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Thursday, November 14, 2013

ITSM Academy's 2014 DevOps and ITSM Scrum Master Courses

Can you believe that 2013 is rapidly coming to a close?  I can’t.  In two weeks, we will give thanks for all of our blessings then move quickly onto Christmas and a New Year.  Wow! 

I am very excited about 2014 – it promises to be a year of transformation.   Business and technology innovations are transforming the way we live, think, share and envision the future.  IT professionals will have to keep up or be left behind.   Service management will be more relevant than ever, but how it is applied and which services it supports may be the difference between value creation and obsolescence.
To meet these changing needs, I am thrilled to introduce ITSM Academy’s  2014 lineup of Agile Service ManagementÒ  courses, including 
  • DevOps Overview– a half-day high level introduction to the cultural phenomenon that is rocking the IT world and delivering real value by enabling organizations to build, deploy and operate quality software faster
  • DevOps Principles – a two day experiential course that takes a deeper look at DevOps including its relationship to ITIL and ITSM.  This will also be a great opportunity to learn more about the “three ways” of DevOps that is detailed in our buddy Gene Kim’s bestseller “The Phoenix Project”
  • ITSM Scrum Master TM– a two day hands-on opportunity to learn about Scrum processes from a service management perspective.  Attendees will experience practical ways to apply the same techniques used by software developers in order to develop and manage quality processes and services that meet customer needs
We are proud to be the first ITSM training provider to bring this important knowledge to you.  ITSM Academy has been involved in the Agile/DevOps community for some time and we have witnessed the steady paradigm shift from traditional IT to Agile IT.  We started down the Agile Service ManagementÒ  path several years ago with the Certified Process Design Engineer (CPDE) and VisOps courses.  The addition of education about DevOps and Scrum injects the much needed human factor - modifying the way people think, behave, interact and work together.
The first virtual delivery of the DevOps overview will be January 24, followed by releases of the other course throughout Q1 2014.  Keep an eye on our website for further developments or email with questions or requests for more information.   I hope that you will take the opportunity to explore these concepts with us and experience the 2014 Year of Transformation! 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Top Ten Take Home from Fusion 13

Just got back from Fusion 13 in Nashville.  It was a good time seeing old friends, making new friends and basking in the service management glow.  Learned a lot, shared a lot, laughed a lot.

Our team collected their Top Ten Take Homes from the conference which have been collected into a slide deck.  Lisa and Donna even made some videos.

To learn more about our Top 10, please visit Lisa's "LisaLand" blog at

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Introducing the First Service Management Congress!

Something revolutionary happened this week at the itSMF/HDI Fusion 13 conference.   Something so special that I’m still overwhelmed by it's enormity.

I was honored to be invited to be a part of what was to be called the “Revolutionary Network” – a group of passionate, respected individuals who were tasked to think outside the box and reenergize and refocus service management.  It was a daunting challenge, to be accomplished over two fragmented days, culminating in an “unleashed” presentation on the last day of the conference.  We had no rules, no boundaries and were encouraged to be innovative and free thinking.  We represented ourselves, not our organizations.  We did not prepare; had no pre-conceived notions of what the result would be.  There was a lot of debate, discussion, loss of words and a preponderance of words.  The result is truly transformative.
Service management has lost its way – ITIL and similar service management practices have become commoditized, commercialized and canonized.    There is too much emphasis on process, not enough on people.   Knowledge is too proprietary, not open.   IT services overshadow business outcomes.   Certification trumps learning.    After years of “adopting”, we asked ourselves if the business is actually realizing the value that we intended to provide.  Sadly, we collectively shook our heads “no”.  We decided that it’s time to take the “IT” out of “ITSM” and commit to “refocusing our attention on a set of core values that help to enable individuals, leaders, businesses and communities.”

The result is a call to action, a set of rights and a commitment to core values.  Like the output of most revolutions, we formed a congress for, by and from the people that are passionate and invested in delivering value through service management.  Everything developed this week is a work in progress and, hopefully, will evolve through people and crowdsourcing.    Whether you are a practitioner, consultant, educator, leader, executive or vendor, you are the business and a key contributor to the future of service management. 

