Monday, April 30, 2007
So what will we find in the books? Part III
Last week, I provided some insight into what the first two books, Service Strategy and Service Design, will include. The information is based on V3 presentations from the authors and Chief Architect, Sharon Taylor. I am including some analysis to compare V2 and V3 content to highlight the differences. I am also looking at the “new” topics covered in V3, but this time to illustrate that you may already do this in your organization. This is the third installment of this series.
The topics covered in this book are centered on the triumvirate of Configuration, Change and Release Management. The topics include:
• Transition Planning and Support
• Change Management
• Service Asset and Configuration Management
• Release and Deployment Management
• Service Validation and Testing
• Knowledge Management
Following our now familiar Plan-Do-Check-Act model from our friend Dr. Deming, it makes sense to start with a process dedicated to Transition Planning and Support. Technology changes are usually well handled, but handling the transition of services from design to operation is a huge leap for many. Remember that ITIL V3 is about the Service Lifecycle. Therefore, once the services are designed, we need to transition them into the live operation; however, we need not only plan how we will do this but how we will support the services. This will be the role of the Transition Planning and Support process.
I hope that Change Management does not suffer too many significant (pun intended) changes. I believe that some concepts will be clarified and expanded to cover the Service Lifecycle approach. What we need here is a better explanation on how to assess and plan changes. This is somewhat lacking in V2.
Configuration Management has been expanded to Service Asset and Configuration Management. One of the reasons is obvious since the Service Strategy book introduces the concept of a Service Asset. In addition, organizations have invested a lot of money and effort in Asset Management tools and processes (usually with a strong financial focus) and IT needs to be better aligned with the business so integrating these concepts together makes perfect sense. Two very interesting concepts are the Definitive Media Library (DML) and the Configuration Management System (CMS). The former appears to take into consideration the fact that software, application and documentation can be available on many platforms and this concept addresses this reality. The CMS brings the CMDB concept to a whole new level. The CMDB will be but one component of the CMS, which also includes the integration with Asset Management, and service management modules such as Incident, Problem, Change and Release Management information.
Release and Deployment Management should provide a greater emphasis on the release planning, design options and various models as well as providing greater insight into the testing activities.
Actually, there is now a whole new section on Service validation and testing, covering strategies, quality assurance, validation and testing models and perspectives among others.
There is another new process called evaluation which covers Service Evaluation, understanding the intended and unintended effects of changes, evaluating predicted versus actual performance, and some aspects of risk management
Although Knowledge Management has been around for many years, it was absent from ITIL best practices. This process elaborates on the concept of DIKW – Data – Information – Knowledge – Wisdom.
As you have probably realized by now, most of what has been added to the “core” framework already exists and you or your organization may already be doing some or most of it. ITIL V3 expands its V2 core, evolving it from a process-oriented approach to a service lifecycle approach.
Stay tuned for an analysis on the other two books over the coming weeks.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Top 5 Tips for Implementing Process Projects
In this PinkPodcast, IT Management Consultant Robin Hysick interviews Jack Probst, a leading expert in ITIL Project Implementation, about his Top 5 Tips for Leading Process Implementation Projects.
Approximate Running Time: 11.5 minutes
Monday, April 23, 2007
So what will we find in the books? Part II
Last week, I provided some insight into what the books content will include. The information is based on V3 presentations from the authors and Chief Architect, Sharon Taylor. I am including some analysis to compare V2 and V3 content to highlight the differences. I am also looking at the “new” topics covered in V3, but this time to illustrate that you may already do this in your organization.
This book is a little easier to describe, as most of the topics are covered in V2. It is likely that some gaps in V2 have been addressed and that some modifications have been made due to improvement in best practices over the years. Remember that V3 is about the Service Lifecycle and that the Service Design book is about designing the services to support the Service Strategy. I have personally advocated for years that we need to understand the V2 Service Delivery processes before we look at the Service Support processes. Five years ago, I actually redesigned our Service Manager course to reflect this. I am therefore very happy to see that in the Service Lifecycle IT is not only aligned with the business but is a business partner as well. Continuing on the premise that Dr. Deming’s cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act is followed, then this book makes perfect sense as the second book in the lifecycle approach.
