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Happy New Year for 2016  !! I wish you success and happiness

Its been a busy year in 2015 ITSMG Logo low res

The ITSM world continues to rock daily between inspiration and opportunity, to introspection and despair – at least in terms of visible hype. The reality for most organisations that actually deliver IT services is often simply confusion.

For me the key is in ensuring that we are constantly working to deliver value, based on our customers’ and supported businesses’ needs. The concept of ‘customer experience’ (CX) isn’t new, but is at long last taking hold and precedence over blind adherence to ‘best practice’ and death-by-process.

DevOps continues to hold sway as the big idea that won’t go away – again there’s nothing particularly new here except the context, as it talks to a younger workforce than those who might still see ITIL as their mantra. Of course there is no real clash between those two worlds and both can learn from and live with each other. In 2016 I’ll be pushing out more practical ideas about how to achieve success using both (and together) – particuarly in relation to Service Design and Service Catalogue – so look out for that.

What is interesting is the actual level of interest in DevOps and other new and formative ‘-oligies’, inclduing SIAM and IT4IT – this will continue to grow and we shoudl see more variety and creativity being exercised in delivering new approaches to IT services…

If you want to catch up on more detailed throuights, please see my recent webinar (reviewing 2015 and looking forward to 2016, sponsord by BMC).

From a personal work perspective this has been a busy year, being involved with a number of complex procurement and ITSM implementation projects, as well as my ususal regular dose of workshops, operational reviews and audits. I have worked with some great people and organisations and am pleased to say that the interest and take-up level around short practical consulting work has been good.

I’ve also been involved as an architect of the new ITIL Practitioner scheme, with Axelos. I’m really pleased and proud of what we achieved as a team on this, whch has brought finally a new set of ideas and practices to the forefront of Service Management training and best practice. These include communications and organisational change management, as well as CSI and metrics.

As ever I continue to work with my long term partners, SDI – as a consultant and auditor, as also recently to review and update the SDI Standards and Service Desk Certification scheme. To me this is still one of the best and most practical tools to use for assessment, benchmarking and to drive service improvement.

In the last few months I’ve taken on the challenge of interim-CEO for the ITSMF UK – this is a great honour, which I’m relishing. There’s plenty to do to develop the service offerings and value proposition for this organisation, as well as freshening the brand image and re-asserting its position as a key independent voice at the centre of our industry. We had a great annual conference and my and the team’s taskBRITSM15 is now to move on with this positive momentum to transform and re-invigorate the organisation. We have some xciting plans for new services and industry content, so watch this space…

Of course my own independent business still continues and I’m delighted to have worked with some very supportive partners over the last year to write and present ITSM content, including, Sunrise, Cherwell, BMC and Sysaid.

 

2016 is looking like a fascinating year already, particuarly with plans for ITSMF – so I’m looking forward to that. I hope that its a really great year for you too..!

Please contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the world of ITSM

 

SITS MF MH

Fav pic from this years SITS show with Matt Hooper and Malcolm Fry.

SITS Goodness and DevOps Slides

A busy and productive time was had this week at the sits15 Show – Many congrats to Diversified UK and particularly Toby Moore and his team who have taken this again to another level. To me if felt that the show presented the (ITSM) industry at a new level of professionalism.

I had a great time talking to many friends and colleagues as well as new contacts – as well as doing some work – and of course the round of interviews etc.

I received great feedback on the day and since on my DevOps for Dummies presentation – which basically I used to try and lay out some of the good messages on DevOps and also to burst some of the hype bubbles.

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If you would like the slides – you can find them here.

DevOps for Dummies SITS15

 

allthingstism

Recording for AllthingsITSM with SureshGP Kirstie MacGowan and Simone Moore

 

 

 

 

All the ITSMGoodness cakes and caps were snapped up – if you did pick up a hat please do tweet pictures from around the world or whenever you are wearing it…!