Please take a minute to check out the Call to Action and lend your support at    Share it with your colleagues and co-workers.  Join the revolution!
From one of the "unleashed" session attendees:
"Even if I had not been able to attend any other part of Fusion, this session would have made the entire trip worthwhile."

"Coming out of this session, I knew I had witnessed something special. What I saw and took part in today was the start of a radical reinvention of the profession; valuing people, ideas, and outcomes over businesses, processes, and services. We're committing to ourselves and each other that our job is to tear down obstacles, connect people, and spur creativity."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

The ITSM Academy Guide to Surviving Fusion 2013

Since 2004, the ITSM Academy team has been sponsoring and attending the itSMF Fusion conferences.    This year, we are doing something different – we will not be behind a booth but rather we will be in the trenches, engaging as presenters and attendees.  We feel it is equally important for us to share and update our knowledge through sessions, discussions and engaging conversations.

Sessions by ITSM Academy staff
We are excited to have been selected to contribute to this year’s body of knowledge:
  • Donna Knapp, will be discussing The Service Desk State of the Future in Session 106 on Monday, October 21st from 10:14 to 11:15 am.
  • Michael Cardinal will be presenting Measure Twice, Cut Once: Improving your Improvement Through Better Metrics in Session 302 on Monday, October 21 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m.
  • I am joining some of my favorite industry colleagues as part of the “Revolutionary Network” and as a contributor to the Expert Insight on DevOps, Agile and ITSM at Sessions 404 and 504 on Tuesday, October 22 from 10:00 am to 12:15 p.m.  
Making the Most of the Conference

After all these years, we know a thing or two about navigating the event.  It’s our hope that this quick and easy guide to Fusion will help facilitate a more enjoyable experience.
  • Things to Pack
  • Transportation
  • Accommodations
  • Things to do in the Area
What should I pack?

First and foremost – comfortable shoes.   You will likely be doing a lot of walking from the convention center to the hotel and to, from and around the exhibit floor
With the average temperature in Nashville in October from the mid-sixties to low-seventies, what do you need?  Comfortable traveling clothes, business casual for the days and something nice for the party evening – you expect these.  But what should you bring besides the essential clothing items
  • Business Cards
  • Refillable Water Bottle
  • Comfortable Tote Bag
  • Sweater – it can be cold in there!
  • Aspirin/Ibuprofen
  • Granola Bars 
  • Foot Rejuvenating Cream
  • Fuzzy Socks
Another tip from our team, after a rough day on your feet, apply a liberal coating of foot cream, slip on the fuzzy socks and turn in for the night. This can make the difference between a good day and a bad day at conference. 

Getting around the area
For travel to and from the airport, the Gaylord does not provide free shuttle service. The service is $30 USD (reservation required). [see here

Where do you want to stay?
The Gaylord is a beautiful hotel, with many on location facilities, such as restaurants, bars and shopping. It may be too big and noisy for some, or just not the right fit for others.  In the near vicinity, there are a few other options, Courtyard Nashville at Opryland, Hampton Inn & Suites Nashville at Opryland, Best Western Suites near Opryland are just a few near the convention center. 

Things to do in the Area
Once Fusion gets up and running, they will keep your schedule pretty jammed packed.  Depending on when you arrive / depart you may have time to do some fun things in the area: 

  • Country Music Hall of Fame (For Lisa!) -- Discover the stories behind the music as you view over 3,000 stage costumes, original song manuscripts and musical instruments. Many of the personal items of music legends are on display including Elvis' solid gold Cadillac. Admission includes a visit to the historical RCA Studio B and the Music Row walking tour. Allow at least two hours for exhibits and the tour.
  • Main Street Live -- If you want to experience the cultural scene in Murfreesboro, Main Street Live would be a great place to start. A 400-capacity venue, it plays host to a vast array of musical events throughout the year. You can depend on Main Street Live to deliver some fantastic performances, with past line-ups including the likes of The Young International, Peelander-Z and Space Capone. It is a platform for local talent as well as nationally touting performers.
  • Adventure Science Center -- The thrill of scientific discovery awaits you! Come explore over 150 interactive exhibits and programs for children and adults. View the heavens from the 40-foot Sudekum Planetarium. Climb seven interactive levels to the top of the Adventure Tower, and experience BodyQuest, an exciting tour through the human body.
If you haven’t registered yet, you can still use our discount code: SPKRF13 [register here]

Hope to see you at Fusion!


