Coming Soon – Reporting & Analytics Group Test

Ta dah! Preview of coming attractions – our sparkly new reporting & analytics group test! Our next group test will explore how reporting & analytics can support your IT organisation and will look at the following areas:

  • Format & view options
  • Reactive metrics
  • Proactive metrics
  • Integration
  • CSI

The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” in Reporting & Analytics.

Tool Criteria & Scope:

Our remit is to explore how dedicated toolsets can use reporting & analytics to deliver value to the client organisation.

The group test will focus on specific reporting challenges, rather than duplicating the test criteria typically associated with the procurement of a Service Management tool. The tool review will focus upon the following areas:

  • Ability to support metrics for core ITSM processes
  • Ability to support the integration of the tool with other tools for exchange of master data, ticket data and CMDB / Asset data (including relationships between CIs)
  • Ability to manage master data (priorities, locations, users, etc), including maintenance, bulk upload, and reconciliation
  • Data dictionary management) aspects.
  • Ability to support common use of data to eliminate duplication and make it easy to update individual data elements
  • Appropriate, role based security so that only authorised personnel can access information
  • Formatting & dashboard options
  • Ease of customisation
  • Proactive analytics
  • Reactive analytics
  • Financial metrics
  • Customer metrics
  • Big Data & CSI

The research will highlight competitive differentiators; feature key strengths and showcase innovation within each product. Once reviewed, we will crown one Vendor “Best in Class” in Reporting & Analytics.

 

For more information or if you’d like to take part in the assessment please contact us!

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IT500 Conference: DevOps – Bring IT Out Of The Shadows

I caught up with Daniel Breston ahead of tomorrow’s IT500 conference in Edinburgh to talk about his session with Helen Beal.

Daniel BHelen B

The session will involve Daniel and Helen working with the audience to figure out what good looks like and how to develop a culture of sharing and collaboration. Delegates will take away a chart of behaviours from zero to “let’s do this”. The session will focus on how to use the principles of DevOps to deliver real value to your organisation, as Daniel put it “In DevOps you know you are having a good day when you are enabling business objectives”.

You should attend this session if:

You would like to find out more about DevOps and practical tips on how to get started.

The official bit:

One of the biggest threats to organisations today in unmanaged technology. Shadow IT, technology solutions not meeting business needs, performance indicators not driving behavioural change, knowledge not being shared and automation capabilities being misapplied. What would happen if you had a way of going from idea (strategy) to realisation based on a communicative, collaborative and improving culture? This is DevOps, a mindset using technology to define “great” removing business obstacles and enabling goals on a daily basis, top down. Learn how to apply the principles of CALMS (Culture, Automation, Lean, Metrics & Sharing) to create sustainable development, delivery and improvement.

 

For more information, check out this link.

 

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IT500 Conference: Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

I caught up with Stuart Rance and Andrew Vermes this week to talk about their IT500 workshop in June;  Effective CSI in a SIAM Eco System

Stuart RanceAndrew Vermes

The session will provide a practical guide to managing CSI well in SIAM environments and will look at what you should have in place to work effectively among multiple partners. The workshop will cover everything from shared methods, goals, measurements to reporting and governance. Stuart and Andrew will look at ways to get started, identifying improvement opportunities and managing ideas for both technical and process impressions. To quote Stuart “improvements are good for all of us but only if we collaborate effectively; we need to work holistically and avoid pockets of local optimisation” The workshop will bring CSI to life, looking at CSI and risk management, how to set up a CSI register and referencing the new ITIL practitioner content to support a culture of CSI.

You should attend this session if:

You’’re interested in CSI, and you’d like some practical ideas and guidance on how to do it in real life!

The official bit:

People in every department and outsource provider want to make improvements. Given the huge range of opportunity in every organisation where do we start? How do we create a meaningful rewards system and move away from avoidance of blame? What will help us to deliver an effective partnership?

Learn more or register here.

Are you looking to bring in CSI to your SIAM environment? Let us know in the comments!

 

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IT500 Conference: Introducing a CSI Sat Nav

Ahead of the IT500 Conference in June, I was lucky enough to speak to presenters Ian MacDonald and John Griffiths and discussed their workshop: “Introducing a CSI Sat Nav”.

Ian&John


Their session will explore why CSI is so critical to drive success and how to focus on the improvements that will make the most difference.

