ITSM

Service Management 2015 was a blast!

The air is still a-buzz with the excitement of the Service Management 2015 Conference held at Sofitel Wentworth Sydney on the 20th-21st of August. It was a most enjoyable couple of days made special by a prolific line up of speakers, a great range of content, networking opportunities galore and some fantastic sponsor exhibitors! It was great to see so many engaged members of the ITSM community out in force and getting the most out of their conference experience.

itsmf group

This year signalled a movement toward connecting delegates to learnings from outside the IT domain and addressing the theme of Building Customer Value. All four keynotes captivated the audience with their varied expertise and insights.

Lead demographer and social commentator Bernard Salt opened the conference with an engaging and humourous exposition of his insights on Tomorrow’s Customer. Nicole Forsgren PHD then brought the conversation back to the tech sphere with her insider’s look on the the world of DevOps.

On the second day delegates enjoyed an energetic presentation from Atlassian’s co-founder and co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes on the ever-important topic of Scaling Service. Rounding out the keynote presentations was motivational speaker and bestselling author Dr Jason Fox, who entertained everyone with his fantastic imagery and leadership strategies.

jason fox

The annual itSMF Industry Gala Awards Dinner on the Thursday night was a fabulous mix of great food, hearty chuckles courtesy of the hilarious Jean Kittson and of course the celebration of some outstanding finalists and winners. The festivities kicked on late in to the night with good conversation and better dancing!

gala dinner2

Service Management 2015 would simply not have happened without our brilliant sponsors Alemba, Atlassian, Axios, CA Technologies, Unisys, UXC, Heat Software, Freshservice, Fujitsu, HP, Xtraction Solutions, BMC, ServiceNow, Sintegral, Solisma, and xMatters. Thank you all again for your support!

Special thanks to all the speakers who helped make this conference an inspiring and motivating one, and to the many volunteers who so graciously offered their time and effort into making this an event to remember!

You can relive delegate observations or start new discussions about the conference using the #smconfAU hashtag on twitter.

laughing

That’s all folks and we hope to see you all in 2016!

By |August 31st, 2015|blog, ITSM, Service Management 2015, wrap up|

Service Management in an as-a-service world – Part 2

Ian-krieger

 

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Ian Krieger.

Why business mapping is critical to effective Service Management and how to get started.

In Part 1 we looked at why the cloud can give IT service management team more control – not less. Now let’s look at how to use business mapping to provide control and visability in a world where applications are offered as subscription services, from a multitude of vendors.

Use Business Mapping To Ensure IT Truly Supports the Business

A map looks at the context of complex systems. We’re familiar with technology roadmaps that match short-term and long-term goals with specific technology solutions to help meet those goals, often presented in a diagram. They are designed to help customers (including internal customers) understand the technology, current and future, that is at work in their business. But the technology view is only one part of the puzzle.
In addition to addressing the business’ immediate and projected needs you need to have a larger view of the product/capability that your organisation provides and the market forces that may impact it. The external forces range from market segment growth, competitive situation and your distribution channels through to political, economic and environmental factors – and more. There are also internal forces including the company, customers, suppliers and other constituents. This view is known as a market audit.
A business map takes this to the next level. It starts with identifying the need that the organisation is addressing with its product or service, the evolution of that product/service from an idea through to a marketable product and eventually a commodity.
Business maps arm the technologist, and business professional, with information that can be used to understand the overall business’ direction and what factors influence the various capabilities that underpin the central need of the value chain. This holistic view of the business gives context for recommendations and decisions. Hint: Get it right and there will be less instances of Shadow IT, as you will be able to understand the emerging needs of the business as it relates to its strategy
Here are six questions to help you start the mapping process:
1. Where are we now with the business capabilities, supporting processes and technologies?
2. What is the visibility and value placed on each of these
3. Where do we want or need to go with these? Ultimately the drive is to head toward commodity, however, that isn’t always the right answer as there are sometimes constraints
4. How do we get to where we want or need to be?
5. As the organisation moves from new and novel to commodity, what are your options for sourcing and delivering?
6. How will we know that we are on track?