Here are some of the topics that are included in this book:
• Service Catalogue Management
• Service Level Management
• Capacity Management
• Availability Management
• Service Continuity Management
• Information Security Management
• Supplier Management
• Requirements engineering
• Data and Information Management
• Application Management
To me, it makes sense that Service Catalog Management becomes a separate process in itself and is taken out of Service Level Management. One of the SLM activities in V2 is the creation of a Service Catalog; however, the topic is not covered in much detail in V2. It is actually covered in six tiny little paragraphs. It is no wonder that organizations have struggled with this extremely important topic. Leaving Service Catalog Management within SLM would make the SLM process unmanageable in my opinion. So, a separate process makes perfect sense.
In regards to Service Level Management, Capacity Management, Availability Management and Service Continuity Management, my understanding is that not much has changed. I am curious about one thing though. Over the last few years, the concept of Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) has been gaining more press and momentum. In V2, this acronym is already taken in Availability Management by the System Outage Analysis. I wonder how the authors got around that one.
I do hope that Capacity Management will discuss the human element in addition to the technological aspects of this topic. We humans also have a finite capacity; we can only juggle so many projects and deliverables at any given time. One thing that was interesting about Service Continuity Management in V2 is that the topic of disaster recovery is not mentioned per se. I know that many people have complained about it, but let’s face it – ITSCM is much greater than Disaster Recovery. In addition, may I point out that Business Continuity Management is much more important to the survival of the organization. IT is not the only component of the business after all.
At last, Information Security Management is part of the core V3 library. I was quite disappointed when V2 came out to find that the Security Management book was not incorporated in the Service Delivery book. Security was barely mentioned in Availability Management. Information Security is now an integral part of our lives in IT and in the business, so it makes perfect sense to finally incorporate it.
Many organizations have always had a group dealing directly with the various suppliers contracted by IT. For years, we have been telling these organizations to incorporate it with, or to align it to, Service Level Management. Now, in V3, the topic of Supplier Management has been recognized as a best practice. I say it is about time. Please remember that this topic will probably be found in the other books, as Supplier Management will be important throughout the lifecycle. I suspect that the emphasis will be on how to deal with suppliers during the design phase of a service. This approach will probably be used for Data and Information Management, and Application Management. It makes perfect sense to plan for Data and Information before the service is implemented. It also makes sense to ensure that Application Management be considered as an integral part of the service design and not as a separate entity.
As you can start to appreciate, most of what has been added to the “core” framework already exists and you or your organization may already be doing some or most of it. ITIL V3 expands its V2 core, evolving it from a process-oriented approach to a service lifecycle approach.
Stay tuned for an analysis on the other three books over the coming weeks.
Friday, April 20, 2007
IT Governance Unravelled - Part 6 of 6
This is the final segment of a series of PinkPodcasts based on a conference session delivered by Troy DuMoulin on the topic of IT Governance.
Approximate Running Time: 13 minutes
So what will we find in the books?
There is little public information to be found about ITIL V3 at this time. The reasons are simple. First, everyone involved has signed a non-disclosure agreement (NDA). Second, the books are still being copy edited. Thirdly, the Examination Panel is still working on the schemes (I know first hand, as I am part of that group).
Luckily for the IT community, the Chief architect, Sharon Taylor, and the various authors have been doing some presentations on ITIL V3. So, there is some information out there about V3. We have to be careful that the source is credible and that the information is accurate.
My colleague Troy DuMoulin and I have been sharing some of the information that we have gathered from attending the presentations about V3 and have been sharing them with you. As we are under NDA, we have to be careful about what we can and cannot say.
Looking at the new service lifecycle structure and at the processes found in each of the phases of the lifecycle, we get an idea that best practices are evolving; but, what we have been doing so far in V2 is still very much valid. Here are some examples.
