November 28, 2011
On-Demand Classroom Education for IT Professionals
In an October of 2009 itSM Solutions published an article from Kepner Tregoe asking the question Is The Training Room Defunct? The article focused on the fact that in-class training was dying a rapid death in many organizations, not out of any ill will but primarily out of economic necessity and directives to minimize an employees’ time off the job. With that in mind, education coordinators have been seeking new ways to deliver “just in time” education solutions that will help workers solve problems, learn new skills, prepare for examinations and receive support services on-demand. On-Demand Classroom Education Networks may deliver what coordinators are looking for.
November 11, 2011
IT Organization Evolution – 2012 and Beyond
In today’s businesses, two things are certain: first, Information Technology is core to most corporations and second, the fast pace of business change makes the services they require moving targets. The demand for coordinating these services across business value chains, functions, markets, and geographies will continue to accelerate, and it will be impossible to respond to this challenge without driving new ways of thinking and doing into the IT department. IT Service Management (ITSM) and IT Cloud Management (ITCM) represent emerging frameworks and methods that will enable IT to more quickly and efficiently respond to their customer’s needs.
August 27, 2011
Building and Maintaining Effective Business Relationships
The phrase “What we’ve got here is (a) failure to communicate” is a famous line we’ve all quoted at one time or another from the 1967 film Cool Hand Luke. Similar to the film, it’s not that communications are not taking place between IT and the business; it’s just that they’re ineffective or unproductive. Let’s face it, sometimes we’re literally thrown into an IT/business relationship with no history, faced to come up with a quick solution and expected to deliver results that show value to our customers.
The world of ITIL training & testing has changed quite a bit over the past two years. Today, one can be trained from Foundation thru Expert in an instructor led classroom, virtual classroom, online self-paced video or e-learning classroom or in a blended learning classroom that combines self-paced training with instructor-led review sessions. Exams can be taken onsite with a proctor, online with a web cam proctor or at an accredited testing center. These new multi-venue delivery and testing capabilities provide training coordinators with the ability to maximize the use of their ITSM training dollar while minimizing their travel cost and a student’s time out of the office. This multi-venue approach also provides the ability to accelerate ITSM adoption within an enterprise by enabling training coordinators to offer solutions that can be delivered anytime, anywhere. This newsletter is designed to help training coordinators understand each delivery method in detail so they in turn can use this new found knowledge to assist in the development of multi-venue training plan for individuals or an entire IT organization.
June 7, 2011
ITIL Examination Institutes
The process of selecting an Examination Institute(EI’s) to sit for an exam has changed with the introduction of ITIL V3. Like ITIL training providers, examination institutes are now operating in the amazing world of multiple delivery formats which include classroom, virtual classroom, self-study classroom and blended classroom training models.
March 31, 2011
Using Social Network Marketing in an IT Transformation
Social Networking has always existed in different forms. In the distant past, people communicated face-to-face or wrote letters to each other. With the advent of the electronics age, social networking took different forms: phone calls, emails, texting, IM, etc. So what will be the next evolution in Social Networking?
March 16, 2011
Why Process Fail IT During a Crisis
Technology is a critical component in any business. During any crisis, if the IT organization is unable to respond, it will put the entire enterprise at risk. Yet, during a crisis, the thing that often inhibits an IT organization from responding effectively is the very thing that is supposed to save it – a reliance on disciplined processes.
February 4, 2011
What Does IT Transformation Mean to You?
When talking with people over the past few years, I have discovered that the term IT Transformation means very different things to different people. So I thought I would try to provide a common understanding of what is really meant by IT Transformation.
January 14, 2011
Cultural Diversity – Building Teams for Success
The purpose of this article is to show how, by picking a group of people with different degrees of technical backgrounds, strengths, weaknesses, etc., a successful implementation team can be built. It will discuss how leveraging beginner, intermediate and experienced resources can not only help accomplish the project goals, but also plays an integral part in establishing a successful operations team.
December 17, 2010
Reframing IT to Unleash Innovation
Innovation is something that is rarely in abundance within IT organizations today. The vast majority of resources are spent merely “keeping the lights on.” Even the capital investments and development projects that IT organizations undertake are typically pedestrian, realizing only incremental improvements rather than driving true innovation.
