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Availability Management
August 27, 2009

The Paradox of the 9s

While customers dont understand 9s they do think that more 9s is better. What they dont understand is that too many 9s actually costs more than it returns. Which leads to the question, how many 9s do customers really need?

July 30, 2009

Availability Management On A Budget

Which familiar ITIL process has virtually no added costs, yet can realize visible improvements in availability in as little as a few weeks? You guessed it, the Service Design Phase’s Availability Management!

Wed, 26 November 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Fault Tree Analysis Made Easy

If you are ITIL certified, you’ve heard of Fault Tree Analysis, or FTA. But if you’re like most, you probably have no idea how to actually perform or use FTA!

Tue, 14 October 2008 10:30:00 GMT

3 Steps to Success with CFIA

Many know Component Failure Impact Analysis (CFIA) is somehow related to Problem and Availability Management, yet it remains at best a fuzzy concept for most.

Thr, 25 September 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Availability Management in Action

Availability Management intimidates many new practitioners, and they often leave it to last or skip it altogether. This is too bad, because even without a formal ITIL program, Availability Management can yield dramatic results, as one of my clients, a major University, found out…

Tue, 12 Feb 2008 10:30:00 GMT

ITIL Service Outage Analysis (SOA) in 7 Steps

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) refers to Service or Systems Outage Analysis (SOA) as a method to improve availability. Unfortunately, the ITIL does not indicate how one actually performs SOA! This article explains the benefits of SOA, and gives you a 7-step guide to performing SOA.

Capacity Management

May 26, 2009

Capacity Management In 90 Days

A key requirement for any IT organization is to ensure capacity to meet the evolving demands of the business. Many IT executives think “upgrade” but then hear “capacity” – relating “a capacity plan” to “a spending plan.”

Tue, 20 May 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Capacity Management On A Budget

Capacity Management is one ITIL process that daunts virtually everyone. It is often “left to last” because of its (apparent) complexity and scope, but, at its heart, Capacity Management answers just four simple questions…

Change Management

Did the Chicken & Egg Know About Change & Configuration?

If there is a “burning question” as an organization drives its ITIL process implementation through the planning stages, it is “… which comes first – Change or Configuration Management?” And, as if that were not enough of a challenge, it is followed by, “Can you do one without the other?” and, close on its heels, “If you do one without the other will you achieve any meaningful level of success?”

January 27, 2010

When Project Management Is Wrong For Your Project

One new office, two new offices, three new offices, more… If planning for major, repetitive projects at your organization sounds like the childhood game, “Hot Potato,” maybe formal Project Management is just what you don’t need…

January 6, 2010

Changing How We Think about Change Management

One of the more challenging problems with deploying ITIL processes is our desire to make workflows linear. We teach the lifecycle one domain at a time, and teach processes in association with the book in which they are described. Reality is seldom so tidy, however.

Fri, 19 June 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Changing The Way You Change Things

Anyone who has worked with or around IT folk knows they don’t like change. In our IT careers we’ve probably been part of an implementation of at least one major new service that might not have gone as well as we’d hoped. The key to surviving the next “big one” is learning to change the way we change things.

Thur, 12 February 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Impact Assessment in 5 Simple Steps

IT is its own worst enemy – Gartner and others have documented that about 80% of all Incidents occur because of failed Change Management activities. However, it does not have to be that way. Change Impact Assessment is well known outside of IT…

Tue, 8 July 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Automating Change Management to Ease Compliance Efforts

Failures in the area of Change Management have grave and far-reaching consequences. It has been widely recognized that poor Change Management practices can result in a failure to meet service commitments, but have you considered the impact if a poorly managed change affects your compliance efforts as well? This can put an organization in a precarious position involving audits and result in a negative public image.

Tue, 19 Feb 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Accelerating Change Management

Few realize Change Management has two purposes: to limit change-related incidents and to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of day-to-day operations. Yet, that last part is what most implementers forget, often resulting in a Change Management process perceived by staff as bureaucratic, unrealistic, and impossible to manage.