TB SFJOhn Ncakes

 

 

 

Tristan Boot, Sofie Fahlberg, Cakes, John Noctor

 

 

The best thing about SITS for me  however is simply that great pleasure of catching up with friends, luminaries and colleagues – that’s what ITSM Goodness started out …

SITS MF MH

Malcolm Fry and Matt Hooper

Finally many congratulations to my successor in the SITS15 tiara – this years contributor of the year (m’lud) Stuart Rance…!

Stu

Check out these CHECKLISTs for SITS

SITS15-Banner-600x175-Barclay-Rae

If you are going to SITS15 – I hope to see you there… I’ll be on my (ITSMGoodness) stand, as well as presenting and facilitating on ITSM/ITIL/DevOps. Mostly I’ll be talking shop with practitioners and other industry bods about how to improve and achieve success with ITSM.

I’ll also be on hand to discuss the new ITIL practitioner programme, of which I’m delighted to be one of the architects. The (globally dispersed) team working on this will be meeting around SITs for planning and discussion – plenty to do.

As ever I expect this to be a busy bustling and practical event where ‘the industry comes together to do business’ – as the blurb goes. Its a practical and productive event for most, as well as being a great convergence of people across the industry.

Last year I was honoured to be voted ‘SITS contributor of the year’ and I look forward to seeing who is taking that mantle this time. SITS14

I’ve recently been very busy working on a number of client projects – particularly looking at tool selection and implementation – so if you are looking for practical guidance on any aspect of ITSM approach, tools, processes, etc, please come for a chat to my stand.

 

ITSMG Cap

We’ll also be dishing out ITSM Goodness cakes (yes) and some fetching caps..

Guidance and Checklists

I am often asked either before or during SITs to provide advice and guidance on selecting ITSM tools as well as running ITSM projects – as a support for that I’ve created a couple of checklists that you can download here to help to guide your thinking and planning. These are not detailed or definitive, but give you a simple aide memoir for:

ITSM Project Implementation – Service Improvement Service Improvement Checklist

ITSM Tool – Specification and Selection ITSM Tool Checklist

Please download these and use them as you need – they might just help you to focus your thoughts on what you are looking for at the show. Please of course feel free to come to discuss any aspect of this at my stand.

I look forward to seeing you there!

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ITSMG Logo low res

 

Awesome Service Management

‘Everything is Awesome’

This was the signature song from the ‘Lego Movie’, which was released in 2014. This movie – filmed entirely with animated Lego – is a brilliant multi-level piece for kids and adults alike, providing great excitement and action for children and also delivering wonderful spoofs of many movies and cultural icons.

The ‘Everything is Awesome’ song features in the first section for the film, which spoofs dystopian moves like e.g. Total Recall, Running Man, The Time Machine and Zardoz.  In these films, cowed populations – living in authoritarian states – are controlled and spoon-fed what to do, how to live, what TV to watch and which song (yes, just one song..!) to sing. The song is another variation on the ‘hopeless fancy’ computer-produced song from George Orwell’s classic novel ‘1984’ – i.e. designed to dumb down and placate…

If you’ve seen the Lego Movie you’ll know that the song is maddeningly catchy…you find yourself signing ‘Everything is Awesome, everything is cool when you’re part of a team’ for days afterwards. So it’s a good brainwashing tool.

Overall the key message from the film is simply this:

We don’t succeed or thrive as humans, when we are stuffed into boxes with our creativity and freedom stifled. The film’s ‘baddies’ seek to have everything packaged and boxed into doing exactly what they want – including all of its people. The workers sweat away daily at building Lego from pre-defined templates, but really this is not a sustainable and fulfilling world and it is eventually defeated such that people are able to live free and e.g. create their own Lego structures.

Overall the human spirit prevails, based around individuality, independent thought, love and creativity, which are all ultimately the pillars of a fulfilled life.  We can’t impose conformity on people and work needs to be rewarding beyond simply following instructions.

 So, how does this relate to the ITSM industry?

The story and the message are remarkably close to the way that we think about ITSM and ITIL, particularly with reference to more recent agreement around the need to focus on people, culture and relationships.

