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COBIT User Guide for Service Managers

COBIT Download - Free for ISACA members, cheap for everyone else! Aimed at providing specific guidance on how to use COBIT when performing a particular role, this guide focuses on service managers, providing them a better understanding of the need for IT governance and how to apply good practices in their specific roles and responsibilities. It facilitates easier use and adoption of COBIT and ITIL concepts and approaches, and encourages integration of COBIT with ITIL. Download here

IT Ops or IT Slops? Definitions Matter: Part One

This blog was written by Kevin Behr, co-author of Visible Ops You can visit Kevin's blog at: “I wish we had dedicated project resources. I am so busy with operations that I just don’t have time for projects.” “Why does every IT issue get escalated to my top network and security people?” “I don’t care if you have enough time. I need this stuff done now.” “It takes me more time to fill out a change request than to make the actual change.” “We spend over 70% of our time doing operations which only leaves me 10-15% to work on projects after I read my email.” Sound Familiar? I love the provocative statement that Goldratt made (I paraphrase): “Technology CAN (not does) provide value IF and only IF it diminishes a business constraint.” Before you go off emailing me that technology has many other values please reflect deeply on this statement. Please reflect deeply on what business value IT provides. I love the notion of continuity that the “diminishes

Payback time for ITIL

This article was written by Bob Mathers and printed in CIO Canada on March 8, 2009. Since it covers one of my favorite topics, the ROI of ITIL, I am sharing the whole article with you. The ‘version 3’ updates of the Information Technology Infrastructure Library, released in the spring of 2007, have breathed new life into ITIL. Certainly, it has sparked renewed interest from CIOs.   By applying a common language and best-practice guidelines for managing basic functional processes, ITIL goes beyond a basic focus on infrastructure cost efficiency and personnel productivity. As such, it is especially popular within organizations that are committed to performance improvement and seek to take their strategies to the next level. Increasingly, however, many executives are questioning the payback of investments in ITIL. It’s not that ITIL has failed. Indeed, evidence shows that a vast majority of executives involved in ITIL initiatives believe that the guidelines have produced benefits

Change Impact Analysis

I've been spending time within the Service Transition book. Did you know that ITIL V3 has a prescription for performing an impact analysis of a proposed change in the form of 7 "R" questions? Who RAISED the change? What is the REASON for the change? What is the RETURN required from the change? What are the RISKS involved in the change? What RESOURCES are required to deliver the change? Who is RESPONSIBLE for the build, test and implementation of the change? What is the RELATIONSHIP between this change and other changes? Frankly, I would add or clarify a couple of questions: What is the COST of the change?" (broken away from the Resources question) What is the TIMELINE for implementing the change? Other than that, I believe that these are meaningful and well-rounded questions, They can serve as a good foundation for a Request for Change template and informed Change Advisory Board discussions.

ITIL Certification Builds IT Workers' Skills in Economic Downturn

By: George Spafford The news is full of failing companies and lost jobs, and the IT job market has not been spared the current economic recession. It is a worrisome time for everyone. We can view the recession's effects on the IT economy from two different perspectives: (1) that of employees, who fear losing jobs and worry about having the right skills, and (2) that of employers, which need to improve operating effectiveness and efficiency. While separate, these views are not mutually exclusive. Continuing education and the pursuit of IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL)certifications can benefit both groups in terms of building IT skills and improving IT operational efficiency. Building IT skill sets with ITIL certification Firms hire workers based on their skill sets. While many organizations understand the value of developing IT workers' skills, others discard employees when skills no longer align with a company's needs. In their responses to employee surveys, it's

Allstate's Catherine Brune talks about what IT should -- and shouldn't -- do in a recession

Interesting. The Wall Street Journal today (FEBRUARY 17, 2009), published an interview with Allstate's CIO Catherine Brune . The topic is "What IT should -- and shouldn't -- do in a recession." In the article, entitled Shifting Priorities , Brune discusses the importance of having a Process Improvement Program (they use ITIL ) in place, especially in a down economy. She is quoted, "Don't ever take your eye off continuous improvement." To read the article...