The workshop will look at how to get CSI going in an organisation, things people can do in the workplace to facilitate a CSI culture, scope setting and empowering people so that they can be advocates for improvement. The sat nav analogy will be used to explain the 6 step CSI model:

  • What is the vision?
  • Where are we now?
  • Where do we want to be?
  • How do we get there?
  • Did we get there?
  • How do we keep the momentum going?

You should attend this session if:

You would like advice on getting started, you’re interested in CSI or you’re looking for guidance and new ideas.

The official bit:

‘In this session we introduce the concept of the CSI sat nav and how it can be used to positively engage and motivate your team. With the competing demands of time and resource, we look at where we should actually target our improvements to actually deliver value to the business. Using the ITIL CSI model, we will show how to baseline current performance and measure ‘what good looks like’’.

 

Are you going to IT500? Let us know in the comments!

 

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Knowledge Management 101

7967019132_3e8442065c_z (1)One of the ITIL processes that tends to be glossed over is Knowledge Management which is a shame because it’s the process that can empower your people the most. Used effectively, Knowledge Management can empower your people, reduce Incident resolution times and increase customer satisfaction.

So what is Knowledge Management?

Knowledge Management is the process responsible for sharing perspectives, ideas, experience and information, and for ensuring that these are available in the right place and at the right time. The Knowledge Management process enables informed decisions, and improves efficiency by reducing the need to rediscover knowledge.

In other words, Knowledge Management is the process that takes all the information rattling around in our heads and puts it into a database / management system where it can be captured, shared and backed up.


 

What are the benefits? Too many to count!

  • How about increased engagement and staff retention? Take it from someone who knows staff attrition can be a nightmare especially in a Service Desk environment. Anything that can be done to improve morale and self esteem will increase engagement and help with staff retention. This can be in the form of training, mentoring or shift left.
  • Improved first time fix rates and improved Incident resolution times. If your people have the right skills, they will be able to resolve Incidents more quickly reducing call waiting times, improving up time and increasing ability to meet agreed service levels.
  • Less failed Changes. If service information is captured correctly the Change can be impact assessed more accurately and your team will be less likely to miss things. You know those wash up meetings where a Change has broken something because of a really daft reason? The meetings where the Incident and Change Managers are trying to write to the business explaining said daft reason?  It happens all the time. Off the top of my head I can remember a critical trade floor application being out of service for 8 hours because a time change wasn’t done correctly and the time the transactional website of a large retail back was down for over 2 hours because we forgot to restart a database as part of a planned Release. Both really daft things that caught us out because when we went back to look at our processes, they weren’t documented properly.

 

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Don’t get caught out, document your processes properly
  • Easier to find the right information at the right time – no more faffing about trying to find that key how to guide – it will be saved and linked to in one central location. This is particularly important in big organisations where things can get lost or misplaced within massive intranets.
  • No more reinventing the wheel. Having a Knowledge Management process means that reusing ideas, processes and experience is so much easier – making our processes repeatable and accurate using models and templates.
  • Getting the message out – again it’s about getting it right first time – the right information to the right audience.The Knowledge Base can be a great way to communicate with our customers;  think about it – if it’s the go to place for  everyone to check in use it to communicate new services or maintenance windows.
  • Promoting accurate, repeatable processes procedures and work instructions – a standard way of working that stands up to audit and external review. If everything is templated in a central location with an agreed review process, your processes and procedures will be accurate, useful and have a consistent look and feel.
  • Making niche or specialised knowledge more widely available. When I worked in second line support for a tech company 15 years ago, I was fascinated with Lotus Notes. It used to really bug me that every time we had a user call in with a Notes issue we had to sanity check and then bounce the call to third line support, so one day I went to see the e-mail team and asked them if there were some basic things they could teach me. There may have been some beer related bribery involved but I got some solid experience supporting the application and was able to share with the rest of the team. Also – when the Notes guys were looking for guinea pigs to try out a new instant messaging product – guess who was first in line? Everyone was a winner!
  • Empowering your customers and taking their experience to the next level – Self service and self help. We live in the world of Google, Amazon and Facebook; no one wants to spend 10 – 15 minutes on the phone to the Service Desk if it’s something they can take care of themselves so let’s start building this into our Service Desk functions!
  • Struggling to know what level of empowerment to aim for? This is how I’d love every business customer to feel when using IT services.
  • Speed of delivery– you can react quicker if you’re lean, streamlined and organised. If you have effective Knowledge Management in place you can be quicker to market – no more faffing about for a key document. RFP response template or spreadsheet – they’re all stored in one place.
  • Continual Service Improvement or CSI – improve improve improve. Knowledge Management drives CSI – gathering Data and processing Wisdom (more about this soon) enables us to focus on the most business critical areas to improve. Keep getting better. As the saying goes- knowledge is power so use it to ensure quality is inherent in everything you do.

