About This Project

Vale’s Asia Pacific operations required improved IT Governance and Controls across the region to reduce risks and variability of service standards and optimise costs. A review and enhancement of their Regional IT governance framework and associated operations manual was required.


The Situation

Vale are one of the biggest resources companies in the world. Their Asia Pacific operation was run from Brisbane.  They found that IT Governance and Controls were varying significantly across the region.  This was creating both increased risks and variability of service standards and was expected to also to be adding to costs. As a result, Vale asked us to review and enhance their Regional IT governance framework and associated operations manual.


The Approach

We assembled a multi-disciplined team with expertise in operations, governance, and architecture, including in the primary standards, such as ITIL and COBIT. We engaged with a mixed range of disciplines throughout Vale to ascertain insights and perspectives. The team also reviewed existing documentation, from current governance and operating manuals to operational reports and performance standards.  The team identified strengths and weaknesses and triaged and prioritised those elements that we could resolve, as part of this engagement, and those we could not.

Vale had already adopted the ITIL standard, and it made sense to continue this, as it aligned with industry standards and would leverage existing efficiencies and productivity, systems and tools.

On review of the current artefacts, we identified several opportunities for improvement. As an alternative approach, we presented the opportunity to leverage ITIL combined with elements of COBIT to provide them with an improved governance and operating framework based upon best practice.  It was a different approach to what they were expecting.  Based on our findings, insights, and recommendations, it would meet their needs and deliver beyond that.  As a result, it was well supported.

We proceeded to develop a framework that dovetailed selected COBIT Control Objectives together with pre-existing and enhanced ITIL processes. In addition to providing a best practice approach for IT Governance and operations, this also provided a mechanism through which they could measure and therefore enhance their process maturity on an ongoing basis.

This involved taking Vale’s current Regional Governance Document and developing it further. The Regional Governance document takes a high-level view of the organisation using the ITIL Service Management structure (Service Strategy, Service Transition, Service Operation, Service Design, Continual Service Improvement). It combines ITIL best practices and with some components of COBIT (RACI Charts and Control Objectives) for process roles and responsibilities.

The Operations Manual is a document that takes a much lower-level view of the organisation, using the Service Operations section of the ITIL Service Management structure and delves further, going into specific processes such as: Monitoring and Control, IT Operations, Mainframe Management, Server Management and Support, Network Management, Storage and Archive, etc.  It provides a manual of operations that can be referenced by Process and Service Owners.

A Maturity document was also designed.  It was seen as a vital component of continual improvement.  It includes an ITIL/COBIT mapping table that maps the ITIL Services with their respective COBIT processes.

The Maturity Document allows the assessor to choose a particular area within the Regional Governance Document and/or the Operations Document, which is based upon the ITIL structure, and using the mapping table, identify the related COBIT Processes. These services (ITIL) and their control objectives (COBIT) can be assessed for maturity giving a ‘best of both worlds’ practice viewpoint. Now this can be done just based on the ITIL service or just done on the COBIT Process or it can be done on both using Industry Maturity Assessment Tools. The Maturity Document acts as a base guide to a further maturity assessment being conducted.


The Impact

The core outcomes for Vale included:

  • Increased certainty of performance across the Asia Pacific regionthrough clearer measurement standards linked directly to operations.
  • Clarity over operations and measurable outcomes, creating clearer insights into remediation and improvement efforts
  • A common industry standard management and measurement approach
  • Leveraged Vale’s existing investment in, and familiarity with ITIL

A benchmark of performance maturity was established that Vale could measure performance against and measure improvements over time.

The new framework was scalable, and was eventually adopted as Vale’s global standard.

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Mining and resources

Capabilities Delivered
  • Review of operations, governance, and service delivery performance
  • Pragmatic application of ITIL and COBIT standards
  • Introduction of maturity models
  • Leverage from existing service management systems
  • Revised governance and operations model
Client Wins
  • Increased certainty of operational performance across the Asia Pacific region
  • Clearer insights into remediation and improvement efforts
  • A common industry standard management and measurement approach
  • Leveraging Vale’s existing investment in, and familiarity with ITIL
  • A benchmark of performance maturity to measure improvements over time.
  • A new framework which was adopted as Vale’s global standard.
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