Tuesday, July 31, 2007
Survey Shows 71% Are Using ITIL® & Efficiency Is A Quick Win, But Cultural Issues Challenging
Nearly 700 Global IT Practitioners Participate In Pink Elephant/BMC Survey
BURLINGTON, ON – July 31, 2007 – A recent online survey from Pink Elephant and BMC Software examining ITIL in SAP enterprises reveals that a large majority are using ITIL as a strategy; the primary benefits of adopting the best practice framework are process standardization and efficiency; and cultural issues continue to plague implementation efforts.
The survey was conducted in February 2007 with nearly 700 IT executives, directors, managers and consultants worldwide to assess where IT Service Management (ITSM) is headed in terms of global adoption. Most of the results are based on responses from 240 individuals who met specific criteria that included running SAP for enterprise resource planning (ERP) implementations, being responsible for ITIL strategies and holding a senior position in the IT organization.
Key findings of the study, released in the joint Pink Elephant/BMC white paper titled ITIL Best Practices In SAP Environments, include:
- 71 % of respondents are implementing ITIL as a strategy. This includes feedback from the 240 people who met the full qualification criteria, as well as others who responded to the survey
- Process standardization and efficiency are the primary benefits of implementing ITIL
- Most respondents are managing their SAP implementations as part of larger IT enterprise ITIL initiatives
- The most common ITIL process implemented first is Incident Management, followed by Service Desk and Change Management
- The biggest challenges to ITIL implementation are cultural (learning to work across silos and avoiding resistance to change)
- When asked what they would do differently in the future to mitigate these challenges, participants cited that they would: Do more up-front planning; Get early buy-in and involvement; Increase the socialization of issues to teams outside their regions; Conduct more training
“The main take-away from this survey is that ITIL best practices are well suited to the ERP marketplace,” says Troy DuMoulin, Pink Elephant’s Director of Product Strategy and the white paper’s co-author. “ERP customers are often large enterprises with complex IT environments and varying degrees of IT process maturity; however, they do understand the benefits of standardized processes and integrated applications, and can therefore recognize how similar benefits apply to IT by implementing ITIL.”
“Efficient management of business processes continue to play a critical role in driving revenue and overall business success,” said Ken Turbitt, global best practices director at BMC. “Using ITIL best practices, combined with a Business Service Management strategy allows customers to support these automated processes across the organization and manage IT operations from a business perspective with truly integrated thinking. The results are clear with BMC customers reaping the benefits of this integrated strategy, delivering increased efficiency and process standardization improvement.”
Read The Full White Paper
Read ITIL Best Practices In SAP Environments in its entirety. No preliminary sign-up is required. Also, find out how to access The Rise & Re-Integration Of The ERP Empire, Pink Elephant’s bonus PinkPaper that builds on the survey results and examines the business reasons for the rise and separation of the SAP organization from the general IT function over the last 15-20 years.
Monday, July 30, 2007
The True Cost of Process Adoption
As promised, an answer to another question I received recently. The question was “is it true that it’s difficult to estimate the total cost of adoption, including training, consulting and software? Why is that?”
As for the cost of implementation, I haven’t heard that total cost can’t be estimated - it just may be more difficult than other projects.
Let me comment on the areas the question raises:
Most organizations normally have a pretty good handle on project cost estimating - especially technology related projects. The difference is that it may take some heavy lifting to estimate process project tasks and activities and the necessary resources (internal and/or external).
If there is one particular challenge which ITIL projects face, it is that most organizations have not attempted an organization-wide process development/improvement and implementation project (at least in recent memory). Process projects typically are far different animals than the typical IT projects - application or infrastructure - so organizations don’t have a strong knowledge base of prior project experience to guide resource loading activities (or even the development of project work breakdown structures).
Typically, it is that lack of institutional knowledge which prompts our customers to contact Pink (or other consulting organizations) to ask for help in preparing roadmaps or other project artifacts. I believe strongly in the idea of teaching organizations to fish, so working with project teams to develop their own WBS templates and potentially their first one or two project plans goes a long way to building that institutional knowledge.
