Monday, May 13, 2013
News From “Newco”!
I just received the attached document - a newsletter from “Newco” - with some answers to perceived FAQs around the recent announcement about “Best Management Practice”.
The newsletter requested recipients pass on this news - so here you are!
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Friday, April 26, 2013
No Change? No, Change!
ITIL & PRINCE2 Sold By UK Government To Capita - is this the opportunity we’ve been waiting for?
This morning we learned that the long awaited decision about who the UK’s Cabinet Office has chosen to enter into a joint venture partnership with for exploitation of Best Management Practice IP has been announced. Capita is a successful UK IT services organization who have a long track record of delivering education services to the IT industry. You can read the details of the announcement here and here.
Just a few days ago Capita - who have a history of acquisition as part of their growth strategy - bought out G2G3, a respected training organization specializing in business simulations in the area of IT Service Management.
To me, these two moves mean that the ITSM industry now has the opportunity to fully embrace the mission Pink has promoted for many years - to “Translate Knowledge Into Results”. To date, the ITIL & PRINCE2 training and certification “ecosystems” have been focused on delivering “foundation” and “expert” theory to the ITSM masses. Pink has been part of this too - as one of the world’s largest suppliers of ITIL education services. But our efforts to make ITIL training, in particular, more relevant and valuable through experiential learning instead of the “just sit down, shut up and listen” style of education has been extremely challenging.
The effectiveness of “learning by doing” instead of “learning by listening” is self-evident once you participate in experiential training sessions, like those provided by G2G3 and GamingWorks. Pink has worked with both of these organizations over the years, but because the official ITIL & PRINCE2 certification schemes have not (as yet!) embraced this type of learning, it’s been something of an uphill struggle. Despite the constant criticisms and faux pas over the years, the official certification schemes have such a lot of clout.
Ironically, the closest we ever got to experiential learning in ITIL was the original ITIL certification course - “The Service Manager”. The whole 10 days of training revolved around a simulation of an ITSM organization where participants role-played their way through the development and operation of the 10 core service management processes. Later iterations of ITIL certification courses dropped this approach for the more “chalk & talk” format of learning. So we now have hundreds of thousands of ITSM professionals around the world who know a lot about WHAT ITIL is, and few who know HOW to use it.
The timing of Capita’s acquisition of G2G3 - just days ahead of the announcement of the partnership with the Cabinet Office - looks to me like Capita may have their act together with a strategy for how to promote and deliver more valuable training in the ITSM field. I just hope I’ve read this correctly and am not setting myself up for a huge disappointment! (Fingers, toes and everything else crossable all crossed!)
While the official statement today states that it will be business as usual (so a HUGE sigh of relief from the existing Examination Institutes and Accredited Training Organizations) I can only see this being the case as long as it takes to develop and introduce new and more relevant training and certification offerings. I’m not being cynical here, but optimistic!
Watch this space.
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Thursday, March 22, 2012
A Few Videos From Pink12
Nice job by Barclay Rae in recording a few videos at the recent Pink Conference.
Here’s the one he did with me: http://www.itsmtv.co.uk/videos/view/pink-2012-david-ratcliffe-interview I remember this was recorded at around 6:00pm on the last full day of the Conference. I talked for a while about the Conference itself - how it has evolved over the past 16 years and what’s in store for the next couple of years. Plus my perspective on the opportunities - and need - for improved leadership in ITSM.
The IT Skeptic, Rob England: http://www.itsmtv.co.uk/videos/view/pink-2012-rob-england-interview believes that COBIT 5.0 will gain faster traction in ITSM in the USA because it’s invented there; as opposed to ITIL which was “not invented here”. He goes on to say that maybe that’s also why various ISO standards haven’t taken off in the USA. He’s really a big COBIT fan these days!
Ian Clayton: http://www.itsmtv.co.uk/videos/view/pink-2012-ian-clayton-interview tells us that the USMBOK (Universal Service Management Body Of Knowledge) is about to be published by TSO. He describes the need for us to take the next step in Service Management thinking. It’s not just about processes anymore, the primary focus needs to be “service” and “customer experience”.
John Custy: http://www.itsmtv.co.uk/videos/view/pink-2012-john-custy-interview is clearly as frustrated as me with the folks in our industry who spend too much time arguing about words and phrases in this book or that framework. Stop the semantics, we need to focus on the real issues! The work we do in ITSM, particularly the results. Everyone has the opportunity to do things differently (better) and contribute towards valuable outcomes.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2011
Pink Is Hiring In Asia!
