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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

If you're interested in what we're doing here at Pink Elephant, then feel free to post a comment - I'll do my best to respond as quickly as I can.


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    Recent Entries

    Silly Stuff

    Tuesday, February 24, 2015

    Stunt Of The Week At Pink15

    We got up to some silly stunts at last week’s Conference - but this was the one that will stick in my mind the most!

    George Spalding - what were you thinking?!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/24 at 11:14 AM
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    Friday, March 01, 2013

    Most Frequent Searches On This Blog

    Every now and again I peek behind the curtain to see what people are looking for when they come to this blog. I thought you might be interested to see a handful of the most recent:







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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 03/01 at 04:50 PM
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    Thursday, June 07, 2012

    The Great Pink Jelly Bean Contest!

    Take a look at the two pictures of a jar on my desk filled with pink & blue jelly beans. How many jelly beans do you think it took to fill the jar?

    Go on - take a guess! Or do some math and work it out, after all you have a side view and a top down view.

    Post a comment right here on my blog with your answer, or tweet it with the #PINKCONTEST hashtag.

    I’ll close the contest at 3:00pm EDT on Friday June 15. Whoever gets the closest to the right answer will win a VERY SPECIAL prize!

    Go on - join in the Pink fun!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 06/07 at 06:03 PM
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    Wednesday, June 22, 2011

    Elvis Pinky Has Left The Building!

    If you’ve ever attended our international conferences in February each year you’ll no doubt treasure your special edition Pinky! We’ve been producing them for about 10 years now and they’re always a closely guarded secret until you show up at the event and are given one in your tote bag. For 2012 our marketing team were very proud of what they had planned. Pinky as Elvis in one of his classic poses. Dressed in a silver one piece outfit with the wide collar, the dipping hair quiff and holding the mic up high - Pinky looks absolutely spectacular!

    You’re probably wondering why I’m giving the game away on one of our most closely guarded secrets. Well, we had a mock-up made out of clay and it was shown to the folks who manage Elvis’ estate - just to be sure they were OK with everything. Oh-oh!

    Unfortunately you’re never going to get to see it. I can’t even post a picture here (unless I’m prepared to run the gauntlet of the powers-that-be and their legal team at Graceland). Here’s what Priscilla Presley had to say about or planned special edition Pinky for 2012:

    “We are very protective of Elvis’ image, and we would never allow him to be portrayed as an elephant, much less a pink one.  While we are appreciative of the humor in your product, elephants are often associated with obesity, and pink elephants often associated with drinking, neither of which are images we would like associated with Elvis. I hope you understand our position.”

    Ah well, back to the drawing board. Ideas, anyone?

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 06/22 at 11:41 AM
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    Tuesday, December 08, 2009

    An ITIL Christmas In Malaysia!

    George Spalding and I finished the Pink Perspective in Kuala Lumpur today and then went for a walk across the road ....

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 12/08 at 10:06 AM
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    Sunday, December 06, 2009

    A Lesson in Capacity Management in Singapore’s Sim Lim Square

    As usual, when they’ve got time to spare on a Sunday afternoon in Singapore - where else would a couple of geeks find themselves but in Sim Lim Square. The Tech Mall to top all Tech Malls. Somewhere on the 3rd or 4th (or was it the 5th or 6th) floor, George Spalding and I found a little store with every possible size of portable disk drive. Check out the video and see for yourself.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 12/06 at 03:11 AM
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    Tuesday, October 06, 2009

    We Can Have Fun With ITSM - But Watch Out, “Da Ali G” Of ITIL’s About!

    Seems we’re surrounded by disclaimers these days. Whether it’s McDonalds advising you that their coffee is actually hot (thank goodness!) or the airlines telling you to wear your seat belt because there might be turbulence (”... and for those of you who haven’t been in a car since about 1964, you insert the clip into the buckle like this ....”) - well now it’s our turn!

    Yes, disclaimers have arrived in the world of ITSM blogs.

    I’m referring to the IT Skeptic’s new initiative - “The ITIL Wizard”. I’m sure many of you are already familiar with the IT Skeptic’s blog - providing lively discussion (no arguments, just healthy debate) about the dos, don’ts and politics of ITSM. His latest venture - The ITIL Wizard - is a spoof(-ish) Agony Aunt column intended as just a neat little diversion from the more mundane world of hard facts and strong opinions. The ITIL Wizard invites his readers to send in their most pressing questions about life with ITSM, giving Mr Skep the opportunity to weave large doses of wit, irony & silliness into his answers. And who can blame him for that? It’s always good when we can lighten things up, right?

    Oh if only life was so simple! Seems like some folks are taking his “advice” too much to heart.