Thursday, August 1, 2013

Axelos Future of ITIL Workshop

In a recent blog, I introduced Axelos, the joint venture between Capita and the Cabinet Office that will manage ITIL’s intellectual property and qualification scheme commencing in January of 2014. 

I had the privilege of participating in a Future of ITIL workshop sponsored by Axelos on July 17 and 18 in London.  My role was as an ATO but also as one of the representatives of the ATO Advisory Council (AAC).  The attendees came from several different organizations and perspectives.  Each brought a wealth of insight, experience and passion for ITIL.  
Notably absent were the ITIL Examination Institutes, omitted while Axelos was finalizing their commercial model.   Since then, Axelos has announced that they will not take on the role of Examination Institute like their predecessor.   This is a good decision.  
While the topics discussed went in many directions and spanned the past, present and future of ITIL, the central theme remained constant - increasing the value of ITIL to the customer and end-user organization.   The intent was not to make decisions; the intent was to have open dialog about what works, what doesn’t and suggestions for improvement.  The most impressive aspect of the workshop was the lack of opinion or comment by the Axelos representatives, including CEO Peter Hepworth.  They were there to listen and absorb.

Several critical success factors emerged including the need for international market research, continuing communication and the obligation to balance market stability with the desire to innovate (sounds a little ITIL-like, huh?).
If you would like more information about what was discussed, the following are good synopses:

Axelos has stated that this workshop will be the first of many.  In the meantime, they have been actively soliciting input and engaging with stakeholders via social media.   On Twitter, you can follow them via @AxelosGBP and @ChrisBarretski.  They have also established a Google+ page to post official ebulletins and other relevant information

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The JV has a New Name: Axelos

On July 1, 2013, the joint venture between the Cabinet Office and Capita was officially born under the name Axelos.  For sure, it’s an odd name for the new organization that will manage a best practice portfolio that includes ITIL and Prince2.  However, if you look a little deeper, perhaps the meaning unveils the direction that Axelos ultimately wants to take.

From the outset, the joint venture has sent strong signals about its interest in game based learning and gamification.  This has been evidenced by
  • Capita’s acquisition of G2G3, a provider of simulations. G2G3 is not officially owned by Axelos.
  • The naming of Peter Hepworth as CEO.  Peter comes from the video game industry.
  • The brand Axelos, which pays homage to a philosopher who focused on the concept of “play”.
Clearly, the future innovations that have been mentioned in multiple interviews will include a stronger emphasis on games in the classroom.

ITSM  Academy also believes in the power of play – we introduced game based learning into our classrooms about a year ago.   As I previously blogged,  our Game On: An Interactive Learning Experience approach has been met with enormous enthusiasm from both learners and trainers.   

Gaming is good but Axelos’ first efforts should be to ensure that the transition is smooth and the needs of the service management market are met.  Remember, nothing is changing from a learner’s perspective.  The ITIL scheme and books are not scheduled for an update and APMG and Axelos will operate in parallel until year-end.    
I will continue to blog more information as it becomes available.

Friday, June 28, 2013

What is DevOps?

Lisa, Donna, Chantell and I recently attended a DevOps Days event in Austin, Texas.  To learn more about the growing DevOps cultural movement, check out Donna's video:

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Which Class is Right For You - Lifecycle or Capability?

Check out Donna and Chantell's awesome video discussion clarifying the difference between ITIL Intermediate lifecycle and capability courses.  This short video also provides good insight into which stream may be appropriate for specific roles and goals.  Great job, ladies!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Fusion 13 Speaker Selection

I am happy to announce that ITSM Academy has been selected to deliver three sessions at the Fusion 13 conference in Nashville in October.

Donna Knapp, our Curriculum Development Manager and a frequent conference presenter, will be discussing The Service Desk State of the Future in Session 106 on Monday, October 21st from 10:14 to 11:15 am.