If you’d like to know more about business mapping read my blog.

Transparency across multiple vendors

IDC predicts more than 65 percent of enterprise IT organisations globally will commit to hybrid cloud technologies before 2016. This hybrid environment encompasses everything from applications, to platforms to business services, providing the services the business needs dynamically.

So once you’ve mapped your organisation and selected your solutions how do you track and manage service delivery across multiple delivery modes and suppliers? How do you let the business know what is available to it? And how do you encourage the innovation through the adoption of new services?

Integrating the disparate IT and business systems and providing a clear view of what services are available to the business based on Persona allows everyone to know what is available. Most importantly this provides a way of tracking and measuring the services, both individually and holistically as they underpin key business capabilities.

As an Enterprise Solution provider we face this problem ourselves in deliver services to both our internal and external clients. To solve this we created VantagePointSM. This is designed to be a multi-sourced business services automation and aggregation platform. It consolidates disparate enterprise systems into a unified, real-time and personalised stream of intelligence, delivered via a dashboard on laptops, tablets and smartphones. This visibility and control that this offers, allows us and our clients to reduce the effort in maintaining and managing services.

So there’s no need to fear the cloud. Recognise it for what it is – a different way of delivering services that can actually give you more control, not less, provided you take the effort to jump into the driver’s seat and use your map.

_________________________________________________________________________
Ian Krieger is the Chief Architect for Unisys Asia Pacific & Japan. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years. He has helped organisations throughout the region understand how to best use services and technology to support their business’ goals and strategies. Ian is a technologist who prefers to look at the practical applications of technology as opposed to the “shiny”.

By |August 6th, 2015|Business mapping, cloud, guest blogger, ITSM, shadowIT, UNISYS|

Service Management in an as-a-service world – Part 1

Ian-krieger

 

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Ian Krieger

Why moving to the cloud can give you more control, not less.

What are the opportunities and challenges for the IT service management team in a world where more applications are moving into the cloud, offered as subscription services, from a multitude of vendors? Can you keep control and visibility?

Recently I led a discussion at an itSMF Special Interest Group meeting about IT service management in an “as-a-Service” world – a world where the way IT is procured, delivered and consumed has fundamentally changed with the advent of cloud computing. Not that cloud computing is new by any means – particularly in smaller organisations, but it is now becoming more and more prevalent in large enterprises. Or it is expected to be…

While there has been a lot of hype around “the cloud”, what became apparent at the meeting is that most information is targeted at the executives in high level overviews, or at techies in great technical detail.

Meanwhile, the IT service management team has been left in the cold. There is little clear direction on “how to” or “where to start” and too much hype versus fact. Yet it is the service management team who often has the responsibility to “make it happen”.

In our discussion, which included IT service management professionals from government, financial services and IT vendors, the concerns/queries about service management in a cloud environment were startlingly consistent across industry sectors:

  •        What is the best way to monitor and report service delivery?
  •        How have other organisations done it?
  •        What is hybrid cloud and how do you manage it?
  •        How do you manage service integration across multiple vendors?

The Australian Government defines cloud computing as a model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources (e.g., networks, servers, storage, applications, and services) that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort or service provider interaction.

Interestingly, the itSMF group viewed cloud as a commercial model for delivering IT, rather than a technology. And the overriding concern is that these services are not in their control.

So how does cloud impact the policies, processes and procedures service management uses to plan, deliver, operate and control IT services offered to end-users?

For me it comes down to recognising that while traditional IT procurement has changed, you can still be in control; defining a clear – but flexible – business map for how the technology, processes and people will support the business; and ensuring transparency across multiple vendors.

New Ways of IT Procurement Don’t Have to Mean You Lose Control

Much of the fear of losing control comes from the feeling that IT departments are relinquishing control to IT third parties because they no longer own the IT and can’t see, touch or grab it. Yet in many ways they have more control than ever as it is easier to increase or decrease capacity quickly in response to changes in your organisation or the market in which it operates. And, if you chose the right vendor, they should provide you with regularly updated innovative solutions and contracted service levels rather than you being locked into a technology that will start to age as soon as you implement it.