Training is a bit easier for organizations to get their arms around. Most organizations (especially medium to large organizations) have some experience in developing and implementing process-oriented training programs. For the most part, they have developed and implemented training programs to support business process changes and so forth.
The costing challenge for ITIL projects might be the scope, training scheduling (dependent on whether the organization intends to run pilots in advance of a phased or big-bang implementation), and whether internal or external trainers will be involved. For these reasons, it can be difficult to garner a highly accurate training estimate at the time of initial project submission, but I would think that training budgets could be fairly well projected shortly after the process design and tool requirements are nearing completion.
As for tool costs, this an enigma for most organizations primarily because the tool decision has so many moving parts (e.g. how many processes or process modules will be included; licensing structure of various vendors; necessary changes to the infrastructure to support the tool; whether or not the decision will be select a point solution or as the case today to purchase an ITSM suite; and of course the broad disparity in pricing models and approaches which typify the tool industry).
What I have seen as a good practice for planning purposes is for organizations to do an RFI early in the planning phase to get some idea of pricing range. Organizations then use this knowledge to set tool budget limits and planning constraints.
Then, as the tool requirements are fleshed out during the analysis and design phases of the project, a formal RFP process then nails down the accurate costs. There still is the unknown of tool tuning costs (please don’t consider tool modification as a project deliverable, as this is a cost rat-hole that an organization may find it difficult to recover from). I would suggest that an organization embrace a budget discipline for tuning costs such as a percentage of tool purchase costs or a maximum number of work hours which can be applied to tuning. Use this discipline to manage and control implementation costs.
Finally, there is the subject of consulting costs. Of all the costs, this might be the easiest for the organization to plan for - the challenge is the discipline to live out the plan.
My experience on projects is that there is a necessary consultant/client quid pro quo which must be evident early in the project so that consulting costs can be well estimated and managed. The basic planning principle is that both parties must clearly establish expectations, deliverables and commitments very early on in planning. The key is no surprises. This means the client should have a clear idea of project scope, definition of successful delivery and sponsorship or organizational commitment. In turn, the consultant should be able to describe their engagement model and how their engagement model would translate into time commitments (or requirements) on the basis of customer needs (see above) and desires. Finally, the contract between the consulting firm and the client should be clear on these issues so that surprises don’t translate into project discord or worse.
Friday, July 27, 2007
Can You Legislate Availability? Part 4
In Part 4, Jack Probst explains the impact of availability and managing risk to reduce it as much as possible. Jack looks at what happens if IT fails and how it affects sustained or growing revenue, customer relations or business reputation and the security of information.
Approximate Running Time: 10.5 minutes
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The impact of Regulations
I received a question recently that read “ITIL has become increasingly popular as organizations continue efforts to align IT with business needs, and that one of the recent drivers to ITIL adoption is regulatory compliance and the need for greater controls. Any comment on that?”
First let me comment on the use of the word alignment to describe IT’s relationship with the business.
Alignment suggests that IT is a passive and to some degree a detached observer of the business. Alignment would mean that IT attempts to find ways to coordinate IT activities with the business but IT is engaged in other activities which may divert attention.
Instead, IT truly does focus on tightly meshing its deliverables and activities with those necessary to create value through support of business outcomes. That focus is the heart and soul of the definition of a service in version 3. So instead of using the term alignment, I would suggest a better word would be integration.
With respect to regulation, today most contemporary businesses would struggle to continue to function at high levels of operational performance without IT. IT is not a passive participant, but a deeply entrenched element of the business and ultimately a necessary component of business operational and (for more mature organizations) strategic success.
As for the question of ITIL adoption and the impact of regulations on adoption rates, I don’t think there is a question that there has been an impact - the question is how much. I may be guilty of oversimplification, but it seems that regulations are expecting or requiring degrees of control and governance over business processes and business reporting.
In light of my comments on IT and business integration, IT plays a key part in assuring that there are sufficient and underpinning controls for the IT systems which are integral to business processes (and reporting).
To illustrate this point, turn to COBIT (the apparent source de jour for most regulatory or compliance auditors) and the controls suggested across the 34 COBIT process areas, and it is relatively easy to understand how the ITIL processes and their appropriate implementation will play a substantive role in implementing and supporting necessary (and in some cases, mandated) controls.
