Universal Service Management – USM


USM principles – USM portal

What is USM?

USM is a universal methodical approach for service management.

The USM method provides a standardized management system for a service organization to manage its people, its processes, its technology, and its services, based on an explicit service management architecture.

Service management architecture: a set of rules and guidelines for setting up and managing a service organization that enable consistent decision making in the future.

With that service management architecture, you lay the fundament for the structure of a successful service organization. Local choices then determine how you organize your own ‘floors’ on that fundament.

USM can be deployed in all service organizations and teams. For example, with USM you can easily provide popular reference architectures (TOGAF, eTOM) with a common management system, or realize standards such as ISO27001 or ISO20000 in a cheap and efficient way. USM offers an easily learned methodical approach to service management, based on business principles.

With USM, the organization comes in control of its routines in a quick and cheap way, creating order and tranquility and room for exploiting the creative potential of employees.

continues at: https://usm-portal.com/what-is-usm/?lang=en


USM is a method, based on Systems Theory. USM’s earliest ideas were created during the biomathematics study of USM’s chief architect, Jan van Bon, in the early seventies when he was working on the simulation modeling of ecosystems.

After working a decade as an academic researcher, the author moved to IT, to work in some large Dutch semi-government companies. The next step in the evolution of USM was initiated by the assignment to create a control system for a large IT organization. This is where the first ITIL practice guidance and theories on Quality Management delivered the inspiration for the initial setup of a simple management system, in the late 1980s.

(continues at https://usm-portal.com/history-of-usm/)

USM principles

USM specifies a service management architecture based on principles. The USM Study Guide describes a summary of these principles. You can read the detailed set of USM principles on this page.

The outline of the USM principles is shown in the figure below. The principles are organized according to the domains of the service management system in the USM Customer-Provider Interaction Model.

Each principle is defined in accordance with how the principles are developed in NORA & TOGAF: TITLE, STATEMENT, RATIONALE and IMPLICATIONS. You can unfold each principle to read the rationale and implications.


Reduce complexity by segmenting and creating standardized building blocks, and apply those building blocks consistently in continuously improving service delivery.

USM follows a number of general principles. These principles are not USM-specific but apply universally, to all organizations that worked in a structured way, striving for sustainable improvement. USM explicitly follows these general principles.

GEN01 – BE CONSISTENT: Be consistent with the principles, but not uniform.

GEN02 – REDUCE COMPLEXITY: Make everything as simple as possible, but not too simple.

GEN03 – STANDARDIZE: Standardization secures predictability of performance.

GEN04 – SEGMENT: Structure systems by segmenting them and monitoring the relationships between components.

GEN05 – IMPROVE CONTINUOUSLY: Service delivery should be continuously improved to keep customers satisfied.


Specify and evaluate services according to a simple and unambiguous structure.

USM applies the following principles:

S01 – UNAMBIGUOUS SPECIFICATION OF SERVICES: Specify each service in terms of facilities and support, in order to manage and integrate services unambiguously and uniformly.

S02 – UNAMBIGUOUS ASSESSMENT OF SERVICES: Assess a service unambiguously and uniformly in terms of its functionality and functioning.


The service provider is a system with three components: People (the people in the organization), Process (the processes used by these people), and Technology (the tools used by these people when performing the processes). Not only the characteristics óf those components, but especially the relationships betwéén those components (the routines) determine the performance of the service delivery system.


Processes describe (only) activities, in an unambiguous and structured manner, and are included in an integral and integrated process model.

USM applies the following principles:

PR01 – UNAMBIGUOUS SPECIFICATION OF PROCESS: Throughout the organization, everyone consistently applies the same pure definition of the term ‘process’.

PR02 – PROCESS UNIFORMITY: Similar work is performed with similar processes, throughout the organization.

PR03 – INTEGRAL AND INTEGRATED PROCESS MODEL: The management system process model includes all activities relevant to managing service delivery and each activity appears only once in the process model.


Organize the people in the organization in such a way that their duties, authorities, and responsibilities (TAR) do not have undesired overlap or conflicts, and it is clear to everyone who has what TAR.

USM applies the following principles:

PE01 – SEPARATION OF DUTIES: Promote control by organizationally separating tasks, authorities, and responsibilities that may cause conflicts.

PE02 – UNAMBIGUOUS STEERING: Organize the coordination of executive actions unambiguously, through either hierarchical lines or process logic.


The tools for the people in the organization support the optimal execution of their work.

USM applies the following principle:

T01 – TECHNOLOGY FOLLOWS PROCESS: Technological tools support employees in carrying out their activities in the processes, and are not leading.


Organize the work in integral and integrated routines via workflows that follow the logic of the process model, and communicate in a structured way.

USM applies the following principles:

R01 – SYSTEMATIC ROUTINES: Optimal service delivery requires a systematic and structured design of routines, categorized by process, procedure and work instruction.

R02 – WORKFLOWS: Organize all work according to a uniform set of workflows.

R03 – STRUCTURED COMMUNICATION: Support structured routines with structured communication.


Apply the service provider principles consistently across supply chains and networks.

USM applies the following principles:

SC01 – UNIVERSAL PRINCIPLES: Principles of service management apply to all disciplines of the organization, both primary and secondary. Service management is everyone’s job.

SC02 – ENTERPRISE INTEREST IS CORE: Team decisions all serve the enterprise interest.

SC03 – SUPPLY CHAIN AWARE: Teams and organizations are aware of the fact that as a service provider they are only a link in supply chains and networks. What applies within organizations with regard to cooperation and integration also applies between organizations.


Strive for value creation in a mature service delivery, by focusing on the customer’s interests.

USM applies the following principles:

CV01 – VALUE CREATION: Service delivery is focused on value creation, at least with the customer.

CV02 – CUSTOMER-DRIVEN: The interests of the customer are the starting point for the design of services.

continues in source:

USM principles – USM portal

© COPYRIGHT SURVUZ Foundation, 2021. The information and materials on this website may be freely copied and distributed so long as our copyright notice and website address is included.