Of course it’s not simple matter of moving everything into the cloud. Sometimes legislative requirements will dictate where data can be stored or who has access to it which may force an application to be insourced. Or it may depend on the maturity of an organisation’s approach to IT – an immature organisation may refuse to outsource because it is simply fearful of doing so whereas a mature approach is open to pushing risk outside the organisation.

And not all clouds are the same. A private cloud is used by a single organisation. A community cloud is for the exclusive use of a specific community of consumers with shared concerns (eg security requirements or mission). A public cloud is for open use by the general public. And a hybrid cloud is comprised of multiple distinct cloud infrastructures (private, community or public). Whilst the debate over public vs. private cloud services rages on, in the context of the above and the relative organisational needs and maturity, they all have a place.

This feeling of a loss of control can be exacerbated by departments choosing their own systems, easily bought and delivered over the Internet. However this “shadow IT” should not be feared – instead it should be seen as an indicator that the IT department is not delivering what they need. This is why business mapping is so important.

 

Part 2 of this blog will cover why business mapping is critical to ensuring IT and Service Management truly support the business and how to get started.

_________________________________________________________________________

Ian Krieger is the Chief Architect for Unisys Asia Pacific & Japan. He has worked in the IT industry for more than 20 years. He has helped organisations throughout the region understand how to best use services and technology to support their business’ goals and strategies. Ian is a technologist who prefers to look at the practical applications of technology as opposed to the “shiny”.

By |July 30th, 2015|blog, cloud, guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2015, shadowIT, UNISYS|

The Missing Ingredient For Successful Problem Management

Michael-Hall

 

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Michael Hall.

Many problem management implementations fail or have limited success because they miss one key ingredient in their practice: having trained problem managers leading problem investigations using structured methods. By following a few simple guidelines, your problem management function can be successful from day one or rescued from its current low levels of performance.

Typical implementation

A typical problem management process document usually covers roles and responsibilities, how the process works and a little bit about governance.

Roles and responsibilities usually covers just resolver groups and the process owner. It is surprising how frequently the problem manager role is not defined at all. Responsibilities for the resolver group usually includes ‘investigate root cause’ and ‘update and close problems’. The problem manager is often given responsibilities like ‘assign problems to resolver groups’ and ‘track problem progress’.

The process normally covers the steps but does not say how to go about solving problems. Commonly, the process is simply ‘assign the problem to a resolver group for investigation’. Usually the resolver group also owns closure. This means that there is no way of knowing if the root cause found is correct or if the solution is adequate.

The result is that many implementations do not achieve their expected results. I call this approach ‘passive’ or administrative problem management. The impact on reducing incidents is usually minimal.

If your monthly major incident data looks like this, you may have one of these typical implementations:

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Major-Incidents

Figure 1: Monthly Occurrence of Major Incidents.

The Alternative – ‘Active’ Problem Management

The missing ingredient in a typical implementation is skilled problem managers using a structured approach to solving problems. By structured, I mean a consistent, evidence-based method, either by adopting one of the major problem-solving frameworks such as Kepner and Fourie, or by agreeing your own set of steps (I set out one version in my book). Deciding on a standard method that everyone will use with NO exceptions is the critical success factor for effective problem management.

The benefits are:

    • Speed to root cause – a standard approach yields results more quickly –around  60% quicker in fact (see Figure 2)
    • Consistency – all your problem managers can be equally successful
    • Certainty that real causes are found – because investigations are based on evidence and not guesswork and theories, you can show that the causes found are correct
    • Collaboration – if you do problem management the same way every time, teams know what to expect, they can see the good results and they get used to working together without confusion

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Average-time-to-root-causeFigure 2: Average time to find root cause in two problem management implementations.

Problem Managers Lead Investigation Sessions

Because it is the problem managers who are highly skilled in problem solving techniques, they should facilitate problem management investigations in conjunction with the technical experts, then work with subject matter experts to determine solutions to problems and track implementation to ensure the problem is entirely fixed. The problem management function should be responsible for reporting root cause, progress on resolution and all the metrics and KPIs related to problem management, but (very important!) making sure that the subject matter experts get the credit for solving the problems.