That said, the question is how many organizations are basing their initiation of ITIL on regulatory demands. Based on what I have seen, the anecdotal evidence is that regulation is not a prime project driver. Instead, regulatory compliance and controls “comes along for the ride”.
Not to say that there isn’t benefit - it’s just that regulatory compliance is not at the head of the list when organizations describe to me why they feel it is important to put ITIL in play.
And this makes sense, right? If you were the CFO or CIO of an organization and you were prioritizing projects on the basis of ROI, it would be far easier to detail and justify (for the long haul) the benefits of implementing ITIL to address operational inefficiencies or ineffectiveness. Improvements across these dimensions can translate into hard dollars and cents. Instead, valuing the avoidance of indeterminate fines (or prison sentences), or a fuzzy idea of public censure would be difficult over the long term - not that avoiding fines, keeping the CEO out of jail or being seen as a good corporate citizen is not important - I’m not sure how regulatory challenges could be used to cost justify broad or organization-wide implementation of ITIL.
In summary, I can justify ITIL implementation to correct specific global Service Management improvement project.
Monday, July 23, 2007
Project Management Institute Approves Two More Pink Elephant Courses
ITIL V3 Foundations & Introduction To The ITSM Operations Process Model Now Qualify For Professional Development Units
BURLINGTON, ON – July 23, 2007 – Pink Elephant today announced that two more of its courses – ITIL V3 Foundations and Introduction To The ITSM Operations Process Model – have qualified for professional development units (PDUs) with the Project Management Institute (PMI), the leading membership association for the project management profession with more than 225,000 members in over 160 countries.
As a Registered Education Provider with PMI, Pink Elephant is recognized for offering courses with appropriate learning material relevant to the field of project management.
There are now 12 Pink Elephant courses registered with PMI, ranging from Foundation to Management level. The Pink Elephant course offering the highest number of PDUs is the ITIL Service Manager with 85 PDUs. This course is the most rigorous and advanced level of ITIL certification.
View more information on Pink courses registered with PMI.
Project Management Professionals (PMPs) can attend a qualifying Pink Elephant course anywhere in the world and receive a specific number of PDUs, which equate to the number of hours of structured learning in the course. PDUs are issued on a Letter of Accomplishment that Pink Elephant provides to course attendees.
PMI supports the ongoing professional development of certified PMPs and the maintenance of the PMP credential. In 1999, PMI introduced the Continuing Certification Requirements Program (CCR) that requires PMPs to earn 60 Professional Development Units (PDUs) every three years in order to maintain their certification in good standing.
Register for a PMI-registered course.
View more information about PMI and how to become a PMP.
Project Management Institute Aprueba Dos Cursos Más De Pink Elephant
Fundamentos de ITIL V3 e Introducción al Modelo del Proceso de Operaciones de ITSM ahora califican para recibir unidades de desarrollo profesional
BURLINGTON, ON – 23 de julio de 2007 – Pink Elephant anunció el día de hoy que dos más de sus cursos: Fundamentos de ITIL V3 e Introducción al Modelo del Proceso de Operaciones de ITSM, calificaron para recibir unidades de desarrollo profesional (PDUs) ante el Project Management Institute (PMI), la asociación de membresías líder para la profesión de la administración de proyectos con más de 225,000 miembros en más de 160 países.
Al ser una Proveedora de Educación Registrada ante el PMI, Pink Elephant es reconocida por ofrecer cursos con materiales de aprendizaje relevantes y adecuados al campo de la administración de proyectos.
Ahora hay 12 cursos de Pink Elephant registrados ante el PMI, que abarcan desde los niveles de Fundamentos hasta Gerencial. El curso de Pink Elephant que ofrece el mayor número de PDUs es el ITIL Service Manager, con 85 PDUs. Este curso es el nivel más estricto y avanzado de certificación de ITIL.
Vea más información sobre los cursos de Pink registrados ante el PMI.
Los Profesionales en Administración de Proyectos (PMPs) pueden asistir a un curso que califica de Pink Elephant en cualquier parte del mundo y recibir un número específico de PDUs, que equivalen al número de horas de aprendizaje estructurado en el curso. Las PDUs se emiten en una Carta de Consecución que proporciona Pink Elephant a los asistentes del curso.