November 9, 2010
Why IT Transformations Fail
The reasons why IT Transformations fail are as numerous as grains of sands on the beach. In this article, I will cover some of the more common reasons why IT Transformations fail and also provide some guidance on how to avoid the major pitfalls.
October 28, 2010
A 5-Step Program to Optimize ITSM Training
We’ve all watched action/adventure films where the “bad guys” jump out from behind cover and open fire with their automatic weapons pointed in the general direction of their opponent. In the vernacular, this is referred to as “spray and pray.” This behavior is related to the Principle of Evil Marksmanship, which says that enemy soldiers in action films are often very bad shots and almost never harm the main characters. The major difference is that the later are highly trained, but just bad shots.
September 17, 2010
Don’t Tear Down Those Silos, Build Them Up!
Contrary to the prevailing popular wisdom coming from of many IT trainers, consultants, and industry analysts, silos are actually a very good thing…. don’t waste time trying to tear silos down, instead invest in making your silos even stronger!
September 11, 2010
6 Steps to Successful Outsourcing
Like the Grim Reaper and the IRS, IT professionals need to be prepared to deal with outsourcing. Based on the trends Im seeing in the industry I think we can add outsourcing to death and taxes as an inevitability of life. If you cant beat em — manage em as the saying goes
August 26, 2010
4 Steps to Better Process Design
You simply can’t practice ITIL from behind a desk. Before you can improve a process, you have to understand the current process. You have to get out from behind the desk and walk the process, which sounds simple, but as in many things, the doing is not so straightforward…
July 16, 2010
Why “Doing ITIL” Doesn’t Work (And How to Fix It)
For every complex problem, there is a simple and appealing solution that is wrong. For many, ITIL is that solution. This illusion of simplicity is similar to the illusion the Emperor had about his fine new clothes. To succeed with ITIL you have to understand why the Emperor has no clothes.
July 10, 2010
Hand Me the Remote – Ensuring a Successful Remote Learning Session
The convergence of three trends – high-speed internet access, new technical education requirements, and time and budget restrictions – make Remote Learning an attractive item on anyone’s on-going education budget.
June 25, 2010
The Role of a Coach in Implementing IT Service Management
“The goal of coaching is the goal of good management: to make the most of an organization’s valuable resources.” – Harvard Business Review
May 20, 2010
Mapping ITSM Training Classes to ITIL’s® Service Lifecycle
It’s a frequent scenario. Your organization has done the feasibility studies and the analyses, defined an ITIL implementation plan, and established a budget to bring your staff up to the appropriate level of ITIL® training and certification.
May 6, 2010
Function, Process, Role – Animal, Vegetable or Mineral?
Is it animal, vegetable or mineral? That parlor game question seems particularly appropriate to ITIL V3 as it devotes a segment of each domain to detailing “Function, Process and Role.”
April 2, 2010
The Importance of Reading ITIL
Thinking back to your college days, did you ever wake up in a panicked state the night before an exam with a thought racing through your brain that you had forgotten to study something – perhaps you had not bought and read the course textbook!
March 19, 2010
How to Organize for ITIL
Organizational structure plays a significant role in success or failure adopting ITIL. Correct organizational structure is critical to your success — but you probably should NOT reorganize to achieve it!
March 12, 2010
The Rise of the Internal Outsourcer
Today’s IT organizations find themselves competing with cheap technology and aggressively priced outsourcing alternatives. Only those IT organizations that can adapt to this new ecosystem will avoid extinction.
January 13, 2010
The Top Five Questions about ITSM Business Analysis
The second of a four-part series that outlines the additional training areas IT organizations should consider when adopting IT Service Management (ITSM) as the basis for the delivery of quality IT services.
December 30, 2009
How to Sell ITIL to the Top
The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is an IT-thing. Yes, I know it benefits the business, but ITIL is inherently a set of IT workflow processes. Non-IT people, even well educated non-IT people (read senior executives with control over the purse strings) often dont understand what ITIL represents.
