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Showing posts from October, 2011

Dr. Deming's Cycle

Many of you have probably heard of Dr. William Edwards Deming. But how many of you really know who he was and why he is so important to IT Service Management and ITIL? I mean going beyond the contribution of the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle to Continual Service Improvement? What was the most important contribution of Dr Deming and why should we care so much about his other efforts?

According to Wikipedia, Dr. Deming (1900-1993) was a statistician, professor and consultant by trade, hailing originally from Iowa. He went on to earn degrees from the Universities of Wyoming and Colorado, and a Ph.D. from Yale University. One interesting fact of which most people are not aware was his relationship to Walter Shewhart, the originator of the ideas of statistical process control. In fact the Plan-Do-Check-Act cycle was originally an idea generated by Shewhart (and is sometimes referred to as the Shewhart Cycle, rather than the Deming Cycle). We must remember though, Dr. Deming’s contributions go mu…

The Beginning of Good Process Implementation

Many organizations that I meet with often are struggling to implement best practice processes into their environments.They sound completely overwhelmed and often I hear “Where do we begin?”I smile and usually respond with “At the beginning of course”.The beginning of good process implementation of course is “defining and analyzing your customer’s requirements”.I once read that to provide good services a service provider must have good customers.I think this statement also holds true for processes as well.Good customers / employees must:
Understand the processUnderstand the expected results of the processKnow where they fit into the processUnderstand how they and others contribute to produce the expected resultsWhen your employees understand the processes within your environment they can easily identify new customer requirements and positively respond to rapidly changing customer needs.This is the basis for making it part of the service culture within your organization, ensuring that bu…

Resources for Business Relationship Management

A student recently asked for resource references for about Business Relationship Management (BRM).
BRM is emerging as a critical process in several prominent service management frameworks and standards.Recently, BRM was formalized in the 2011 edition of Service Strategy as part of the core ITIL library.This is a significant addition since many believed that BRM and Service Level Management (SLM) were the same process.While similar, BRM strategically focuses on the relationship between a service provider and it’s customer (more like an Account Executive) where SLM operationally focuses on the negotiation and achievement of service performance.
The ISO/IEC 20000 standard has mandatory requirements and suggested guidance for Business Relationship Management.Even if your organization is not considering ISO certification, the standard does define the minimum essential activities for each process, including BRM.Put together with ITIL 2011, it’s a powerful combination.
Microsoft Operations Fra…

The Purpose and Value of Business Impact Analysis

When discussing Service Design I am often asked the purpose and value of a Business Impact Assessment (BIA).The purpose of a BIA is to quantify the impact to the business that the loss of a service would have.It is a valuable source of input when trying to ascertain the business needs, impacts and risks that the organization may face in the delivery of services.The Business Impact Assessment is an essential element of the overall business continuity process.It identifies the most important services to the organization and therefore will help to define the overall strategy for risk reduction and disaster recovery.At a more granular level these assessments enable the mapping of critical service applications and technology components to critical business processes.It is an invaluable input for Continuity Strategy, Availability Design, and Capacity Management.
The BIA’s strategic purpose is to show which parts of the business will be most affected by a major incident and what affect it wil…

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