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David Ratcliffe, President, Pink Elephant

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    Wednesday, February 06, 2013

    What’s The First “Thing” You Have To Get Right In ITSM?

    We talk a lot about “business/IT alignment” (or “business/IT integration” - whatever!) The reason for this is because it makes sense to assure ourselves that ITSM practices are relevant and valued.

    As a starting point I’d like to suggest a little thinking exercise (it’s a good idea to stop and think from time to time, right?) So think on this, and answer this question ....... what is the first “thing"ITSM must achieve in your business? I’ve listed 10 possible answers below. Can you chose THE most important objective for YOUR organization? Maybe it isn’t even in my list!

    1. Is it to resolve incidents and problems quickly?

    2. Is it to expedite changes quickly, with a high success rate?

    3. Is it to keep the lights on with a high % of availability?

    4. Is it to reduce the overall number of outages (reliability)?

    5. Is it to be available to support customers at times when they need assistance?

    6. Is it to directly help the business generate more revenues?

    7. Is it to reduce costs?

    8. Is it to secure data?

    9. Is it to increase efficiency and productivity out in the business?

    10. Is it to help the business grow?

    I can imagine you’re thinking “Yes - it’s all of those things!” But which is the most important? Is it possible to identify what’s most important? Is it even helpful to do so?

    I think it is, because no matter how well you do SOME things, there’s often an initial objective that must be met before all others become relevant.

    I’ll tell you why I’ve been pondering this. Elsewhere I’ve been asking myself the same question - to see if, as a customer, I can identify what’s most important to me when choosing (and paying) a service provider. This was all prompted by a book I read just last week written by Christopher Hitchens called “Mortality”. It was his last book. In it he described the healthcare he was receiving after being diagnosed with a terminal illness. You may say that the most important criterion would be something like:

    Being treated by the best doctors.

    Or, being provided a choice of treatment options.

    Or, having access to the most effective treatments.

    Or, the most affordable treatment.

    Or, a treatment regimen that doesn’t impinge too much on your quality of your life.

    For me, in that situation, it would be have to be speed of access to services. The reason for this is because it doesn’t matter how good, or how cheap or how affective the treatments may be - if there’s too long of a delay before getting started ....... well, you know ......!

    Here’s a few more examples:

    Choosing A Restaurant.
    There’s lots of criteria to assess, but for me the #1 is whether I feel safe eating there. Is it clean and no risk to my health? If I look through the window and don’t get a good feeling for how clean the place is, then I don’t care about the plaudits, or the quality of food, or the value for money, or the ambiance, etc.

    Choosing An Airline
    Usually the in-flight announcements say “Safety is our #1 priority ...” and I’m always glad to hear that. But to be honest, I assume that most airlines operate to similar safety standards, so the #1 selection criterion for me is “Do they fly to the place I want to go on the day and time I want to travel?” Some people might make the cost of the ticket the #1 priority, and I can understand that, but often there’s not a lot of difference in fares because it’s so competitive. So I gravitate to the schedule when making my decision. Sure, I compare one airline against another in areas of seat comfort, food & beverage service, customer service, rewards program, etc. But whoever goes to my destination on days & times closest to what I need usually gets my business.

    Choosing A Supermarket
    Being just around the corner is not good enough. Advertising the lowest prices isn’t that big a deal either. What does attract my scrutiny is the quality of the non-brand name produce and how well it’s prepared, packaged and presented. The store has to have stuff that looks appealing (and safe!) to me. I react positively to fresh, healthy food presented in an attractive way. I’ll even pay a little extra for that. I’m glad to see that most of the big supermarket chains are doing better and better in this area, but I still have my favourites!

    So, what do you think the first “thing” is you have to get right in ITSM?

    (1) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/06 at 09:22 AM
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    Tuesday, November 27, 2012

    My 1, 2, 3 of IT Service Management

    It seems to be something about human nature that we’re always seeking quick and easy solutions to our problems. We prefer not to admit that some challenges are complex and need a lot of consideration. Instead we get sucked into the idea that there must be a simple “flick of a switch” solution. The so-called “Magic Bullet”.

