News, Reviews and Resources for ITSM Professionals.

Home » Author Archive

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” 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... 

Customers are not your top priority

There is this myth that IT (or any service provider) should be utterly focused on customers; that a customer obsession is the secret sauce to IT success; and that unhappy customers mean we in service have failed. Railroads don’t bear this out. Railroads in the USA have fought tooth and nail with their customer base for decades.  After the Second World War, freight customers decided the railroads... 

BAU Improvements

In my last article on service improvement, I laid out four premises that underlie how I think we should approach CSI: Process improvements evolve with time on railroads Everything we change is service improvement. Improvement planning comes first. We don’t have enough resource to execute all desired improvements. We choose the wrong unit of work for improvements. What are the desired business outcomes? We... 

Everything is improvement

Traditionally Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is too often thought of as the last bit we put in place when formalising ITSM.  In fact, we need to start with CSI, and we need to plan a whole portfolio of improvements encompassing formal projects, planned changes, and improvements done as part of business-as-usual (BAU) operations.  And the ITIL ‘process’ is the wrong unit of work for... 

Service Improvement at Cherry Valley

Problem, risk, change , CSI, service portfolio, projects: they all make changes to services.  How they inter-relate is not well defined or understood.  We will try to make the model clearer and simpler. Problem and Risk and Improvement The crew was not warned of the severe weather ahead In this series of articles, we have been talking about an ethanol train derailment in the USA as a case study for... 

Root Cause – Railways don’t like derailments

Most readers have got the story now from my recent articles: Cherry Valley, Illinois, 2009, rain bucketing down, huge train-load of ethanol derails, fire, death, destruction. Eventually the Canadian National’s crews and the state’s emergency services cleaned up the mess, and CN rebuilt the track-bed and the track, and trains rolled regularly through Cherry Valley again. Then the authorities moved... 

Rob England: Proactive Problem Management

Just because you rebuild the track doesn’t mean the train won’t derail again. Rebuilding the track was reactive Problem Management We have been looking in past articles at the tragic events in little Cherry Valley, Illinois in 2009.  One person died and several more were seriously injured when a train-load of ethanol derailed at a level crossing. We talked about the resulting Incident Management,... 
Tags:

Rob England: Problem Management Defined

Railways (railroads) remind us of how the real world works. In our last article, we left Cherry Valley, Illinois in its own little piece of hell. For those who missed the article, in 2009 a Canadian National railroad train carrying eight million litres of ethanol derailed at a level crossing in the little town of Cherry Valley after torrential rain washed out the roadbed beneath the track. 19 tankers... 

Rob England: Incident Management at Cherry Valley, Illinois

It had been raining for days in and around Rockford, Illinois that Friday afternoon in 2009, some of the heaviest rain locals had ever seen. Around 7:30 that night, people in Cherry Valley – a nearby dormitory suburb – began calling various emergency services: the water that had been flooding the road and tracks had broken through the Canadian National railroad’s line, washing away the... 

Rob England: The People in ITSM

Maori proverb: "He aha te mea nui? He tangata. He tangata. He tangata." What is the most important thing? It is people, it is people, it is people. It’s all about the people. A service exists to serve people.  It is built and delivered by people. Even in the most technical domains like IT, the service is about managing information for people to use, and managing the way they use it. When...