In simple terms, to me the pre-defined Lego in a box-set is analogous to our thirst for silver bullet solutions and how we have tried to approach implementing Service Management. In other words it’s dangerous and difficult to pre-can your processes and solutions and also then expect them to be accepted and followed by people.

The way that the ITIL industry has evolved has resulted in a misguided expectation that ITIL will deliver a kind of ‘boxed set’ of change, success, value, improvement etc. – although of course the reality is that this doesn’t happen – not at least without significant work and organisational change management.

The Lego pre-designed box sets provide a specific result and outcome for the buyer, however this doesn’t actually teach them how to create other type of model, compared to using standard Lego pieces where creativity is needed. Similarly if organisations expect ‘ITIL out of the box’ to work for them they will be disappointed as this will also need context and organisational-based application.

So the message here is that just sending people and ITIL training and buying tools which deliver ITIL ‘out of the box’ will not guarantee success, as this requires flexibility and creativity to make change happen across the organisation. This in turn needs people to be ready and willing to change, and this doesn’t happen by forcing standard delivery models and work practices on them. Remember – We can’t impose conformity on people and work needs to be rewarding beyond simply following instructions.

 

Where are organisations going wrong?

Whilst we might be saying that the ‘ITSM Industry’ has created a bit of a monster that sets the wrong expectations for business and enterprises of all shapes and sizes, the reality is also that many organisations themselves haven’t grasped the essential elements and requirements that are required.

For many IT/Technology people and departments, ITIL looks like an easy ‘packaged’ option that they consume ravenously as a means of solving problems without the need to consult or sort out difficult organisational or political issues.  ITIL looks like a ‘system’ and development model for technology, has its own language and acronyms, its own internal processes that relate to IT, so it’s an attractive and preferable option for many technology focussed people. It’s become another ‘IT thing’, rather than a means to improve service to the businesses and customers that are supported.

So whilst the ITSM industry has created the IT opiate (or Kool Aid), the practitioner industry has lapped it up and got high on it – all meanwhile whilst the customers have looked on in disgust. Nowadays of course they can – and do – go elsewhere, now that they have understood that buying and using technology is not a black art and they can probably do it better…

How can we succeed?

ITIL and ITSM are too often seen as silver bullet / panacea solutions to problems that will never frankly be solved by processes or technology alone. If we really want to deliver Awesome Service Management then we need first and foremost to have awesome people working together as an awesome team.

In the Lego movie the characters on the ‘good’ side went through the usual ‘journey’ of fighting amongst themselves before uniting as a team to beat the enemy. Its just the same in ITSM – we need to challenge our colleagues on how things are done and how can we improve – often this doesn’t go down too well with staff that have done things a certain way for many years and this can cause internal problems.

However the only way to improve is to meet these challenges head-on with professionalism, transparency, great communications and positivism, to find unifying goals that meet the needs of the customer and supported business first.

Again this is difficult to do in an entrenched organisation but one thing is certain – it won’t work with a ‘one size fits all’, ‘box set’ approach. You can’t simply run a project that will ‘change people’ – you have to change the environment so that they will see the need for change and want to act differently.

Teamwork and shared goals are essential, as you need the skills and knowledge as well as co-operation of people across your service organisation and ‘supply chain’. In order to get this level of shared commitment, its vital to get people on-board with the real issues that are being faced and the potential benefits of solving them. So the need here is to involve people and let them be creative and flexible in coming up with solutions, not simply creating a whole level of processes and practices that they don’t agree with or haven’t had any input to.

In the movie, the main accidental-hero character, Emmett, saw no need to change or challenge the status quo or his eternal signing of ‘everything is awesome’, until he realised that there was a dark side to his society, but also more importantly – not until he was emotionally affected by this (in love and wrongful accusation…).

So we need to find ways to make the issues clear so that people are motivated emotionally to change – e.g. a technical team may not see the need to make changes that speed up the resolution of some incidents, yet this might be adversely affecting business performance.