December 2, 2009
8 Steps to a Successful ITIL® V3 Intermediate Exam
Wouldn’t it be nice if just attending a class or viewing an online training course were all you had to do to successfully pass one of the ITIL® V3 Intermediate- or Advanced-Level exams? No matter how good any of itSM Solutions’ (or any other ITIL course provider’s) classes are, YOU still are responsible for preparing yourself to successfully sit for the exam.
November 11, 2009
The Top Five Questions About ITIL Version 3
While ITIL V2 served its purpose of making IT organizations aware that IT service management could be done better, ITIL V3 provides the detail on how to make it better. With the OGC’s plan to retire ITIL V2 in 2010, I thought this would be a good time to write a DITY about what I consider to be the top five questions IT professionals have about version 3 of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL).
October 7, 2009
Is The Training Room Defunct?
One of the greatest challenges that training and organization development professionals face is the demand on the part of their organizations for a minimization of employees’ time off job. Our own research shows that while there is a higher focus on the time and attention spent on developing capabilities across all levels of operation, that time and attention is not in the classroom.
August 6, 2009
ITIL v4? It Depends …
ITIL “purists” will say, “Well, you can’t always do it that way because ‘it depends.'” Yes it does, but one major shortcoming of ITIL has always been that “depends” is the answer to most questions of adoption, with little consistent guidance as to what good decisions depend on and the application of that rationale.
Tue, 22 July 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Back When I Knew It All
I am sure we all remember where we were and what we were doing at the exact moment that we realized that our parents were getting smarter as they got older. It’s also comforting to know that as we age our own offspring will experience similar moments of thoughtful clarity as expressed in Montgomery Gentry’s song, “Back When We Knew it All.”
Wed, 8 July 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Self Taught ITSM Training – Some Assembly Required
Have you ever prepared a meal for the first time, taught yourself to repair something, assembled toys at Christmas or learned how to use the cool new features on your iPhone? Of course you have. Almost everyone, at one time or another has assumed the responsibility to learn something new and to work their way through the assembly manuals, training videos, and support systems available to achieve operational success.
Wed, 1 July 2009 10:30:00 GMT
The Roles of the IT Practitioner
ITIL training and certification has become a virtual requirement for IT professionals looking differentiate their skill sets to hang on to their jobs or compete for a new one. The days of leveraging a technology certification as your ticket to employment are over.
Tue, 23 June 2009 10:30:00 GMT
7 Steps for Selecting Software Redux
I believe that all ITSM enabling software solutions should carry a warning label that says, “Caveat Emptor.” It is up to you, not the software company or some “paid verifier” to understand your needs and validate your decision…
Tue, 9 June 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Solving the IT Silo Problem
The purpose of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is to optimize delivery of IT services to Customers and Users. The ITIL describes a set of processes, roles and responsibilities that cross many traditional IT silo boundaries.
Tue, 2 June 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Practical Tips for New ITIL Process Implementers – Part 2
Now that you have kicked off your ITIL process implementation project, what’s next?
Tue, 19 May 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Practical Tips for New ITIL Process Implementers
We are implementing ITIL, but how do we start, and which process is first?
Wed, 5 May 2009 10:30:00 GMT
ITSM’s Virtual Mentoring Community
Imagine the following scenario. You are a senior-level IT Manager who has been assigned the responsibility of organizing IT around IT Service Management (ITSM) best practices.
Wed, 25 March 2009 10:30:00 GMT
ITIL’s Virtual Training Community
The days of flying to exotic locations to get trained by your favorite instructor/consultant/mentor are over. Let’s face it, with the economic downturn in full swing and training budgets shrinking, we are all looking for new ways to acquire the education we need to deliver the value our current (or future) employer expects from us.
Wed, 18 March 2009 10:30:00 GMT
No One Has Written the Rules for Playing the Sport of Office!
We are all familiar with sports teams, and how they utilize each member’s particular strengths to score more points than the opposing team. Workgroup teams are very similar, bringing together members from various departments and disciplines to complete a specific task or project. The only difference is – there are no rulebooks or referees!