Starting with the premise that the books are aligned with Dr. Deming’s cycle of Plan-Do-Check-Act, then we can assume that this book is about designing, developing and implementing an organizational service management capability from a strategic perspective. This is about making IT a business partner. This can only be by providing services to the business units making up the organization instead of providing them with systems and components. Is this new? This is not new. There was a book in ITIL V1 called “Understanding and Improving” which was written to help IT with their business and IT alignment. In V2, we had the Business Perspective books (Vol. I and II). It was mentioned that this book will be discussing the topic of service portfolio in addition to the Service Catalog. Already many organizations have created a Service Catalog, some software vendors offer this capability in their tools and there are now books on how to create a Service Catalog. Financial Management is still around, except that it appears to be better aligned with the corporate financial management process (why re-invent the wheel?). The difficulty has also been to try to make IT people think in monetary terms instead of technology terms. This is a cultural issue and needs to be addressed. There is very good literature on cultural change.
Another topic that I have heard will be covered in V3 is Business Impact Analysis (BIA), which was found in the IT Service Continuity Management process in V2. BIA is a topic covered in many books on the market and articles are often written about it in various publications. So, nothing really new here.
Other topics mentioned include, demand management, the types of providers, organizational structures, and this would not be an IT book without guidance on technology selection.
Don’t be scared of V3. Most of what has been added to the “core” framework already exists and you or your organization may already be doing some or most of it. ITIL V3 expands its V2 core, evolving it from a process-oriented approach to a service lifecycle approach.
Stay tuned for an analysis on the other four books over the coming weeks.
Wednesday, April 18, 2007
Pink Elephant To Launch New ISO/IEC 20000 Essentials Course
First Global Standard For IT Service Management Can Help Organizations Improve Competitive Edge & Audit Preparedness
BURLINGTON, ON – April 18, 2007 – Pink Elephant today announced plans to launch ISO/IEC 20000 Essentials, a new course that will help organizations understand the benefits of adopting a quality approach to IT, as defined by the first global standard for IT Service Management, ISO/IEC 20000.
Published by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) in 2005, ISO/IEC 20000 is directly linked to the IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL®), the best practices framework that focuses on aligning IT with the business, resulting in greater productivity and reduced costs. Despite the many strategic advantages, implementing ITIL has also been met with several challenges; primarily, gaining both management and staff support for a process improvement project.
“By demonstrating a commitment to quality IT service provision, organizations can gain a competitive edge through ISO/IEC 20000 registration. We’re seeing more RFPs that include this standard as a prerequisite,” says David Ratcliffe, President of Pink Elephant. “ISO/IEC 20000 also plays an important role in preparing organizations for audits. With these two benefits alone, the executive team and IT staff can make a clearer connection between ITIL and how it addresses actual business pressures and concerns.”
The new ISO standard also allows the organization at large to receive recognition for following ITIL best practices, whereas before only individual ITIL certification existed; therefore, ISO/IEC 20000 represents a level of excellence that can be felt across all departments and is not limited to IT or its ITIL-certified practitioners.
Pink Elephant’s ISO/IEC 20000 Essentials is aimed at:
• IT department staff of an organization that is considering or is already ISO/IEC20000 certified, so as to understand the breadth, depth and integration between the processes
• Contracts managers looking to construct RFPs to include ISO/IEC20000; the course will help explain what is involved in the standard
• Senior IT Managers, who will understand the importance of adopting a quality approach to Service Management and understand the value of ISO/IEC20000 accreditation
• Anyone involved in service provision; this course will show how ISO/IEC20000 will enable you to transform the service provision using best practice from ITIL and ISO9000
More information about course dates and locations, and in-house deliveries, will be available soon. Please visit http://www.pinkelephant.com for the latest updates or call 1-888-273-7465. For more information about ISO/IEC 20000, please visit www.iso.org.
How did V3 come about?
You may be familiar with ITIL but how did people get selected for the various phases of ITIL V3?
The contract for the publication of the V2 books and for the examination institute goes only to mid 2007. The OGC decided to put to tender both the publication of the books and the administration of the examination. This actually started a few years ago with the CAR project (for more details on this, please visit the OGC).