    The world of IT Service Management is no different. Sourcing an eclectic mix of infrastructure and applications and managing it all with close to 100% availability and reliability. Oh - and do it for less than what it cost last year!

    That’s a complex challenge, right?

    No - it’ll be quick and easy if we just buy this state-of-the-art ITSM tool; or if we implement a best practice process framework (such as ITIL). Better still - buy one of those tools that come with ITIL out-of-the-box. (“I’ll have that big tool over there, and a pound of ITIL please!”) Problem solved!

    Problem solved?

    Those Magic Bullets never work. What does work is the hard graft of making sure those working in ITSM know:

    • What the business needs from IT; so we know what’s important, and what isn’t.
    • Which IT objectives and priorities truly enable the business; so we know what activities we should be focused on.
    • The ITSM metrics that really help; so we know when we’re on track.
    • What everyone’s responsibilities are; so we know how we can work together effectively.
    • How to deal with out of order situations; so we can keep things going when we’re under stress.
    • The policies and procedures that govern our decisions; so we can apply them, or not, with confidence.

    Notice everything I’ve just said is not dependent solely on which tool we use. Tools help with productivity and consistency, but they don’t always drive the right thinking or the right behaviour. Same goes for Processes. A well documented process will guide us to be efficient and consistent, but doesn’t help much when it comes to understanding WHY we need to do something. This is where good communication and thinking skills come in.

    The most valuable variable in any ITSM organization is the quality of the People. Enabling people is more about giving them intangibles like knowledge, time and support than fancy tools & techniques.

    I remember a survey of business managers a few years ago asked the question “When your staff under-perform, what are the reasons?”

    The answers were not “They don’t have the right Tools” or “They’re working with no Processes”. The actual answers were startling:

    • They don’t know what they’re supposed to be doing.
    • They don’t know why they should be doing it.
    • They don’t know how to do it.
    • They don’t know when they’re doing it wrong.
    • They work on the wrong things.

    Seems like there’s a bigger management and leadership problem than a staff problem.

    IT Service Management, like many other business functions, is all about leading and managing people. That is, providing an understanding of the purpose of ITSM and truly enabling people to be successful.

    Sure, Tools and Processes have important roles to play, especially today when we’re trying to be so super-productive and avoid repeating errors. But it’s the People on your team who do the day-to-day thinking, make the decisions, produce the plans, prioritize activities, deal with out-of-order situations and ultimately deliver worthwhile outcomes. So, if you’re an IT leader, you need to enable them with knowledge, time and your support as well as tools and instructions.

    By the way, I regularly see references to the “PPT of ITSM”, where PPT = People, Processes & Tools. My version looks like this:

    1. IT Leaders
    2. IT Staff
    3. Everything else (Tools & Processes)

    smile

    (1) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 11/27 at 02:51 PM
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    Tuesday, October 16, 2012

    Plenty Of Opportunities For More Customer Service Training!

    Sometimes, after being in the education & Consulting industry for over 25 years, I wonder if we still need to teach people the basics of stuff like customer service. After all, there’s hundreds of books, courses, blogs and conferences dedicated to this subject. Surely everyone who needs to demonstrate good customer service knows how it should be done?

    Apparently not!

    As I boarded my United Airlines flight to Mexico City the other day I was greeted at the plane door by a surly Flight Attendant who took one look at my small carry-on bag and snarled “I’m gonna need you to check that bag.” I have traveled all over the world with this bag and never once been asked to check it. It fits easily in either the overhead bin or under the seat. So my immediate response - in a soft, pleading tone - was “Oh really? Are you sure I can’t fit it in?” What I heard next was nothing short of stunning to me.

    “What is it about “I’m gonna need you to check that bag” you don’t understand”?

    Really! Is there any need for such un-called for rudeness?