What’s not to love?

How do I get started?

Let’s start with the basics. I know ITIL suggests the SKMS but being realistic – not everyone can afford a tool which has been hyped up to be effectively Google. Also – there is no one size fits all; the Knowledge Management requirements of a global investment bank regulated to the hilt will be completely different to those of a tech startup made up of thirty people so flex your approach accordingly.

If you don’t have a tool can you start capturing the basics on a network share or simple SharePoint form?

Have a chat with the Service Desk. Chances are they’re already doing some sort of Knowledge Management even if it’s pretty informal. Look at the shift left principle; empowering those the next tech level down from you to drive efficiency. If you work on the Service Desk, invite the second line support guys to your team meetings once a month to give you trouble shooting tips.  The first line support guys get to add to their skillset and second line support are freed up to concentrate on the more complex issues.

The main thing? Do something. Seriously – it’s that simple.

Anything you do will be better than not having anything in place. Start with the system that you know you’re on dodgy ground with support wise. Think about it – there’s always some quirky legacy system that depends on the expertise of one or two people. Having support rockstars is all well and good but what if they get sick or win the lotto and decide to relocate to Disneyworld? Ask them what their top ten support tips are and stick them in your Knowledge Base – even if it’s just a spreadsheet or word document. You’ve made a start in capturing key information about a difficult to support system so I’m calling that a win. At least it’s a start right? And that’s the thing – once you’ve made a start with Knowledge Management you can build on it over time until you’ve got a process that supports and empowers your people.


 

Up next I’ll be talking about the Knowledge Management process and the DIKW model so stay tuned. What are your thoughts on getting started with Knowledge Management? Let us know in the comments!

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itSMF Ireland Conference preview – Keep moving forward!

CSI - Keep moving forward
CSI – Keep moving forward

Ahead of the itSMF Ireland conference on the 8th October in Dublin I speak with Colm O’Shea and Vawns Murphy from itSMF Ireland to discuss their theme for the conference – Continual Service Improvement (CSI).

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A five step framework for business oriented metrics

A practical look at why some metrics programs fail while others are successful, along with some tips you can use to kick your metrics up a notch.

Introduction

I was math-challenged as a child and hatred of anything having to do with numbers followed me into adulthood. This hatred remained with me until I became a manager and needed to begin proving the work my team was doing or understanding where we were failing. Actually, the turning point may have been the now-overused adage “you can’t move what you don’t measure,” a powerful concept that has a lot to do with the metrics programs I’ve created over the years. I’ve worked hard at this, mainly because of my math aversion. While Excel certainly helps, it’s all still “funny math” and through practice I’ve learned how to justify any story I want to tell using the numbers available from the IT Management tools my organizations have used.

Ultimately, if you can a story with metrics, how do you decide what is the right story? That’s the focus of this blog: determining the story to tell and to whom. 

Building a Business Oriented Metrics Framework 

Ultimately, if you turn to ITIL for help with metrics, you can be led astray pretty easily unless you read all of the books (or at least Service Strategy (SS) and Continual Service Improvement (CSI)). This is because at the end of each process described, there is a list of Critical Success Factors (CSF’s) and Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s). These are great sample metrics for the process you might be implementing and are critical for measuring that process’ success, however providing them to business partners will have you producing the same type of metrics IT’s been producing for years, the type that are not of real interest to the business. You’ll also be led into a false set of security because they came from ITIL, didn’t they? YES!

While these process metrics are one of the three types of metrics ITIL recommends you produce (Process, Service and Technology) and while they are important metrics to produce, they’re of little or no interest to business partners outside of IT because they don’t tell you how well IT is doing at delivering on the key strategic initiatives of the business.