Configuration Management

August 6, 2010

Future CMDB

ITSM Industry powerhouses have stopped fighting and are now working together. They recently released a joint whitepaper describing how they plan to work together to solve the thorniest CMDB technological hurdles…

June 14, 2010

7 Steps to Selecting Software

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.

April 30, 2010

Enterprise CMDB

A CMDB is a nebulous thing, and can exist in the minds of the organization, 3×5 cards, or any other medium. However, an enterprise CMDB is different. For large organizations only software will do, but not traditional relational database software. What we need is a new breed of software products…and they might be coming…

April 16, 2010

Configuration Management for the Rest of Us

Configuration Management is probably the least understood and most important service management process. Yet most have no idea how to start and many think it requires huge investments. But you do not need to spend big bucks to get real benefits.

November 17, 2009

A-FIRM Structure Configuration Management

ITIL V3 incorporates emerging best practices for a Configuration Management System (CMS) modeled upon a federated set of Configuration Management Databases (CMDB). For most IT shops that may seem a very daunting obstacle to surmount. But, by looking beyond the task at hand, we can find guidance in several places – including architectural systems, automotive designers, and even mountain-climbing expeditions.

October 29, 2009

Four Emerging (And Still Misunderstood) “Centers” Within IT and Why They are Critical to Your Future

While the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) offers a great many things, it does not try to represent a clear political or sociological assessment of IT organizations as they mature. This is probably a good thing as IT organizations in different business models often have different roots, with different cultures and differing leadership skills.

Tue, 14 April 2009 10:30:00 GMT

The Configuration Management System and the Road to Automation

Is your IT Process Automation (ITPA) automating train wrecks? Without the visibility offered by ITIL’s Configuration Management System (CMS), you may be sidetracking your efforts to implement more consistent, more effective, and more compliant and risk-free ways of working.

Tue, 12 June 2007 10:30:00 GMT

CMDB 3.0

ITIL v3 has radically redefined Configuration Management and scrapped the CMDB as we know it. Oh, and this is a really, really good thing!

Tue, 17 Apr 2007 10:30:00 GMT

How to Select & Implement the Right CMDB

Just 2,000 employees with just two devices per user can result in 20,00060,000 CI lifecycle, status, and/or attribute modifications in a one-year timeframe! Manual CMDB population and maintenance is a nearly impossible endeavor — automation is the key to success with a CMDB project.

Continuity Management

September 17, 2009

Continuity Management: Planning for Unnatural Disasters

Many IT professionals have followed the path of planning for natural disasters like power outages due to tornados etc. But how many have planned for unnatural disasters like identify theft and software viruses? Natural disasters like floods and fires can cost enterprises significant lost revenue and customers. Unnatural disasters like identity theft and software viruses can be even more costly. IT organizations need to consider both natural and unnatural disasters when using ITSM best practices to prepare their disaster responses.

Wed, 17 December 2008 10:30:00 GMT

10 Steps to Do It Yourself CRAMM

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) promotes the CCTA Risk Analysis and Management Method (CRAMM) for risk assessment. Everyone agrees managing risk is critical, yet few actually use CRAMM or any other formal system!

Tue, 26 Feb 2008 10:30:00 GMT

How to Win with BIA

Throughout the ITIL, you see Impact Analysis or Business Impact Analysis (BIA) as critical to effective IT decision making, and invaluable to overcoming objections. However, few actually know how to perform a BIA; and fewer that a BIA is not something you do by yourself!

Financial Management

March 24, 2010

Divining Skills Level of Effort in a Blended Operations Bridge

In today’s world of complex technology IT, infrastructure support has grown well beyond the days of a simple data center and a data network with its separate Network Operations Center (NOC). Today’s infrastructure requires an enterprise-level operations center that supports not just the networks, data center systems and applications, but the IT services as well.

February 19, 2010

Overcoming the Isolation of IT: Financial Management and the Cost of Service

Try posing this question to IT customers and IT professionals – pick the most important part of IT – pick the one process, one section of infrastructure, or the one department that stands out as the most strategic piece of IT. What responses do you think you would receive? Really, does IT have one most important strategic piece? The cut to the chase answer is this: None of the pieces are strategic by themselves. None. IT has too many parts.

