Subscribe Now:

Monday, December 12, 2011

2011 in Review

Can you believe that we are nearing the end of 2011?  I certainly can’t – it is unfathomable that 12 months have passed since my last year-end review.  But here we are again looking back on the year past and facing forward to 2012.

For service management, 2011 was a milestone year with the release of the updated ITIL publications.  No longer being referred to by version number, ITIL 2011 demonstrated the value of continual service improvement by normalizing the structure of all the processes and clarifying key areas such as Service Strategy.   Part 1 of ISO/IEC  20000 was also updated in 2011.
Other significant observations in 2011:
  • Many organizations have implemented the core processes (Change,Incident) and are now maturing into Service Strategy, Service Design and Continual Service Improvement
  • Service Strategy 2011 is infinitely more accessible and reflective of the real world
  • There are a lot of questions about managing cloud services
  • More organizations are developing (or have developed) service portfolios and catalogs
  • Executive sponsorship can still be elusive despite the proof that strong service management leadership is a critical success factor in high performing organizations
  • We are still struggling with the design of meaningful service management metrics
  • More organizations are developing process templates to ensure integration and consistency
My predictions for 2012 trends
  • ITIL 2011 will be fully integrated in January when all exams except for MALC will be based entirely on the updated guidance.  MALC will follow in May.
  • ISO/IEC 20000 education will be in higher demand as ISO/IEC 20000 certification becomes more of a competitive advantage for many providers
  • ITIL and other service management frameworks will gain even greater importance as more organizations move to cloud environments (think about Supplier Management and the warranty processes).  
  • The definition of a “service” will become clearer, paving the way for service portfolios and catalogs
  • There will be a solid case for formal leadership skills development and education 
  • Service Strategy, Service Design and Continual service improvement will surpass Service Operation and Service Transition as key focus and learning areas

Friday, October 7, 2011

Reflections on Fusion 2011

While the itSMF/HDI Fusion 2011 conference has come and gone, I thought I would share my perceptions on the state of service management in North America.  

There were lots of questions about the updates in ITIL 2011, although I did not find it to be the predominant theme of the week.   Leadership, organizational change management, service catalogs/ portfolios, business relationship management and metrics seemed to generate the most interest and buzz.
For the past seven years, presentations about operational processes such Incident, Change, Problem and Config were center stage.  And while those processes are still critical and addressed, it is gratifying to see a bit of a paradigm shift;to more emphasis on leadership, people and relationships.  Everything else is just theory.

Here are  some of the underpinning messages from Fusion 2011
  • Leadership is vital to service management success
  • Everyone can be a leader and change agent
  • People execute process – not tools or flowcharts
  • We work with Human Beings, not Human Doings (Deborah Monroe)
  • Attitude, Behavior and Culture (ABC) is the number one success or failure factor (Paul Wilkinson)
  • Don’t hinder creativity. If you want to grow your business, grow your people (Erik Wahl)
  • Be an opportunity manager, not a crisis manager (Daniel Burrus)
  • Good governance is better than good technology (Glenn Leclair)
Ironically, these same messages are at the core of the ITIL 2011 update.  The “new” processes are very people and relationship focused: strategy management, design coordination, transition planning and business relationship management.   The Service Catalog takes on a more prominent role as the “glue”  that holds the service lifecycle and business relationship together.  Metrics are being gathered and analyzed for continual service improvement.   Is this being driven by the challenges of managing services in the Cloud?  I’m not sure, but I like the way the winds are blowing.
Are we there yet?  No.  But as a whole we are definitely moving up the maturity ladder.  Can’t wait to see what happens in 2012.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Fusion Conference 2011 is Almost Here!

It is hard to believe that the Fusion conference is just a week away at the Gaylord National in Washington, DC. There are several innovations this year that promise to make it a standout event including the partnership between itSMF and HDI.  This relationship is particularly significant as it represents an evolving trend of unification within the industry. 