How to Move Beyond the CMDB in ITIL Version 3

eWeek published a pretty informative article today: How to Move Beyond the CMDB in ITIL Version 3 . " ITIL Version 3 introduces a Service Knowledge Management System (SKMS) whose goal is to provide meaningful information, knowledge and wisdom to appropriate IT or business users for quality decision-making." In the article , Knowledge Center contributor Linh C. Ho explains how the Service Knowledge Management System is achieved and how it relates to the CMDB. The article covers.... How to Move Beyond the CMDB in ITIL Version 3 How the SKMS Works Why the SKMS is Significant

Reducing IT Costs using IT Service Management

The most frequent question of the last few months has been "What are IT organizations doing to reduce costs in a downturned economy?" With constrained human and financial resources, the answer to this question can be daunting. The business still expects the same level of service with fewer resources. What's an IT department to do? IT Service Management best practices have always provided guidance for managing or lowering the cost of services without sacrificing quality. Frameworks, such as ITIL, advocate processes that net higher efficiencies and effectiveness, which in turn result in lower costs and higher quality. The better you are at doing something, the lower the cost of doing it. Here are some other ways ITSM can help reduce costs: Understand your costs by calculating cost per service, cost per customer and cost per activity. You can't reduce costs if you do not understand what they are in the first place. Create and analyze a Service Portfolio of services in

Baseline Magazine says ITIL Managers will be Hot Job #6 for 2009!

Baseline magazine, which is one of my old favorites, (although I don't like the website nearly as well as their magazine) recently published a very interesting article. Entitled 10 Hot IT Jobs for 2009 , it lists ITIL Manager as Hot Job #6. "The job market is brutal, but some IT specializations remain in high demand. Many of the hottest roles and skills address issues specific to survival, such as productivity, efficiency and process improvement.... Governance and standardization are key to getting automation efforts off the ground in an orderly fashion, and companies will be paying a premium for ITIL and business process experts in 2009." - Read full article CIO Insight also recently published something I found interesting, 10 Books for Managing in Tough Times . While I have not personally had a chance to read all of these books, I have reviewed their list. Several look to be very interesting and potentially helpful. - Read full article

Knowledge Management and Social Networking

My students often ask about new advances in Knowledge Management. While Knowledge Management is not a new topic, it seems that there are still many challenges in implementing and managing this important process. I was discussing this topic with an academic colleague last week, Dr. Stuart Diaz Galup of Florida Atlantic University. He explained that "Knowledge Management" is often confused with "Information Management". I thought that was a very astute observation. According to ITIL V3, "information" puts data in context; "knowledge" adds experience, ideas, insights and value to information. So how can organizations evolve into managing "knowledge" instead of "information? Dr. Galup's observation brought me back to thinking about social networking and Knowledge Management. The introduction and acceptance of Wikis ( wikipedia ) has encouraged collaborative knowledge in that individuals can contribute their expertise to create or

The Question

One of the most important tools in the toolbox for implementing Service Management is “ The Question ”. Effective questioning can help make both a new and existing implementation more successful. Good questioning techniques take practice and knowledge like many other skills. It can take years to move questioning from a skill to a talent. But learning how to ask and answer questions is a valuable instrument. Questions go beyond just the closed (specific answer) and open (subjective or broad answer). Questions can fall into several other categories and each should be approached in different ways: INDUCTIVE : there are designed to aggregate information and will be used effectively in Incident Management; Problem Management and Change Management. How do a set of Incidents correlate? DEDUCTIVE : these are designed to break down or decompose information and will be used effectively in Problem Management and Service Level Management. What are the elements that make up an existing service

Calculating ROI on IT Service Management

One of the questions I am often asked is, "How do we calculate the Return on Investment (ROI) of our ITIL Implementation". This week, a new case study was introduced covering: ROI Calculator Case Study Synopsis Traditionally, ROI and TCO are touted by software companies as a means to sell software. Many of us have become hardened to these calculations, as experience has show they were grossly over-inflated. To help combat this, in 2006, ITSM Academy shared a realistic, un-biased ROI calculator which enables users to estimate potential costs savings of: Incident Management Availability Management Unplanned Work Existing calculations can be easily tailored to produce similar process area calculations. Case Study Synopsis The case study also includes a collection of 25 published ROI statements and stories, broken out by industry type. The following is one of the quotes: "An ITIL program at Capital One resulted in a 30% reduction in system crashes and software-distribut

Welcome to ITSM Professor

Allow me to introduce myself - I am Professor Wise, the ITSM Professor. I have committed my academic research to IT Service Management including ITIL , ISO/ IEC 20000, Microsoft Operations Framework and other resources. As I discover interesting and relevant concepts within best practices frameworks and standards, I will highlight them with you through this blog. I will also share insight and practical application from organizations and individuals who are implementing and improving their Service Management processes. And I also encourage you to join into the conversation. I want this to be a positive place for sharing IT Service Management tips, tricks, challenges and successes. Please email me at . I will add your question to the blog. Happy Reading!