April 9, 2009

Justifying ITIL

In today’s cost consciousness climate rife with the mistaken belief that IT can no longer deliver a competitive advantage, more and more IT professionals struggle with justifying IT expenditures. The ITIL offers much more than process control it provides a roadmap to doing more, for more, with less.

Tue, 29 Jan 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Process? Process! We Don’t Need No Stinkin’ IT Process!

Lack of IT process costs the average Fortune 500 company the equivalent of $261,000,000 a year. No wonder more than half of all CEO’s question the value of their IT organizations.

Tue, 18 December 2007 10:30:00 GMT

How to Budget for Real World IT

Keep in mind as you work on your Budget that “dollars and cents” are “the language of the Business,” and that Budgetary figures are perhaps the ultimate way to measure and analyze your success in meeting the Business’ requirements.

Tue, 11 December 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Tips For Effective Communications

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®) requires IT to communicate clearly internally and externally. For example Operating Level Agreements (OLAs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are examples of stakeholder communications. However, most IT communications are complex and so full of jargon they force stakeholders to wade through irrelevant information, driving them away instead of engaging them. Engaging communications require you know your audience and present your message in ways that keep your reader’s interest. Yes, our reports get read and you have readers!

Tue, 4 December 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Are IT Budgets too Big?

46¢ of every $1 spent on IT could be wasted due to lack of process control. Can a new, easier and more agile “BSM least practices” framework help the 100,000 companies of the mid-market?

Tue, 30 Jan 2007 10:30:00 GMT


Every vendor trumpets cost savings from ITIL. They are often quite nebulous in describing where the money came from. I am going to be specific; here is how a real client used a CMDB service management product to save over $180,000 a month and avoid a $600,000 purchase as they took on significant new IT service requirements.

Incident Management

July 23, 2010

How To Classify Incidents

Most Service Desk staff (those performing Classification and Initial Support) will not know the cause of an Incident until the call is closed. So how can they identify the problem? The answer is that they can’t and don’t have to…

February 26, 2010

9 Steps to Better Incident Classification

Incident classification is one of the most important and most difficult aspects of ITIL to implement. The benefits far outweigh the managerial challenges involved.

Wed, 18 February 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Expanding the Expanded Incident Lifecycle

A key to improving the quality of IT service begins with understanding and utilizing one of ITIL’s simplest concepts – the Expanded Incident Lifecycle.

Tue, 13 November 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Scripted Success

Service Desk staff performing Incident Control provides the initial support, investigation and diagnosis to resolve incidents. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) says that key to Service Desk effectiveness is efficient Incident matching.

Wed, 3 Jan 2007 10:30:00 GMT

How To Prioritize Incidents

IT should work on those things that are of a critical nature first, not simply those things people want done right away. The cold hard truth is that not every incident can or should be Critical.

Infrastructure Management

NOVEMBER 1, 2006

The Missing Link: Infrastructure Management

One common complaint about ITIL is that it does not address Infrastructure Management or detailed operations ITIL is descriptive not prescriptive. Another little known ITIL book addresses exactly these areas of concern.


February 5, 2010

CSF’s, KPI’s, Metrics, Outcomes and Benefits

I’m all in favor of keeping dangerous weapons out of the hands of fools. Let’s start with typewriters.

December 23, 2009

Vital Business Function Truths

Almost everyone thinks they know what a Vital Business Function is, but in reality, many hold a mistaken understanding and are therefore not identifying or using them to improve IT service quality correctly.

August 20, 2009

7 Dirty Little Truths About Metrics

Everyone knows metrics measure things. What most do not understand are the dirty little truths about metrics — what gets measured is what gets done, and metrics drive both good and bad behavior. Put another way, people do what you pay them to do.

Wed, 28 January 2009 10:30:00 GMT

The Metrics Tree

Consider a Service Desk that is posting excellent first-call response metrics for hung router ports. However, the concurrent service metrics are showing customer dissatisfaction with quality levels because of the frequency of the interruptions caused by the malfunctioning routers. In this case, a combination of process and component metrics would have given a more complete picture of the service’s metrics.

