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Showing posts from September, 2015

User Stories / Story Points

User stories are one of the primary development artifacts for Scrum teams.  They are a short description of the feature as told from the perspective of the person (stakeholder) who desired some new capability from a current service, system or application.  Many Scrum teams have adopted the user story template developed by Mike Cohn, which identified who the end user is, what the end user wants and why in a single sentence.  This template is most often written like this:  "As a (type of user), I want (some goal) so that (some reason)."  Example: As an Incident Process Owner, I want to see a release of known errors in order to do appropriate service desk staff training. In this way team members are encouraged to think of their work from the perspective of who will use it, ensuring requirements get met and value is delivered. 
User stories are narrative texts that describe an interaction of the user and the service.  It focuses on the value that a user gains from utilizing the s…

Service Offerings and Agreements - Service Catalogs

What is the difference between a Business Service Catalog and a Request Fulfillment Catalog?  One clear way to distinguish the type of service catalog that is required is to ask yourself, who is your audience?  I have found that when a lot of IT organizations say that they have a Service Catalog many are talking about a service catalog for end users.  Another very important service catalog is one that is mapped to your business customer needs.  In this blog I will briefly discuss some characteristics of service catalogs for these very distinct audiences and for the purpose of clarity I will refer to them as Request Fulfillment and Business ServiceCatalog.

Request Fulfillment Service Catalog

Service providers today are striving to automate the first line support for user request fulfillment by providing self-help and also more importantly self-serve end user request fulfillment catalogs.  This self-serve catalog is the most common and allows users to fulfill requests directly from a web…

Assessing and Evaluating the Change

All changes need to be assessed and evaluated.  Changes that are considered significant should be subject to a normal change evaluation in which we have well defined criteria for making this determination.  In this blog we will focus on the assessment side of the equation.

A logical place to begin assessing the impact of changes on services and configuration assets would be the use of the "Seven Rs of Change Management".  Without these questions being answered a proper impact assessment could not be completed.  When leading an impact and resource assessment several items should be considered.  At the top of the chart we need to determine if there will be an impact to the customer's business operations.  Next we might want to know what the effect will be on infrastructure, individual customer services and their performance, reliability, security, continuity and ability to handle various levels of demand.  Additionally we will need to understand what the current change sc…

Release, Control and Validation (RCV) – Service Management Secret Ingredients

In today's dynamic business climate, service outages cause real bottom line impact to the business. There are documented best practice processes and known critical success factors and yet outages that throw support organizations into reactive firefighting turmoil are far too common. Mature processes with just enough control are needed to smoothly transition new and changed services into production, helping to ensure stability for IT and the business.  Most organizations will confirm that they do have Change and Release Management processes in place.  Service Providers will usually have some level of Service Asset and Configuration Management control.  There is generally a lot of buzz and focus on three core processes for Service Transition and the success and integration of these three are critical to business success.  Three Core Processes for Service Transition are: Change ManagementService Asset and Configuration ManagementRelease Management Most IT organizations recognize the …

With Agile and DevOps, Why ITIL?

A systems engineer recently asked “With all of the buzz around Agile and DevOps, is ITIL Foundation training and certification still relevant?”   The short answer is yes and its relevance is directly tied to the success of strategic initiatives and the outcomes of the organization.  There is direct benefit to the learner/candidate also.  It has been a while since this has been discussed so let’s revisit this once again.
For the Consultant or Third Party Vendor: Gets you on the short list! -  ITIL Foundation training gives those who are consulting in any area of “Service Management” a standard set of vocabulary critical to communication.  Also, knowing the terms and basic concepts is crucial to the credibility of the consultant.  The improper use of a single term that is known by your customer could give the impression that you as the consultant do not know the industry and omit you from the short list.  Some organizations will not even consider a vendor without the proper certificatio…

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