To craft a metrics program that is of interest to the business, you need to start with the business. To help you get started, you can use the informal framework for building business-based dashboards and scorecards presented here (If it seems familiar, it is. It’s based on ITIL’s Continual Service Improvement approach):

Linium-Metrics

This framework is very simple:

  • Know the vision of the organization or line of business
  • Document the goals that support this vision
  • Discover those Critical Success Factors (CSF’s) the organization feels are needed to be successful
  • Create Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) or measurable indicators of the Critical Success Factors. Include target levels for these, so success is clearly shown.
  • Organize them into dashboard views for each audience that may be viewed live (on-line).
  • Develop scorecards that may be used for trending, historical reporting.

Three Steps to Using this Framework

This framework can be delivered using five basic sets of activities or steps, which are described below.

In addition to these steps however, some of this can only be demonstrating using examples. For these, let’s use a sample organization that is expanding into web-based sales to demonstrate the concepts. In this organization, the new Web Sales department and the Audit/Control group are tasked with delivering on three goals that support the organization’s vision of “providing the best shopping experience on the web.”

These goals include:

  • Providing Customers with an Excellent Web Shopping Experience
  • Giving Customers the ability to do shop any time of day (or night)
  • Guaranteeing credit card security

With this in mind, let’s look at the five steps:

Step 1Create a Focus Group

To ensure alignment, create a focus group consisting of key stakeholders from several lines of business and a few IT Managers. For the organization in the example, this would include managers from Web Sales, Audit/Control and the IT teams tasked to develop and deliver the website.

Step 2: Understand the vision, goals of the organization

With the focus group, take a look at the organization’s strategic plan. Typically the strategic plan includes a set of initiatives designed to support the organization’s vision, similar to the web sales initiative. These are often stated as goals so review the business goals associated with the initiatives and define the ways in which IT supports these goals.  Think of the goals as the pillars that support the organization.  This will ensure your program aligns with these goals and the strategic initiatives.

To move to the next step you will need the vision and goals, similar to the ones provided for the sample organization.

Step 3: Identify your audiences and their contribution

Next, working with the focus group, create a matrix to document the goals and critical success factors for each of the organizations to which you’ll be reporting. This matrix will be used to plan the dashboards and scorecard measures you need. Using the sample organization, the matrix would look like the one that follows.

Audience

Goals

CSF

KPI

(with target)

Web Sales department (1) Excellent Web Experience(2) Ability to do shop anytime
Audit/Control (1) Confidence when using credit cards
IT (1)    Service Operations Excellence(2)    “Fort Knox” security

Step 4: Make the goals measurable

To quantify the goals, you’ll need to work with your focus group to determine the Critical Success Factors that will demonstrate the fulfillment of their goals. The best Critical Success Factors (CSF’s) will be: “SMART”: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.

Once your and the focus group have agreed on the CSF’s, you’ll be able to develop Key Performance Indicators, or measures that support the CSF. It’s extremely beneficial to develop KPI’s along with targets, so you and your business partners are clear on whether you’re successful in delivering on each of the goals. The best part about this approach is that when IT and the business agree on measures and targets, it’s easy to tell when IT has delivered or when IT is not meeting the needs identified by the business.

The ITIL books demonstrate this process clearly at the end of each process documented. The last section of the process description includes a list of Critical Success Factors for the process and Key Performance Indicators that support them.

For example, the Incident Management process (ITIL Service Operation 2011, p. 109) has a Critical Success Factor to “minimize the impact to the business of incidents that cannot be prevented.”

This is not measurable by itself, but four Key Performance Indicators follow it:

  1. The number of known errors added to the Known Error Data Base (KEDB)
  2. The percentage of accuracy of the KEDB
  3. Percentage of incidents closed by the service desk without reference to other levels of support and
  4. Average incident resolution time for those incidents linked to problem records

At the end of this stage, your matrix will be complete, similar to the one which follows for the sample organization:

Audience

Goals

CSF

KPI

(with target)

Web Sales department (1) Excellent Web Experience(2) Ability to do shop anytime (1)    Customers are satisfied with the website design and functionality(2)    Web site is available 24×7 (1) 85% of customers give the site a 5-star rating on exit(2) Web site is 100% available
Audit/Control (1) Confidence when using credit cards (1)    Web site is PCI compliant(2)    Security patches are up to date (1) 100% PCI Audit pass rate(2) 90% of patches applied within 24 hours
IT (3)    Service Operations Excellence(4)    “Fort Knox” security (1)    Web site is available 24×7(2)    Web site is PCI compliant(3)    Security patches are up to date (1)    100% site availability SLA(2)    99% performance SLA(3)    100% PCI Audit SLA(4)    No Security Breach SLA(5)    90% on-time patch SLA