    This is just a simple example of how it doesn’t matter what expensive tools, training, processes, websites, apps or gadgets a company might to chose to invest in, if the people working there have a poor attitude - the whole service thing just falls apart. It’s all about people.

    (0) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 10/16 at 06:41 PM
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    Thursday, February 02, 2012

    The IT Manager Says The Fighter Jet Can’t Take Off

    I just received a wonderful note from my Pinker colleague, Alan McCarthy, who’s based in our UK office. He tells a brief story that begins at the itSMF UK Conference at the end of last year; flashes back to his work experience at British Aerospace in the 1970s; then culminates in referencing “Pink12” - our 16th Annual International ITSM Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas next month. All in less than 2 pages!

    His story is extremely compelling. It’s about how he observes the same mistakes being made by our ITSM leaders TODAY that were made over 40 years ago in the 1970s. What a depressing thought. Anyway, his examples are spot on. But I won’t steal any of his thunder here - please read his story for yourself.

    Are_We_Ever_Going_To_Change.pdf

    So - the challenge is there! Are we going to change, or not? I profess that we need to look to our ITSM Leaders to take responsibility for the problem that Alan describes. Here at Pink the issue of ITSM leadership is a major theme of the research and work we plan to do over the next 12 months and beyond. If you have any thoughts on the strengths & weaknesses of ITSM leadership today, I’d love to hear from you - please post a comment.

    (3) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 02/02 at 09:11 AM
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    Wednesday, January 11, 2012

    My Top 12 Tips For Developing Good Conference Presentations.

    The past few weeks I’ve had my head down working on programs for Pink events later this year (and even for 2013!) - as well as reviewing some of the presentations we have lined up for PINK12 (the 16th Annual ITSM Conference & Exhibition in Las Vegas next month.

    I was even cheeky enough to give some “constructive feedback” to our Pinker speakers for PINK12. That made me think it might be a good idea to publish some of my opinions on what I think makes a good conference presentation. What you’ll see in the attached file is some advice that I’m sure you’d also get from many other people in the conference business - but I’ve also included one or two pet peeves of mine. Please try to avoid those if you see me in your audience!

    Anyway, I’m publishing my tips here in PowerPoint format - so it’s easy for you to scroll through in slideshow mode. If you have additional tips you’d like to pass on, please put them in a Comment right here.

    My_Top_Twelve_Tips_For_Developing_Good_Conference_Presentations.ppt

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 01/11 at 05:29 PM
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    Wednesday, April 27, 2011

    Experiential Learning: Translating Knowledge Into Results

    When a concept is simple to grasp then I believe there’s a greater likelihood it will be embraced.

    One such example is the Kirkpatrick Model for evaluating training programs. How can you argue with this:

    A “Level 1” learning experience is where the student REACTS positively to training.

    A “Level 2” learning experience is where the student actually ACQUIRES new knowledge or skills.

    A “Level 3” learning experience is where the student actually goes back to work and CHANGES their behaviour.

    A “Level 4” learning experience is where the student’s new behaviour IMPACTS the business in a positive and measurable way.

    Here at Pink we’re undertaking a review of all of our education products to ensure we go beyond levels 1 & 2. So, if I can paraphrase Don Kirkpatrick and translate his levels into ITSM-speak, here’s how it could read:

    Level 1
    Students might rate a classroom training course or a conference presentation as “very good” simply because they were engaged and had an enjoyable experience. I think this sort of thing happens a LOT, especially where a speaker is knowledgeable about a subject and engages with an audience that is not under any great pressure or motivation to change anything once the session is over.

    Level 2
    At the end of a training session the student takes an exam to prove they absorbed and learned something. I believe the ITIL Foundation experience for many students achieves no more than this outcome.

    Level 3
    At the end of a training session the student may, or may not, take an exam - but they are more capable of changing things for the better once they return to work. This is certainly what should come out of an ITIL Intermediate course, and I believe there’s no reason a good ITIL Foundation course shouldn’t be able to reach this level too. Unfortunately, the objective for many students entering an ITIL Foundation class is just to pass the exam, and it’s easy for the Trainer to settle for that too.