We have to find ways to shine a light on issues/impact and emotional response in order to motivate our people to change…So experiential sessions like simulations, role playing and of course customer exchanges all help here – probably much more than simply ‘sheep dipping’ staff through process training, which may not give them the same level of engagement.

Overall then if we want to do the right things to achieve success and deliver ‘Awesome Service Management’, we have to get our priorities right – much like we see in the film – around the human spirit, love, fulfilment and creativity. To get the best from people we need to make them want to deliver the best and use their own initiative to do the right thing, not simply blindly follow instructions (that may not be correct in the first place.

Culture and the demon SLAs

The final point here is also that we have become too closely obsessed with seeing the culture of SLAs as defining success, rather than focussing on the wider business and service relationship. SLAs are useful as a framework, but for really awesome service its important that staff/analysts are able to step beyond the stricture of the SLA and deliver the best possible Customer experience.

It’s impossible to create an SLA that will deliver an appropriate response to every possible situation, so let your staff have the freedom to use their initiative and to take responsibility to go the extra mile.

Kids will use a Lego set as a starting point but then develop the model from a sports car into a spaceship – let your staff use the SLA as the guide which is then modified and improved when needed to meet your customers’ needs.

Key points for Awesome Service Management

Leadership – This isn’t just about management, but everyone needs to show commitment and take responsibility for what they do. Leaders also need to show understanding and clear focus around customer experience

Principles – more important than process, principles allow an organisation to set a framework for its people to operate flexibly within. So e.g. the SLA may be the process, but people are mandated by an higher principle to deliver the best customer experience, which may simply by-pass the SLA

Culture – this must be positive, supportive, transparent, collaborative, self critical and engaged in constant self-improvement. Management set the tone and people will follow.

Communications –we need to get away from everything in emails and project documents. Real communication happens when people are engaged emotionally not just intellectually, so use storytelling, graphics and other simple devices to get the right message across

H2H not B2C –ultimately we are all humans (not Lego figures..!) and we need to remember and recognise that good work is best done when people interact as human beings and not as cogs in a machine. We should aim to use personal communication wherever possible in order to build trust and confidence across people and teams.

 So, finally…

Once you have the right culture in place, then ITSM processes and tools can be much better utilised to support doing the right thing and delivering awesome service.

This is opposed to expecting turnkey ITIL process and technology to deliver this for you. It’s an important distinction.

In similar fashion the Lego movie shows us that we can’t force people to be automatons and expect value or quality – ultimately in order to be awesome as a team, we need to be allowed to be individuals too…

That’s how you will deliver ASM – Awesome (not Average) Service Management. Of course we know that in IT as in other walks of life, ‘Everything most definitely isn’t awesome’.

The film highlighted our need to empower the human spirit to try and fix that – ITSM in your organisation can also benefit from that message…

 

This article was first published in Support World for HDI in 2014

The real value of IT? Better get moving…!

Value value value value, business value, business outcomes, moments of truth, key metrics, IT value, commercial and operational value, business value, value….value.  In case you hadn’t noticed…?!

When we in the IT industry aren’t ranting about the death of IT, ITIL, ITSM, Email, Service Desk and all that, we are still banging on and on constantly about value – and the need to deliver and demonstrate it. I’m a major offender here, having started using the V word and the ‘demonstrating value’ line really since the mid 90s. (I recently found a whole pile of stuff in my loft from 1997 which I could practically use today…)

I have a friend and colleague who has been ribbing me about my use of those terms for some time now – I point him now to the explosion of content on this subject like someone who has followed a band through their wilderness days and now they’ve gone global and I don’t wan’t to know them… :-)

However to me it’s quite a simple concept – IT value is what is derived by customers and the business via the technology. So this will vary by organisation from the need to meet compliance or legal requirements, to getting products quickly to market, or to delivering commerical efficiency and profit.