Wed, 12 November 2008 10:30:00 GMT

How to Measure IT Service Quality

IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) tenets are that Business needs drive IT operations; and that User perception is the true measure of IT Service Quality. However, most IT organizations report on technical metrics like jitter and loss, which while necessary, do not show how IT Services meet User needs, and offer little evidence of IT Service Quality.

Mon, 1 Apr 2008 10:30:00 GMT

5 Steps to Transparent Metrics

Measuring and reporting on IT efficiency and effectiveness is critical. The ITIL mentions Continuous Service Improvement Programs (CSIP), Goals, Critical Success Factors (CSFs) a.k.a. Key Success Factors, and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) as the means to measure success. In fact, ITIL V3 even devotes an entire phase of the IT Service Lifecycle to Continual Service Improvement (CSI)!

Problem Management

August 21, 2010

Secrets to Top Gun Troubleshooting & Knowledge Capture – Part II

This is Part II of the two-part DITY. In this DITY the authors revel the secrets to a simple three-step process used for knowledge capture.

August 15, 2010

Secrets to Top Gun Troubleshooting & Knowledge Capture – Part I

This DITY revels the secrets top troubleshooters employee and how they go about capturing critical knowledge. Troubleshooting or “problem solving” is often considered an art as opposed to an science. The authors of this DITY pull back the curtain and show is the science behind the art.

May 15, 2010

Thinking About Problems: Kepner-Tregoe

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) describes the steps of the root cause analysis method called Kepner-Tregoe – Define and Describe the Problem, Establish possible causes, Test the most probable cause, and Verify the true cause.

March 5, 2010

Major Problem Reviews in 6 Easy Pieces

If you are ITIL certified then you remember Major Problem Reviews (MPR). You may still remember that Problem Management performs a MPR after resolving a major problem to identify…

December 17, 2009

5-Step Problem Management with Kepner-Tregoe

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.

October 23, 2009

Fishing for Solutions: Ishikawa

Anyone with IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) certification has heard of Ishikawa or fishbone diagrams, usually in the context of Problem Management. Aside from knowing it is a root-cause analysis tool, most have no idea how to use it.

October 2, 2009

5 Whys to Solve Problems

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) assigns Problem Management the responsibility for determining the root-cause of an event or fault. Often misunderstood, the role of a Problem Manager is to coordinate and guide troubleshooting activities usually for difficult or cross-domain problems.

Wed, 11 March 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Accelerating Problem Resolution: Why It Matters and How to Do It

The average organization suffers 61 hours of downtime each year with costs exceeding $1 million per hour for larger enterprises. And, these same organizations waste the initial 54% of that downtime just trying to determine who should fix it!

Tue, 4 Mar 2008 10:30:00 GMT

7 Steps to the TOP

Most IT departments have tools that monitor their systems and create log files. Some are product specific, others are generic. But no matter what the tool, its always the people using the tool that matters most.

December 20, 2006

Fire Fighting is What You Want

Many IT organizations think they are fighting fires, and that this is a bad thing. I disagree. I think its insanity, and that every IT organization and every person working in IT should strive to become more like firefighters.

September 6, 2006

The Problem with Problems

One of the first choices to make when adopting best practices is to define what will be Problems. This simple sounding decision is much more complicated that it would seem, and is often the cause of confusion. It does not have to be.

Project Management

June 4, 2010

Making a Project of ITIL

Unless coordinated, ITIL and Project Management (PM) can conflict because ITIL focuses on stability and PM focuses on change. Moreover, they each share the same potential problem: bureaucracy.

April 9, 2010

Accelerating ITIL Implementations

If IT projects are closely aligned with business need and business urgency, it follows that supporting those projects will be of high priority to management throughout the enterprise. Woe to the manager who fails to support fully business imperative projects!

December 9, 2009

ITSM Project Management

The first 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.