El PMI respalda el desarrollo profesional constante de PMPs certificados y el mantenimiento de la credencial de PMP. En 1999, el PMI introdujo el Programa de Requisitos de Certificación de Continuación (CCR) que requiere que los PMP obtengan 60 Unidades de Desarrollo Profesional (PDUs) cada tres años para mantener su certificación vigente.
Inscríbase a un curso registrado ante el PMI.
Vea más información sobre el PMI y cómo convertirse en un PMP.
Acerca de Pink Elephant
Pink Elephant es el líder mundial en mejores prácticas de administración de TI, al ofrecer conferencias, educación y servicios de consultoría a empresas públicas y privadas a nivel mundial. La compañía se especializa en mejorar la calidad de los servicios de TI a través la aplicación de marcos reconocidos, incluyendo la Biblioteca de la Infraestructura de Tecnología de la Información (ITIL). Pink Elephant es una compañía que ha participado en el proyecto ITIL desde su comienzo en 1987, y fue elegida como experta internacional para contribuir al proyecto ITIL V3, como coautora del libro Continual Service Improvement de V3 y a través de una representación en el panel internacional de examinación. Para obtener más información, por favor visite www.pinkelephant.com.
Para obtener más información, póngase en contacto con:
Pink Elephant México
Contáctenos: (55) 3544 3053
Friday, July 20, 2007
The Start Of A Journey
George Santayana once said “those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it”. And goodness knows I have made my fair share of mistakes by not learning from my past or from the experience of others.”
Today, I start a journey, hopefully to address that shortfall. This is the initial issue of my blog about an ITIL journey. I have been on a personal quest over the years to learn and apply good practices in the organizations I have worked within and for organizations that have sought my services as a consultant. In many cases that learning was via the school of hard knocks – my own knocks as my “scars” will attest – or by listening and gleaning the best of the experience or “knocks” of others. My plan is to provide a forum via my blog to share with others those learnings from the past or new insights as I evolve them.
Understand that there are no perfect answers – well maybe in some of the quantitative disciplines you might make the case that 1+1=2 – but there are always good answers which in turn may lead to new possibilities or expanded solutions. My plan is to pose questions or challenges from the “road” and suggest my answer. I am all about education and learning, so come join the fun. Pose your suggested approaches or throw out your questions for me or others to tackle.
So welcome to our journey together.
Can You Legislate Availability? Part 3
What kind of risk can be tolerated by the business? Is it financial or environmental, or something else entirely? What about high availability? What are the vital business functions of your business and their requirements for high availability? Listen to part three as Jack Probst presents you with an understanding of what the business can tolerate, vital business function requirements and service portability.
Approximate Running Time: 12 minutes
Monday, July 16, 2007
Pinky In Dubai
Pinky is not camera shy, especially when asked to pose on the red carpet at an event. Here at the itSMF event in Dubai, Pinky poses with George Spalding (left) and David Ratcliffe (right) as the paparazzi take their photo.
Friday, July 13, 2007
Can You Legislate Availability? Part 2
What is the value of availability and uptime? Is it possible to attain five nines and only 5.25 minutes of downtime per year? Listen to part two as Jack Probst continues his quest to find out if we can legislate availability by presenting you with an understanding of what availability is, what risk is and how to reduce it, and what all those nines translate into.
Approximate Running Time: 17 minutes
Wednesday, July 11, 2007
Should you or your staff be taking the V3F or the V2 certification
I am often asked these days by many of our customers if they should take the V2 or the V3 Foundation. Here is what is happening.
The ITIL V2 books will no longer be published by The Stationery Office (TSO) after the end of 2007. The same goes for the ITIL V2 Foundation exam. The practitioner level course will be available until late 2008.
Yes there is a major difference in the scope and the depth of the Foundation course between V2 and V3. V2 covers only 2 books (10 processes and 2 functions) while the ITIL V3 course covers 5 books (20 processes and 4 functions). In addition, there are more generic concepts to cover in the v3 course. Twice as much stuff in barely 50% more time. As the scope increased the international qualification panel and board had to make decisions on the level of detail for each topic. They also had to ensure that the Accredited Training Organizations (ATOs) would be able to sell the foundation course without impacting their business models.