Wed, 4 February 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Demystifying ITIL / ITSM Training – Part Two – Accreditation
The days of slapping together a slide deck, hiring a few instructors and going through a quick accreditation are over. The rules to becoming an accredited ITIL Training Provider (ATP) have changed and only those who follow the rules will survive.
Thu, 15 January 2009 10:30:00 GMT
Demystifying ITIL/ITSM Training – Part One
The days of hanging out a simple “IT Service Management Training” shingle in front of a training center are long gone. Today, training providers and their customers operate in an amazing world of course and delivery formats.
Tue, 2 December 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Why Lemmings Won’t Make it to the Top of the Food Chain
One can only imagine famous cartoonists Gahan Wilson or Gary Larson drawing a cartoon depicting a mass of lemmings as far as the eye can see; all of them heading for a cliff, and one lemming saying to another, “Hey, I understand things are better at the bottom of the cliff.”
Tue, 18 November 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Don’t Let Federation Scare You! Some Common-Sense Recommendations for Effective CMS Deployments
To IT organizations struggling to get just one instance right, the notion of maintaining and managing a federated set of Configuration Management Databases (CMDB) as described in ITIL v3 can easily seem off-putting. The truth is, however, that federation can actually introduce new levels of simplicity in defining phases and planning the scaled, evolutionary ramp of CMDB Systems. This column provides a few guidelines for getting “federation” right, combining a few overall recommendations for CMDB initiatives with some specific guidance for federation.
Wed, 1 October 2008 10:30:00 GMT
ITSM Leadership Lessons from the ‘Expert’
As an IT leader, are you aware of the knowledge and lessons that come from one of the greatest leadership and process-driven organizations on the planet? You may be surprised to learn that this expert is none other than the U.S. Army!
Wed, 10 September 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Why ROI Calculations Will be the Achilles’ Heel for CMDB Implementations in 2009 and What You Can Do to Avoid the Pain
There are two common answers to the question as to why to undertake a Return-On-Investment (ROI) calculation for a Configuration Management Database (CMDB) implementation. One is right. One is wrong.
Tue, 2 September 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Stepping Up to Process Automation: Why You Should Care
“Automation” may not be a term prevalently used within the ITIL libraries, but it is one of the key enablers for stepping up to operational efficiency, minimizing human error and ultimately enforcing governance to support industry compliance and minimize risk.
Tue, 26 August 2008 10:30:00 GMT
From the Ashes of Failed Quality Initiatives
The gems of IT service quality can be found in the smoldering embers of failed Six Sigma deployments and botched Total Quality Management initiatives.
Tue, 5 August 2008 10:30:00 GMT
CSI – Tips, Tricks, and Worst Practices to Learn From
So you’re going to improve your IT services? Go ahead; pick anything – as long as it is small, manageable, has to do with the Service Desk, does not have to do with a CMDB, does not need a $500,000 tool investment in the first year, and does not need any resources that span across our customer service, infrastructure or application silos?!
Wed, 30 July 2008 10:30:00 GMT
ITSM Service Lifecycle Consulting – A Lifecycle within A Lifecycle
Imagine the following scenario. You are a senior-level IT Service Management (ITSM) consultant with many successful ITIL process implementations under your belt. An enterprise IT organization recognizes the potential benefits of ITIL. It also recognizes that ITIL is not a ‘plug and play’ project due to the many dynamics of organizational goals, priorities, leadership, maturity, etc. Thus, it has retained you to counsel its IT leadership team as it begins its transition to the process-driven ITSM Lifecycle.
Wed, 23 July 2008 10:30:00 GMT
The Emergence of the Constituency-Driven CMDB System – ITIL’s CMS in a New Context and What it Means for You
The concept of the Configuration Management System (CMS) in ITIL v3 is potentially a game-changing catalyst in shaping Configuration Management Database (CMDB) deployments. If properly understood, the CMS can promote flexibility and innovation; if misapplied, it can lead to overarching complexity that can stall even the hardiest CMDB initiative.
Wed, 16 July 2008 10:30:00 GMT
How to “Do” ITIL
It’s a common scenario: You complete your ITIL certification program. You feel good, you feel empowered, and you have been exposed to some of the most brilliant logic ever put to paper on the topic of IT service management. Congratulations! You’re certified, now what are you going to do?