The agenda this year places a stronger emphasis on topics such as the Service Catalog, governance and organizational change management.  The tracks offer opportunities for a variety of roles, sectors and areas of interest:
  • The People Factor
  • Business Services and IT Processes
  • Service Operations
  • Service Catalog and Portfolio Management
  • IT Governance and Security
  • The Executive View
  • The Government View
  • The Beginner’s View
ITSM Academy is presenting at two sessions.  Michael Cardinal, a Senior Instructor, will be delivering Session 303: Effective Questioning for ITSM on Monday, September 26th at 3:00 p.m.   Asking the right questions at the right time to the right audience is a learned skill and Mike will be offering practical techniques for becoming a proficient questioner. 
I am very excited to be discussing the value of having two distinct but related Service Catalogs in Session 605: The Best of Both Worlds: Creating a Business Service Catalog and Technical Service Catalog on Tuesday, September 27th at 2:45 p.m.     Too many organizations struggle with the proper scope of service definition (either too technical or not technical enough) and I will be presenting ITIL's very flexible and practical solution.
Looking forward to seeing you there.  Please stop by our booth 720 to say hello.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

New Foundation Processes - Design Coordination and Transition Planning and Support

Two of the new processes we are covering in ITIL 2011 Foundation are Design Coordination and Transition Planning and Support.

These processes have very similar activities, and those activities can be compared to the role of a conductor for an orchestra. The conductor is responsible for:
  • Interpreting the piece – these processes determine the strategy for the associated lifecycle stage
  • Deciding on tempos – these processes determine the rigor and therefore speed associated with performing the stage activities
  • Basically getting every musician in the orchestra on the same page with every single note of the piece(s) they will be performing – these processes ensure that all of the functions and processes engaged in a lifecycle stage are on the same page with every single new service or change to an existing service that they are handling
Thanks to one of our brilliant instructors for the analogy!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The Importance of Leadership Skills

I recently led the first launch of our newest workshop, ITSM Leadership Skills.  This course was developed in collaboration with PeopleTek, a well respected and recognized executive coaching provider.

The ITSM Leadership Skills workshop addresses the softer skills that are critical success factors for continual service improvement.  Unfortunately, until now these skills were mostly overlooked in the service management classroom.

Topics covered in this workshop include
  • Identifying and leveraging strengths
  • Vision, Mission, Goals and Measures
  • Planning projects
  • Managing change
  • Enhancing communication
  • Managing conflict
Several of the attendees in our first session commented that they had prior experience with many of these topics.  They were grateful for the opportunity to be reminded of their importance while gaining new perspectives and appraoches for being a great leader.   It's so easy to get lost in the mechanics of designing new processes and services; it's just as easy to overlook the human factor.

PeopleTek promotes the belief that everyone is a leader. I agree.  Their definition of a leader supports that view:  To take people where they have not been and would not go on their own.  

Ask yourself:  Who are you leading today and where are you taking them?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The 2011 Edition of the ITIL Library

It was recently announced that the 2011 Edition of the ITIL Core Library will publish on July 29, 2011. Notice that I did not refer to the new release with a new version number - and with good reason. All future revisions to the ITIL publications will be referenced by the year that it was published. ITIL will finally just be ITIL.

If you regard the 2011 ITIL update as the equivalent to the revision of a college textbook, you'll understand why this is not a big deal. Academic textbooks are revised on a regular schedule without much fanfare or impact on prior or future students. Past attendees do not retake their final exams or replace their textbook. Just a normal course of continual improvement. Do you base your decision on whether to take a college course on the edition of the textbook being used? Not really. What's important is the relevancy of the topic.
The 2011 ITIL Edition was approached in much the same way - improve the inconsistencies, formalize a few processes that were referenced in the 2007 edition but did not follow the same format and flow, clarify some concepts based on reader feedback. No major new revelations. Just a normal course of continual improvement that should be introduced without much fanfare and will have no impact on prior students. Past, present and future attendees will essentially share the same knowledge.
Please do not believe anyone that advises you to retake your exam, replace your textbook, change your tool, revise your implementation strategy or base your education plan on which edition of the books are being used.
There are no plans to "bridge" anyone or anything with this release. A change log will be made available that compares the two editions. Webinars, articles and opinions on the revisions will abound. In fact, the first set of FAQs is now available at:
ITIL is just ITIL.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Service Manager Bridging Options After June 30, 2011

Tomorrow (June 30) is the final day for taking (or re-taking) the V2-V3 Manager's Bridge exam as a fast track to ITIL Expert.  It is also the last day for re-takes of the ITIL Foundation Bridge exam.  