Tue, 15 Apr 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Do IT Yourself Communications Planning

Change is all around us. Most Users want change, but they demand to know that change is coming. That is exactly what the “Forward Schedule of Changes” and “Projected Service Availability” do. ITIL v2 specifically identified these two reports; ITIL V3, by inference, includes them in the service release package. However, no matter where the reports are, the critical point is that simple reports such as these can lead the way to gaining customer satisfaction and confidence in IT as a partner in the business’ daily operations.

Service Level Management

April 18, 2011

Innovation & the Service Oriented Organization

Innovation is still key to a company having a competitive edge. It is my observation that there are still many Information Technology (IT) organizations challenged to figure out how they can be innovative or how they can contribute to a company’s innovation.

October 13, 2010

Put CRM and SOO before SOA in it STRATEGY

Information Technology organizations whose operational execution follow an IT strategy leveraging both service management and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) practices are much more likely to contribute, and be perceived as contributing, to their company’s business value.

September 29, 2010

Creating Organizational Agility

Business is moving faster and faster every day – and demanding that IT move with it. As a result, IT organizations are moving toward new development methodologies, approaches and tools such as SOA and Agile to reduce time to delivery of critical business applications.

July 28, 2010

The Four Things You Must Do to Lead Your Team through a Transformation

Leadership is something that, frankly, is not in abundance within most IT organizations. If you are reading this article, you most likely are already part of this exclusive group of leaders – because only a leader is constantly searching out ways to improve.

April 23, 2010

Establishing a Service Design Methodology

As more IT organizations adopt the processes of the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL® ), the turf wars continue between the application development groups and the “infrastructure groups” (anyone who doesn’t develop software) around the use of a Systems Development Lifecycle (SDLC) or the use of ITIL. As I wrote in a DITY, while it is an interesting question, “…it is the wrong question to ask.

January 20, 2010

IT Management Maturity: Linking Service, Asset and IT Financials

Next-Generation Asset Management (NGAM) was conceived around the idea that IT needs to adopt business practices for its own management. The central concept of NGAM’s vision is a simple one. IT services are its “products” and so all capital and operating assets associated with IT are investments made to support the creation, provisioning, management, optimization and retirement of these services. Mature IT shops have begun the move towards NGAM and will realize the value of its multi-dimensionality, serving technology and business needs as one.

November 4, 2009

Decrypting the MoSCoW Analysis

The “MoSCoW Analysis” sounds as though it is straight out of a James Bond or Jason Bourne spy movie. However, it is actually a very clever mnemonic that aids in prioritizing requirements for user services and Service Management tools in the Service Design phase of the IT Service Management (ITSM) Lifecycle.

Tue, 28 April 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Better ITIL Implementations with Business Service Management

What can ITIL-driven organizations gain from studying a business-driven practice?

April 1, 2009

Secrets to Successful Service Level Management

Manually creating after-the-fact monthly reports is not performing Service Level Management (SLM). SLM must show both current and past status as well as predict future problems, and this requires automation and daily or even real-time analysis of data.

Tue, 20 January 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Service Catalog: Integration = Value

An all-too-common approach to Service Catalog deployment is to pump a repository full of information – and then hope that it will be useful to someone. Unfortunately for the do-it-your-self crowd, this technique seems to be most frequently associated with spreadsheets and other home-grown approaches for Service Catalog implementation.

Tue, 4 November 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Service Catalog and the Back Office Connection

With the introduction of the IT Infrastructure Library version 3 (ITIL v3), awareness and adoption of the Service Catalog is rapidly increasing. As a cornerstone of the IT front office, it offers IT users access to the services they need while shielding them from the complex technologies and processes of the IT back office. While much of the value of the Service Catalog stems from hiding these complexities, additional value can be provided by reducing or eliminating them.

Wed, 29 October 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Had I known then, what I know now…

How many times have you found yourself saying, “Why didn’t I think of that?”, or “How did they (that company, person, vendor) create that SLA?” (and will they let me have a copy)? Or, perhaps you’ll admit to the thought “Had I known about ‘blah’ way back when, my life (job, struggles, IT processes, etc.) would be so much better (easier, or plug in your own ‘bla’ point)!