Fri, 27 June 2008 10:30:00 GMT
The Next Killer App for IT: Leadership
A study of 3,000 people in various jobs came to the conclusion that IT workers have the most stressful job in the world. IT even beats out the medical field for reported job stress. I think I know why…and what to do about it.
Thur, 19 June 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Service Measurement Framework in Four Steps
As IT organizations transform themselves into service providers, one of the major issues they must come to grips with is how do they create a meaningful measurement framework that enables the continual improvement of IT services as well as clear and unambiguous accountability for quality of those services.
Tue, 03 June 2008 10:30:00 GMT
SDLC or ITIL? Wrong question.
Ever-increasing business and technological complexity are driving successful IT organizations to search for methodologies to ensure that new or changed IT services meet the requirements of the business customers, and create value for the business by being designed, delivered and operated in an efficient and effective manner. Application groups point to the use of a Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) as their solution. Some of the technical functional groups have jumped on the ITIL® bandwagon. So which should it be; SDLC or ITIL?
Tue, 27 May 2008 10:30:00 GMT
10 Traits of Successful ITIL Adopters
All IT organizations face similar challenges adopting the best practices of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®). While not all succeed in overcoming these challenges, many do. Those that face these challenges and overcome them provide valuable lessons about what it took to succeed.
Tue, 6 May 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Mentoring – The Resurgence in ITSM Implementation
In today’s business environment, an enterprise’s competitive advantage is based on its ability to develop leadership capability throughout its organization. This is especially true in IT. Leaders within IT play critical roles in coaching or mentoring their staff to become high-performing teams.
Tue, 22 Apr 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Community Organization Principles and ITIL
In the alphabet soup favored by successful IT Service Management (ITSM) organizations today, the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) describes how ITSM works; CoBIT enables IT managers to control the IT infrastructure; the Project Management Institute (PMI) provides project management guidance; Lean Six Sigma builds effectiveness and efficiency; and, the list goes on. What can community organization principles developed a half century ago add to this heady mix?
Mon, 8 Apr 2008 10:30:00 GMT
Governing ITIL with CobiT
ITIL is clear that it does not stand alone, and in fact, you cannot “do ITIL” without some form of governance. But what does “governance” mean? ITIL requires a framework of policy, process, procedures and metrics that can give direction to IT operations (and ITIL activities.) Control Objectives for IT (CobiT) does just this.
Tue, 27 November 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Managed ITSM Services
Today’s multi-faceted business world demands that Information Technology provide its services in the context of a fully integrated corporate strategic model. By coupling the tenets of the burgeoning Managed Services Provider business model with the five domains of ITIL Version 3, IT can find tested guidance to what it takes to transform from its technological heritage into a place in the enterprise business leadership circle.
Tue, 20 November 2007 10:30:00 GMT
The Importance of Knowing What is Right
Today’s IT shops constantly have to deal with changing business priorities and technological change. Scarce resources are stretched thin, or worse yet; to the breaking point. You know you are doing things right, but are you doing the right things?
Tue, 6 November 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Automating Self-Service IT
When was the last time you dealt with a live person to perform a financial transaction, book a flight or schedule a service call – or even pay for your groceries at the supermarket? Automation of self-service has become pervasive and is even making inroads into IT Request Fulfillment and Access Management.
Tue, 30 October 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Smoothing the Way to ITSM
Today’s IT managers live in an alphabet soup of best practices: ITIL®, COBIT®, PMI®, Lean Six Sigma, so on. They all mention the needs and desires of staff during the implementation. Failure to realize that IT staff makes or breaks any best practice implementation can result in failure.
Tue, 9 October 2007 10:30:00 GMT
8 Traits of Effective IT Leaders
To Lead, You Have to Follow. A study finds that IT workers are more stressed than firefighters and doctors. The reason may be that IT leaders don’t know how to follow…
Tue, 25 September 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Automation for the Rest of Us
Automation is a hot topic, but its dirty little secret is that you cannot automate something if you don’t understand how it works… making ITIL process definition a cornerstone to automation success.
