Three Projects for Your Five-Year ITSM Plan

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Building ITSM solutions today that can meet the demands of tomorrow

When making plans to improve IT service management (ITSM), most IT leaders adopt one of two approaches. They either improve what they have by integrating with other IT systems, or they adopt forward-looking projects that leverage IT trends and advancements such as cloud, mobility, social media and IoT to help drive efficiencies and plan for the future.

According to a March 2015 report, “The Future of ITSM,” the top three strategic priorities for most ITSM teams include:

  • Improved experience for end users
  • Improved operations-to-ITSM integration for incident and problem management
  • Improved operations-to-ITSM integration for configuration and change management

However, these improvement plans should not exclude projects that address IT trends, as Gartner’s “Top 10 Strategic Technology Trends” report reinforces:

“IT leaders must understand and prepare for the impacts these disruptive trends will have on people, their businesses and IT departments, and then determine how they can provide competitive advantage.”

With both incremental and future needs in mind, here are three projects to consider for your five-year ITSM plan:

Project 1: Add IT Asset Management

Without ITAM integration, technicians must rely on verbal discovery, a process that can waste valuable time. By mapping IT assets to the person using the asset, support can quickly determine which devices and software the employee is using, including hardware, OS and application versions, recent updates and warranty expirations. Having easy access to these details aids in decision-making and rapid problem resolution. It also allows analysts to more easily determine if certain devices or configurations are the source of recurring or major incidents.

Furthermore, many IT organisations now automate repetitive tasks and processes, including ordering and assigning IT assets. For example, if someone needs specific software for her job, an automated request and software delivery process can eliminate the need for an analyst to get involved. Automations may also result in an improved user experience. However, software asset management is required as part of the process, in order to track software entitlement and protect the organisation from allocating more licenses than it owns.

Despite the obvious benefits, many organisations have failed to properly define and fund asset management projects in the past. With the rapid rise of IoT devices on the network, however, that may no longer be an option.

Gartner estimates that by 2020, a typical family home could have more than 500 smart devices – a significant increase from the approximately ten we see today. Imagine, then, what that means for average-sized organisations; especially when you consider connected devices are expected to explode from 4.9 billion in 2015 to 25 billion in just five years.

This aspect of an ITAM-to-ITSM project has forward-looking considerations. For many organisations, there isn’t an immediate need to integrate IoT into their ITSM solution. However, as the influx of IoT assets continue, it’s hard to imagine controlling hardware inventory, licenses and security without a proper IT asset management system in place.

Any time IT has to investigate issues on the network, there are costs associated. The longer it takes to find the issue, the more it costs. With potentially millions of IoT devices in a large environment, just determining where those assets are located could quickly overwhelm IT resources. Additionally, connected devices could pose a security risk unless properly managed.

Organisations can prepare for the oncoming IoT surge by taking on the right projects now, and integrating IT asset management into an existing ITSM implementation is a good place to start.

Project 2: Automate Processes and Integrate Tools Wherever Possible

In many institutions, automating processes like inventory discovery or software updates serve as go-to tactics for reducing IT cost. Eliminating the need for support to make a single trip to an employee’s desk to troubleshoot or apply updates often justifies the cost of such tools. With such a rapid ROI, many IT leaders have implemented client and mobile device management. However, only a fraction of these groups have taken the next step and integrated their systems management solutions with their ITSM environment.

If you are operating with reduced budgets, one of the best ways to improve service offerings and prepare for emerging trends is to integrate those tools with the ITSM environment. In doing so, you’re making their capabilities more easily accessible to both service analysts and end users.

As you evaluate how to make this project a reality, look for opportunities to automate wherever possible – inside and outside of your ITSM solution – and then integrate the processes.

For example, HR has procedures for new hires that require employees to complete tax and insurance information. Rather than keep information siloed, why not connect these processes to your ITSM solution to coordinate related IT onboarding requests such as hardware procurement or automatically provisioning the system with the software and network access required for the job?

Once this architecture is in place, your ITSM environment will be better prepared to handle evolving technology trends and the increased workloads expected as IT support is required to extend to non-traditional devices.

Project 3: Improve Self-Service

Many organisations provide basic self-service portals to allow employees to request corporate software. As millennials and other tech savvy employees enter the workforce, it makes sense to empower them to handle common IT requests on their own. Done correctly, self-service projects also improve service desk response times and end user satisfaction.

A recent global study shows that more than 81 percent of end users try to solve their own IT problems before asking for help. With that in mind, it’s beneficial to help them be as successful in their attempts as possible. However, that same research also indicates that less than 18 percent of those users leverage their organisation’s service portal, turning to Google or co-workers for help before calling IT directly. Clearly, there is room for improvement.

For instance, when a user has a problem, a good self-service portal should provide access to a knowledge base of common issues and frequently asked questions. Recent knowledge management innovations simplify the process even further. Now, a user can take a picture of an error on the screen and the system will automatically search for an answer. If additional help is needed, the user can open a support request from the page, using a simple form designed to route the incident to the appropriate group.

The automation example above can also extend to self-service. For example, while many organizations provide automated password resets for customer-facing websites, they haven’t made the same capability available to employees. When a user forgets his/her password, a support person with the appropriate rights has to unlock the account using network tools. An automated process would instead allow the analyst to trigger the reset by simply pressing a button on the incident page. Ultimately, the best way to handle this scenario is with a self-service process that eliminates the need for an analyst to be involved at all.

Whether your self-service portal needs an update, or you need to build one from scratch, this project can leverage your asset management and automation efforts. The good news is, like automation, self-service projects can significantly reduce IT support costs – freeing up the resources necessary for other initiatives that enable your organisation to adapt to future technology demands.

IT leaders are constantly looking for ways to improve IT service management, but no matter how they aim to tackle it, keeping the end user experience and operations-to-ITSM integrations in mind is key. When putting together a five-year ITSM plan, leaders should be cognizant of both the immediate needs of the organisation and what’s to come in the future. Taking steps to prepare for the IoT surge and accompanying IT asset management demands, growing need for automated processes and integrated tools and self-service portals will not only assist IT teams now, but for years to come.

Marcel Shaw

 

This article was contributed by Marcel Shaw, ITSM and ITAM specialist at LANDESK.

 

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Configuration Management How To (Part 2)

Following on from our previous article, this week we’ll take a look at Configuration Management baselining and control.

Configuration Baselining

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First up we have the identification or baselining step in our Configuration Management process. This is a baselining process, taking a snapshot of our critical services and their key dependencies so that we know exactly what makes up the service. The purpose of a baseline is to take a measurable part of the service so that it can be added to a CMDB (Configuration Management Database) or CMS (Configuration Management System). As it’s a snapshot of the state of a service at a point in time, it can be used as part of Change Management as if the service has changed there will need to be a valid, authorised RFC against it as well as being a stable reference for future planned works.

So how do you carry out a baselining exercise in real life? My advice? Start with your most critical service. You know the one. The system that if there is even a hint of slowness or performance issues your Service Desk is inundated with calls and the angry mob are off out finding their flaming torches and pitchforks. That’s the one. Start by talking to everyone involved with the service from support teams to the business. If it requires third party support, consider asking your supplier for their guidance for what data should be captured in a CMS for example if you ever need to log a support call with them, what are the top ten things they will ask for?

Don’t try to capture too much data at first – you can always build things up later but if you try to go into too much detail when starting out you might run out of time and money. Also bear in mind, the more detail you capture, the more work it will be to maintain. As a starter for ten, here are some useful CI attributes to capture:

  • Unique Identifier
  • CI type eg server, network device, software package
  • Version Number
  • Support Details
  • Vendor Details
  • Licence Details
  • Purchase Date
  • Owner
  • Location
  • Warranty Details
  • Relationships to other CIs

You also don’t necessarily need an expensive tool – I used to work for a small bank during its UK start up and the IT budget was really tight. We desperately needed a CMS to support Incident and Change Management but didn’t have a tool. I went round to every support team and techie I could find and used a spreadsheet to build up a basic CMDB of our key services then created a business case over the following few months to demonstrate the benefits (I was able to demonstrate tangible reductions in Change failures and Incident resolution times) to secure funding for an ITSM tool that included a CMDB.

Remember any CMDB, no matter how basic, is better than nothing. If you are going down the spreadsheet route then talk to your techies. If discovery tools such as SMS or Alteris are in place then they could be used to help you build a basic CMDB.

Configuration Control

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Configuration Control goes hand in hand with Configuration identification and baselining. Having control in place means that there is appropriate support in place to ensure that when a CI (Configuration Item) is updated, that the CMS is updated so that what you have in the CMS matches exactly what you have in your production environment. Nothing will make your Configuration Management process fail quicker than your CMS having incorrect or out of date information so control is a critical aspect of Configuration Management.

Work closely with Change Management to make sure your processes are aligned; for example you could put a process step in place where a Change can only be closed off as successful when the CMS is updated. Sounds basic I know but you would be amazed at how many times I’ve seen people forget to update documentation following Change activity so if you have it formally built in to the process, nothing can be missed or forgotten about. Also, if you’re not part of the CAB meeting, get yourself invited so you can add subject matter expertise around service relationships and dependencies during impact assessments.

Work with Change Management to consider putting Change freezes in place during key process points such as baselining or audit exercises so you’re not trying to hit a moving target. Believe me, there is nothing more stressful in an audit situation than having a last minute panic about the version information of a CI being up to date following a Release the previous night.

These are our top tips for Configuration baselining and control. What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

 

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The Holy Trinity of IT Service Management

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People, technology and process are the compounds that construct the IT Service Management triumvirate. Having already identified the technology trends, and in particular how predictive analytics will impact incident management, what can we say about the other two members of this very exclusive club?

While process tends to lead the way, it needs people to champion it, and technology to support it. Technology, in the grand scheme of things, tends to be the easiest part to implement as long as it exists and is fit for purpose.

Low level detection

The ability to detect and avoid incidents isn’t something that’s included in the ITIL manual. We could spin it into something to do with Continual Service Improvement, but activities in this area tend to be run on a project basis. They are in effect more likely to be elements of a change programme.

So what can be done when dealing with information relating to the future at such a granular level on a daily basis? The simplest thing would be to treat predictive events as actual incidents, pop them into a team’s queue and let them deal with them alongside everything else.

But what priority should they be given? The predicted incident can’t be high as nothing is broken, and nobody is screaming. On the other hand, if they are treated as a low priority, the issue may never be dealt with in a timeframe that permits the incident to be avoided. Medium, then? Perhaps not, as if the resolution requires additional spend then you need to conform to a purchasing timeframe and once again the benefit of being able to avoid a failure, may be lost.

The answer, unsurprisingly, is that it depends. It will depend on the organisation and how mature its processes are, how stable its services are, and its attitude to risk.

A stitch in time?

How many organisations will zealously fund proactive remedial work? Securing the budget to keep things in a current and supported state is difficult and at times impossible. I’m sure every organisation has a server somewhere that has effectively been shrink wrapped as it is no longer supportable and needs to be kept as protected from change as much as possible, as the service it supports provides good, perhaps even essential value to the business.

It is unlikely that an IT department will be given a blank cheque book to allow it to respond to predicted events. Does this mean that that things will knowingly be left to fail?

Therein lies another people aspect. How are IT Service Management staff rewarded?

Fire fighter or keeper of the peace?

If services operate without issue the IT department becomes the focus of cost cutting.

If on the other hand systems fail, all thanks are given to those that worked tirelessly through the night, surviving only on pizzas and vending machine coffee. Like or lump it, the reality is that in these types of scenarios, those that are seen to be doing are those that progress.

IT has a very real culture of martyrdom embedded within it that will be difficult to change.

Of course there will still be unexpected incidents that can’t be predicted but in a world where we can now identify and avoid incident there needs to be a balance that encourages and rewards the proactive as much as the reactive.

Different thinking is needed together with a different reward structure. Pavlov discovered long ago that you have to reward the behaviours you want.

Are your service team keeping the peace or fighting fires? I’d suggest you want people calmly going about their business to let business go about business. Avoiding the avoidable helps them to do just that.

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This article was contributed by Stuart Higgins, Technical Evangelist at Sumerian

 

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PINK16 Day 2 PM & Day 3 – Dead Cats, Football Legends & Batman

Multi-Speed IT Rob England, The IT Skeptic

Kicking off the afternoon on Day 2 was the legend that is Rob England aka The IT Skeptic

Rob opened his session by explaining that for IT to truly deliver value “we must accommodate multiple cadences; your IT cadence must be matched to the speed of your business”.

Rob went on to talk about how in order to stay relevant; we need to change our working culture: “Change Management need to move from Change control to Change facilitation”. The other example he used was avoiding “dead cat syndrome” aka as the Dev guys chucking something over the fence into production and expecting the Ops guys to make it work seamlessly. As a former colleague from Pink would say “that’s taking blind optimism at step too far”

Rob talked about how using the standard case model can add value; talking about having a standard lifecycle aligned to the bespoke requirements of your business. Looking to the future; Rob talked about how Change Managers will build the lifecycle so that Dev can manage production. He talked about the need for culture change stating “we will need a cultural change towards trust and empowerment. We need to stop people from gaming the system”.

On a practical level Rob talked about how faster doesn’t always = riskier explaining “you can automate controls within your pipeline”. Rob went on to talk about practical examples in Release Management “if you package everything into one massive release and chuck it into production, why are we surprised when everything breaks? If you’re releasing every day and something breaks, you know exactly what caused it so you can fix it straight away.”

Rob ended on this final message: “To deliver value, you need a spectrum of speeds that empower the business”. Go Rob”

Success Under Pressure: Gary Bailey, Former Manchester United Soccer Star & Speaker

The final session of the afternoon was with Manchester United legend Gary Bailey. In the interests of honesty, I was born on the United side of Manchester and then moved to Dublin when I was 6 months old. I’ve always been a massive Man Utd fan and always will be so excitement about this session from my side had reached almost Start Wars proportions.

Gary’s session was based on the premise that effective leadership under pressure is critical for achieving success. Gary shared the G.R.E.A.T principles of how to thrive under pressure and become even more successful in business.

Gratitude – or as Gary put it; look for the new in everything; be grateful for the good and for when you’ve avoided the bad stuff. Essentially;

Reframing: stop the inner criticism and reframe them. In other words; so what if that one person at work doesn’t’ like you. Lots of other people do.

Energy; aka exercising and STEPPING AWAY FROM THE SUGAR.

Advancement; keep improving or get left behind.

Teamwork: as Gary put it; say nice things to people as oxytocin is a natural cuddle drug.

Day 3

Morning Keynote – Four Conversations For Success – Stuart Knight

Stuart opened the morning with a session on creating powerful relationships. Stuart had been the MC and facilitator for the entire conference so a big high five to him for doing such a brilliant job.

Collective Genius: The Art & Practice Of Leading Innovation – Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development, Pink Elephant

@troydumoulin ran a session on the principles of innovation, leaders of innovation, creating the environment & willingness for innovation and the 6 leadership paradoxes. As Troy put it; “innovation is a team sport. There is no guarantee that something will last forever, especially if we don’t focus on innovation”

Or, in other words: “get off the hamster wheel of death by organising for innovation”.

The second part of Troy’s session was the 6 paradoxes of collaboration:

Paradox 1; Affirm the individual and the group nn

Paradox 2: support & confrontation; allowing people to ask the hard questions within clear supportive rules

Paradox 3: Experimentation v performance; aka maintaining a sense of urgency

Paradox 4: Promote improvisation & structure ie more jazz ensembles over marching bands

Paradox 5: Show patience and urgency; ie create a leadership within peers

Paradox 6: Encourage initiative from the bottom up and intervene from the top down ie only get involved when people start throwing food at each other.

IT Governance Vs. Compliance : Taking Back The Strategy High Ground – Peter Hubbard, Principal Consultant, Head of Product Portfolio Development – UK, Pink Elephant

The final session we attended starred Pete Hubbard from @pinkelephantuk

Pete’s an ex colleague so there was no way I was going to miss a chance to heckle support him. Pete’s opening note was around governance and red tape explaining to his audience: “if people are complaining about red tape then you’re doing governance and compliance wrong.”

Pet went on to explain how COBIT can be used to support strategy by providing enhanced levels of governance and control.

Pete talked about process overkill asking the audience “put your hands up if you’ve seen an organisation with all 20 odd ITIL processes in place. Keep it up if it’s been a success.” You can imagine the response; as Pete said – it’s magical unicorn time.

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Pete explained how to use COBIT to ensure your ITSM processes map directly back to senior management objectives:

To recap: COBIT is an awesome way to map IT processes to business goals. Just remember; it’s there to enhance strategy alignment not replace it!

His final piece of advice on governance? “I don’t care if you use ITIL, COBIT, DevOps or a ouija board as long as your processes are effective, efficient and transparent.

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Nice work Mr Hubbard –  ex colleague high five!

With that, it was time to find the airport to make the long journey home. Thank you so much to @20yearspinky for having us. It’s been an amazing conference, and we’re already planning a return trip next year.

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PINK16 Day 2 – Ship Wrecks, Innovation & Sacrificial Firings

IT Excellence Awards

Day 2 opened on a real high with the Pink Elephant ITSM Excellence awards. The winners were:

Best Innovation: Utopic

Practitioner of the year award: Robert Nessler of the state of Colorado

Project of the year award: Assurant

A huge congratulations to all the award winners and nominees – you’re all rock stars! The full list of nominees and winners can be found here.

Chairman & Founder, Delphi Group Tom Koulopoulos

@TKspeaks was the morning speaker for day 2. Tom opened by explaining why connectivity is everything:

Tom explained that innovation is key: “Only through disruption does innovation occur. The challenge is, we don’t like disruption, we love the pattern. We’re moving from an era of digitisation to an era of datafication. Ignoring disruption and innovation is no longer an option”. As uncertainty increases, so does opportunity”. Tom went on to outline the four types of innovation:

  1. The device – we can’t have iTunes without the iPod.
  2. The data – we add in  iTunes so that people can listen to music.
  3. Personalise the experience – genius playlist
  4. Tell customers what they need based on our behaviour – Amazon suggestions

This leads to a fifth step; Is when innovation is automated to be systemic within the process.

The second part of Tom’s session focussed on the Datification process. Tom explained that for effective datification “deliver experience first, mobile enable, add personalisation, reduce friction, and create an ecosystem.”

The final part of Tom’s presentation focused on collaboration. As Tom explained it “collaboration will help us solve the big audacious problems from climate change to world hunger. Problems won’t be solved by individuals; they will be solved by groups and teams”. Tom’s final piece of advice was this:

Turning A Vicious Cycle Into A Value Cycle – Gary Case, Principal Consultant, Pink Elephant

Next up was Gary Case from Pink Elephant. Gary’s session was a back to basics session on how Incident Problem & Change Management rule the world. Think about it; without them your Service Desk gets overrun because there’s no root cause analysis getting done. Things start getting missed and balls are dropped. To add insult to injury; Changes are deployed into the live environment that may fix one thing but break everything else. As Gary explained it “we need to have defined processes in order to be effective. We need to be great at communication to keep the business informed.

Gary went on to explain about the importance of Service Targets stating “We need to have Service Targets as well as SLAs in place otherwise how will we know what to aim for?” When asked how to stop people from bypassing the process; Gary’s take was for us to lead by example; or as he put it “IT people! Stop bypassing the Service Desk and follow your own cotton picking processes!”

Gary’s passion for Problem Management was plain to see. When he was explaining it to the audience he said this “if you want to improve availability, performance and customer satisfaction then do Problem Management.” He also suggested that for such an important process, Problem Management does have a name that will make people panic. Let’s face it in the real world, how many business professional will happily admit to having oodles of Problems? I’m with Gary that it’s time for a name change to something like Opportunity Management. Hey AXELOS – maybe one for ITIL 4?

Gary then moved on to talk about Change Management. He referenced the Gartner analysis that between 70 and 80% of Incidents were caused by Change and how we need to do better. When asked how he would deal with people by passing the process, Gary replied “for blatant process refusers, if you implement a Change without following the process, consider yourself gone”. Or as @knappst3r  put it:

Gary finished with this: “value proposition goes beyond SLAs. It’s all about the business.”

Enterprise Service Management: It’s Time To Share ITSM Best Practices Outside Of IT – Alan Berkson, Director Of Community Outreach, Freshdesk

The final session of the morning was @berkson0’s take on Enterprise Service Management. Alan started his session by explaining what it was like working in IT supporting traders at an investment bank “you haven’t lived until you’ve had a trader screaming at you because a trade floor app isn’t working”. As someone who did a 4 year stint in London working for an investment bank I feel your pain Alan.

Alan continued by explaining that Enterprise Service Management was common sense “by applying ITSM principles outside IT we can set expectations and measure how well we met them”. Alan talked about the drivers for Enterprise ITSM; consumerism, business function demand, better ITSM solutions and increased vendor marketing.

The next part of Alan’s presentation focused on the benefits of Enterprise Service Management:

  • Better service
  • Increased governance and control
  • Better customer experience
  • Improved efficiencies and operational costs
  • Better ROI
  • Improved visibility into operational performance
  • Standardisation

The final part of the session was a practical guide to introducing Enterprise Service Successfully. the golden rule according to Alan is this “don’t treat Enterprise Service Management as an IT project” I completely agree with this. If you speak techie language to the business, they won’t understand you never mind buying in leading to an Elliot from Scrubs situation:

Allow for differences and don’t try to help other corporate service providers before helping yourself (or as Elliot would say “get your own fricking house in order first”).

That’s all for today, come back soon for the rest of day 2 as well as the final day of the conference!

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Enterprise Service Management Online Training

ITSM WEBINARS BANNER

 

Our 2016 ITSM Enterprise Service Management Training Programme will consist of a complimentary mix of live (and recorded) free to view monthly webinars with useful and compelling content to help ITSM Professionals propel the business case for ITSM.

 

Who should attend?

  • Process Owners
  • Process Managers
  • Change Managers
  • Release Managers
  • Configuration Managers
  • Service Desk Managers
  • Incident Managers
  • Problem Managers
  • Service Catalogue Managers
  • Supplier Managers
  • Project Managers
  • Service Delivery Managers
  • Developers
  • Software testers


Why you should attend

  • Cost – The Webinar is FREE.
  • Convenience– You can participate in the webinar from a location of your choosing. No travelling/ travel costs involved.
  • Interaction– You have the opportunity to communicate and ask questions with the presenter and peers.

2016 Webinar Programme

28th January 2016 – Change Management

The process that ensures Changes are applied consistently, safely and with as little adverse business impact as possible. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to ITIL
  • Introduction to Change Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • COBIT & process maturity

Click here to register for the recording

25th February 2016 – Release Management

The process that deploys packaged Changes safely into the production environment. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Release Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Governance
  • Quality Gates

Click here to register for the live session at 2.00pm GMT or to view the recording

31st March 2016 – Configuration Management

Knowing how your services are made up. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Configuration Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Planning
  • Identification / Baselining
  • Control
  • Status Accounting
  • Verification

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

28th April 2016 – Knowledge Management

The process of capturing, sharing and using organisational Knowledge effectively. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Knowledge Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • The Dick Whittington model

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

26th May 2016 – Incident Management

AKA our super heroes on the front line. Incident Management is the process restores normal service as quickly as possible and with as little adverse impact as possible whilst ensuring nothing is lost, ignored or forgotten about. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Incident Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Major Incidents
  • Overview of the SDI standard

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

30th June 2016 – Problem Management

Getting to the root cause and preventing recurrence. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Problem Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Problem solving techniques
  • Proactive Problem Management

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

21st July 2016 – Service Catalogue Management

Having a clear menu of your live, production business services. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Service Catalogue Management
  • The Service Portfolio
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Using the Service Catalogue to drive transition
  • How to make sure your Service Catalogue is effective

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

29th September 2016 – Service Level Management

The process that ensures we are accountable to the rest of the business in clear, tangible effective way. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Service Level Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • SLAs and OLAs
  • How to run effective service review meetings

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

27th October 2016 – Supplier Management

The process that looks after 3rd party suppliers, vendors and partners. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Supplier Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Contract Management
  • Value model
  • SIAM

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

24th November 2016 – Capacity Management

AKA performance and throughput. The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Capacity Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Link to Demand Management
  • Business Capacity Management
  • Service Capacity Management
  • Component Capacity Management
  • Capacity Plan

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

15th December 2016 – Availability Management

The name of the game is uptime! The agenda will include:

  • Introduction to Availability Management
  • Practitioner guidance
  • Link to Problem Management
  • Proactive Availability Management

The link to register for the live session or recording will be available shortly

 

Event Listing: Cased Dimensions ITSM Event for HealthCare and Public Sector businesses

Hear from Independent Market leaders what HealthCare and Public Sector businesses are adopting for IT Service Management and Business Process efficiency. On 20th January at the Weetwood Hall Conference Centre in Leeds, the IT Service Management Review, Microsoft and Cased Dimensions will deliver a presentation to outline how Health Care and Public Sector businesses are aligning Business Process with IT Service Management Process to enable Business Agility, Increased Operational Efficiencies, Automation and Business Productivity. People are businesses most expensive asset. Attend this presentation to find out how you can empower your team to be more productive. Business productivity benefits are enabled by applying industry best practice process frameworks through Microsoft Collaborative technologies. Additional financial and agility benefits can be driven through virtualisation of your IT Platform.

 

REGISTER TO ATTEND: http://www.caseddimensions.com/ITSM-event/

 

AGENDA FOR EVENT at Weetwood Hall Conference Centre

This short two hour presentation and demonstration is an introduction to Industry Best Practice for enabling Business Service Management. Clients interested can arrange follow up meetings for further information.

09:30-10:15

Independent Speaker from IT Service Management Review will outline how the industry is changing to align HR, Finance, Facility Management and other business processes through Self-Service where IT deliverables are streamlined or automated.

10:15 – 10:45

Cased Dimensions will present how Microsoft’s framework supports the collaborative integration of People, Process and Technology where agility and business productivity benefits are enabled.

10:45 – 11:15

Cased Dimensions customer to share best practice and success criteria who have achieved business aligned service management.

11:15 – 11:30

Open time for Q&A.

 

Who should attend:  IT Decision Maker, Service Desk Managers, IT

 

WHY MICROSOFT?

Today’s business platforms need integrated, collaborative and automated frameworks that enables IT to manage all datacentre resources across multiple clouds, supports apps that scale dynamically, unlocks insights on data anywhere and enables you to securely deliver a personalised experience to any device anywhere. Microsoft also empowers the alignment of front office business process with IT Service Management Process for efficiency and automation. Microsoft’s IT Service Management technologies delivers a consistent and comprehensive set of capabilities that will help you take advantage of process efficiencies on your terms.

 

WHY Cased Dimensions?

Cased Dimensions are a Microsoft Alliance Partner with a deep specialisation in Microsoft Technologies. Cased Dimensions helps customers achieve Business Process efficiencies by integration People, Process and Technology in a collaborative automated Best Practice framework. Cased Dimensions can help you with your planning, ROI model, transition, training and on-going support with skills built on years of experience of large and small scale IT Service Management modernisation projects.

www.caseddimensions.com

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Injecting some ITSM goodness into the itSMF UK

After an action packed few days at the itSMF UK conference last week, I was lucky enough to catch up with itSMF UK CEO Barclay Rae for a quick chat about life the universe and everything, or in our case, IT, SDI, AXELOS and the sparkly new ITIL practitioner qualification.

Barclay Rae, The Service Desk Inspector
Barclay Rae, The Service Desk Inspector

The Conference has been a big focus over recent weeks and has been generally seen as a huge success.For those of you that didn’t manage to go, some of the highlights were SIAM, winning elephants and cute penguin videos so it was all kinds of awesome! Barclay’s focus is now on taking that energy forward. So what has Barclay been up to over the last few months? Well firstly, his role is part time which means that as well as itSMF, he’s also had the day job and some exciting work with the Service Desk Institute to get on with.

The Service Desk Institute

Barclay is part of the author team for the SDI standards and was heavily involved in updating both Service Desk training and Service Desk Certification (SDC) standards. For those of you not familiar with the SDI, it’s a professional body for anyone working in the IT service and support industry. It sets the standards for the analyst and manager exams and runs a Service Desk certification program.During our chat Barclay talked about how the Service Desk in St Andrews University went from no stars to four stars with the support of the SDI. It’s a really inspiring journey and you can read more about it here.

ITIL Practitioner

Barclay was also an architect on the new ITIL Practitioner qualification. His take on it? “given the constraints we had, it’s pretty damn good”. The idea behind the practitioner course is that it provides real life guidance, which can be bundled with the ITIL foundation course so that delegates get 5 days of ITIL fun. As an ex trainer, I think combining the two courses will work brilliantly as delegates will be able to spend a decent amount of time learning and getting a really solid grounding in ITSM. It will also ease the transition from foundation to intermediate qualifications, again with my training hat on for a second, the first day of any intermediate course was always a shock to the system for attendees as there’s such a big jump from foundation level to intermediate level. Anything that eases that pressure has got to be a good thing.

itSMF UK

So what is Barclay’s mission for his 6 months as head of the itSMF UK? To boost performance and reinvigorate the business side of things so that it can provide more value to members. Barclay wants to make more services available so that being a member gives tangible benefits to both individuals and companies. Barclay wants to build positive, constructive partnerships with other key players in the industry as well as complementary relationships with other organisations such as the BCS, and also vendor organisations.

Key to driving more value for members is the new leadership council. The leadership council is made up of senior, C level people who are experienced practitioners in ITSM. Having the right people with the right skills in place will enable the itSMF UK to provide more accurate industry analysis, better and more detailed briefings as well as driving new products and services for ITSMF, e.g. for career frameworks and benchmarking tools.

In summary, Barclay’s aim is to make a positive contribution to the itSMF UK, so that it’s seen as a vibrant industry contributor. An announcement on the dates for the 2016 conference will be announced soon for those of you that can’t wait a whole year there’s a tooling event in early February. 2016 promises to be an exciting year for the itSMF UK, more events, better value for members and exciting new partnerships so let’s get this party started!

 

Getting my geek on; the new ITIL Practitioner qualification

So here’s the thing. One of the main bugbears I have with ITIL V3 is how focused the courses are on passing exams rather than what works in real life.

I was lucky enough to sit down with some of the chaps from AXELOS towers during ITSM15, COO Chris Barrett and  head of ITSM Kaimar Karu, so here’s what we know about the brand new ITIL practitioner qualification which aims to change just that:

  1. It’s complimentary to the rest of the ITIL qualification scheme.
  2. As with the intermediary courses, you must have passed your ITIL foundation exam before you can sit the practitioner exam.
  3. It’s worth 3 points towards the ITIL Expert qualification but doesn’t replace any of the intermediate courses.
  4. ITIL Practitioner is also worth 15 points towards the AXELOS’ Professional Development Programme ITIL digital badge.
  5. The exam is open book and has scenario based multiple choice questions.
  6. The practitioner course will be available in Feb 2016 so not long to wait.

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What will the course look like?

The ITIL Practitioner course will cover:

  • Continual Service Improvement (CSI) approach as the way to structure any improvement initiatives.
  • Organizational Change Management
  • Communication
  • Measurement and Metrics.

The ITIL Practitioner guidance follows 9 Guiding Principles:

  • Focus on value
  • Design for experience
  • Start where you are
  • Work holistically
  • Progress iteratively
  • Observe directly
  • Be transparent
  • Collaborate
  • Keep it simple

So is it worth doing?

For my money, anything that gives candidates a way of being able to apply ITIL in real life has got to be a good thing. When I worked as a consultant & trainer at Pink Elephant (hi guys!) one of the things that we all agreed on was that the intermediary qualifications simply didn’t give the candidates enough in terms of real life skills and as trainers we all sent the delegates home with extra templates, check lists and process documentation.

I hope that this will be the first of many practical exams like we had in V2 so we have Incident & Problem Management, CCRM etc so that candidates get a more rounded experience. As a total fangirl of all things ITSM and an alleged ITIL Expert (god I hate that name) I’m really looking forward to seeing what the new course is like and hopefully getting to have a play so roll on Feb 2016!

 

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What Top Athletes and IT Managers Have in Common

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For centuries, athletes have shared one common goal: to win. No matter the sport, the best athletes face strict regimens, long hours, setbacks and victories, remaining agile through it all, in order to achieve their goals. Today’s top-performing, globally competitive and increasingly technology driven businesses are no different.

Nowhere is this athletic nature more apparent than in a business’ IT organization. With IT spending expected to reach $3.5 trillion by year’s end, an IT organization carries with it a big prize – one that, based on tools and technologies purchased and deployed, can either support or hinder the business’ overall ability to compete. As such, today’s most strategic IT organizations are adopting new protocols and performance measurements, such as IT service management, to drive efficiency and maximize their value-add to the business. It’s the IT manager’s job to ensure the IT organization has the right people, processes and technology in place so that the organization can meet its business goals.

Similar to how elite athletes approach their strict regimens – with a focus on mindset, health and wellness, training, and performance measurement – these rigorous disciplines can also be applied to how some of the most competitive businesses are getting ahead with seamlessly delivered IT services.

Having the Right Mindset, With the Help of Analytics

For starters, athletes and IT managers alike must encompass discipline and drive to be recognized for their performance. Similar to a top athlete looking to shave off even a tenth of their record time, IT managers must employ the same rigor to drive improvements in their service delivery. But how can the right mindset make IT more effective?

One of the biggest examples of an IT leadership’s mindset shift has been around the adoption of business analytics. While IT has often been the source of intelligence and inspiration for other departments, IT organizations have paradoxically lagged in terms of deploying their own analytics to support service improvement. In this instance, the change came after IT teams watched as other departments deployed analytics solutions and became more effective – much like watching another athlete win, while you’re sitting on the sideline.

Where IT managers traditionally used Excel spreadsheets to track and present their data on project management and operational and financial performance, the new shift in mindset and deployment of analytics has allowed for less time and money to be spent on IT operations and more on innovation that enhances customer experiences and outshines the competition.

Healthy & Wellness: The Drivers of Productivity

The world’s best athletes assess health and wellness by tracking everything from diet, exercise and oxygen levels, using that data to set goals for remaining in their best condition. In an IT organization, it’s the operational dollars that often keep it in top shape. However, it’s also about having access to data that provides a better view of the organization’s strengths and weaknesses to maintain the utmost productivity and justify continued investment.

For example, as part of IT wellness, many IT managers aim to make their service desk more productive by minimizing reassignments, tiering escalations and reducing backlog.

Using data analytics to tackle this effort, IT managers can capture a visual analysis of the data, including outliers to reveal which service desk tickets are going unaddressed and which types of service tickets are creating the highest costs to manage.

Analytics are also increasing productivity by making managers more aware of strong and weak performers within the IT organization, providing detailed insights on who’s cherry-picking easy tickets and who’s slow at resolving business-critical tickets. This enables managers to more effectively guide their staff to proactively route incidents and requests to the right engineers from the beginning – remaining healthy from the start of any IT initiative.

The Benefits of High-Impact Training

Similar to the way athletes follow a regimented training schedule, IT departments must also develop a routine for implementing best practices and procedures. Just as with athletes, when there’s a new procedure or challenge at hand, training typically supports the behavioral change needed for realizing success.

In tracking training programs and success factors, many IT managers have deployed analytics with capabilities to provide regular progress reports on team members and their ability to adapt to the change. In the spirit of competitive nature, some managers even have a visible leader board showing which IT team members have learned the most or developed the furthest on what they’re being trained on, such as a new database technology.

Performance Measurement for Future Success

While IT managers and top-performing athletes share many similarities, it’s the goal of winning that is perhaps the biggest common denominator. For both, measuring performance is critical to future success.

Specifically within IT organizations, the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is one of the main ways IT managers’ standardize their organization’s success to overall business goals. The ITIL framework encompasses processes, procedures, tasks and checklists, allowing the IT organization to establish a baseline from which it can plan, implement and measure against overall goals. It is also used to demonstrate compliance and measure service improvement.

Additionally, the implementation of problem management with IT organizations has helped to identify issues like recurring tickets, supporting IT managers in prioritizing changes and making recommendations that eliminate structural flaws. The result is defined metrics that reflect both successes and areas of improvement – the equivalent to a post-game talk from an athlete’s coach applauding a win but not losing sight of the next big match.

Winning With IT Analytics

For businesses to succeed in increasingly global markets, it’s important that they adopt an almost-athletic posture. Just like athletes, an IT manager’s job is never complete. Managers and athletes alike are competing for limited resources and need metrics to improve performance on an ongoing basis. Particularly within a business’ IT organization, a focus on the right mindset, health and wellness, training, and performance measurement, in addition to the integration of technologies like an analytics platform, will enable any company to remain competitive, with a more clearly defined path for their success.

This article was contributed by Simon King, Sr. Director – Solution Marketing, Numerify.

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