Tue, 21 October 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Driving Business Success with ITIL v3

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) has long recognized the need to align IT with the business and deliver the services most needed for business success. With version 3, ITIL adopters have more opportunity than ever before to drive business success.

Tue, 19 August 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Service Catalog – The Next Killer Application Has Arrived

Where does the Service Catalog sit in your organization? Most organizations follow the same general format of listing an “IT Service,” its description, a few key service levels, its cost, who may use the service, and how to request it. However, this view is far too limiting to fully describe the current realities. The truth is that the IT Service Catalog is growing up and becoming the “Enterprise” Service Catalog – a true killer application, used across the enterprise.

Thur, 12 June 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Who’s the Boss? 5 Ways to Stay on Top

How many times have you heard that refrain at your staff meetings when you try to solicit some input or feedback concerning a change or transition? In the extreme, a psychologist may call it passive-aggressive behavior; in daily operations, however, it often indicates resistance to a change.

Tue, 29 Apr 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Are We There Yet? Wrapped Around the (E)Valuation Axle

Are we there yet? And, if we are not there, where are we? It may sound like a line from any of a number of comedy films, but woe be unto the IT department that goes full speed ahead to implement a service change, only to find it does not deliver value to the business. Get back on track with the Evaluation Process, introduced in ITIL V3’s Service Transition phase.

Tue, 25 Mar 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Remote Support and Service Management

A thankless job! That’s what some would call the role of the service desk analyst, even though service desk staff are perhaps the most customer-facing function in the company right alongside call center personnel – both in a position to positively impact customer satisfaction. Still, the service desk is more often than not seen by executive management as a cost sink: labor-intensive, no contribution to revenue, and challenging to measure its performance.

Tue, 18 Mar 2008 10:30:00 GMT

IT Service Catalogs in 5 Steps

With tight budgets and Customers all wanting the newest gadgets IT has to work smarter, not harder. The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) says to improve IT efficiency and effectiveness you need Service Level Management (SLM). However, the relationships between Service Level Agreements (SLAs), Requirements, Targets, Catalogs, Operating Level Agreements and Underpinning Contracts can be confusing and hard to figure out. Where do you even begin?

Tue, 11 Mar 2008 10:30:00 GMT

A 5-Step Process for Defining IT Services

Managing IT by service and not technology is the message of ITIL v3. Unfortunately, most IT professionals really struggle with defining IT services. In fact, some 30% of ITSM projects are unable to move forward because of this roadblock. Luckily, there is a solution.

Tue, 22 Jan 2008 10:30:00 GMT

ITIL & Service Oriented Architecture

We hear a lot of buzz these days in software circles about Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). Software architects certainly place prime emphasis on it. But, beyond sharing the ‘SOA’ acronym with ITIL’s ‘Service Outage Analysis,’ how closely does Service Oriented Architecture really align with ITIL? Read on … the answer may surprise you.

Tue, 8 January 2008 10:30:00 GMT

How to Define IT Services

ITIL Portfolio Management is all the rage now. It seems everyone wants to define their IT services, create service catalogs and start the process of business IT alignment. Of course, ITIL itself does not offer much guidance on exactly how to do these things, nor should it. But something the ITIL does not mention is exactly what you need…

Tue, 01 January 2008 10:30:00 GMT

ITIL’s IT Service Lifecycle – The Five New Silos of IT

In my last article I spoke about IT’s evolution from its technological heritage into a Managed Services Provider utilizing the five domains of ITIL V3 as its ticket into the enterprise business leadership circle. Much has been written about breaking down the technological silos that have prevented IT from presenting a unified face to the business as a service provider aligned with business goals and objectives.

Tue, 23 October 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Why Customer Focus is NOT Service Management

Many IT Service Management practitioners preach that an IT department achieves IT Service Management (ITSM) by building Customer Focus into the culture of the groups who support the IT infrastructure. After all, isn’t Customer Focus and Business Alignment what IT Service Management is all about?

Tue, 31 July 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Where Has Release Gone?