We have a growing business and big plans for Pink in Asia. As a result we have the following vacancies:
- An Office Administrator based in our KL office.
- Business Development Managers based in Hong Kong and Singapore.
- Senior ITSM Management Consultants to serve our customers throughout Asia.
If you would like to apply for any of these positions please email your cv to our HR Department at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, September 22, 2011
BYOD - Our Newest ITSM Acronym
At last week’s 3rd Annual ITSM Conferences in KL & Singapore we kicked off by showing the Pink video “Are You Ready?” and I talked for a while about how today’s corporate IT departments need to show more awareness of risks and opportunities associated with changes in technology & services, otherwise their value- and even relevancy - could come into question by their business leaders. We supported the discussion by referring to the consumerization of IT infrastructure & services and how some organizations ARE keeping pace with this trend. For example, see this CIO article about Ford’s experiences and vision in this area.
Today my buddy George Spalding sent me this link to a New York Times article citing a Forrester report which states that almost half of the cell phones in use in business today were sourced by the employee and not corporate IT.
It’s interesting how the researcher describes the gradual erosion of RIM’s lead in this market as some employees prefer Android and Apple devices. RIM made a huge impact initially by checking all the boxes that corporate IT wanted in smart-phones (security, integration, etc). Then the newer alternates on the Android and iPhone platforms appealed directly to the end user by checking a different set of boxes (music, photos, videos, social media, touch-screens, etc)
BYOD (Bring Your Own Device to work) is the way of the future for many of us. It appeals to the employee AND the employer - if managed well.
Friday, May 13, 2011
Having Fun On The Radio Right Now!
Talking with Eve & Amanda.
Wednesday, November 04, 2009
Don’t Re-build ITIL - Just Fix The Cracks & Paint It
Do we really need a new edition of ITIL V3? If you really believe continual improvement is a good thing, then how can you answer with anything but a “yes”?
I think a lot of the furore (is that a real word - “furore”, or should it be “fear”?) is borne out of the frustration many people have with the huge number of errors in the first edition (of Version 3). As my grandmother used to say “two wrongs don’t make a right” - and that’s exactly what would happen if we backed away from the opportunity to improve on the first edition. The first edition was a “wrong”, and not fixing it would be a second “wrong”.
But hold on a second ....
Let’s fix the errors - it’s the least we can do, and I’m happy to provide Pinkers to assist with thorough proof reading leading to a much improved Version 3. But that’s all I think we should do - correct what’s already there. Yes I know ITIL could do a better job of describing this and that, but adding more to ITIL is going to be like painting the Golden Gate Bridge - it’ll never be finished. So I’m not so keen on lending resources to a project where Version 3 gets re-invented with new concepts and “better” explanations, etc. (but I’ve already blogged on this before, here, here and here).
Keep it simple. One step at a time. Don’t re-build the bridge, just fix the cracks and paint it.
Unfortunately, the way I’m seeing this update described, I think it’s going to be a sledge-hammer to crack a nut. Or a re-invention of the wheel. Pick your own cliche.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Thoughts On The “New Edition” of ITIL: Update
A few days ago I posted on this subject.
Since then I’ve had confirmation that the review of the change log that was done by Pierre Bernard can indeed be made available to anyone. You can find it here, on Pierre’s blog.
It’s such a shame that many of the “issues” were not eliminated before the original publication of the books, but let’s not cry over spilled milk. What’s important is that things get put right. However the scope of the “Mandate for Change” is a bit too wide for my liking. I’d settle for a single (shorter & simpler?) project of just fixing the errors & inconsistencies.
Thursday, September 24, 2009
17 Questions About the ITIL “New Edition” - Kudos to Pierre Bernard!
My Pink Buddy - Pierre Bernard - has been deeply involved in the ITIL V3 project since the very start.
First, as a major player in the development of the books themselves, as assistant to George Spalding & Gary Case in writing the CSI book while at the same time providing reviewer feedback on a couple of the other books.
Then, when it was decided to re-develop the certification scheme to go along with the new books - he was Pink’s representative in helping to shape the scheme. Since then, as a Senior Examiner he’s been busy writing and reviewing exam questions.