You might notice several things when reading this list:

  • A qualitative measure (5-star rating by customers) is used to determine the customer’s view of the website. This is a critical measure as the CSF points to the customer’s experience.
  • The quantitative measures that sound like IT performance measures are translated to SLA’s for reporting purposes under the IT list of KPI’s. When creating the dashboards and scorecards in the IT Service Management tool, these SLA’s may be configured to demonstrate IT’s achievements against the business KPI’s.
  • Most of them sound like technology metrics. While this is true, these are a short list of technology metrics that these audiences care about. Notice some frequently reported, but missing measures: average speed of answer at the service desk, mean time to restore service etc. These would be IT metrics that support teams would need, but not IT management or the business, unless IT is failing to deliver on the metrics listed in the matrix and management wants to dig down to discover the reasons.

Step 5: Build the dashboards and scorecards

Once the matrix is agreed on and the method of measuring each KPI is defined, documented and agreed on by the focus group, the final step is to design dashboards and scorecards that represent these KPI’s. These are both graphical views of the Key Performance Indicators listed above, showing the result in comparison to the target. The main difference between the two is in the delivery:

  • Dashboards are dynamic: live representations of the data, often provided via a web portal that is integrated either to a measurement tool or directly into an ITSM tool.
  • Scorecards are static: they provide a historical look at the data including trending over a period of time.

Sustaining Success 

There are two final aspects of using this framework:

  • Continual improvement
  • Measurement retirement

As these dashboards and scorecards are used by the business, it’s important to come back to the focus group to evaluate the results. This may lead to creating new KPI’s or tweaking the ways in which they are measured, depending upon the focus group’s satisfaction with performance. In the case of the sample organization, it’s possible that the business is not meeting their objectives and may initiate changes to their critical success factors that will drive a need to change the measures. The point here is that you should not build the dashboards and scorecards then forget about them. Rather, you should meet with the focus group quarterly to review the metrics programs and IT’s achievements. This is a great opportunity to talk about service improvements that the business might need to support the initiatives as well.

Knowing when to stop delivering a dashboard or scorecard report is the last critical piece to a successful program. Once IT is reliably meeting the targets set by the business for a particular goal, it’s a good idea to discuss this result with the focus group during the quarterly review.  In this case, you’re not looking at changing CSF’s and KPI’s to address a business need, but rather you’re reviewing the KPI’s to see if the business still needs to see them continually and if any of the targets need adjustment.

Bear in mind that once you are achieving targets reliably, the business might want to work with IT to “up the game.” So in the sample organization, once the security patches and PCI audit result SLA’s are being met consistently, the business might want an shorter SLA for deployments of new features to the website. Thus, the matrix would be adjusted and the appropriate changes made to the dashboards and scorecards.

Benefits of the program

Providing metrics that are responsive to your business’ needs rather than the same stale set of IT metrics they don’t really care about will have a significant impact on the relationship between you and the rest of the business. Looking back at the reasons to measure, you can expect the following results:

  1. Direct: Live dashboards also provide the ability to determine the activities needed to drive success of an initiative and whether these activities are providing the expected result,
  2. Validate: You and your stakeholders are able to use the metrics you provide to validate whether IT’s performance is contributing to the business’ ability to meet their goals and objectives,
  3. Justify: IT is able to produce metrics that support a business case for infrastructure or development projects related to the delivery of a service,
  4. Intervene: Live dashboards provide IT and the Business to know when there is a performance issue and they can intervene immediately to turn the problem around.

This helps an organization move from a purely reactive mode to a more proactive approach that is integrated with the success of the business’ initiatives in mind.

Linium’s 5 Box Model – You Cannot Manage What You Cannot Measure from Linium on Vimeo.

Building a CSI culture

Melbourne Skyline (Wikipedia): the 17th National LEADit Conference to be held Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 August 2014.
Melbourne Skyline (Wikipedia): the 17th National LEADit Conference to be held Wednesday 13 to Friday 15 August 2014.

