Wednesday, April 04, 2012
Leading The Way To A LEAN Problem Management Culture
The Pink Elephant 2011 ITIL Project of the Year Award winners were Deutsche Bank. This award “recognizes an organization that has demonstrated significant commitment to ITIL and ITSM best practices with involvement of certified staff, and visible positive outcomes.” The 2011 runners-up were Adobe and Air Canada Jazz.
You can learn more about this interesting initiative next year at PINK13, when Joseph Gallagher, Vice President, Global Problem Management Process Owner at Deutsche Bank will present Leading The Way To A LEAN Problem Management Culture
I talked to Joe about the project.
Joe, for those readers who weren’t at the ceremony at PINK12, please tell us a little about Deutsche Bank’s winning project
The DB project was called “Problem Management Transformation Program” - at the end of 2010 we realized that, although we had a nice, repeatable problem management process, we were not working very efficiently, nor were we providing our clients with consistent quality. At the beginning of 2011 we initiated this program to address both of these weaknesses, by conducting a LEAN 5D review of our process and implementing higher standards for producing a quality problem analysis. LEAN helped us to identify various types of TIM WOOD [Transport, Inventory, Motion, Waiting, Over-processing, Overproduction, Defects] deficiencies in our process, which we drove out through automation, consolidation, industrialization (moving very repetitive tasks to a support organization that focus on those tasks and become very efficient at it), and elimination. By Q4’2011 we had removed close to 40% waste from the process, allowing our problem managers to focus on the two areas where they add the most value – root cause determination, and remediation determination. As part of the LEAN component we “went back to the drawing board” as it relates to the proper way to implement program management as detailed within ITIL v3.0. We found that over the years we had “over engineered” the problem management process, making it cumbersome and slow, with lots of “cool steps” in the process that really added no value to the client. Finally, we improved our overall quality by aligning our problem managers to specific business areas, giving them a better understanding of the applications/infrastructure they support, which made them much more effective over time. We also trained all our problem managers (and all were certified) in Kepner Tregoe Resolve, giving them the foundation of a rational and consistent thought process.
What have been the consequences or impact of winning this award?
Consequences – I believe we have set the bar very high and expectations for problem management in 2012 will be well above that bar. But we are up to the task and looking forward to really extending the value we add throughout the organization. One of the consequences of the project itself, is that it has allowed us to shift a portion of our problem management resources to focus on more proactive problem management – driving problems out of the organization before they lead to serious incidents
You are presenting next year on LEAN Problem Management Culture. I’m willing to bet not too many organisations have applied LEAN principles to problem management in particular, especially on a global scale. You had difficulty sourcing expertise?
We were fortunate at the beginning of the project to have an outside firm come in and teach us the LEAN concepts and help us with the initial Define and Diagnose phases. From there, it became fairly straightforward to identify and address the various types of waste we discovered.
And did you find any resources at all pertaining to LEAN and problem management?
We found no resources externally or internally that had experience using LEAN within a problem management process. Although the LEAN methodology seems to be very easy to apply to any process.
Were there peculiarities to problem management when applying LEAN to it?
Measuring waste was a challenge at first, as we were using 2010 baseline, which was filled with hazards related to data quality. We saw the LEAN program coming in early Q4’2010 so we paid particular attention in Q4’2010 to provide as accurate a reflection of our workload and process as possible, so that could serve as the baseline for 2011 measureable improvements.
Can you expand on what that was about please?
One of the issues we recognized in 2011 is that the quality of our data was not great. This was due to the lack of strong governance and quality controls around what we were entering in problem records. It wasn’t as bad as garbage-in-garbage-out, but it was inconsistent (an artifact of having problem managers coming together into a single organization in 2010, each bringing their own “unique” perspective on what was required to be documented in a problem record). We started to change this in Q4’2010 just as a matter of good practice, but also recognizing the fact that in order to measure 2011 improvements we needed to have at least one quarter of reasonably good data as the baseline.
Another peculiarity with problem management is that you really can’t remove “waste” from the actual root cause investigation itself. Sure, we can streamline our root cause sessions, and provide more consistent results (KT), but you can’t “squeeze” much waste out of this part of the process, which by its nature, has lots of variability due to the different levels of investigation required. Thus, we set out to remove all the waste before and after the actual root cause investigation, and that’s where we reaped lots of benefit.