What has ITL V3 done with Release? It naturally fits into the Service Transition segment of the Service Lifecycle, but, except for one segment called Release and Deployment, it is not there. Has it gone the way of buggy whips – or has it metamorphosed into something greater?

Tue, 24 July 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Transitioning to ITIL V3

While my friends, both young and old, are reading the just-released Harry Potter book, I have just finished reading another hefty and long-awaited British title – ITIL v.3 Service Transition…

Tue, 19 June 2007 10:30:00 GMT

A CMDB Runs Through IT

In the book and movie “A River Runs Through It” author Norman Maclean and his brother face the pressures of growing up. IT often struggles with growing up as well (assuming of course we ever do grow up!)

Tue, 8 May 2007 10:30:00 GMT

The Path to IT/Business Alignment

For many years, an IT Service Catalog was simply a printed document telling users whom to call for service. However, with the increasing commoditization of IT represented in ITIL v3, the concept and value of a Service Catalog is assuming a much more important role – that of unifying IT and the business.

Security Management

September 24, 2009

6 Steps to Making Your Security Policies Work – ITIL v.3 Access Management

We have all been in this situation. We know that managing security is a mandate in today’s IT environment, but calls are swamping the Service Desk. “I’ve been on vacation. I’ve forgotten my password.” “I have a new employee starting today. She needs to be able to log into X application.” “I’ve been promoted. How do I get Manager privileges?” And, the dreaded “Some unauthorized changes were made. Who has access to the system?” It is like herding cats to stay current on who is who in the corporate structure, and who should have which level of authority. Access Management, one of the Service Operation processes, provides key guidance to help rein in those Security lions lying in the bushes.

Tue, 7 October 2008 10:30:00 GMT

The Importance of ITIL to (Am I Reading This Right?) … Security??

What is one of the most important foundations of IT security management? Simple: it’s ITIL. That’s probably not the answer you would expect from a security professional. When asked this question, it seems people usually expect the answer to point to technologies for IT defense, or—to the extent they are relevant at all—guidance such as security-specific ISO or NIST standards, or compliance mandates such as the Payment Card Industry (PCI) Data Security Standard.

Wed, 13 August 2008 10:30:00 GMT

11 Ways ITIL Improves Security

ITIL improves security governance. ITIL makes security easier and more controlled, thus making it easier to comply with regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, FISMA, GLBA, NIST 800-53/FIPS200, FFIEC, and others.

September 24, 2009

6 Steps to Making Your Security Policies Work – ITIL v.3 Access Management

We have all been in this situation. We know that managing security is a mandate in today’s IT environment, but calls are swamping the Service Desk. “I’ve been on vacation. I’ve forgotten my password.” “I have a new employee starting today. She needs to be able to log into X application.” “I’ve been promoted. How do I get Manager privileges?” And, the dreaded “Some unauthorized changes were made. Who has access to the system?” It is like herding cats to stay current on who is who in the corporate structure, and who should have which level of authority. Access Management, one of the Service Operation processes, provides key guidance to help rein in those Security lions lying in the bushes.

Wed, 13 August 2008 10:30:00 GMT

11 Ways ITIL Improves Security

ITIL improves security governance. ITIL makes security easier and more controlled, thus making it easier to comply with regulations like Sarbanes-Oxley, HIPAA, FISMA, GLBA, NIST 800-53/FIPS200, FFIEC, and others.

September 24, 2009

6 Steps to Making Your Security Policies Work – ITIL v.3 Access Management

We have all been in this situation. We know that managing security is a mandate in today’s IT environment, but calls are swamping the Service Desk. “I’ve been on vacation. I’ve forgotten my password.” “I have a new employee starting today. She needs to be able to log into X application.” “I’ve been promoted. How do I get Manager privileges?” And, the dreaded “Some unauthorized changes were made. Who has access to the system?” It is like herding cats to stay current on who is who in the corporate structure, and who should have which level of authority. Access Management, one of the Service Operation processes, provides key guidance to help rein in those Security lions lying in the bushes.

Release Management

IT — Heal Thyself!

