirements for the implementation of changes by setting policy and standards.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Ownership and initiative

You can take ownership of problems and proactively resolve technical problems, ensuring that technical solutions continue to meet business requirements. You can take full accountability for the actions taken and decisions made.

3 – Practitioner

You can take accountability for issues that occur and be proactive in searching for potential problems. You can achieve excellent user outcomes.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Service management framework knowledge

You can show an in-depth understanding of service management framework principles and processes. You can apply the technical knowledge in project or programme activities.

4 – Expert

You have an expert certificate in the service management framework qualification. You can demonstrate an industry understanding of how to implement the framework into numerous environments.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Service reporting

You can use management information to consolidate agreed Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) into product or service measures, to underpin the service management of a specific product or service.

4 – Expert

You can use prediction methodologies to derive and maintain a holistic view of important trends across multiple processes.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Stakeholder relationship management (IT operations)

You can identify, analyse, manage and monitor relationships with and between stakeholders. You can clarify mutual needs and commitments through consultation and consideration of impacts. You can co-ordinate all promotional activities for one or more customers, to achieve satisfaction for the customer and an acceptable return for the supplier. You can assist the customer to ensure that maximum benefit is gained from the products and services supplied.

4 – Expert

You can determine strategic vision and direction. You can positively influence important senior stakeholders. You can provide an arbitration function.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Strategic thinking

You can take an overall perspective on business issues, events and activities, and discuss their wider implications and long-term impact. You can determine patterns, standards, policies, roadmaps and vision statements. You can effectively focus on outcomes rather than solutions and activities.

4 – Expert

You can lead the design and implementation of strategy, directing the evaluation of strategies and policies to ensure business requirements are being met.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – Technical understanding

You can demonstrate knowledge of the specific technologies necessary to fulfil the responsibilities and tasks of the role. You can apply the required breadth and depth of technical knowledge. You can actively keep informed of industry developments to make cost-effective use of new and emerging tools and technologies.

3 – Practitioner

You can show a thorough understanding of the technical concepts required for the role and can explain how these fit into the wider technical landscape.

DDaT » IT Operations Job Family

IT Ops – User focus

You can understand users and identify who they are and what their needs are, based on evidence. You can translate user stories and propose design approaches or services to meet these needs. You can engage in meaningful interactions and relationships with users. You can show that you put users first and can manage competing priorities.

4 – Expert

You can give direction on which tools or methods to use. You can demonstrate experience in meeting the needs of users across a variety of channels. You can bring insight and expertise in how user needs have changed over time to ensure they’re met by the business. You can apply strategic thinking to provide the best service for the end

This job role profile was created in collaboration with BCS, using Role Model Plus. BCS is the professional body that has the responsibility of updating this job family.

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