If you are an ITIL V1 or V2 Service Manager and missed this opportunity, all is not lost.  There is an ongoing bridging path for Service Managers that requires only three additional certifications and reduces the number of required credits from 22 to 10:

ITIL V3 Foundation (2 ) +
Service Strategy -OR- Continual Service Improvement (CSI) (3 ) +
Managing Across the Lifecycle  (5)
= ITIL Expert

 To qualify, you must present a valid Service Manager Certificate (both exams).  No substitutions of the above are allowed except for the choice of Service Strategy or CSI.   You cannot self-study for Service Strategy, CSI or MALC unless you are a trainer accredited through an Examination Institute. 

Since the updated bridging path has no end date, I hope that eventually all V1-V2 Service Managers will find their way to becoming ITIL Experts.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The new "Driving ITSM" Workshop Series

I am so excited aboout ITSM Academy's new "Driving ITSM" workshops.  These workshops are 'right-sized for the right-time' in that they focus on the knowledge an organization needs at specific milestones in their service management journeys. 

Driving ITSM workshops target the areas where most organizations struggle and provide grass-roots advice for meeting and moving beyond these challenges.

Classes in the Driving ITSM series will be available for corporate delivery and in our virtual classroom.  Course length ranges from 4 to 16 hours depending on topic covered.

Right now, there are four workshops in the series:
  • The Building Blocks of Process Design
  • Assigning Dynamic Roles and Responsibilities
  • ITSM Leadership Skills
  • Building Your Service Catalog
Stay tuned for news about additional courses in this series.  And, as always, we welcome your suggestions for meaningful topics.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Top CIO Priorities for 2011

Gartner recently released the results of a worldwide survey on Top 10 Business and Technology Priorities in 2011. It’s gratifying to see that IT management is number 4 on the CIO list. It’s equally gratifying to see that growth is number 1 on the business priorities list; along with continued vigilance with regard to costs and operational efficiencies.

One of the interesting points made in the article is that despite the downturn in the economy, many companies continued their research and development efforts in recent years, they just haven’t been implementing the results of those efforts. What this means for IT organizations is that the next several years will feature rapid change that requires a strong foundation in IT management. As an example, the study indicates that while 3 percent of CIOs currently have the majority of IT running in the cloud or on SaaS technologies, over the next four years CIOs expect this number to increase to 43 percent.

The article goes on to say that to support this growth, CIOs must reimagine IT and lead it through a process of “creative destruction.” This includes redefining the central elements of IT such as its cost structure, people and processes. The article also states that two issues that stand in the way of supporting enterprise growth are: benefits realization (the achievement of business benefits) and IT skills. Skills are an issue because CIOs rely on bringing skills in from the outside whenever they need to get work done.

Looking for more priorities and predications? The following references a number of additional articles you may find interesting.

Monday, February 14, 2011

This Week: Destination ISO/IEC 20000 Webinar – Industry News and Updates

If you are not already a member of the itSMF ISO/IEC 20000 Special Interest Group (SIG), this is a good time to join.

The SIG is at the half-way mark of its Destination ISO/IEC 20000 program. This program consists of monthly webinars that are designed to provide a roadmap for ISO/IEC 20000 success; whether your organization defines success as using the standard as an assessment/benchmarking tool, or is striving to achieve certification.

This month’s webinar – Industry News and Updates – is designed to provide an update on the ISO/IEC 20000 series and on the changes to Part 1 being published later this year. The latest on individual training and certification will also be discussed.

Bring your questions and join host Donna Knapp and keynote Jack Probst for this existing webinar:

Date: Thursday, February 17th
Time: 1pm – United States – New York
**First time users of BrightTalk must register prior to attending the webcast.

