Support Strategy Manager

Training Description
MISD Support Strategy Manager Certificate


‘Mastering IT Support Delivery’ Curriculum
Career Level 4, Support Strategy Manager Certificate
Course code MISD-SMC


The corresponding study in this qualification provides a philosophical approach along with skills and practices in the design, construction, and implementation, of an end-to-end, cross-department, IT user and systems support strategy. The methods described here are applicable to ‘greenfield’ service invention or to the re-engineering of an existing provision. This high-level consideration makes it equally pertinent in both ITSM (corporate internal user) and ECSM (External Customer Support Management) contexts.

With the strategy implemented, the skills also pertain to orchestration of the service at the level of manage-the-managers. Thus it includes service level achievement, resource deployment, strategy compliance and productivity expectations; along with the required operational managers’ responses to these via cascade reporting.

Qualification Gained

MISD Support Strategy Manager Certificate


Classroom of no more than 16 attendees, led by qualified, expert tutor. Interactive engagement of scripted topics, associated quizzes, and gamified exercises culminating in written examination


4 consecutive days

Materials Provided

Copies of slides and associated text

Learning Objectives

Candidates should be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding and application of principles and techniques in the following areas:

  • Research and scope a market (in the form of an acquired client or a new or existing userbase) to anticipate needs in terms of types of support services required, likely quantities, time-spread of demand and opportunities for proactive provision; while clarifying and negotiating demarcation between Development IT and Production IT responsibilities
  • Design flexible services appropriate to business needs with justification for chosen provision
  • Define procedures and work instructions needed for the manufacture of those services
  • Define roles and skillsets for managers, supervisors and operatives carrying out strategy; write job descriptions and recruit as appropriate
  • Logistics: identify appropriate workload throughput paths, escalation routes, points of decision for reassignment, critical success factors, and skillset deployment along work-chain; define ongoing reporting strategy for all involved service owners
  • Negotiate resources and service levels with host business, clientele, and other functions upon which service depends, and express these as Service and Operational Level Agreements
  • Be able to justify all support services not just in principle, but financially in terms of Cost-Benefit Analysis
  • Describe policy and practice of implementing above decisions
  • Determine service and practice improvement strategy and instigate appropriate projects based on analysis of actual service behaviour.
  • Decide on and justify use of outsourced services
  • Managing managers – develop systems for cascade reporting to ensure all elements of the issued support strategy are catered for, regardless of rank or location

Where to get qualification

Who Should Attend

Senior IT managers with actual or potential cross-departmental responsibilities for support delivery

Organisational Benefits

Most IT departments attempt to operate without an IT Support Strategy. The typical alternative to strategy is usually a passive approach. It invariably consists of a named front line such as a Service Desk, passing reported IT issues to other parts of IT which have no formal support responsibility other than that implied by their skillsets or the systems under their charge. Without an effective IT Support Strategy, there may be only limited consideration of IT Support as a whole, despite the reality that IT Support is what most IT users think of when they think about IT at all. This qualification is designed to acknowledge this broader reality of IT support and provide structured education in acting appropriately towards it.

The frequent results of IT’s commonly fractured approach include un-coordinated workloads, distorted priorities, silo-ism and its associated communication problems, inappropriate or duplicative staffing, inefficiencies, waste, interruptions to the primary duties of technical workgroups, and under-performing services for the business, thus adding costs and risks. Service measurement tends to be limited to after-the-fact fix times (known as ‘Service Levels’), with little to no consideration of how a given service level is achieved or adjusted. In absence of support strategy, the service is silo-to-silo, not end-to-end. Its focus is upon itself, not the service to the user. Its only measurement is arbitrary and historical, not real-time and throughput-oriented. This training defines a function that replaces this organic fragmentation with considered and managed design.

IT support affects the whole of IT, and its main purpose is maintaining or restoring user productivity. Technical considerations are only a means to that end. To be done properly, IT support needs a strategy, to take it beyond being a collection of groups of technical specialists and into acting as a co-ordinated, purpose-designed production facility. This unique syllabus describes the detail and practice of designing and managing a strategic approach to corporate IT support provision.

Individual Benefits

At the level of Support Strategy Manager, we move beyond the considerations of the operational workgroup head into the more complex area of the management of managers. Here we are designing the whole service and how it must be delivered. This is potentially the ultimate job satisfaction, the absolute responsibility for the recognition of need and the creation of a mechanism to meet it.

Management of managers is a highly portable skill for the career-conscious. For the successful candidate in the smaller organisation, the skill is scalable to the larger organisation. Once there, the skill is still needed at the level of the corporate director.

The Support Strategy Manager certificate is more than just an education in high-level design and implementation, but a potential enabler for career advancement.


Pass at MISD Career Level 3 Operational Manager Certificate

Examination Format

  • In classroom invigilated by tutor
  • 40 multiple choice questions over maximum of 80 minutes
  • Pass mark 28/40 (70%)
  • Essay on approach to support strategy against interpretation of a set of criteria offered by invigilator, over maximum of 120 minutes
  • Examination is ‘open-book’ to reflect real life – thus the candidate is allowed to use own devices and to add previously-gathered materials so long as these are pertinent to the examined topic and task
  • Total examination duration 3 hours
  • Results within 3 weeks; examiner’s decision is final
  • In case of failure, 2 maximum examination retakes; thereafter, examination opportunities require entire course retake