What tools or techniques helped you with the cultural change over 73 countries?
There was lots and lots of training, communication, and awareness throughout the year. I cannot understate the importance of this aspect – updates were provided to the problem management staff and senior management at least monthly, and sometimes more often. We also made LEAN improvements part of all the problem manager’s objectives – they were all required to provide at least two LEAN improvement initiatives that made it to production. Finally, we governed the process very well – we had daily health checks to ensure we were on target with our objectives, and weekly trend reports to see where we needed to shift resources.
Watch this blog for a future discussion with Joe and George Spalding of Pink Elephant about the judges’ views on this project and why it won the Award. And go hear Joe at PINK13.
Thursday, March 29, 2012
Governance sessions at PINK13
Governance is an important topic to everyone in IT. Of course it is of greatest interest to IT managers - those accountable to the governors - but we should all have a general understanding of it, just as we do with say security, whether we are directly involved with it or not.
We’ve talked about governance often enough on this blog before and seen a rising tide of posts and presentations about governance. Next year at PINK13 I’ll be presenting some more.
Past discussions on this blog include
- This useful Intro to IT Governance from George Spalding
- This excellent series on IT governance podcasts by Troy DuMoulin
- An interesting interview with Dr John Beachboard
- More here from Troy on governance strategy-setting
- and this from me about service, governance, and assurance being key themes
Next year I’ll bring you more on Governance of IT (I much prefer “Governance of IT” to “IT Governance”: it makes it clear than governance happens to IT not by IT).
- What Governance Isn’t and thereby developing an understanding of what governance is.
- Plug and Socket: Preparing IT For Governance, the practical application of governance to IT
You will of course find discussion of governance in a number of other sessions too (don’t miss Jennifer Wels on COBIT)
Wednesday, March 14, 2012
Pinkie goes to Hollywood
Recall that David Ratcliffe made this invitation recently
I have a bit of a fun challenge for you. In the past we’ve encouraged Pink customers to send us their interesting photos of Pinky - our little stress elephant mascot. We have a nice little collection going, and sometimes we post the best ones for all to see. So this is just a gentle reminder. have some fun and take a pic of Pinky in a fun situation and we’ll post it right here!
So here’s my contribution: Pinkie goes to Hollywood in which Crooner Pinky leaves Las Vegas en route home to LA
Waving to fans, with his backing singer and ...ahem… constant companion Beach Pinky:
Into the sunrise on the early morning train to LA…
A Channel 24 News helicopter shot…
Tuesday, March 13, 2012
Some of my favourite shots
Here are some of my picks from the pics, chosen from the Pink Flickr account. Do you have any snaps of your own you’d like to share? Send them in!
Further to our discussions of Pinker shirt colours, THIS is “mulberry”:
Thursday, March 08, 2012
Over 1000 Photos From Pink12!
View them all on our Flickr Page.
Can you see yourself?
So, on the subject of photos - I have a bit of a fun challenge for you. In the past we’ve encouraged Pink customers to send us their interesting photos of Pinky - our little stress elephant mascot. We have a nice little collection going, and sometimes we post the best ones for all to see. So this is just a gentle reminder. have some fun and take a pic of Pinky in a fun situation and we’ll post it right here!
Friday, March 02, 2012
Pink12 gave you 10 things to do when you got home
The 16th Annual ITSM Conference (colloquially known as Pink12) is over and Las Vegas settles back into the dull, sleepy place it is when we are not there. One of the last events of the conference was David’s and George’s session on 10 things to do starting Monday morning. I saw a few tweets about how Monday was looking overloaded: you can always pick and choose, and of course the session title says “starting” on Monday - you could give yourself all week.
Do you recall what those 10 things were? Revisit them here and start checking them off:
- Go meet a user – connect with them face-to-face. Ask them what they need (talk in value, outcomes, costs and risks) (suggested by Paul Wilkinson).
- Validate the desirability, viability and achievability of each of your current IT projects (suggested by Graham Price).