  • ISO/IEC 20000 series status
  • ISO/IEC 20000 Part 1 updates
  • Training and individual certification scheme updates
  • State of the standard
If you missed any of the earlier Destination ISO/IEC 20000 webinars they can be viewed at:  

Past and future Destination ISO/IEC 20000 programs include:  
  • Event 1 – Complete – Destination ISO/IEC 20000 Kickoff
  • Event 2 – Complete – Getting Started – ISO/IEC 20000 Planning and Preparation
  • Event 3 – Complete – Scoping and Eligibility
  • Event 4 – Complete – Setting Up a Management System
  • Event 5 – Complete – Conducting an Initial Assessment
  • Event 6 – Complete – All About Audits
  • Event 7 – 02/17/11 – 1pm ET (U.S., New York) – Industry News and Events
  • Event 8 – 03/17/11 – 1pm ET (U.S., New York) – Achieving Certification
  • Event 9 – 04/21/11 – 1pm (U.S., New York) – What Not to Do! (Lessons Learned)
  • Event 10 – 05/19/11 – 1pm ET (U.S., New York) – Retaining Certification
  • Event 11 – 06/16/11 – 1pm ET (U.S., New York) – Evaluating the Business Case (Post-Implementation Review)
  • Event 12 – 07/21/11 – 11am ET (U.S., New York) – Viewers Choice
The SIG is actively seeking individuals to serve as presenters and panelists; particularly those who are using the standard within their organizations and so have “been there, done that” stories to tell.

Communicate your willingness to participate as a presenter or panelist at:

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Introducing ITIL Lifecycle Bootcamps

IT organizations are under constant pressure to increase IT service quality while controlling costs and risks. These organizations need people who are skilled at using best practices to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of IT service management processes in support of business goals.
You may have heard the expression “ITIL® lifecycle courses are for people who work on processes, and capability courses are for people who work in processes.” ITIL lifecycle courses focus on a single stage of the ITIL service lifecycle and explore stage activities, process relationships, roles and implementation considerations. These courses accommodate the needs of people who are leading implementation and improvement activities and require a management-level view. ITIL capability courses focus on a cluster of processes and cover a detailed view of process inputs, activities, concepts, metrics and outputs. These courses are aimed at people who are involved in executing and improving an existing set of related processes and wish to enhance their role-based capabilities.

The ITIL Expert certificate is awarded to individuals who demonstrate a superior knowledge of ITIL V3 in its entirety. Achieving this level of certification benefits both the individual and organization by increasing the effectiveness with which ITIL is adopted. The ITIL V3 Qualification Scheme offers a modular approach to certification with many possible paths to ITIL Expert.

ITSM Academy’s exciting new ITIL Lifecycle Boot Camp program provides individuals looking for a balanced, accelerated, and cost-effective curriculum a way to achieve 15 of the 22 credits require for the ITIL Expert certification. The boot camp approach involves combining two lifecycle courses (e.g., Service Strategy and Service Design, or Service Transition and Service Operation) into an intense 5-day classroom-based experience. Although challenging, this approach makes it possible for students to understand the tight integration between lifecycle stages and processes and the benefits of realizing an integrated process approach.

To further control costs and time away from work, candidates can opt to take the Continual Service Improvement course in our virtual classroom. This innovative approach enables students to attend class via the internet while still reaping the benefits of live interaction with their instructor and classmates.

ITSM Academy’s innovative boot camp approach addresses many of the characteristics you may want to consider when selecting a training provider. Benefits include: 
  • Course materials and delivery methods that match students’ learning styles 
  • The resources and guidance students need to succeed before, during and after class
  • Highly credentialed trainers with years of “been there, done that” experience who can keep students engaged and inspired while they are learning best practices 
  • Practical assignments, classroom discussions and networking opportunities that enable students to immediately apply and put into action what they are learning
  • Time-tested exam taking tips, sample questions and a mock exam that help students prepare for the exam
  • High-quality, fully accredited course materials packed with value-add 
Individual certifications look great on your resume and provide tangible evidence of career growth but ultimately it is about using the knowledge you acquire to benefit your business. A well-rounded program enables you to maximize those benefits through the use of best practices.

ITIL® is a Registered Trade Mark of the Office of Government Commerce, in the United Kingdom and other countries.