In order to be able to achieve this and measure it in some way, we need to be able to separate out the commodity aspects of technology, from the business-specific aspects. (The commodity services should be delivered in the most cost effective way, whilst the value added services may need more focus on speed, business knowledge, risk reduction etc.)

[important]This is why in a service catalog we try to define (1) ‘Standard’ or ‘core’ IT Commodity Services – like PCs, mobile, comms, email etc  and (2) ‘Business’ Services which either support internal users with their key functions or external customers with organisational-specific technology and services.[/important]

Value isn’t just about the financial aspects but this should be identified wherever possible. However the real nature of IT value is what it is that makes (particularly an internally retained) IT organisation special and speciifc to its customers, in terms of what it delivers and how it delivers it. So an internal or external IT organisation should be able to focus and demonstrate the value that they deliver to their business/organisation via their business and service knowledge and understanding.

In other words – it’s what retained IT organisations should have been doing for years – i.e. working for the companies or organisations that pay their salaries – not just ‘working in IT’… and measuring their delivery in business terms.

If they can’t do that – ie differentiate themselves and demonstrate this – then they are not adding value and therefore open to serious competition – and the risk of extinction.

So it really is: identify value – or become irrelevant quickly. And if you don’t know what that value is… [Tweet This]

[warning]Better get moving[/warning]

 

 

 

 

 

What is your defintion of IT value? – how do you define this for your organisation and customers?

 

 

www.itsmgoodness.com

 

 

 

 

Service Desk Triangle – can you see it from my (SDM) angle?

One thing that strikes a chord with many of my clients is a simple concept that I’ve used for some time, although only recently defined more explicitly. This centres around the role of the Service Desk Manager (SDM), which for me is still the pivotal role in ITSM. I act as a mentor for this role with some clients and help them to put theory into practice for success in the job.

The idea is around the communications and stakeholder ‘juggling act’ that the SDM has to carry out daily – I call this the Service Desk Triangle. This refers to the 3-way pull on the SDM that can potentially result in them disappearing without a trace – i.e. like into the ‘Bermuda triangle’…

service desk triangle

 

Basically there are 3 very distinct stakeholder groups that they have to manage and keep happy and on-side, namely:

1 The Service Desk team – who need specific management and TLC, as they operate in a front-line service role with specific time demands and a daily dose of negative interactions. These people need a mixture of clear and structured management with supportive staff coaching and support, to keep motivated and maintain quality.

2 Customers – who obviously have a different set of expectations and requirements which need to be met and managed professionally and effectively, as the service desk is the ‘shop front’ for the whole of the IT organisation.

3 The rest of the IT organisation – i.e. part of the service desk’s team, but often its biggest problem area. Successful and integrated service delivery requires seamless teamwork across IT teams in support of the service desk and its customers, but this doesn’t always happen…!

The SDM needs to build effective relationships and get agreement from their colleagues across IT to make service an effective ‘supply chain’. So they have to be parent, coach, service provider, diplomat and negotiator, to name but a few roles, as well as of course marketer, salesperson, tough manager, mentor, analyst and master of ceremonies…!

I know from experience how tough it is when all three of these areas are out of sync and bearing down on the beleaguered SDM. On the other hand it’s very rewarding when the juggling is working and all three stakeholder groups are content.

It is a good practical approach if the SDM does some analysis and ‘stakeholder mapping’ to keep tabs on what each area’s requirements, issues, preferences and idiosyncrasies are – this can help by providing an ongoing pain and/or satisfaction barometer for the SDM to monitor and act on accordingly. The SDM also needs to have a deep portfolio of communications and influencing skills to be able to understand and satisfy each different agenda.

 

So, if you are engaged in some way with the Service Desk from the outside, it does no harm to consider the SDM’s daily challenge, keeping disparate sets of people and teams happy simultaneously – give it some thought, put yourself in their shoes for a while and ‘see it from their angle’… 

Maybe also if you do this you could see and act on ways to make the triangle a bit less of a challenge for the SDM? What do you think?