    Level 4
    At the end of a training session the student returns to work with new behaviours and action items AND is able to put them into practice to deliver positive outcomes enabling FUNCTIONAL - or ideally BUSINESS - objectives.

    It’s not that we don’t want to see Level & Level 2 outcomes - we do. But we want to see Level 3 and Level 4 outcomes in addition to the enjoyment of the experience and certification. I believe this is best achieved by incorporating some type of “experiential learning” (or business simulation) in training sessions. Check out Pink’s newly enhanced classroom ITIL Foundation course to see what I mean.

     

    (13) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 04/27 at 02:33 PM
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    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.

    (1) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 11/04 at 04:36 PM
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    Tuesday, November 03, 2009

    Project Planning v Annual Business Planning

    Make sure you do a good job of project planning - how can you argue against that? Absolutely - don’t go into major infrastructure or service changes without a plan that will contain risks and guide you to a successful conclusion. OK.

    But annual business planning? The text books will tell you this is important and valuable too. But my experience in this millennium is far from consistent with that view. At Pink we start our annual business planning in earnest in early September and usually have most important decisions and a budget wrapped up by late November. Of course, come January the real work starts as we then manage the business with the annual business plan front and centre as a reference. Sounds straight-forward, eh? Let’s look at the reality ...

    In 2001 we showed up one Tuesday morning to have our first group management meeting on business planning for 2002. After about 30-40 minutes we broke up the meeting and spent the next couple of hours watching TV. Oh, I forgot to mention - that was Tuesday September 11, 2001. The next few weeks and months we had no idea what to expect in 2002. All we could do was focus on what we could control (the Strengths & Weaknesses of the SWOT), but we had no idea what the world was going to be doing around us. What we did see quite quickly was that no one was keen to travel to public classes. And some competitors in our industry either went to the wall or booked heavy losses.

    Things were relatively predictable and manageable in the 4 years following 2004. But then in 2006 we started our annual business planning around the same time of year again, and in the back of our minds was the fact that we were in the middle of a major re-write of ITIL. Little did we know what to expect closer to the launch date. But we were going to find out, rather inconveniently, right after we finished our annual business planning. In January 2007 we started to hear whispers about a new ITIL certification scheme, and it was going to be launched at the same time as the new books - in June. Thanks for the heads-up, you guys! We were well into the new year before realizing (being told, actually) that we had to re-develop most of our education portfolio, and start launching it at the end of Q2! Just in case you’re not following me here - 2007 was a bit of a dog’s breakfast compared to what we had planned.

    Then, within a few months of the launch of ITIL V3 we started our planning for the following year. Problem was, we were now in the middle of “The Great ITIL V2-V3 Transition Scare of 2007”. Trying to predict levels of business for new products that The Powers That Be hadn’t even fully defined yet was “think of a number time”. We’d have done just as well with a dart board or even a stray dog barking out numbers. Funny? No.

    Fast forward to September last year and we started planning for 2009. The economy is in meltdown and .... well you know the rest.

    What’s the point!!

    Of course annual business planning involves not just making decisions about what you want to do - things within your control. But also trying your best to be ready to navigate around the outside forces - which are beyond your control. In the years I’ve mentioned it’s clear that outside forces enjoyed a disproportionate amount of our attention. That was 4 out of the last 8 years we were thrown serious curve balls. A ratio like I’ve never seen over my 30 years in the business.

    So here’s my plea to that Great Program Manager in the Sky. For 2010, please, please, give us a break!

    (2) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 11/03 at 05:57 PM
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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.

    (2) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/20 at 06:58 AM
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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!

    (3) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 09/17 at 12:40 AM
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    Thursday, August 27, 2009

    “Alignment or Integration” & “Compliant or Compatible” - These Are NOT Just Semantic Arguments!