I’ll be delivering a presentation on Continual Service Improvement (CSI) at the LeadIT conference run by itSMF Australia in August. I wanted to talk about CSI because I think it’s one of the biggest opportunities we have to create value for our customers, and most organizations I work with don’t even try to implement it.

The key thing to remember about CSI is that it’s NOT a process, and despite what the ITIL books say it’s not a stage in the service lifecycle either. CSI is a combination of attitudes, behaviour and culture. It’s a belief that we can always do better, and that we should always do better – even if we’re already meeting every commitment we have signed up to.  It’s a constant striving for excellence, it’s a culture that says we can and will do better next time.

The ITIL CSI publication describes lots of great techniques. The best of these are the CSI register, and the CSI approach.

CSI Register

A CSI register is very simple, it’s just a place to record all the improvement suggestions that anyone brings to you, so that you can

  • Remember them, even if you aren’t yet ready to act on the suggestion
  • Prioritize them in terms of cost, benefits and urgency
  • Discuss them with stakeholders and agree which ones you will invest in
  • Manage and track the ones you decide to implement to ensure they deliver what you expect
  • Measure the cost and benefit that you actually create with CSI so you can report this to your customers and encourage further investment in more improvements

A CSI register doesn’t have to be complex, it is typically based on a fairly simple spreadsheet.

I often hear people explain that they don’t need CSI because they can do all of this with their risk management, or change management or quality management process. This is of course true, you could log all of these improvement suggestions as change requests and use the change management process to manage CSI, or log them all on a risk register and use the risk management process. Either of these would probably work to some extent, but there are differences between these things and you are likely to overload the change management or risk management process if you try doing this.

I’ve worked with CSI registers at many customers for more than 10 years, and I can assure you that they are a very low overhead way of helping to manage continual improvement. During my session at LeadIT, I’ll talk about some of my experiences with customers and how we have created success using CSI registers.

The CSI Approach

The CSI approach is a very simple approach to an ITSM improvement project based on six steps. It was first described in the ITIL V2 publication “Planning to Implement Service Management” published in 2002.  It has since been updated and now forms one of the components of ITIL CSI. The six steps are:

  1. What is the vision?  Ensure that you understand the vision and mission, goals and objectives for the improvement project. You need this to ensure that your decision making is consistent and leads to desired outcomes. Otherwise there will be lack of clarity about what you’re trying to achieve, and there will almost certainly be conflict between the different stakeholders.
  2. Where are we now? Understand the current situation. This is needed because CSI is based on improving what you have, not throwing everything away and starting again.
  3. Where do we want to be? Set measureable targets for the improvement project, and short term goals for the first stage of the project. Ideally you will use an agile approach for the whole project in which case this is where you define your first sprint.
  4. How do we get there? This is the bit where you create a detailed plan, invest in the improvement activities, and actually make the improvements
  5. Did we get there? Make the measurements that you defined in step 3 and make sure you achieved your goals.
  6. How do we keep the momentum going? CSI is not a one-off project like activity, it is a constant activity that results in ongoing improvements. This is why an agile approach works so well. As you make each improvement (or complete each sprint) you should verify that you are still working towards the vision, mission, goals and objectives that you set out, and report your successes to both IT and business staff – this will help to ensure support for the next iteration (or the next sprint if you’re using agile).

That’s all there is to it. If you come to my LeadIT presentation in August then I’ll tell you some stories about how my customers have used the CSI approach, what worked, what didn’t, what we learned. I’ll also ask you to share your experiences so maybe I’ll learn something from you too.

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Podcast Episode 2: 'Hot tables' at SITS, ITSM Industry News, CSI and Barclay in his onesie?

ManageEngine
Thanks to our friends at ManageEngine for sponsoring this podcast.

Episode 2 of The ITSM Review Podcast!

Hosted by Barclay Rae and Rebecca Beach.

Special Guest: Stuart Rance from Optimal Service Management

ITSM Industry News

CSI

  • Most problem management is CSI
  • CSI – source of the biggest ROI
  • Metrics for change management, Real meaningful metrics for CSI
  • Stuart Rance – Balanced Scorecard Approach
  • 1. What does it look like for the customer?
  • 2. How well are my internal processes running?
  • 3. What do the finances look like?
  • 4. What am I doing to learn and improve?
  • Taking Service Forward

Our next Podcast is scheduled to be recorded at SITS14.