The V2 course syllabus fits nicely in 2 days with the exam at the end of the second day. The V3 course syllabus needs more time, this is why the course is 3 days with the exam at the end of the third day. Very few organizations would be able afford to have their IT staffs attend a 5 day foundation-level course. This is another reason why the course is 3 days.
There will be a Bridging Course for the people who already have the ITIL Foundation certification. If you already have the Foundation certification, then you don’t need to take the ITIL V3 Foundation course (unless you want to of course). If you or your staff do not have the ITIL Foundation certification, then take the ITIL V3 course. Yes the two courses are different. Would you send people to be trained on one version of an operating system or application when it is being replaced by a newer version? The same logic applies to ITIL V3.
I have been involved with ITIL since 1997 and already back then we had people who thought that the material was either too detailed or not enough while some complained that the course was too long or too short. I guess we can’t please all the people all the time. Different people learn in different ways. By the way, historically, 9 out of 10 people pass the foundation exam.
By the way the intend of a foundation-level course is not to give anyone the knowledge and skills to be able to immediately implement the material just learned. I have taken introductory courses in accounting and marketing for example and this does not make me an accountant or an expert in marketing. The same logic applies to ITIL. If you want to become an expert in ITIL, attend the appropriate courses, read the books (again and again and again) and apply the concepts in your organization.
I hear and read a lot about people not needing to know anything about strategy and designing processes and continual improvement. They only want the so-called “day-to-day” operational stuff. I am sorry to disagree. Everyone in IT needs to understand the concepts of Service Strategy, Service Design of Continual Improvement. Oh and by the way, these also happen on a daily basis. Everyone in IT must understand why they are doing their job. To accomplish this they need to understand the entire service lifecycle. This is what the ITIL V3 Foundation will give them.
There are a lot of nay-sayers out there who claim that this stuff is way over the head of their IT staffs. Give me a break. These people are a lot smarter than you give them credit for. I say give them the knowledge. Send them on an ITIL V3 Foundation course. You and your organization can only benefit from it.
Soon there will be courses and certification around each book and around the clustering of processes based on the ITIL V3 lifecycle approach. Already such clustering exists in V2. These courses will go to the level of details that will enable you and your staff to properly apply these concepts into your organization. You have to learn to crawl before you run.
ITIL is not that difficult to learn. It just takes time.
Monday, July 09, 2007
Pink Elephant & BMC Presenting ITIL Roadshows In Asia-Pacific
Events will unveil new approaches to accelerating ITIL process & Business Service Management adoption
BURLINGTON, ON – July 9, 2007 – Pink Elephant today announced its participation in a major IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) education initiative in Asia-Pacific to promote ITIL version 3 (V3) and new approaches to accelerating service management maturity.
Hosted by BMC Software, the ten-city Asia-Pacific roadshow will span eight countries, and Pink Elephant President David Ratcliffe and Vice-President George Spalding will be lending their ITIL V3 expertise in six of these roadshows, including:
July 24 – Beijing, China
July 25 – Shanghai, China
July 26 – Seoul, Korea
July 30 – Taipei, Taiwan
July 31 – Hong Kong
August 1 – Singapore
Each one-day seminar will begin with a presentation from Mr. Ratcliffe on the state of the IT Service Management industry, including global adoption rates, tool vendors, and what the future may hold for ITSM. Following this session, Mr. Spalding will discuss the ITIL V3 framework, and specifically the Continual Service Improvement core volume that he co-authored.
BMC’s global best practices director Ken Turbitt will conclude the one-day event, uncovering how to implement V2 to maturity in readiness for the ITIL V3 move, and introduce his company’s new ITIL V3-aligned service management solution.
ITIL V3 was published in May 2007 by the U.K.’s Office of Government Commerce and sets out methodologies for managing an IT organisation and integrating IT with the business. Contrasting earlier versions, V3 follows a five-stage lifecycle approach to service management. This approach considers the planning, execution and continual improvement of IT services as a cyclical process, with IT’s actions motivated and driven by the business’ goals.