Most Service Desk calls result from failed changes, making IT its own worst enemy and largest customer. This makes IT the #1 preventable cause of IT service outages! The solution is Release Management…

Service Desk

October 15, 2009

Tools of the Trade: Optimization at the Service Desk

Those of us involved in service support are acutely aware of the maturing of the help desk, now more appropriately referred to as the Service Desk. Contemporary Service Desk operations demand much in the way of technology and people skills for Service Desk personnel. The Service Desk is a key investment area and often a starting point for broader Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) initiatives.

September 8, 2009

Managing Software Assets to Improve IT Cost Management

Managing software licenses and their associated costs has once again risen as a high priority for IT. Executives are seeking alternatives for cutting expenses and at the same time optimizing existing investments effectively. Software assets are an easy target and Software Asset Management (SAM) is a place where significant cost savings can be achieved.

September 4, 2009

CSI Means “Change Standard Investigation?”

Forgive the pun on the name of the popular television police detective program. However, it appears that ITIL V3’s “Continual Service Improvement (CSI)” phase could easily decipher into “Change Standard Investigation” when you use its guidance to help establish Service Transition’s Standard Change models and Request Fulfillment process.

August 13, 2009

New Service Desk Success in 8 Steps

It is pretty common for Users to go around a new Service Desk, but what do you do when IT groups go around the new Service Desk too? Lack of trust in a new Service Desk cuts both ways and success depends on winning the hearts and minds of customers and internal IT groups – and it takes just 5 minutes…

Tue, 21 April 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Getting More ITSM Value Out of Your Service Desk

Has your support organization evolved to meet today’s Service Desk requirements or are you stuck in help desk mode recording trouble-tickets and not much beyond that? Time has come for change! Not only will your team be in a better position to support “real” company needs, but can achieve financial savings by meeting more than one service need with its investments.

Wed, 7 January 2009 10:30:00 GMT

Debunking the Myth of Over Servicing Customers

The only way you can exceed customer expectations is by doing what you agreed to do, and to treat customers with dignity and respect as you do so!

Tue, 13 May 2008 10:30:00 GMT

May I Take Your Order? How to Free Up Your Service Desk by Adding Service Requests to its Menu

“Good morning, this is Jane Doe of the XYZ Service Desk. How may I help you?” Countless Service Desks across the nation and around the world repeat a similar greeting every minute of every day, and then they begin a scripted routine of logging the Incident, categorizing it, diagnosing it, restoring service, and closing the Incident. Many Service Desks streamline at least part of this routine by creating self-service sites that allow Users to enter Incidents themselves and perhaps access a knowledgebase to do some self-diagnosis and recovery.

Tue,5 Feb 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Looking in The Mirror: Part 1

As the saying goes,’ If you don’t know where you are going, then any road will get you there.’ This kind of problem is what many IT organizations face in the beginning of a Continuous Service Improvement Program (CSIP).

Tue, 15 January 2008 10:30:00 GMT

Serving Up Service — Help Desk Evolution

The service desk of today no longer acts as a gatekeeper but as more of an enabler of IT services. The modern service desk is the IT interface to the user community. It acts as the users representative within IT.

Tue, 16 October 2007 10:30:00 GMT

The Incident Pit

The “incident pit” is a slang term used by divers to describe a series of events, which by themselves would not normally be dangerous, but each causes a problem, which is made worse by the next event until you end up with a major incident. How many IT managers have found themselves at the bottom of an incident pit and didn’t have a clue how they got there?

Tue, 14 August 2007 10:30:00 GMT

Putting “Service” in the Service Desk

Drug dealers and IT are the only service providers I know of who refer to their customers as “users.” Drug dealers don’t seem to be in danger of being put out of business. IT on the other hand may face an uncertain future if they don’t start treating their “users” like “customers.”

Quality Management

Wed, 15 July 2009 10:30:00 GMT

How to Roll the Deming Wheel

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) indicates that systematic process improvement requires a Quality Management System (QMS). As usuall, the ITIL is sketchy about the QMS, but does mention one in particular — The Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) of the Deming cycle.

General ITSM/ITIL Guidance

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

Agile ITSM

“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

ITIL Triage

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.
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