    “No, no - it’s just a bit of fun!” After just a few days of starting the new Wizard “service” The IT Skeptic has had to post this note:

    Please be aware that The ITIL Wizard is satire. It is not meant to be taken seriously, it should not be used as advice on ITIL or anything else, it is frequently wrong (though occasionally alarmingly right).

    Here’s a sample:

    Dear Wiz

    I hear ITIL is just a blend of TQM and PRINCE2. Is that right?

    I’m sitting the ITIL exams soon and the answer to this might help me.

    Bill Denk
    Experienced ITIL Consultant

    Dear Bill

    Yes, pretty much. There are bits of the old IBM red books thrown in there too for operations stuff, but mostly it is just TQM. Every ITIL process in the books is built around the Demming Cycle of Plan-Check-Do-Act. There’s a whole book on that: Continuous Service Improvement, though it somehow makes the four steps into seven and the diagrams show it as eight so I’m a bit confused about that aspect.

    And as you say, the rest basically comes from PRINCE2, or so I gather. They are both created by OGC (that’s the British Government’s Office of Government Computing) so that would make sense.

    Good luck
    The ITIL Wizard

    As you can see, you need to take The ITIL Wizard’s advice with a hefty pinch of salt (make that a bucket-load). Even though the example I showed is fairly short and sweet (!) I started counting the “errors” in the Wiz’s reply and ran out of fingers on my hand! Great stuff!

    I guess Mr Skep knew he was in trouble when smart consultant types started posting comments to earnestly correct some of the Wizard’s bad advice! I won’t show any of those examples - you’ll have to go visit The ITIL Wizard pages yourself!

    This all reminds me of “Da Ali G Show” - but in reverse (see this video of Ali G interviewing Shaquille O’Neal and you’ll see what I mean). Ali G likes to ask silly questions and make outrageous comments, but in an earnest style, trying to solicit serious answers from people who haven’t yet tumbled to the ruse. With the Wizard we have reasonable questions soliciting silly responses delivered authoritatively.

    Getting back to the disclaimer idea - I guess I need to say that what I’ve written here should in no way be construed as criticism of The IT Skeptic. Mr Skep is doing a fine job, it’s that Wizard guy we have to keep a close eye on!


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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 10/06 at 01:47 PM
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    Thursday, September 17, 2009

    ITSM Fashion Tips

    Just noticed that the top trending topic on Twitter is #WhatNotToWear.

    OK, so now I can get these off my chest! I can imagine a few people in the office and in my family who’ll think it’s a real hoot that I’m giving fashion advice, but these have been bugging me for years.

    Men - please - no brown belt and black shoes, or black belt and brown shoes.

    Men - please - no ties with a logo shirt.

    Everyone - please - no socks with sandals! The whole point of sandals is the air - think about it!

    Boys (and some men) - please - underwear goes inside the pants. That’s why it’s called UNDERwear!

    Finally, when you show up at a meeting with Adidas, don’t wear Puma (and vice versa). Believe me, it doesn’t work out too well - I know from personal experience!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/17 at 12:40 AM
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    Thursday, September 03, 2009

    Translation - Please!

    Yesterday I received an e-notice about an IT conference that was new to me (I had not seen or heard of it before). So I sent the link to two of my Pink buddies - George & Troy - to ask for their opinions as to whether we should be represented at this event. Troy replied ....

    I would love to meet the marketing people who came up with this quote from the main page:

    “Consequently, efforts will be done in order to promote and to foster the analogical thinking required by the Systems Approach for interdisciplinary cross-fertilization, “epistemic things” generation and “technical objects” production.”

    This event sounds like a real hoot!

    A complementary Pinky to anyone who can help me to translate this into English (I have to keep abreast of what’s going on in the industry, you know).

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/03 at 09:15 AM
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    Tuesday, September 01, 2009

    My World Of ITSM Really Can Be Fun - Sometimes

    Two things happened today that made me stop and literally laugh out loud. I don’t think I’m particularly dry and boring - but laughing out loud is not something I do very often when I’m sitting alone in my office. (It’s mainly done by people who have to sit here with me and listen to my latest “good idea”). So dear reader, here’s what got me going:

    1. The Capability Immaturity Model (that’s right, I said “Capability Immaturity Model”) You can check it out yourself here on wikipedia.

    2. Woofer. A Twitter-like social media application - but for those of us who need more than 140 bytes to work with. (If you’re not yet tweeting then maybe you don’t know that Twitter restricts all message to a maximum of 140 characters). I got a bit excited about the potential for Woofer - until I found out that .... well, you can see for yourself what happened when I tried to write my first woof.

    It’s still only 4:00pm - that means there’s plenty of time for a 3rd LOL of the day.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/01 at 04:02 PM
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