- If the culture needs to change in your organization, start by getting to the “connectors” and “salesmen” who have influence over others. Get them to agree to change and everyone else in their network will follow (suggested by Jack Probst).
- Read ISO/IEC 38500 Corporate Governance of IT and dip into COBIT 5 Process Reference Guide (Draft) - you need to be aware of these (suggested by Rob England).
- Consider all the changes you have scheduled – if you think you’re going to have trouble with people resisting, look for what they’re attached to that is getting in the way, then support them through the change (suggested by Dr. Victoria Grady).
- Go visit your business [the customer, not the same thing as a user (see #1)] to find out what their concerns, challenges and needs are (suggested by Gary Case).
- Document the different RESULTS you expect from your future state. Then define the different ACTIONS you need to take to get those results (suggested by Troy DuMoulin).
- Get connected! Socialize and share your new knowledge amongst your peers (suggested by David).
- Get started with your Service Catalog by consolidating all the “access points”, so the business only has one way of asking for anything – via the Service Catalog (suggested by George).
- Take advantage of the Super-Faithfull offer for Pink13. Sign-up! (Suggested by Pinky!)
There is good advice there. Why not try them all.
How do I access the audio files from Pink12?
The buzz from last week’s event is great. I hope everyone is busy working on their top priority action items from the conference.
Everyone is anxious to access the audio files from the sessions they attended to serve as refreshers and reminders so many enquiries are coming in.
We are busy preparing numerous files for access by all Pink12 attendees, including the audio files and presentation slides from the breakout sessions. These will be available by March 15th at the latest. All Pink12 attendees will be sent access details prior to that date.
Thanks - and I hope to see you at Pink13!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
The largest gathering of ITIL-Certified Professionals in a single spot
Over 500 ITIL-Certified Professionals joined together at Pink Elephant’s annual conference to participate in the largest gathering of ITIL-Certified Professionals in a single spot.
The monumental photo was taken at Pink Elephant’s 16th Annual Conference & Exhibition at the beautiful Bellagio in Las Vegas. IT professionals from around the world participated in the record setting photo including attendees from Canada, Latin America, South Africa, UK, Japan, Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
“We were curious to see how many of the 1600 attendees would show up for the photo opp,” Fatima Ratcliffe, Pink Elephant’s CEO’s mused, “Thanks to the 500 who did. Of course, it’s very hard to compete with the Vegas Strip – even for a record breaking photo!”
This photo is a first for the industry and will hopefully lead to other organizations and events taking part in similar activities. Pink Elephant is known for creating some awe-inspiring moments at its events and this year’s conference and record setting photo was no different. Past events have featured a live Elephant, the Miami Dolphin Cheerleaders and a Pink Floyd cover band.
“WOW!! In the click of a shutter we set a world record!!” George Spalding, EVP, Pink Elephant said enthusiastically, “Just a hair over 500 ITIL-certified professionals gathered in a single spot at Pink12, the most people with ITIL certifications ever photographed in a group! Silly? Of course. But after an incredible head-filling day of intense learning what better way to unwind at Pink12! It was indeed a blast. Let’s go for 600 next year!!”
I was there. Were you?
Thursday, February 16, 2012
Pink12 staff plumage
Does an elephant have “plumage”? That’s the word we used in a past post to canvass previous conference colours.
This year the Elephant is displaying “mulberry” and “sage” colours. Here’s the Conference Host, George Spalding (@gspalding11), and the Pink Prez, David Ratcliffe (@pinkerdavid), displaying “berry” (“mulberry” yet to be revealed):
Yesterday they were spotted wearing red with Crooner Pinky (@Pink12_Live), who wears white shirts every day.
Conference Optimizer - Issue 5
Hi! George Spalding here again – your Pink Conference Host.
This is the last of my pre-Conference Optimizers, where I give you tips for getting the most out of your conference experience in Vegas. If you missed any of my other four, click here.
1. Test Drive Area
Tip: Get the most out of the Exhibition Showcase by taking a product demo.
Look for Pinky in a convertible to know you’re in the right spot! Here you’ll have the opportunity to test drive products from PureShare, Consulting-Portal and Pink Elephant.