Tue, 18 September 2007 10:30:00 GMT
ITIL v2 or v3? Wrong question.
Question: Should you go with ITIL v2 or ITIL v3? Answer: It doesn’t matter.
Tue, 11 September 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Request Fulfillment – Short-Cut or Dangerous Misstep?
There’s a move afoot in ITIL V3 that leads to a radically shortened Change Management process. It’s a move that allows the Service Desk to approve and initiate changes on its own without the full rigor of the well-documented Change Management procedures. Isn’t this putting us back on shaky pre-ITIL Ground?
Tue, 4 September 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Integrating Continual Service Improvement into the Service Lifecycle
Something seems to be missing from the Continual Service Improvement (CSI) volume of ITIL v3; ITIL guidance.Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition and Service Operation each lay out guidance on specific processes, functions and roles that take place within that Lifecycle domain. However, a review of CSI’s Table of Contents reveals little in the way of specific IT guidance. Maybe the authors of ITIL v3 should have integrated the concepts of Continual Service Improvement into the processes of the other IT Service Lifecycle domains.
Tue, 28 August 2007 10:30:00 GMT
“In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice, but in practice, there is.” – Yogi Berra.
Tue, 17 July 2007 10:30:00 GMT
BSM – ITSM Done Right?
Business Service Management (BSM) is a term that is all the rage. I used to think ITSM meant BSM, but I have recently changed my mind. It all started when I went out to get Six Sigma certification…
Wed, 11 July 2007 10:30:00 GMT
ITIL Doesn’t Matter Any More (or Less)
After a long wait the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) version 3 was released. Among the requisite hype, pundits started pointing out the missed opportunities, and I realized that ITIL still doesn’t matter…
Tue, 5 June 2007 10:30:00 GMT
How to sell ITSM to the Business
If the old rule of selling ITSM was to talk it up until the business bit, the new rules say you’ve got to start by listening and then helping the business executive connect the value of ITSM back into his or her business unit value chain.
Mon, 26 Mar 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Achieving IT Operational Excellence
Examining how the concepts of IT Operational Excellence helps the legal industry meet its business objectives provides a sound roadmap for any IT organization trying to deliver excellence.
Wed, 14 Mar 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Top 5 Reasons ITIL Imlpementations Dont Go by the Book
Organizational change is hard, and, as is the case with the process and technology pieces of ITIL implementations, it will vary greatly based on your size, structure, and culture. But there are some common threads that will enable you to get the necessary buy-in to succeed with organizational change…
Sat, 10 Mar 2007 10:30:00 GMT 7
Habits of Highly Defective Practitioners
I have uncovered 7 bad habits that lie at the root of all IT Management Failure! Well, if not all failures enough for the majority of the organizational problems I see. But you can break a bad habit and form a new one in just 21 days…
Thu, 13 Feb 2007 10:30:00 GMT
Service Delivery Tool Gap
The current glut of software tools, suites and bolt-on products oriented towards the ITIL Service Management suite is rich, colorful, and profoundly lacking in one respect — there are no compelling tools to automate Service Delivery processes.
DECEMBER 13, 2006
One of key reasons that ITIL does not proscribe an approved priority list for process implementation is that such a list cannot take into account the relative maturity of an organizations existing staff, skills, and operational proficiencies. Only a focused assessment can do that.
MAR. 15, 2006
A Prescription for ITIL
You hear often that the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is not prescriptive it does not tell you where or when to begin. This is a common misconception since Planning to Implement IT Service Management (the ITIL green book) provides exactly this detail!
MAR. 21, 2006
The New ITIL and What it Means to You
The next version of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is to ship in September of this year, and there are some major changes ahead for the ITIL and those who use it.
JAN. 18, 2006
Get Ready for ISO 20000 Certification
The ITIL is not a standard and has no auditing criteria. Some chose CobiT for audits, but CobiT isnt a standard either. The British Standards Institute (BSI) created British Standard BS 15000 as an audit standard, but it wasnt an international standard. However, BS 15000 delivered specifications for managing IT, implementing the ITIL, established audit criteria and corporate-level certification.