Lets make 2013 a year of ITSMGoodness…

So, another year and  the ITSM industry is alive with debate and discussion, opportunity, challenge and as ever some uncertainty. I’m not one for making resolutions or big predictions (both usually fail in mid January..!), but I do have some basic aspirations for the year ahead…

These can be summarized in 2 words: Practical Unity

  • Practical – as I feel we are still not providing enough real guidance and useful messages to practitioners on how to make ITSM successful – and meet the new challenges
  • Unity – so that we as an industry can forget some of the negative debate and move on to actually engage with the challenges and deliver real value from technology.

So what I would like to see is the industry coming togegher more, as well as providing more useable and practical advice and ‘stuff’ for our practitioners to use. We need to forget about whether or not we agree that our methodologies are perfect/imperfect and get on with simply using our experience and creativity to step up and deliver value from IT Services. Of course we need to ensure that what we use in terms of content and approach is usable – as a lot of the existing stuff is.

There are  a whole lot of great people practitioners, consultants, trainers and vendors out there with fantastic experience who know how to make ITSM work, and they should be celebrated and supported along with those who are coming up with great new ideas – both are required and required tow work in unison – not in polarised opposition.

So lets have a year where we really get together as an industry to support our industry !!!

 

New cover with arrow v2

My own contribution to this will be a development of the ITSMGoodness stuff that I’ve been putting out over the last few months – This is now a series of 7 simple steps to practical ITSM success and includes e.g. checklists, templates and practical guidance, all of which I’ll be espousing over the coming months, including presentations at PINK13, SITS13 and SDI13 amongst other shows and events..

The 7 ITSMGoodness steps are:

  1. Engage and Listen to Customers
  2. Build Services based on business outcomes
  3. Invest in the Service Desk
  4. Get Problem Management working
  5. Report on useful stuff
  6. Get the whole IT organisation involved
  7. Change the pitch – sell the value

So lets all have a year of ITSMGoodness – together…!

What’s your plan for ITSM Goodness + Practical Unity?

Service Catalog – real life secrets of success


 Last week I visited a client for a follow –up review. I’ve helped them to develop and implement SLM and a service catalog over the last 8 months or so.

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It was a very positive discussion as they had moved from having nothing in this area to having a pretty sophisticated Catalog in place for all their services and with all their internal department customers. The customers liked the new simple ‘traffic light’ reporting format, based on their needs, the CIO was happy as he was now getting valuable service and cost based information to discuss at C-Level, plus the IT support and technical teams also liked it as they were now developing some really useful supporting documentation in one place.  On my way in I met the Development Manager who said that this had been a very positive initiative and given him and his team some valuable content and ideas…

I could go on… (it’s OK I won’t..!). However it was great to see the benefits and results of the project – particularly since this really was an advisory piece of work on my part, so the effort, input and creativity had come from the organisation and individuals themselves. They had built their catalog based on their business and their customer’s requirements.

So, job done – we are now talking about a case study and how this project’s success can be communicated out. For now I thought it would be a useful learning point to reflect on and share the key things that made it a success:

