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Showing posts from September, 2010

The Need for Speed

Trends such as virtualization, cloud computing, and agile development have all prompted the need for leaner, more efficient, and more highly automated ITSM processes. Probably one of the things that is most misunderstood about ITIL is that it is a highly scalable framework. Organizations need to understand that if their processes are bureaucratic, it’s most likely because they have made them that way. So in the spirit of continual improvement, what’s an organization to do… throw out ITIL and start over?
That’s what the DevOps folks would have you think. If you haven’t heard of DevOps, according to Wikipedia the term refers to the emerging understanding of the interdependence of development and operations in meeting a business' goal to produce timely software products and services. DevOps has been referred to as (1) a movement, (2) an approach, and one blogger went so far so refer to it as (3) a “framework of ideas and principles designed to foster cooperation, learning and coordin…

Strategic Thinking

What is strategic thinking? This question often crosses my mind and those of my students, especially when I am teaching the ITIL Lifecycle classes. Just as often as the question arises, a variety of answers are put forth as well.

One definition of strategic thinking holds that “the role of strategic thinking is ‘to seek innovation and imagine new and very different futures that may lead the company to redefine its core strategies and even its industry’ ". This implies that the definition and use of strategic thinking are related but different from strategic planning—putting into action or executing the ideas developed using strategic thinking. Strategic thinking is just that—postulating or thinking about what the future holds and what the future looks like. Strategic planning is action based. A good organization recognizes they need both.

As a Professor who attempts to provide learners with theory-driven practical data, information, knowledge and wisdom, I particularly like the …

The Four Ps of Service Design - It’s not all about Technology

People ask me why I think that many designs and projects often fail. The most common answer is from a lack of preparation and management. Many IT organizations just think about the technology (product) implementation and fail to understand the risks of not planning for the effective and efficient use of the four Ps: People, Process, Products (services, technology and tools) and Partners (suppliers, manufacturers and vendors).

A holistic approach should be adopted for all Service Design aspects and areas to ensure consistency and integration within all activities and processes across the entire IT environment, providing end to end business-related functionality and quality. (SD 2.4.2)
People:  Have to have proper skills and possess the necessary competencies in order to get involved in the provision of IT services. The right skills, the right knowledge, the right level of experience must be kept current and aligned to the business needs. Products:  These are the technology management sy…

Application Cost Models

The Professor was recently asked about Application Cost models. 

While ITIL does not speak specifically about “Application Cost Models,” there is information about how to create a service cost model using ITIL’s Financial Management process.  From ITIL’s perspective, an application is one part of an end-to-end service.

Developing a cost model involves:
Identifying all costs attributed to the service (hardware, software, salaries, accommodations, external services, transfer costs (e.g., from other internal units)Determining which costs can be directly tied to the service Deciding how to fairly apportion indirect costs (e.g., infrastructure, technical staff time)Adjusting the total to allow for unabsorbed overhead costs (e.g., administrative or managerial salaries, building/accommodation costs such as a data center or IT office space)A spread sheet can be used to break each cost down into a unit cost.  Overall cost for the application (or service) can then be calculated based on usage.

Problem Management Techniques

Perhaps one of the most underused yet powerful processes from ITIL is Problem Management. Many people recognize the importance of Problem Management, especially in relationship to Incident Management. Yet when I ask students if they have implemented a Problem Management process the response is often “We plan to...” or “We started but did not get too far…” or “Not yet.” So what is keeping companies and individuals from using Problem Management to its full effectiveness? I propose that some of the reason is fear, uncertainty and doubt about how to go about “doing” Problem Management.

By understanding that the Problem Management process has a number of techniques and tools available to help a service provider indentify root cause and recommend permanent resolution we may be able to remove some of the fear, uncertainty and doubt. What are some of the techniques and how could we apply them? Let’s take a brief look and see what we can uncover.
Chronological Analysis: This time based approach l…

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