So the announcement last week that V3 is due for a “New Edition” means as much to Pierre as it does to anyone else. As usual with Pierre, he doesn’t do things by halves. So as he started to think about what the “New Edition” project might mean he ended up compiling a list of questions that we probably would all like to hear the answers to. You can see those questions at Pierre’s blog.
For me, I’m intrigued to know the answers to two of those questions right away - #8 and #9.
When will the “New Edition” be published?
And how might the exams be affected?
If you hear the answers before me - please let me know!
Monday, September 21, 2009
ITIL Software Scheme Goes Into Pilot Stage
You may have already heard about APM Group’s plans to launch an official ITIL software assessment scheme. Today an announcement was made explaining that this scheme is about to enter the “pilot stage”, and potential “Licensed Software Assessors” are invited to contact APM Group.
At Pink we have had the industry’s only ITIL software assessment scheme for over 10 years - PinkVERIFY. There are plenty of previous posts from me here explaining how PinkVERIFY works and why we do it. (For even more information you’re welcome to view the PinkVERIFY pages on our main website.) So what does APM Group’s announcement mean for Pink, and PinkVERIFY in particular?
There has certainly been some buzz from industry observers in recent weeks as people tried to understand what APM Group was doing, and why. Why launch a software assessment scheme competitive to PinkVERIFY? The short answer is - it’s not. It’s actually an accreditation scheme where firms like Pink who have an ITIL software assessment service can have their service accredited by APM Group.
If you’re still not sure how this will work - here’s a very appropriate analogy. What will happen is the same as what happened years ago with training courses. Pink Elephant developed the very first ITIL course in 1992. But soon afterwards other organizations developed their own ITIL courses and the exam bodies made sure that a minimum standard was met for these courses by introducing an accreditation scheme - hence we now have ATOs (Accredited Training Organizations). So if you’re looking for training then chose an ATO and you have some confidence that you’ll be buying a decent product. It’s the exact same thing we have here with the ITIL software assessment scheme. APM Group are providing an accreditation service for anyone who wants to assess software as being ITIL compatible. Meet APM Group’s requirements and you can become an LSA (Licensed Software Assessor). Up until this year, PinkVERIFY has been the only such scheme in existence. But APM Group’s initiative allows for other organizations to develop their own PinkVERIFY-type of service and APM Group will accredit them, ensuring that all such schemes meet at least a minimum acceptable standard.
So PinkVERIFY is not going away. We have recently been in discussions with APM Group to have Pink, and PinkVERIFY, accredited within this new scheme. There were only a small number of changes we have made to the PinkVERIFY criteria and method - and so we’re ready to go! Going forward, any software product that satisfies the requirements for PinkVERIFY will also qualify for the APM Group’s “ITIL swirl”.
This is good news for everyone. And we’re very proud and pleased that APM Group has recognized the work that we’d done over the past 10 years with PinkVERIFY - there are currently dozens of products on the PinkVERIFY list. We’re looking forward to working with existing PinkVERIFY vendors to validate that their products qualify to have the “ITIL swirl” added as an additional “badge of approval”. Watch this space for more updates very soon.
(This post was updated on September 24 to clarify one statement in the penultimate paragraph).
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Sunday, September 20, 2009
Thoughts On The “New Edition” of ITIL
My PinkBUDDY, Pierre Bernard, has done a deep analysis of the ITIL change log and has identified well over 400 “issues”. He’s further documented them into an Excel spreadsheet highlighting not only what they are, but also which books they pertain to. I am not sure if he is permitted to publish this document publicly, but if anyone is interested I’ll check and see if it can be made available.
I’ve read on the blogosphere that some cynics believe that ATOs are rubbing their hands together about the revision because it allows them to sell more courses. For anyone who truly believes this - check your naivety. We’ve just spent nearly 2 years developing - and re-developing - a ton of courses in support of this needlessly complex and confusing certification scheme (f you’ve missed what I think of the current ITIL certification scheme, check back in the archives of this blog). The last thing we want is to have to do yet another re-work. It will have to be done, of course, because everything needs to be in alignment. Just a shame these errors and inconsistencies weren’t identified at the outset through a decent QA. Come to think of it - everyone and their dog seemed to be listed in the acknowledgements section of the books - credited with performing various types of review. What the heck were they doing!!