2. Social Media At #PINK12
Tip: Social media is a great way to connect with others at the conference!
We are very excited to give our conference attendees numerous social networking opportunities. Here are a few highlights:
- #Pink12 – If you’re on twitter make sure to include the #Pink12 hashtag in your tweets to join the conference stream
- Follow @Pink12_Live for up-to-the-minute updates of things happening onsite at the Bellagio and conference specific tips. Tweet @Pink12_Live to ask a question, share a thought or even just to say hello!
- Foursquare – When you arrive at the Bellagio be sure to check-in to Pink12
- PinkAPP – Download PinkAPP to connect with Pink on your smartphone. Available for Blackberry, Android and Apple
- Be sure to check your special edition PinkLINK – which you will be receiving at the Conference – for a full list of social media activities.
3. Exhibition Showcase & Feature Sponsors
Tip: Make sure to familiarize yourself with all our amazing line-up of exhibitors before you get onsite.
We have many organizations at this year’s Exhibition Showcase and they are a very important part of our conference. For a complete list click here.
4. Breakfast Clubs
Tip: Maximize your learning experience – get an early start to your day.
We have sessions starting at 7:15 a.m. on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings. What better way to make the best of your time at Vegas than to start your day off with an informative Breakfast session! Click here for the full line up.
5. priSM Institute® CPD Credits At Pink12
Tip: For the first time ever, priSM credential holders are eligible to receive Continuing Professional Development credits at Pink12.
Attendees are eligible to receive up to 20 CDP credits at the conference. The America’s priSM Institute® will be awarding the following CPD’s for each session:
1 CPD per Keynote session
1 CPD per Breakfast session
1 CPD per Track Session
3 CPDs for the ½ Day Workshops on Wednesday
For more information on how to receive your credits or about the priSM Institute®, click here.
That’s it from me.
See you in Vegas!
Toll Free: 1-888-273-PINK
Monday, February 13, 2012
Preparing for Pink12!
Las Vegas is a fun place. And there are a few things you should know in advance to help you enjoy it.
If you haven’t been following this blog in previous years, here is some advice we have provided in the past:
- Las Vegas dress code
- Things to do in and around Las Vegas #1
- Things to do in and around Las Vegas #2
- Things to do in and around Las Vegas #3
- Things to do in and around Las Vegas #4
- Things to do in and around Las Vegas #5
- Las Vegas Hello (sung to the tune of “Jamaica Farewell”)
In addition to George’s Conference Optimizers, here is some advice from past years on preparing for the conference:
- EHOBOK Planning Worksheet, worksheet you should fill out before you come to conference to make sure you are prepared for assessing the products on display
- You will need EHOBOK, the Exhibit Hall Optimiser Body of Knowledge! Get the latest version with the 2012 floorplan here
- Exhibit Hall booth plumage which is a potted history of Pinker colouration in other conferences
- ConfBOK Session Strategy, some tips from leading Pinkers (and me) about how to choose which sessions to go to
- ConfBOK: Learning 1.1.1
- ConfBOK: Luggage Validation and Testing
- ConfBOK Strategy: How to get to a conference, how to get your attendance to a conference paid for
...and don’t forget to get PinkApp!
Thursday, February 09, 2012
Conference Optimizer - Issue 4
Hi! George Spalding here again – your Pink Conference Host.
This is my fourth in a series of Conference Optimizers; I’m back with more tips for getting the most out of your conference experience in Vegas. If you missed any of my three, click here.
1. Have You Downloaded Your Conference Presentations?
Tip: Spend time now to review all presentations to decide which ones to take with you.
When you attend the conference, you will not receive a huge bulk manual filled with hard copies of session presentations – this is done in an effort to keep Pink12 green! Please note that there will not be any onsite printing facilities.
Presentations are available through a password protected website from February 1 – April 1, 2012. Your login information was provided to you in your confirmation email.
2. Sunday Conference Optimizers
Tip: Start your conference experience early by meeting new people from like-industries who share common interests.
Don’t forget the conference agenda actually starts on Sunday afternoon at 3:45 p.m. with a few “Optimizers” and several Industry “Focus Groups”. Read more about the Sunday Conference Optimizers.
3. ITSM Extreme Makeover – Don’t Miss It!
Tip: Check out one of 4 insightful and informative presentations from the 2011 ITSM Extreme Makeover team.
The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio (UTHSC) are recipients of the first ever ITSM Extreme Makeover. For one year, executive sponsors Pink Elephant and Hornbill along with participating sponsors GamingWorks, Loyalist, HDI and TSO have provided free services by working with this organization to plan for and successfully implement ITSM best practices. Join CIO Jerry York, along with Bryan Menn and Rod Cantu of UTHSC to uncover what really happened behind the scenes. From the roadmap used to tool implementation to final results, the team is here to share it all!
4. Passport Prize Giveaway
Tip: Make sure to participate in the passport prize draw for a chance to win some fantastic prizes!
In the exhibition showcase (Grand Ballroom) speak to a representative with the Passport sign displayed on their booth and have them stamp your passport book. Collect all 32 stamps to be entered into the draw for one of many great prizes. You will be given your passport book upon registration. Check out the amazing line up of exhibitors.
5. Feature Sponsor – Hornbill
Tip: Get to know one of the ITSM Extreme Makeover executive sponsors – Hornbill.
Visit Hornbill in the Exhibition Showcase to learn how their tool Supportworks has powered this very exciting project. Together, Pink and Hornbill are co-executive sponsors of the ITSM Extreme Makeover and major contributing service providers. For more about Hornbill, their contribution, and what they have planned for the conference click here.
6. Watch My Optimizer Video Presentation
Tip: If this is your first Pink conference, take a moment to watch my presentation for helpful tips.
My short optimizer presentation is especially helpful to attendees who are new to our conference. Included is information on how to make your conference experience as valuable as possible.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more tips and conference optimizers to come.
Toll Free: 1-888-273-PINK
Monday, February 06, 2012
The ITSM Extreme Makeover proves the four-Ps principle.
I hope you have been following along with the ITSM Extreme Makeover a project led jointly by Pink Elephant and Hornbill along with participating sponsors GamingWorks, LCS, HDI and TSO, to bring extreme change to the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. Recently Pink’s lead contributor, Jack Probst, had this to say:
We went live with new processes and ITSM tools – and achieved SUCCESS!
Through most of last year and right up until now we have been preparing for this big day. We assembled all the parts and explained how they worked. With the aid of all the partners we assessed, developed, documented and trained on processes. Hornbill has been working behind and in front of the scenes with the development team to install the Supportworks ITSM tool. Their work included assisting with the integration of the Incident Management process developed under the guidance of the Pink Elephant consultants. (FYI for my readers, the UTHSC team, being the overachievers that they are also implemented the Change Management process they self-developed and stood up the Problem Management module in Supportworks to address major incidents).
All through this time there has been a series of training, testing and certification events ... that were conducted by members of the partner team – HDI, GamingWorks, Pink Elephant and LCS. And of course TSO was there with the all-important guides, the ITIL framework documentation, that proved invaluable in cementing the team’s understanding of the big picture.
As Jerry York, UTHSC CIO, said yesterday in a core team meeting, the success of the Extreme Makeover experience has truly been the result of a team effort – the UTHSC core team providing guidance, direction and leadership, the partners lending their expertise and products as needed, and most importantly all the members of the UTHSC staff who embraced a new way of working.
Most of you will have heard of the four-Ps principle: to succeed at ITSM transformation, you must pay attention to People, Process, Products and Partners. Jack’s description clearly demonstrates this.
Look out for lots of feedback from the ITSM Extreme Makeover at this year’s conference:
- ITSM Extreme Makeover – Part 1: ITSM Program Roadmap
- ITSM Extreme Makeover – Part 2: ITSM Program Roadmap In The Real-World
- ITSM Extreme Makeover – Part 3: ITSM Program Management In the Real-World
- ITSM Extreme Makeover – Part 4: It’s All About People & Results
Sunday, February 05, 2012
“Our Way”, Not “My Way” - Please!
With a conference Pinky icon like this one, I guess we are going to hear a bit about “My Way” at the upcoming conference. I think it is a great song, although the version that often pops into my mind when I hear “My Way” is Sid Vicious’s dulcet tones.