In order to make things transparent and to involve an ever growing ITIL community it was decided to
Have open, collaborative development with business and industry.
Recruit an Advisory Panel of Experts
About thirty (30) people were selected to be on this panel. This became the IAG.
Have a competitive recruitment of Authors and pilot test
I assisted my colleagues George Spalding and Gary Case with their bid to become authors and believe me, the form to complete was quite substantial.
Enhanced expertise with mentors & subject matter experts
Throughout the writing process, the authors were assigned mentors (from the IAG) to assist them in many capacities.
Scope, plans, workshops,
The authors were not set loose to write what they wanted. They had to cover a pre-defined list of topics that would be part of a logical service lifecycle approach. This was not done in isolation and there were much iteration before the layout was finalized.
Service visualization, brainstorms
The authors met via conference call on a regular basis and in persons to discuss their progress.
Glossary of standard terms and writing style guidance
I did my Foundations course in 1997 and one of the major drawbacks of ITIL V1 was that it included over 45 books written over many years. This sometimes led to discrepancies in definitions from one book to the next. And because there were so many authors, there were that many writing styles. Don’t take me wrong, ITIL v1 was good and I am still using some of those books even today. These two issues were addressed to a certain degree in V2, especially the glossary part, but it soon became evident that different authors wrote different section. Additionally, there layout varies from chapter to chapter. Hopefully this will not be the case in V3.
Structured work packages
In order to ensure consistency, all books will have the same structure. This means that the books will progress in a logical manner, will refer to each other but will be usable on their own or as part of the greater lifecycle approach.
Development, review, QA, peer reviews, in four cycles
According to my sources, nearly 700 people actually applied to review the ITIL V3 books late last fall with about 200 selected (from all continents) or about 40 per book. This resulted in over 11,000 comments to review as per Sharon Taylor (Chief architect). Let’s not forget that someone had to accept or reject the comments, ask for further clarification and actually do the required changes; a monumental task indeed. Of course, someone has to do the copy editing (grammar, spelling, syntax, cross-references, pagination, table of content, preface, foreword, index, etc.)
For up-to-date news on ITIL V3, you can also visit ITIL Official Siteas well as visiting this page on a regular basis.
Friday, April 13, 2007
IT Governance Unravelled - Part 5 of 6
This is a continuation of a series of PinkPodcasts based on a conference session delivered by Troy DuMoulin on the topic of IT Governance.
Approximate Running Time: 11.5 minutes
Friday, April 06, 2007
IT Governance Unravelled - Part 4 of 6
This is a continuation of a series of PinkPodcasts based on a conference session delivered by Troy DuMoulin on the topic of IT Governance.
Approximate Running Time: 9.25 minutes
Thursday, April 05, 2007
The Three Qualities & Customers Of The IT Service Catalog
Have you ever stopped to consider that ITIL is a Service Management Framework?
This sounds pretty basic and you may be wondering what is meant by this obvious statement.
Consider that if ITIL is a Service Management framework, this means that all of the processes have only one goal: to plan for, deliver and support IT services! This being the case, then perhaps the Service Catalog is much more that an a la carte menu for the business customer. Rather, the Service Catalog is the cornerstone or foundation for any ITSM initiative!
Read the article and learn about the three qualities and three key customer groups of the IT Service Catalog.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Are you going v3?
You (or you organization) are using ITIL v2. You implemented many processes based on the guidance found in the literature. You attended courses and workshops. You are using an ITIL Compatible Service Management tool. The consultant s you hired use and talk ITIL.
Let’s face it, organizations that are using ITIL today have invested a lot of time, effort and money into it. Is this investment for naught? Of course not.
I know that there isn’t a lot of information yet availbale about v3. I know the books are not out yet. The publication date is still May 30th. I know the certification scheme is an area of concern for many. Believe me, we on the qualification panel are taking those concerns into consideration.
I want to know what you think. I want to know you opinion. Don’t be shy. What are your anxieties about v3. I may not be able to answer right away, but as soon as the literature is made public, we’ll be able to answer many of these questions.