If you have industry news to share ahead of our next podcast please give me a shout.

Thanks to our friends at ManageEngine for sponsoring this podcast.

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Pink14 Preview: What’s the big idea?

"Sometimes you're so busy putting out fires that you don't have time to improve fire-fighting or fire-safety"
“Sometimes you’re so busy putting out fires that you don’t have time to improve fire-fighting or fire-safety”

Do you ever get a Big Idea?  You’ll be talking or reading about ITSM and the proverbial light bulb comes on.  You see a connection or an underpinning concept that you hadn’t seen before.  Sometimes it appears to be an original insight, one you haven’t heard expressed exactly that way before.  And very occasionally it really is novel and it really is right: you subject it to the scrutiny of others and it stands up.

It happens to me.  Because I’m privileged to spend so much time interacting with some of the best minds in ITSM worldwide – and thinking and writing about what I learned in those discussions, and applying that knowledge as a consultant – it happens to me quite often, about once a year. In fact I will be presenting on some of these big ideas at the upcoming Pink Elephant IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition (PINK14).

Standard+Case

A couple of years ago my Big idea was Standard+Case, a topic which I will be running a half-day workshop on at PINK14.

Standard+Case is a synthesis of our conventional “Standard” process-centric approach to responding, with Case management, a discipline well-known in industry sectors such as health, social work, law and policing.

The combination of Standard and Case concepts gives a complete description of ticket handling, for any sort of activity from Incidents to Changes.

  • Standard tickets are predefined because they deal with a known situation. They use a standard process to deal with that situation. They can be modelled by BPM, controlled by workflow, and improved by the likes of Lean IT and ITIL.

  • Case tickets present an unknown or unfamiliar situation. They rely on the knowledge, skills and professionalism of the person dealing with them. They are best dealt with by experts, being knowledge-driven and empowering the operator to decide on suitable approaches, tools, procedures and process fragments.

ITIL and Lean do fit this S+C paradigm, if you use them in the right situation: Standard responses. S+C extends them with better tools for non-Standard cases: Adaptive Case Management, Kanban, Knowledge Centered Support(KCS)… Better still, this S+C approach might let the ITIL and anti-ITIL camps live in peace and harmony at last.

Slow IT

Last year it was Slow IT.  Slow IT is a provocative name.  It doesn’t mean IT on a go-slow.    It means slowing down the pace of business demands on IT so as to focus better on what matters, and to reduce the risk to what already exists.  Think Slow Food, and more recently Slow Business and mindfulness etc.

The intent of Slow IT is to allow IT to deliver important results more quickly.  It does this by concentrating on the interfaces between business executives and CIOs.  Slow IT highlights the importance of Governance of IT and of Service Portfolio in order to make the right decisions to do the right things in the right way at the right time, to maximise benefit and minimise risk.

Right now the pace of change in IT is approaching human limits.  Many IT shops are overwhelmed by change, drowning in projects.  More are overheating: working at lunatic pace because the IT community convinces us we have to.  Slow IT challenges the hysterias and fads of IT to ensure that these results are really needed as quickly as we think they are.  Slow IT is about trying to introduce more measured responses, to bring some sanity to the current dangerous madness that is organisational IT (you can read more on this here).

I’ll be presenting on Slow IT at PINK14.  In addition we’ll talk about my Meet-In-The-Middle strategy to address the Slow IT issues by offering a quid pro quo: Fast IT.   If the organisation will slow down the demands on IT, IT will have the breathing space to implement approaches to respond faster, such as Lean, Agile, DevOps, and good old CSI.  Right now too many IT teams are so flat out serving the business they don’t have the bandwidth to introduce better methods properly.  It’s the old catch-22 of being so busy putting out fires that you can’t improve fire-fighting or fire-safety.  Slow IT takes off a bit of pressure, giving the team some headroom, to make improvements.

I hope to see you at the Pink Elephant ITSM conference.  I’m honoured to be assembling some of those great ITSM minds at the Pink Think Tank, to address one of the biggest issues facing IT today: how to manage a multi-sourced IT value chain.  We’ll be looking to produce tangible actionable advice, so look out for the results.  I have a feeling it may be the catalyst for my next Big Idea.

What do YOU think the next “big idea” will be?


Find me at PINK14: