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Showing posts from January, 2010

Standard Operations and Maintenance

Sandy, if you have any more questions, just let me know!Standard Operations and Maintenance is really something that gets defined in the Service Level Agreement in consultation and negotiation with the customer. It is not really a determination made solely by IT or Operations. It is the customer or receiver of service that helps to establish whether an “outage” has occurred. Because we want to adhere to the terms and conditions set forth in the SLA we want strong controls in place. I think it is not a question as to whether the Change Management process will be used or not used. It is more a question of the degree of Change Management that will be used. A solid approach would be to establish a clear definition of a Service Change in the organization. ITIL says it is any “addition, modification or deletion of elements of the delivery of service” [paraphrased]. This is a broad definition and covers just about everything we do in IT. So, next we need to identify what we actually do in …

ITIL and PMBOK

Thanks for the great question Beverly.

ITIL V3 and PMBOK Project Management are both best practices that fall under the larger umbrella of IT Service Management (or really just overall Service Management). ITIL focuses on the lifecycle of services, while PMBOK focuses on the lifecycle of projects. Services are all of the things we do to deliver value to our customers. In effect services are a type of product. Projects are temporary (short term) endeavors we undertake to accomplish specific outputs. So we can look at projects as one mechanism or vehicle for establishing and delivering services, products, solutions, etc.
The decision as to undertake a project will be made as a result of ITIL Service Strategy and Service Design. The project team may then use PMBOK best practices for accomplishing the goal, objective or output identified during Strategy and Design. Conceptually this places Project Management roughly equivalent to ITIL Service Transition activities (with some overlap to Ser…

Where to start with SACM? Service Asset and Configuration Management

I often get asked the questions, "Where do I start with SACM? How do I implement this process?"

In my experience, this is one of the most difficult processes to implement correctly. Let’s discuss the first activity of the SACM process of Planning.
In this activity, decisions will be made about the scope of what needs to be controlled in your organization. What level of configuration management is required? How will that desired level is achieved? Do you gather information about a service or about specific components? Do you need to control assets which are causing your customers the most pain points? When do you establish a controlled configuration, how do you change a controlled configuration, and what amount of resources are you going to expend to manage configurations? All of these decisions must be documented and formalized within the configuration management plan.

Configuration Management Plan:
· Context and Purpose
· Scope
· Requirements
· Applicable policies and standards
· …

Collecting and Analyzing Requirements

Every ITSM framework and standard references the need to meet "customer requirements". Unfortunately, there is less attention paid to the process of collecting and managing those requirements.

I am happy to report that the ITIL Service Design book contains some good high level guidance on "Requirements Engineering" (Section 5.1). Requirements Engineering is defined as
"the approach by which sufficient rigor is introduced into
the process of understanding and documenting business
and user requirements and ensuring traceability of changes
to each requirement."
The section goes on to to describe a Requirements Catalog for documenting and managing changes to requirements. It also describes techniques and tools for gathering, analyzing and validating requirements with customers.

ITIL defines three levels of requirements: Functional, Management and Operational and Usability.

The Service Design book is particularly good for those who do not have a background in the Soft…

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