“Following the concept of developing a business approach to IT services, another key development in ITIL V3 is how to measure and communicate return on investment from process improvement,” adds Mr. Spalding. “With ITIL’s potential to deliver significant cost savings and increased productivity, now is a prime opportunity for Asia-Pacific enterprises to implement the new service lifecycle approach and join other global companies in reaping the many benefits of running a service-based IT operation.”
Pink Elephant Y BMC Presentan La Gira De ITIL En Asia - Pacífico
Los eventos revelerán nuevos enfoques para acelerar el proceso de ITIL y la adopción de la Administración de Servicios Empresariales
BURLINGTON, ONTARIO – 9 de julio de 2007 – Pink Elephant anunció el día de hoy su participación en una iniciativa de educación importante de la Biblioteca de la Infraestructura de Tecnología de la Información (ITIL) en Asia – Pacífico para promover las versiones 3 (V3) de ITIL y los nuevos enfoques para acelerar la madurez de la administración del servicio.
Ofrecida por BMC Software, la gira en Asia – Pacífico por diez ciudades abarcará ocho países y el Presidente de Pink Elephant, David Ratcliffe y el Vicepresidente, George Spalding compartirán su experiencia en ITIL V3 en seis de estas presentaciones, incluyendo:
Julio 24 – Beijing, China
Julio 25 – Shangai, China
Julio 26 – Seúl, Corea
Julio 30 – Taipei, Taiwán
Julio 31 – Hong Kong
Agosto 1 – Singapur
Todos los seminarios de un día comenzarán con una presentación del Sr. Ratcliffe sobre el estado de la industria de la Administración de Servicios de TI, incluyendo los índices globales de adopción, proveedores de herramientas, y lo que deparará el futuro a la ITSM. Después de esta sesión, el Sr. Spalding analizará el marco de ITIL V3, y específicamente el volumen básico Continual Service Improvement del cual fue coautor.
El Director de Mejores Prácticas Globales de BMC, Ken Turbitt concluirá el evento de un día, revelando cómo implementar V2 de acuerdo con la madurez, en la preparación para el movimiento hacia ITIL V3, y presentará la nueva solución para administración de servicios alineados con ITIL V3 de su compañía.
ITIL V3 fue publicada en mayo de 2007 por la Oficina de Comercio Gubernamental y establece las metodologías para administrar una organización de TI e integrar la TI a la empresa. En contraste con las versiones anteriores, V3 sigue un enfoque de un ciclo de vida de cinco etapas hacia la administración del servicio. Este enfoque toma en cuenta la planificación, ejecución y mejora continua de los servicios de TI con un proceso cíclico, siendo las acciones del departamento de TI motivadas e impulsadas por las metas de la empresa.
“Siguiendo el concepto del desarrollo de un enfoque comercial hacia los servicios de TI, otro desarrollo clave en ITIL V3 es cómo medir y comunicar el retorno sobre la inversión de la mejora de los procesos”, agrega el Sr. Spalding. “Con el potencial de ITIL para ofrecer ahorros en los costos importantes y una mayor productividad, ahora es una oportunidad primordial para las empresas de Asia – Pacífico para implementar el nuevo enfoque del ciclo de vida del servicio y unirse a otras compañías globales para la cosecha de muchos beneficios de ejecutar una operación de TI basada en los servicios”.
Friday, July 06, 2007
Can You Legislate Availability? Part 1
I need five nines! Or even six nines! In the survival-critical IT infrastructure of today’s business and Government, 99.9999% availability (32 seconds per year of downtime) is more than a concept; it’s a reality. Five nines or 99.999% availability (5.25 minutes per year of downtime) is commonplace. IT infrastructures now literally hold people’s lives in their “hands”. Listen to this podcast and find out if we can legislate availability.
Approximate Running Time: 13.5 minutes
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
How Do The New ITIL Certification Credits Work?
“Now that the new certification scheme has been announced by APMG and the OGC, what does it mean?”
Read Read this article from Pierre Bernard, Pink Elephant’s Manager of Education Products and member of the international ITIL certification panel. You’ll find out more about navigating through the new ITIL certification scheme and the prerequisites for attaining the new ITIL Diploma.