Track and validate solutions

To gain the main benefit you are after – reducing the occurrence of major incidents – problem management also needs to apply a structured approach to finding solutions, getting approval to implement and tracking the implementation to an agreed target due date.

The Results

This is what successful problem management looks like when you have skilled problem managers using a structured approach to finding root cause and finding and implementing permanent solutions. When problems stop causing incidents, the incident rate goes down quite rapidly.

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Major-Incidents-2

Figure 3: Monthly Occurrence of Major Incidents.

 

Michael has over 25 years experience in IT, developing and leading teams, managing change programs and implementing Service Management. Now a specialist in Service Operations, he founded Problem Management as a global function at Deutsche Bank and is a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). Michael will be leading a workshop on Implementing Real World Problem Management at Service Management 2015.

5 reasons why IT teams should use Net Promoter

SMAC-2015-Speaker-Dave-OReardon

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Dave O’Reardon

For those of you not familiar with Net Promoter®, let’s start with a 1 minute introduction..

Net Promoter is an open-source methodology used by 65% of the world’s top 200 companies to grow their businesses by increasing customer loyalty.  At its heart is a metric called the Net Promoter Scoresm (NPS®) that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services.

An NPS is calculated by asking customers a question along the lines of, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”. Based on their rating, a customer is categorised as a Detractor (when they give a rating of 6 or below), a Passive (7 or 8) or a Promoter (9 or 10).  The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This results in a score ranging from -100 (all your customers think you’re rubbish) to +100 (all your customers think you’re the bee’s knees).

Two very valuable follow-up questions ask the customer why they gave that rating, and what the number one thing is that they’d like to see improved.

With me so far? Great. Net Promoter, as a system for driving service improvement, is often overlooked or rejected by IT teams because of the irrelevance of the “likely to recommend” question for an internal service provider. But that concern is easy to address by simply changing the wording of that question (a topic for another day!). With the question reworded, you’re free to enjoy the benefits that Net Promoter has to offer.

Here are the top five reasons that IT teams should adopt it:

1. It is a globally proven service improvement methodology trusted by brands such as Apple, Google, Rackspace and Zappos. There are a mountain of case studies that show how effective it can be. Net Promoter has been around since 2006 and Google Trends shows that interest has been steadily growing ever since – it’s not going away anytime soon! If your organisation is already using Net Promoter, then using it for IT is a no-brainer. And if it’s not, then IT can lead the way. Your organisation probably won’t be far behind.

2.  Unlike traditional surveys for gathering customer feedback, a Net Promoter survey – with only three questions – is ridiculously quick and easy for customers to complete. Not only that but the third question (“What is the number one thing we could do to improve?”) is like having a service management consultant working for you for free. Forget process maturity assessments! If you’re serious about improving service and delivering value, everything you need to know is contained in your customers’ answers to that one question.

3.  The Net Promoter concept is simple to understand by staff at all levels.  The survey is simple, the calculation is simple and the behavioural change it requires is simple – focus on reducing the number of detractors.  And how do you do that? Just read the feedback given by your customers in answer to Questions 2 and 3 and all will be revealed.

4. About 75% of IT teams do customer satisfaction surveys of one sort or another. They run the survey, calculate a metric and bury the results in a management report. But in all but a few cases, no improvement action is taken. This is where Net Promoter comes into its own. It includes some fantastic practices that help you turn customer feedback into prioritised actions that lead to improved customer satisfaction/loyalty.

5. When you use a standard question, rating scale and calculation method you can benchmark yourself against others using that same method. An NPS is standardised so you can compare your NPS to that of other IT teams. Hell, because brand and industry NPS scores are widely published, you can even compare yourself to other organisations such as Qantas, iiNet or the Commonwealth Bank.  One of our clients, who used Net Promoter to improve IT customer satisfaction by 25 points in just 6 months, had the rallying cry of “Let’s not be a Toyota, let’s be a BMW”, referring to the relative Net Promoter Scores of those brands.

If you’re not surveying your customers to understand how they perceive your performance, you should be. And if you’re not using Net Promoter to do it, you should be.

Dave O’Reardon is leading a workshop onCustomer-driven service improvement with Net Promoter’ at Service Management 2015.

Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld

 

 

 

By |June 22nd, 2015|blog, guest blogger, ITSM, Net Promoter®, Service Management 2015, Workshop|

Guerrilla IT – how to be an IT rebel with a cause

Mark Smalley Photo

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Mark Smalley

I conducted two pre-conference workshops about ‘Guerrilla IT’ at the itSMF Norway annual event in March 2015. The idea for Guerrilla IT emerged in conversations with itSMF Norway’s Sofi Falberg at a conference in 2014. We spoke about people feeling the need to make relatively low key and informal individual contributions to improving ITSM, possibly under corporate radar. And that’s when I coined the term Guerrilla IT. Then before I knew it, I had committed to delivering a workshop about it in the new Service Bazaar format! In an expanded format, this workshop is programmed as one of the pre-conference workshops for itSMF Australia’s annual conference.

I announced the workshop as follows:

“Do you want to do something really worthwhile in IT yet keep getting ambushed by mealy-mouthed middle managers with their petty policies? In this interactive workshop we’ll explore and discover how to identify realistic initiatives and how to deploy them under corporate radar while keeping out of friendly fire. You’ll leave the session with some ideas for your specific situation as well as an arsenal of weapons for an IT rebel with a cause.”

In the Norwegian workshop we explored the following eight topics:

  1.      The concerns they the participants had at their organisation or in the case of consultants, one of their clients
  2.      The relationships that they thought needed the most improvement
  3.      The kind of behaviour that business people and IT people should exhibit
  4.      The factors that drive behaviour, and therefore need to be changed in order to influence behaviour
  5.      The degree of freedom that their organisation consciously or unconsciously afford them to take behave like an IT guerrillero or guerrillera
  6.      Their person appetite for heroic behaviour
  7.      The kind of guerrilla IT tactics that, given their organisation’s and their own nature, would be effective
  8.   Their ‘rebel’s resolutions’ – the takeaways that they could apply at work

Given the limited nature of a blog, here are the participants’ concerns and their thoughts on the kind of behaviour that would help improve things. This should give you an idea of what your peers think.

Participants concerns

  •        Ill-conceived services being abandoned on the doorstep of the ITSM department
  •        Lack of IT awareness of the business context and in particular the customers’ interests – in other words no business focus
  •        The shift from ITSM to Service Management in general
  •        The difficulties of changing the culture in an organisation, in particular resistance to change
  •        Lack of basic trust
  •        The challenges of working in a dysfunctional organisation
  •        The challenges of working in a disconnected organisation in which IT seems to live in a world of its own
  •        Change-overload – too much change to deal with

Desired behaviour  

I started off doing the behaviour part of the workshop in 2013 and have compiled and summarised the results of seven workshops, fine-tuning them from time to time as new insights emerge. The findings are categorised in three sections: (1) behaviour that applies to business people and IT people in an enterprise in equal measure; (2) IT-related behaviour that effective business people exhibit; (3) behaviour that you observe in effective IT people.

  1.   Enterprise

The enterprise fosters a culture in which business and IT share a joint vision and are part of the same story, have an ongoing dialogue, have mature conversations, strike balances, enjoy working together

  1.      Business people
  •        Specify outcomes rather than solutions
  •        Articulate needs and expectations clearly
  •        Set priorities, take decisions, accept risks
  •        Understand IT’s capabilities and limitations
  •        Participate in activities such as testing
  1.      IT people
  •        Understand business processes and outcomes, and impact of IT
  •        Talk in business terms about benefits, costs and risks, not systems and features
  •        Proactively suggest innovations to the business
  •        React to business change without being surprised that things change
  •        Replace ‘technical’ SLA’s by simple, honest and meaningful reporting

The burning question, of course, is how you achieve a change in behaviour. This is why I asked the participants to think about which factors drive behaviour. Their main  findings were: an understanding the consequences of their actions, a belief that change might be for the better of the enterprise and customers, a common goal (or enemy), likelihood of personal benefit, urgency, a ‘half-full’ attitude, and KPIs that are effective rather than those than invite contra-productive behaviour.

I’m much looking forward to exploring this further in Sydney, and will most certainly publish the findings.

 

This post was originally on Mark Smalley’s blog.

 

Mark Smalley is an IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT and is specialised in application management and business information management. He is affiliated with the non-profit ASL BiSL Foundation, APMG-International, GamingWorks and AllThingsITSM. Mark is an inaugural member of the industry initiatives SM Congress and Taking Service Forward.

 

By |June 22nd, 2015|blog, GuerillaIT, guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2015, Workshop|

The Other Big Data Problem

 

David-Oakley-Service-Now-Grey-Scale

 

 

 

by guest blogger David Oakley, Managing Director, ANZ at ServiceNow.

It’s hard to miss one of today’s biggest technology opportunities confronting large enterprises – big data. Companies are amassing vast amounts of data ranging from website activity, user data, support issues and even directly from products that are deployed in the field. The quest, of course, is to find patterns, glean understanding and extract knowledge that will help improve the company’s business.

Unlocking the big data opportunity represents massive upside for enterprises, but there’s another big data issue plaguing many IT organisations. In many cases, IT lacks a single source of truth, a centralised, comprehensive understanding of IT services, the hardware and software underpinning these services, the way they interact and are configured, the cost of delivering these services, service level management, the demands for new or improved services, the associated projects, the upcoming changes and how all of these things Interact.

For IT, the service experience is the end state. This IT big data challenge stems from the necessity of IT to deliver on this service experience, to keep the services running and rapidly change as business needs change.

The lack of comprehensive truth directly translates to essential qualities, such as data centre or network uptime, application availability, security, ease of maintenance and the ability to implement change. Simply put, when you don’t know what you are working with, how it is configured or should be configured and how it impacts other things, you are fundamentally working in the dark. The repercussions are enormous. The wasted time spent by companies chasing what they think the issue is rather than what it really is becomes a massive overhead.

At a base level is the Configuration Management Database (CMDB) – often the object of controversy and deep misunderstanding. Who takes ownership? How is it done? How do you make it comprehensive? Is CMDB the starting point or the finishing line? Then, as soon as it is created, it is out of date!

The issue is not just the CMDB itself but the fragmentation that exists among IT tools and systems—islands and moats that prevent a centralised view and systematic consistency. Solving this crisis necessitates jettisoning individual, standalone tools and having a single system of record for IT. Once you have moved to a single system of record, you can focus on streamlining your process to ensure accuracy and decrease the time taken to recover from system impact. Ultimately, it means service quality up, costs down and a level of control that the business expects.

In the end, it is IT’s sole purpose to be a trusted advisor and service delivery partner for their users. After all, so much of the organisation is reliant on the data that IT manages for company services.

Does your IT organisation have a single understanding of IT costs and charge back? Service delivery – both by internal and vendor sources? Hardware and software asset management? Can you ensure consistency across all delivery models and resources? Are you well positioned for effectively managing an ever-changing landscape of applications and infrastructure? And are you prepared to extend your data across the company?

If the answer is ‘No’ to many or all of the above then a single system of record for IT is a proven solution to your IT big data challenge.

 

This article was originally published in the itSMFA April 2015 Bulletin.

 

By |June 10th, 2015|Big Data, guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2015|

Standards

claire-brereton

 

 

 

With guest blogger Claire Brereton

 

I have been involved in international standards since about 2008. In 2009 as a relatively new itSMF Director and a total standards greenhorn, I went on a ‘mission’ to an International Standards meeting in China to gain an understanding of what was happening in the service management standards space.

itSMF UK had been lobbying for involvement from other major chapters and there were significant concerns at the time about groups without service management understanding unduly influencing our global best practice standard.

ISO/IEC 20000 was published in 2005 and it was the first global service management standard. To be certified against ISO/IEC 20000 an organisation is audited against a set of processes which span management, governance and service management. It is a ‘management system’ standard like ISO9001 the quality standard, which means that it provides a model for setting up and following a system of management. Like all standards, it is created by international consensus, through a series of drafts, contributions from involved countries, reviews and country ballots. ISO works much like the United Nations in that respect. You don’t have to follow any particular methodology to gain ISO/IEC 20000 certification, but its roots are in ITIL.

As well as the main standard, Part 1, there is a comprehensive guidance document, a sample implementation project plan, advice on application for cloud providers and a scoping guide for auditors. The standard series went through a major revision in 2011/12 (aligning with several other standards and also updating to incorporate ITIL Version 3 lifecycle concepts.)

Since 2009 I have been Australian representative to ISO on Service Management working group. That involves gathering and agreeing Australian opinion on proposed changes and additions to the standard and its parts. itSMF is the peak body in Australia which has input to service management standards, in common with ITSMF chapters globally. I am also involved with an ISO group for IT standards for Very Small Entities—which is of interest to Australia with its many small businesses. Some of the most active contributors are UK, India, China, Japan, Korea and USA. All except China (no itSMF chapter) have itSMF members on the international committee. I also represent Australia on an ISO group for IT standards for Very Small Entities – which is of interest to Australia with its many small businesses. They are proposing a new standard which includes service management elements for VSEs, which will be hotly debated before an Australian position is reached.

 

Claire Brereton is the principal of Brereton Consulting, and founded the company in 2008 after working as an CIO and running major IT programs in diverse industry sectors including Healthcare, Financial Services and Manufacturing. Her contribution to the industry has recently been recognised by her peers when she was honoured with the title of FACS (Fellow of the Australian Computer Society).

 She is a GAICD (Graduate of the Austrlian Institute of Company Directors), ITIL Master, certified ISO/IEC 20000 Practitioner and PRINCE2 Practitioner.

 

This article was originally published in the itSMFA April 2015 Bulletin.

 

 

By |May 28th, 2015|guest blogger, ITSM, standards|

Q&A With Sharron Spratt!

Sharron Spratt Photo

 

 

 

 

Sharron Spratt is a specialist in transitioning technical professionals into great managers and leaders and a bestselling author to boot. We talked to her about leadership and motorbikes!

 You are an avid motorbike rider and have translated that enthusiasm into your executive training program – On Yer Bike. Tell us a bit more how the principles of riding can apply to lessons in leadership and change management.

One of the differences between riding a bike and driving a car (or being a passenger in a train) is that you have to have total focus on the road, other traffic and your own riding at all times. This gives many motorcyclists a different way of ‘being’ and thinking which can transfer very easily into leading others, particularly through a period of change. Successful leaders share many of the same attributes and modes of thinking as good motorbike riders:

  1. Focus and total engagement, ability to pay attention to the most important information and not get bogged down in minutiae
  2. Comfort with fellow riders having different styles and approaches because they know it’s more important to get to the goal than what method you use
  3. Greater ease with risk and ability to have a clear line of sight
  4. Awareness that blind spots can be your undoing
  5. Getting out of the office. Riding pares everything down to the bone – and its so engrossing that other worries don’t get a look in.

There are so many principles that transfer across and we are still discovering them.

 Your book ‘LEAD I.T. Moving from technical leader to people leader – FAST’ has resonated with a large audience. If you could condense one piece of advice from your book that every great leader should know, what would it be?

Oh wow – only one piece… if I can have two they would be:

  1. Be a constant learner and open to developing your skills based on feedback from all sources. E.g. seeing every ride as an opportunity to get better by responding to the feedback you get from the bike, the road, other riders and your own responses
  2. Invest time in developing your self awareness so that your ego does not limit your potential. E.g. the best riders are more than happy to admit when they make mistakes both to themselves and others. Excuses are not in their vocabulary.

 Transitioning technical professionals into great managers and leaders is your forte. In your experience have you found that anyone can be an excellent leader with the right guidance, or does it take a certain type of personality?

