Showing posts from May, 2011

Managing Conflict

The workplace can be a stressful environment. Personality differences, team dynamics, budget constraints, technology issues, achieving business alignment and customer satisfaction are all contributing factors to this stress. Conflict inevitably arises. I recently attended an ITSM Leadership workshop and realized that conflict is not negative nor something that we should avoid. As IT Service Management leaders we must understand that our stakeholders often have a different set of concerns and issues. There will be varied opinions on the right way to implement service management. In our goal of effective leadership it is important to solicit and listen to differing opinions. We have to embrace our differences, work through the issues and implement strategies to limit the negative aspects of conflict. Conflict can actually be valuable to an organization. It is in the effective management of this conflict that our teams can be made stronger, our relationships with our customers improved a…

Enterprise Monitoring and the Service Lifecycle

I was recently asked where an entity such as Enterprise Monitoring resides in an organization. Should it be equivalent to the Operations, Engineering and Security areas rather than reporting to one those areas? Yes in some ways it does make sense to have Enterprise Monitoring at the same level. However, we must remember that there is a clear distinction and separation between the functions as proposed in ITIL and the activities that they perform. “Monitoring” is an activity related to a process (including but not limited to Event Management, Availability, Capacity, Service Level, etc.) So this work gets performed across an enterprise and not by a single, particular group. Anyone who needs to “monitor” something should use the associated processes to do so. Someone doing “monitoring” does not need to be located in any specific part of an organization. Functions are organization, location and structure agnostic. A function is not a place or management structure rather an abstract groupi…

Evolution of the Balanced Scorecard

The balanced scorecard (BSC) has evolved from simple metrics and performance reporting into a strategic planning and management system. It is no longer a passive reporting document which shows pretty pictures. It has transformed into a framework that not only provides performance measurements but helps analysts identify gaps and continual service improvement programs. It enables our senior staff to truly execute their strategic goals and objectives.

Dr. R. Kaplan & David Norton did extensive research and documentation on this framework in the early 1990’s. In Kaplan & Norton’s writing, the four steps required to design a BSC are as follows:
Translating the vision into operational goals;Communicating the vision and link it to individual performance;Business planning; index settingFeedback and learning, and adjusting the strategy accordingly.In the late 1990’s an updated version on the traditional balanced scorecard was introduced called the Third Generation Balanced Scorecard. T…

Narrowing Tool Selection Criteria Based on Stakeholder Requirements

One of our followers recently asked about how to handle the CIO's concern about security in a cloud environment when evaluating tool solutions.  To my mind, the CIO is expressing a potential requirement that should be considered and that may narrow your selection criterion.

Your selection criteria should assist in achieving two outcomes. One is to narrow down the list of providers and their products to a workable number so that you are not spending undue amounts of time evaluating too many vendors. The other is to ensure that the products you have selected to evaluate really do meet 80% of your stated requirements out of the box.

You will need to develop three criteria sets. The first list is a set of criteria of what you would like the tool to do in terms of supporting your documented and defined processes (call these functional requirements). Functional requirements are those things that help you to achieve utility of your processes and services. You will also need a set of crit…

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