So, the $64m question has to be - how did a product like ITIL get released with so many imperfections? OK - I don’t expect to hear anyone attempt to answer this because it will mean pointing fingers and assigning blame. I can tell you this, though, if we ever delivered work of this standard to a customer, we would expect to be drawn into compensation discussions fairly quickly.
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Tuesday, June 23, 2009
What To Do When There’s No Budget?
Thanks to Michelle Lange for bringing this article to my attention. It’s by Denise Dubie of Network World.
Denise quotes a Forrester research report that states - contrary to conventional wisdom - ITIL adoption is NOT on the increase when budgets are tight. We should normally expect to see organizations gravitating to frameworks like ITIL in order to make the process improvements that result in greater visibility of costs & deficiencies (incidents & problems) while promoting optimized IT service quality, and the business being enabled by IT to save money and/or grow revenues. It’s at times like this that ITIL should come into its own. So why are organizations stalling?
Here’s my two cents.
Adopting ITIL, or “Implementing ITIL” as some people like to say (but not me- see my other posts on this subject!) is viewed by many people as a big project you do because - well, “.... ITIL’s chock-full of mostly common sense, so what do we have to think about? Let’s get going!” In fact the rich organizations (especially in better times) will say something like “This sounds great - let’s have ITIL! How much does it cost and who do I make the cheque out to?”
OK, maybe I’m being just a tad flippant here, but my point is that I don’t believe there’s enough thought and planning goes into the typical “ITIL project”. Cost/benefit and risk analysis are bypassed in favour of the “common sense justification”. “If it’s such a good idea - let’s just do it, especially when we have money in the budget!”
Fast forward to late 2008 & 2009 and those budgets are tightened up. Now, before the IT folks go ask for funds, they have to really think about what direct business benefits the organization can expect to derive from ITIL. And that’s a big challenge right there. IT organizations that have not yet started working according to ITIL are most likely quite immature - that means they’re pre-occupied with the nerdy world of IT infrastructure management, or at best IT systems management. It’s going to be really tough for them to show much benefit from this thing called ITIL. ITIL’s all about “IT service management” and they’re not thinking “service” yet. Honestly, they’re not. They talk a lot about “service”, sure, but they’re still managing boxes and measuring throughput of data. Business outcomes are the furthest thing from their mind! Here’s the test, ask an IT person in an insurance company to tell you what their job might be. In these infrastructure/systems focused organizations you’ll hear “I’m a network analyst”, you won’t hear them say “my job’s to help the organization sell insurance policies”.
So, it’s something of a chicken & egg problem. Until people REALLY understand what we mean by IT service management, and until they can explain how ITIL can REALLY help a business to control costs and grow revenues or market share (whatever the corporate objectives might be) then getting started on an ITIL project when budgets are tight is always going to be a huge challenge.
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Friday, May 15, 2009
Now You Can Follow The ITIL Experts on Twitter!
Thursday, May 14, 2009
Can Twitter Work For You?
Check out this neat article by Diane Hessan about her experience with Twitter.
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
ITIL Improvements: Doing Less With Less????
I did a double-take when I saw an article in IT World this morning - “16 IT Strategies To Do Less With Less”. The headline seemed a bit odd, but once I started reading the article I got the picture. It describes the need - in times of budget cuts - to accurately identify redundant activities.
It reminded me of a story I sometimes tell from many, many years ago when I used to have a “real” job as an IT manager. We had a capacity problem in relation to printing. Quite simply we couldn’t print reports fast enough for some of our key users - department managers who were responsible for queuing up production in the factory. Every Monday morning the IT printed production schedules were almost always late to be dispatched. These reports were huge - many hundreds of pages - and so it took my team hours to print on those old printers we had in the 80s. I felt that all I could do was put together a purchase justification for more printers - a relatively expense option in those days. Then one day I found myself in an ad-hoc meeting in the office of one of our most disgruntled users - just as the weekly production schedules were arriving on a dolly cart. As the manager made his sarcastic remark about how late they reports were arriving I observed how he tore off the last few pages of a 700 page report and proceeded to march off to his production meeting. I just had time to challenge him by saying “Hold on - you mean you only need those last few pages?” Well you can fill in the rest of the story yourself. Suffice to say, we were never late again with those reports.
That was a valuable lesson that’s stuck with me all these years. No matter how much we TALK about customer needs, there’s no substitute for actually WATCHING how a customer actually uses the service.