    This morning on the TwitterBlogosphere (sorry - I agree we need a shorter, sweeter word here. It will come, I’m sure, but for now I’m stuck with TwitterBlogosphere!) there were a number of discussions which really caught my attention. They highlighted for me how a particular choice of words can indicate a poor understanding of the context - ITIL/ITSM, or even just an immature thinking process. I offer (for your delight!) some optimum terminology that I would respectfully suggest we all get into the habit of using in ITSM.

    First - “Business/IT Alignment”. That’s not what it’s about. It’s “Business/IT Integration”! If IT is “aligned” with the business that means it’s separate and is trying to line up. IT is not a separate entity from the business, it’s PART of the business. So IT better get itself properly integrated into the business, not aligned. IT needs to be aware of business objectives and then make sure that IT services enable and support those business objectives. Stop saying “Business/IT alignment”!

    Secondly - Such-and-such is “compliant” to ITIL. No it can’t be! I don’t care what it is (usually we talk about tools in this context) but you cannot be compliant to some good ideas and recommendations - which is all ITIL is really. But you can be “compatible” to ITIL. (For a more complete explanation of “compliance” vs. “compatible” see the PinkVERIFY page at our main website.) And for those of you like to churn out the “oh, it’s just semantics!” argument and simply refuse to believe that these two words are not synonyms of each other, I’ll give you my favourite analogy. When you’re looking for a life partner are you looking for someone who’ll be compliant, or someone compatible? See - there’s a BIG difference!

    (23) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/27 at 12:10 PM
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    Wednesday, August 26, 2009

    Managing Mobile Computing & Social Media - Implications for ITSM?

    One of the purposes of a mature IT Service Management operation is to secure and gain control of your valuable assets in IT. That would include many things, but especially hardware, software & data. (There are other purposes for ITSM, of course, such as clarifying roles, delivering fit-for-purpose IT services, etc. etc. but for now I’m thinking particularly of that aspect of ITSM where we need to secure our assets, and especially corporate data).

    A few years ago we started to get nervous when people began using PDAs to carry around corporate data, often in an insecure way. What were the implications for ITSM? I don’t remember we did much about that, other than try to close the door after the horse had bolted. “No data can be hosted off-site”. Right, but what about all those gigabytes on all those belts and in those purses? Same thing with people working from home, synchronizing their email and who knows what else on the family PC.

    It used to be just email and then static Web 1.0 websites - at least they were under quite strict control, usually with some bureaucratic (but effective) change control. But then fast forward a few short years and along came Web 2.0 and stuff like blogs have become commonplace, in fact almost required tools for many businesses (hence the reason I’m typing this right now!) Now we have people chit-chatting with customers, peers and even competitors in quite off-hand ways on the various social media sites - often exchanging ideas and possibly even corporate secrets. So I ask the question again - what are the implications for ITSM? Do we have a responsibility to set some parameters for interacting on the Web? As web-enabled tools become easier and easier to use, and more and more powerful - are we just assuming everything will take care of itself? Or are we asleep at the ITSM wheel yet again?

    Of course I’m not saying that we should be closing down these applications, just wondering whether there’s more we should be doing to protect our corporate assets and more fully leverage the benefits of new technologies. Looking back at the relatively more secure datacenter world of the 70s & 80s (where ITIL V1 really did provide something much closer to a comprehensive blueprint for managing those more “fixed” IT resources than ITIL V3 does today) life in ITSM seemed like it was a real piece of cake compared to now. Which, of course it was! Seems to me we’ve just kept looking the other way as mobile computing, then Web 2.0 technologies and more lately social media applications have appeared to sneak up on us - no questions asked! But they didn’t sneak up on us at all, I just think most of us have simply not been smart enough to spot the implications soon enough. So we did what’s easiest - nothing.

    It can never be too late to incorporate this new IT culture into ITSM (social media as IT services?)

    Oh, oh - ITIL V4? I think I’d better stop now!

    Your thoughts?

    (1) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 08/26 at 03:51 PM
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    Monday, July 20, 2009

    The Problem With Problem Management

    Following on from my recent blog posts and tweets on this subject, I think I’d like to dig-in some more.