Michael Cardinal, a Senior Instructor and another frequent presenter, will be presenting Measure Twice, Cut Once: Improving your Improvement Through Better Metrics in Session 302 on Monday, October 21 from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m

We are very excited about the new Expert Track . This track will be particularly valuable for those that have been involved in service management for a while and are looking to go to the next level.  I have been invited to join some of my favorite industry colleagues (Gene Kim, Lisa Hodges and Hank Marquis)  to provide Expert Insight on DevOps, Agile and ITSM at Sessions 404 and 504 on Tuesday, October 22 from 10:00 am to 12:15 p.m.  

Hope to see you there.  Promises to be the best conference yet!


Thursday, May 9, 2013

Game On! An Interactive Learning Experience

From our earliest days, play is a key aspect of learning.  In fact, learning is the basis of every game – in order to progress, we must obtain knowledge about the system upon which it is built.  Some of our most significant critical thinking, teamwork, strategic and tactical skills are cultivated on the playground, chess board, basketball court, poker table and/or video game console.    Games are fun, improve retention, encourage healthy competition and allow us to be part of the action, instead of passive bystanders.    

Game On!  An Interactive Learning ExperienceSM is ITSM Academy’s new game based learning (GBL) approach that is being introduced into our physical and virtual classrooms.  According to Wikipedia, GBL is defined as:

“a type of gaming that has defined learning outcomes. Generally, GBL is designed to balance subject matter with gameplay and the ability of the player to retain and apply said subject matter to the real world.”    

Our games are based on the formats of familiar game shows and are interspersed throughout the courses to target specific learning objectives.   Initial response from learners has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic.

Game On! leverages two emerging trends:  gamification and bite-sized learning.    Role-playing modules that put learners into a simulation environment have long been offered in the service management space.   They encourage learners to apply concepts in a neutral environment by graduating from uncontrolled to controlled processes.  The simulations are not focused on specific learning objectives, but take a more broad-based, practical perspective.   ITSM Academy classroom games are bite sized opportunities that reinforce examinable concepts in a fun, relaxed and interactive way.  

At the outset, ITSM Academy games  are being used in our classrooms to harness the power of play for exam preparation and knowledge application.   Someday soon, we will take Game On! An Interactive Learning Experience to the next level of a recognition-based gamification strategy.   Stay tuned!

Ready to play?  Our monthly webucation presentations now include a sample game. To play

If I Knew Then What I Know Now:  Incident Management - LaunchGame

If I Knew Then What I Know Now: Problem Management - Launch Game

For fun, we’ve also introduced games into our monthly newsletter.  Join Newsletter  or See Archives
Game On!!

Friday, May 3, 2013

The ITIL Joint Venture Partner Has Been Announced

The Cabinet Office has officially announced their selection of Capita, plc as their partner in a joint venture that will oversee the ITIL and other Best Management Practice schemes and intellectual property.    The joint venture release is available at

Why a joint venture?   ITIL, Prince2 and the other “swirl” products have taken on a life of their own, way beyond the expectations of the British government agency, the Cabinet Office.  The global uptake of the frameworks requires a stronger infrastructure than that which is currently in place.  The joint venture is more than a supplier or partner relationship:  Capita and the Cabinet Office will form and invest in a separate commercial entity.  The new company will be formed in July with it’s own leadership team.  They take over the reins of the portfolio on January 1, 2014.

For ITSM Academy learners and clients, the transition to the joint venture should be seamless.

There are no planned dramatic changes to the exams, qualification scheme or publications.  In their announcement, Capita clearly places value on the current ITIL ecosystem and provides assurance that any disruption will be minimal.  Learners will still have their exams delivered, marked and certificates issued.  While the issuing party may (or may not) change, the value of the qualification will not.

Mostly importantly, Capita stressed their commitment to investing in and enhancing product quality through continuous improvement and innovation.     Capita is a very large, successful British company with access to significant resources.   I expect better industry alignment,  stronger quality standards,  improved communication and leveraging of the latest technologies.

 ITSM Academy is and will continue to be an active contributor and voice of the customer in industry groups such as the ATO Sub-group, ITIL Qualification Board and Examination Panel.    I will continue to update this blog as more tangible information becomes available.