  • From day one this project was driven as a requirement by the CIO – he wanted to do this and had clear reasons for doing so – i.e.  to develop meaningful  service-based reporting, to build the service Catalog so that he could then look at how to sensibly present the business value of what IT does. However he had clear requirements from this and these were passed down to his staff to action as a key objective. This does make such a difference…
  • The IT team took a little time to really embrace (1) the mechanics of SLM and (2) the potential value. The mechanics were fairly easy to explain and work through in a 1 day workshop. It took a good few weeks and months longer for each team member to see what the value was for them. The Project Manager (also the Service Desk Manager) was initially unsure and said he understood the concept but couldn’t see the value. His epiphany came when we drew up a ‘traffic light’ report on 1 page for all services – he could then see how the information that he was compiling would go towards building this and also making it credible. He also did most of the customer meetings and said he’s learned a whole lot of new things about how the business works.
  • We defined the overall structure of services in the initial workshop. We then spent a good amount of time defining what each service was and how this would be reported on. So each service ‘metrics’ would be comprised of a number of different components, each weighted appropriately for the service. We took a view on the relative importance for each service of availability, incident/request turnaround, customer feedback and the key measure (moment of truth) by which that service would be viewed by the customer.
  • This was all started and ended with customer discussions so that they could review and verify what had been agreed. Most of the customer changes were tweaks, with a few larger alterations, but in general it was a good reflection and the customers are now happy to get a simple compound picture of their service.
  • Once the structure and services were defined and documented, the technical teams were then asked to define their configurations that supported the services. In fact this proved to be one of the most useful and to me positive parts of this project, as there are now a number of really well put together maps and simple documents that explain how each service is comprised, with relationships etc. It’s a great DR tool, but it’s also a great source of helpful information for problem determination and root cause analysis – all in one place…
  • It’s not a huge organisation (global investment managers), so that definitely helped in terms of gaining access to the right people and being able to make decisions.
  • Finally as I mentioned the organisation did this themselves – they used external services in a guiding and mentoring role, with some initial ‘kick start’ activity. As a result the level of ownership and commitment to this working has been excellent. I do see the value of consulting as helping people and organisations to make positive change happen, rather than forcing it from the outside. Certainly in this case the desire came from the right place in the organisation and this really made it a success. I’m delighted for all those who have contributed however.

So, I hope there are a few pointers that you can use if you are considering an SLM or Service Catalog project yourself? I’d love to hear your thoughts and feedback on this. I think it must be done from within the organisation, using a good amount of customer liaison and feedback – all with a clear sense of purpose and end objectives. Do you agree?

You can also download a Service Catalog Route Map – people tell me they have found it really useful.

I’m looking forward to going back and reviewing how the reporting and financial modelling has made a difference…

Problem Management Success – Start Using Causal Closing Codes

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Many organisations struggle to make
Problem Management work effectively.

For me there are a number of reasons for this – many to do with getting the right people to do the right job.

One key area which is vital to develop for this is reporting, particularly to start to really identify underlying causes and trends – e.g. for incidents. If you close your incidents off against the initial (logging) categories that you’ve used to identify the incident, you may miss the reason why the incident actually happened. So closing against ‘software’ may be useless to you if the cause was actually a user or 3rd party error.

So it’s important and useful to use separate ‘closing’ categories or ‘causes’ for logging categories or impact etc. – these are different things.

Here is a suggested list of closing or ’cause’ codes to help you to identify trends and make some sense and provide MI around root cause etc.

Known/Standard Error

  • existing issue, fault or request known, with workaround to maintain service

Process Failure 

  • no relevant process
  • process not adequate
  • governance – process not followed

Resource Issue

  • Skill/knowledge issue
  • Availability issue

External Issue

  • 3rd party system issue
  • environment issue

User Issue

  • user error
  • training issue
  • Policy issue

Hardware Failure

  • xxx as required

Security issue

  • password reset
  • access issue

Systems Issue

  • networks
  • infrastructure
  • operating systems failure
  • xxx as required

Software Issue

  • design issue
  • build issue
  • test issue
  • service introduction issue

Contract/Commercial Issue
Information

  • technical information given
  • ‘how to ‘ question answered

Request or Order Fulfilled

Cause Unidentified

  • service resumed, cause unknown

(Optional to be used by limited SD people only) usually should be passed to problem management, but in some cases the cause is unknown. To be used with care and to avoid having ‘other’ as an option.

How effective is the reporting in your area of influence right now?

Are you already using causal closing codes?

Do they work for you and if so, which ones in particular?

Building a Brilliant (and Future-Proof) Service Desk

This webinar I gave earlier this month has since found its way into BrightTALK’s #TopAugustWebinar.

Looks like the topic struck a chord…

The session asks questions such as:

  • What makes a brilliant Service Desk today?
  • Will what is required change in a few years’ time?
  • How can we build in future-proofing to ensure that these operations remain relevant and effective?

What are your thoughts on this?

 

A BrightTALK Channel