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Showing posts from October, 2013

ITSM and the Consummate Gardener

The Consummate Gardener   There are times in IT Service Management that seem to be like dry cold spells.   Times when the funding is dry, the resources are lean and to all but the consummate gardener might appear to be nonproductive in the way of moving forward.   The consummate gardener will find something to put on the schedule in the bitter cold of January, something like garden planning, tool maintenance, or alphabetizing the seed packets. Perhaps browsing seed catalogs and more to ensure they are prepared for the next season. Why?   They have a vision!   The crop, the wonderful fruit of their labor realized.   Back to the Basics Like the gardener there are areas of ITSM Best Practice that a service provider can continually be preparing for and improving.   When times are lean and dry as well as when they are not.   With all the terms, the technology, the latest and greatest buzz lets pause and step back; back to the basics.   For the gardener that is the seed , the

#SMFlashbook – Best Tip(s) for Building a Service Catalog

This blog is being posted today as part of a larger community effort to publish common topic blogs on the same day.   I encourage you to review the other blogs on this subject by searching the hashtag #SMFlashbook. I was simultaneously confused and disappointed by the recent itSMF/Forrester survey results that indicated a large number of organizations had not built a Service Catalog due to lack of funding.     I am also always confused when organizations move forward with their Service Management initiatives without first defining their services.   So I challenge you with a question:   How can you manage services if you do not have a clear understanding of the services that you provide?   Here are some very simple and virtually free tips for creating an initial and meaningful Service Catalog: Step away from your tool.     The first steps can be captured on paper, whiteboards or in documents.   The tool part will come later. Gather stakeholders and collectively define an

Changing ITSM Seasons

As we approach the fall and winter in the northern hemisphere, the change of seasons makes me think of the whole idea of renewal. This leads me to think about the place of renewal in ITSM—Continual Service Improvement. To make improvement work really well it must be a continuous activity. At a minimum, we should take some time to recognize that ITSM has seasons just like the physical world. Each year as we strive to deliver value to our customers, users and business partners we should think about those seasons. The seasons of the year offer up an opportunity to renew our efforts in ITSM and to bring new life out of the longer-term activities and efforts within our organizations. Just like the need to change a battery in a smoke detector once per year, the “battery” of your ITSM work might need replacement, recharging or renewal. What does renewal of an ITSM implementation or effort look like? Here is a short list of the activities and steps you might take to help your own “renewal”

Value of the Service Desk

Respond more quickly to urgent business needs and incidents while simultaneously providing stable, secure and predictable IT services, despite the fact that the systems on which the business operates are typically fragile and hostile to change.   Sound familiar?   Improving operational reliability and communications between ITSM functions and processes begins at the Service desk. I have to quote a coworker of mine at this point “All things flow through incident management”.   The service desk is the eyes and the ears of the IT organization.   If you think about it and utilize the service desk from both an operational and tactical perspective , ensuring that all of the other ITSM processes and functions are feeding accurate and up to date information and data that the service desk needs, they can become the glue that that binds the entire organization together in alignment with both IT and strategic business   goals.   A single great process alone cannot deliver as much value to th

Rule of Law

Too often I encounter learners who struggle with the concept of governance. This idea does not need to be difficult to understand nor to implement. The idea of governance is based on an older idea known as "rule of law". This idea arose in the Enlightenment and has driven modern civilized society ever since. The understanding of the rule of law is that everyone (people and businesses) is subject to rules and regulations that keep mankind from descending into chaos and anarchy. Governance is simply the modern terminology for this concept. Other terms we use in this same sense are "management" and "control". Governance at its heart has two basic forms. The first is Governance ("Big G"). This is the type of governance whereby established ruling entities (governments and/or lawmakers and/or courts) create rules, regulations and policies (statements of intention or expectation) to keep us all from going crazy and destroying each other. We exper

National Customer Service Week October 7-11

It’s one of my favorite times of year…time for us to get ‘ United through Service ,’ which is this year’s theme for National Customer Service Week, according to the International Customer Service Association. National Customer Service Week (NCSW), held October 7-11 in 2013, is designed to raise awareness of customer service and the vital role it plays within an organization. It is also an opportunity to say thank you to those who work in customer service for a job well done. Organizations take part in NCSW by hosting events in their workplace.  These events can be large or small, serious or fun, they can be held all through the week or just on one day…. It's up to each organization to decide how to celebrate. Many organizations use this week as an opportunity to provide training and refocus the efforts of their staff on the needs of their customers. In IT, a common misconception is that the Service Desk is responsible for customer satisfaction because of its role

Recommended Reading (Part 2)

Last week, we discussed the value of having well-rounded knowledge of ITIL, ITSM, Organizational Change and Business Management in preparation for and after the Managing Across the Lifecycle (MALC) course and certification. Here is the continuation of my recommended books.  As a lifelong learner, I am always looking for new works.   Please feel free to make additional suggestions via comments to this blog.   Part 2: Recommended Reading Who Moved my Cheese? by Spencer Johnson The E Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber In Search of Excellence by Tom Peters The Balanced Scorecard: Transforming Strategy in Action by Robert Kaplan and David Norton Good to Great by Jim Collins Competitive Advantage by Michael Porter Competitive Strategy by Michael Porter Reengineering the Corporation by Michael Hammer and James Champy Reengineering Management by Michael Hammer and James Champy Principles of Scientific Management by Frederick Winslow Taylor First,