    I’m noodling with the idea of presenting a session at next February’s Annual Conference to:

    1) remind us of the methods and benefits of “proactive problem management”, and

    2) try to find out what proportion of organizations are really doing this; as well as why many organizations (I believe - the majority) are not.

    If you have thoughts on this in the meantime - feel free to pass them on. Even better, if you’re planning to be at the Conference and you’re willing to be interviewed by me on this subject - let me know.

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 07/20 at 09:00 AM
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    Monday, June 22, 2009

    Properly Planned ITIL Education

    I just read a blog post by The ITIL Skeptic where he describes - (in his trademark blunt style!) - how many organizations waste money on ITIL education.

    That’s not because ALL ITIL education is worthless, just that it should be properly planned - especially who needs what, when and why. I couldn’t agree more. That’s been the theme of my rant on the recent Pink Perspective 2009 tour.

    The “ITIL Powers That Be” will have you striving for an ITIL Expert designation, regardless of who you are and what your organization’s needs might be. For me that’s simplistic at best and closer to being downright irresponsible at worst. In my view, ITIL education falls into one of 3 broad categories:

    1. Awareness - for virtually everyone in IT. This could be either some form of half-day to full day overview of what ITIL is and why it’s important to you, your team and your organization. Or the full Foundations class, for those who’s work routines need to change significantly because their role involves multiple ITSM process (think Service Desk for example).

    2. Deeper Knowledge - depending on your role or the project you’re now responsible for. This is where all the various advanced courses come in. Choose the module that fits your needs right now. Your thinking should be “I need this module in order to deploy or improve specific processes and activities”, not “I need this module because it gives me x credits”!

    3. ITIL Expert - for those who need to demonstrate a wide breadth of knowledge of the whole framework. After all, it is holistic and hopefully someone is steering your ITSM ship! Only two types of people fit in this category - industry consultants and “Service Management Champions” (internal consultants). BTW - see my previous post on how your ITSM steering is probably better served by a team approach rather than individual Experts.

    That’s it.

    Notice the word “certification” hasn’t appeared anywhere up until now. That’s a whole different ball game! Certification provides benefits primarily to the individual, rather than the organization. However, it can be used as a motivator by an organization to get everyone’s attention and make the point that “we’re serious about this and we want you to treat it seriously too”.

    Keep in mind, whatever the education being undertaken - unless you’re a freelance consultant - your ITIL education is being paid for by “the boss” and therefore it should derive benefit to the organization. And I’d even say those benefits should be relatively short term (when you get back to work, what will you now be able to do that will improve things?) Embarking on an ITIL Expert program that can take anything from 3 to 7 years to complete for an individual is not something many organizations can justify these days.

    (1) Comments
    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 06/22 at 09:36 AM
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    Saturday, May 16, 2009

    ITIL V3 Credit Profiler Designed By NASA

    DISCLAIMER: I’m going to use the word “help” in a moment, but read what follows the word “help” and you be the judge!

    To try and help people chart their paths through the ITIL V3 certification minefield, the Official ITIL site has a “Credit Profiler” tool. I just spent about 30 minutes there going through a few scenarios and I found the results baffling. You click on the certifications you have and through a collections of check marks, squares, dots, crosses, colours, numbers, parentheses, words, columns and rows - it gives you a variety of next step options.

    I can’t be certain of this - but it appears that the Profiler even works out what proportion of content is duplicated in one course compared to another, and then gives you a fraction of the expected credit as a result!? I’ve got better things to do on a Saturday morning than to spend hours trying to figure my way through this, so I gave up. But you, dear reader, no doubt have much more patience than I - so go knock yourself out!

    The Credit Profiler should be a tool for explaining the rules clearly. Instead it looks like a dog’s breakfast and does nothing but make me more irritated with this inflated scheme.

    On reflection - I’d rather the certification scheme that was fixed, not the Credit Profiler!

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    Posted by David Ratcliffe on 05/16 at 09:06 AM
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