And there-in lies my problem with the song. I can identify with it personally in the seven years since I broke away from the corporate yoke. And it probably resonates for Pinkers too, since Pink Elephant seems to go its own sweet independent way in the ITSM industry. But Frankie wasn’t exactly a pillar of moral rectitude and philanthropy, and certainly Sid reminds us of the other way the song can be sung. Inside a team of people responsible for delivering service, “My Way” isn’t the right way.
It is a big issue with some IT techs that they are so convinced of their own technical superiority that they lose sight of corporate goals or customer needs, and instead resort to obstructionism and abuse of power. There have been a number of rants on the Web of late venting frustration with IT and their resistance to change, usually around personal computing, bring-your-own-device, cloud or social media. Some readers will know I’m not a fan of rushing into any of these new technologies, and I think control of risk is being dangerously played down, but it can’t be denied that part of the problem is IT staff who really are getting in the way because they think they know better… or in a few cases they just want to be dogmatic.
In my book Working in IT I wrote about how techs need to align with where the organisation is going. If they don’t “get on the bus” it’ll go without them and eventually they will cause a problem that will get fixed, and the fixing seldom enhances their career. You can hear me talk about this in a recent webinar
So let’s not hear an excess of “My Way” at the conference OK? Let’s also hear plenty of “Our Way”.
Saturday, February 04, 2012
Conference Optimizer - Issue 3
Hi! George Spalding here again – your Pink Conference Host. This is my third in a series of Conference Optimizers; I’m back with more tips for getting the most out of your conference experience in Vegas. If you missed my first two, click here.
1. Don’t Leave The Conference Early!
Tip: Attend one of our many FREE 1/2 day workshops on Wednesday, February 22nd.
These are not your typical breakouts. If you haven’t already done so, be sure to look through the amazing line-up of the ITIL®, ITSM, and IT business management workshops on Wednesday afternoon, February 22nd. Included are several “process health checks.” There are six workshops to choose – operational, tactical and strategic.
No need to pre-register. Check out the complete list here.
2. How Long Ago Did You Last Look At The Conference Program?
Tip: If it’s been a while since you last looked at our program, it’s a good idea to look again!
If you recall in one of my previous Optimizer emails, I strongly recommended that you and your team meet and review the agenda before attending the conference to coordinate and plan out your days – have you done that yet? There are just over two weeks left…
Even if you have planned out your program, it’s a good idea to review the sessions one more time because there have been some recent additions you may not be aware of.
3. Back At The Office…
Tip: When you return to work after the conference, share your conference experience and learning with others.
Don’t keep all that great information you got at the conference to yourself! Once you’ve returned review your notes and present key findings and learning points to your team/department. Hold a Lunch & Learn or a fun meeting to promote the sharing of information and start discussions on how to implement best practices learned at the conference.
Prepare a “Trip Report” for wider distribution or if a meeting isn’t possible. By showing that your time at our conference was valuable, you will be more likely to attend in 2013!
4. Exhibition Showcase & Featured Sponsors
Tip: Make sure to familiarize yourself with all our amazing line-up of exhibitors before you get onsite – 42 in total!
We have many organizations represented this year in our Exhibition Showcase. They are a major part of our conference, so take a moment now to familiarize yourself with them all, before you get there. Check out the complete list here.
5. Free Live Webinar: Is Cloud the Napster of IT?
Tip: Take advantage of a thought leadership opportunity from our Platinum Sponsor, ServiceNow, before the conference.
Sign up for the webinar on February 7, 2012 – 8:00am (pst) / 11:00am (est). Join George Spalding, Pink Elephant and Craig McDonogh, ServiceNow for an informative session discussing how an IT service catalog is critical to the success of your cloud initiative.
Here’s the description: remember what Napster did to the music industry? It changed the playing field. This webinar explores how cloud infrastructure is having a similar impact on business computing and, more importantly, how the lack of an intuitive, actionable service catalog can keep you from realizing the biggest benefits of the cloud.
That’s it for now, but stay tuned for more tips and conference optimizers to come.
Toll Free: 1-888-273-PINK