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Introducing Experience Management

Guest Host Post by Mark S. Blanke , previously posted on the   Owlpoint Blog , March 28, 2021 Are your service-desk customers sitting in 9C? When customers evaluate your service, do they remember the experience or the statistics? What does that mean for modern IT management? Well, there is a better way to measure. It is called Experience Management. It is an evolution and next level of maturity above that of traditional Service Management. A while back, I read a book called From Worst to First written by Gordon Bethune, the former CEO of Continental Airlines. He led the management team hired to turn around the airline after two bankruptcies and ten CEOs in ten years—clearly a challenging assignment. Gordon, along with his team, established a clear plan to turn around the company. They made remarkable changes that took the airline from worst (in almost all categories) to first in just a few years. Greg Brenneman, the COO, wrote a brief article in Harvard Business Review describing the t
Recent posts

We’re Good With ITIL v3… or Are We?

By Donna Knapp We sometimes hear from organizations that they are “good with ITIL® v3”. We’d like to encourage an alternative point of view. AXELOS launched ITIL 4 in February 2019 and since then, the world has changed dramatically. COVID-19 has taught us all that the need for organizations to undergo a digital transformation is paramount to survival, as is the need to understand and leverage emerging disruptive technologies. But let’s be honest, that’s been the case long before a global pandemic changed our landscape. The gap between those able to benefit from the digital age and those who are not has been widening since the 1990s. What COVID-19 has done is accelerate the digital transformation processes in organizations. According  to a McKinsey survey of executives, “companies have accelerated the digitization of their customer and supply-chain interactions and of their internal operations by three to four years”. Let’s accept the reality of that… things have sped up dramatically,

The Mythical Value Stream Manager

Guest Host Post by Mike Orzen, previously posted on Mike’s Blog ,  March 25, 2021 For decades, the lean community has been talking about the importance of creating and managing customer value across the value stream. A value stream is comprised of all the activities performed to create, manage and deliver value to customers. It includes all the wasteful and broken processes we have come to accept as inherent in the way the work gets done. A key player who focuses on coordinating and aligning the efforts of all pieces of the value stream is the value stream manager. Their goal is to get everyone working together and aligned toward the common goal of optimizing their entire value stream. I like to call this character the “mythical value stream manager” because they are described in books but seldom seen in the wild – much like a unicorn. This person is the master coordinator among silos, conflicting priorities, constrained resources, and localized performance. No small task as most peo

Integrating ITSM and DevOps

As the pace of technological innovation increases and digital disruption becomes the norm, the need to adapt and accelerate IT service management (ITSM) processes is more critical than ever. It’s no longer a debate about whether ITSM and DevOps should interface; it’s time now for ITSM professionals to understand how the practices they use to co-create value can underpin (or undermine) the flow of work and pervasive use of automation in a DevOps environment. It’s easy to understand why ITSM professionals are skeptical about DevOps. ITSM performance metrics and service level agreements (SLAs) often revolve around the IT organization’s ability to mitigate risks, minimize impact, and “guarantee” availability. On the surface, these measures aren’t bad. It’s when we sacrifice speed, agility, and innovation in the process that the business starts to suffer. Even with the evolution to ITIL 4 , the what and why of ITSM haven’t changed. A customer-focused culture in which everyone understands

Optimizing Value Streams and Processes

Value streams are getting a lot of attention these days for a couple of reasons. One is that value streams allow us to identify opportunities to minimize waste or bottlenecks across organizations, processes and functional silos, and to improve the flow of value. Organizations adopting DevOps , for example, are using value stream mapping as a way to improve the flow of activities during the software development lifecycle, and to improve cross-functional collaboration. Another reason is that value streams direct our attention to what customers value. For example, organizations can use value stream mapping to streamline new product development activities, improve time-based measures such as lead time and time to market, and identify ways to improve product quality. They can also use it to streamline the activities involved in integrating a new employee into the company and its culture. What these both have in common is that the focus is on optimizing the value-adding activities; with the

Then and Now – Site Reliability & DevOps

In the past, the idea was to build in the non-functional requirements of service to the best of our ability based on experience or best guess. Sometimes the general thought was, “We will worry about any residual work for availability, capacity, and reliability after the product or service is deployed”. This focus ensured that the product was fit for purpose, but did not ensure that the product was fit for use, that it was reliable. This approach is very costly to the operations of the service and negative consumer impact impedes opportunities for market share.  This type of focus also creates silos between Dev and Ops and Ops become firefighters.  The costs for operations are not sustainable! In addition to loss of revenues, staff morale begins to slip.  So, reliability is really the key to success. Think about your cell phone. A heavy focus on functional requirements would mean that you can make phone calls. You can text, you can  take photos, you can use your maps and a variety of

Co-Creating Service – Customer and Provider Responsibilities

Best practice has proven that to be dynamic and to consistently meet changing business requirements, services must be co-created with our customers.  I learned in a recent ITIL 4 certification class titled Driving Stakeholder Value (DSV)  that providers will start with a stakeholder map and follow up with a customer journey map. If you are not yet familiar with Customer Journey Mapping, I strongly recommend learning about this critical skill needed to enable the co-creation of services.  Once you have a stakeholder map and have mapped the customer/user journey, you will need to identify the roles required. In our example below, we use the two roles of customer/consumer and service provider. Each of these, although not the only stakeholders involved, is critical to the success of co-creation.  Notice a relationship is being established via these responsibilities  Both the service provider and the consumer have responsibilities.  An IT service provider, for example, manages resource