In my experience everyone can be a competent leader if they are willing to put in the same effort to learn as they did with their technical expertise. What makes a great leader is not so much a personality as a number of attributes – many of which can be learned (thank goodness). It is quite a long list but in my view the most important are:

  1. A balance of intellect, and curiosity and care for people
  2. A strong drive for high performance from themselves and their people
  3. Ability to communicate (both speak and listen)- constantly about performance
  4. Very high levels of trust – from and in their team
  5. Mindfulness- aware of what is going on around them, their impact on others
  6. Flexibility. Part of this is being able to put ego aside and be flexible to achieve the objective.

 Service Management 2015’s theme of Building Customer Value is something you are very knowledgeable about, please explain why you think it’s so important.

For me this is a no-brainer if you are in business these days. Your people are the deciding factor in almost any business. Your competitors are probably offering the same products or services as you – but they don’t have your people delivering it – there is gold right there for the companies that are willing to invest in this long term.

Secondly, customers have access to so much information now, are so much more knowledgeable about what is available and more than willing to tell the world (quite literally through social media) about their experience with your business. You have no choice but to strive for the highest standard and that is delivered by people.

Even though we all like to think of ourselves as pleasant, helpful members of a team it becomes very challenging to maintain high quality service if we are constantly bombarded with unhappy customers, frustrated by clunky systems or constantly restricted by unfair policy decisions and working in a culture that pays lip service to great customer experiences but is unwilling to value the people who deliver it.

The challenge of course is in providing the right systems and culture that make it easy for our people to deliver and give them the autonomy to use their brains to make on the spot decisions on your company’s behalf. Not easy when the very nature of our brain’s hardwiring works against us at times.

 

Sharron Spratt is leading a workshop with Korrine Jones on ‘Leading and Building Customer Value without Selling Your Soul!’ at Service Management 2015.

 

By |May 14th, 2015|blog, ITSM, Leadership, QandA, Service Management 2015, Workshop|

Q&A with Sandy Mamoli!

Sandy Mamoli Photo

 

 

 

 

 

From working with Sony Ericsson’s global enterprise website in Amsterdam and Copenhagen to being one of NZ’s leading Agile coaches and Chair of Agile Welly , Sandy Mamoli brings her practical European flair and passionate advocacy of all things Agile to NZ businesses. She’s a former Olympian, a geek, a gadget junkie and emerging triathlete. Sandy is one of the owners and co-founders of Nomad8.

You know your way around a Kanban board. How would you explain the concept to a beginner?

Kanban is a way of managing your list of things to do. In a clear and visual way you can see what’s important and urgent, as well as what you’ve achieved and what’s coming up. It’s tactile – moving sticky notes from one column to the next is immensely satisfying. And it’s universal – from school kids managing their homework schedule to developers planning their tasks and stories, it works.

Has your use of Kanban changed the way you approach things outside of the workplace? If so how?

I admit that I use my Kanbanfor1 board for almost everything now. It gives me a really clear sense of what’s on my plate both in and out of work. I feel a lot more in control of my ‘things to do’ which actually gives me more freedom to enjoy my non-busy time. My partner and I even share a board when we’re planning together – like a holiday, or moving house.

If you could express the essence of Kanban in one word, what would it be and why?

One word – that’s hard! I want to say ‘simplicity’ but there’s also ‘productivity’ and a certain amount of ‘zen’.

The best word though may well be ‘flow’.
Tasks and work and projects flow through your life. Kanban helps to manage that flow. The board lets you visualise the flow.

You’re a former Olympian and no stranger to achievement! Tell us a bit about the qualities one needs to think like an Olympian in their work.

Focus, ambition, collaboration. An Olympic athlete is no stranger to these things. Hours and weeks and months and years of hard, consistent training. Laser sharp focus on the task at hand. A shared team goal and purpose. Big dreams and the courage to follow through. There is no time for slackers, but there is much learning from failure. I think I’m a lot less intense now than in those days, but I still work hard and love a good massage!

 

Sandy will be leading a workshop on Kanbanfor1 at Service Management 2015.

By |May 5th, 2015|blog, ITSM, Kanban, QandA, Service Management 2015, Workshop|