Tuesday, September 30, 2008
Pink Elephant Now Offering 10% Public Education Discount In Southeast Asia For Early Registration
KUALA LUMPUR – Pink Elephant, the world’s largest provider of IT management education, conferences and strategic consulting, today announced a new preferred pricing plan for all public courses scheduled in Southeast Asia.
Students qualify for a 10% discount off regular course fees, excluding taxes, when registration and payment is received no less than 30 days prior to the course start date.
“Our instructors are highly experienced ITIL-certified members of Pink’s consulting team,” says Pink Elephant President, David Ratcliffe. “We hope that this unique discount will allow more of our customers in Southeast Asia to learn about the benefits of process improvement, while earning valuable certifications and credits within the ITIL qualification scheme.”
While the 10% discount does not apply to in-house education, Pink Elephant can present all of its courses at a customer location, and with a team-training approach cost and time savings is typical, in addition to these other benefits:
• The highest pass rates in the industry
• Direct access to the industry’s best ITIL consultants and trainers
• An excellent team-building exercise
• A well-planned, company-specific approach to consistent knowledge building
For more information about Pink Elephant’s education portfolio or to register for a course, please call (603) 9207 9638 (Kuala Lumpur) / (65) 6734 2744 (Singapore).
For further information, please contact:
Brent D. Artemchuk
Regional Director, Southeast Asia
Suite 323A, Level 25, Tower 2, Etiqa Twins
11 Jalan Pinang
50450 Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Tel: +60 3 9207 9615
Fax: +60 3 9207 9637
Politics, IT & Customer Requirements (SLR)
Canada is having a federal election. In case you did not know as these things usually fly under the radar, Canada is having a federal election. The election campaign last for no more than six weeks; it’s the law.
So what does this have to do with IT and customer requirement? A lot actually.
Unlike elections in Canada, all sorts of IT initiatives seem to go on forever. At least that is the perception for many customers. This is where the differences end in my opinion.
Some of the more striking similarities are - in no particular order:
- IT and party leaders representing their groups
- IT promises all deadlines will be met and all requirements in place
- Party leaders promise they will fix everything dear to the general population
- IT staff make side deals with customers
- Party members promise their constituents what they want to hear
- Neither IT nor the party members have the authority to do anything concrete in the first place
- Politics = fix the economy; IT = stay within budget
- Politics + IT = fix the infrastructure
- Politics = fix the health care syatem; IT = fix those incidents and problems
- Politics = be tough on crime;IT = increase security
- Politics = blame the other parties for delays and the economic mess they inhereted when elected
- IT = blame the business and suppliers for delays
- During the electoral campaign, everyone is polarized, things will finally change
- While the initial phase of the initiative, everyone is polarized; there is the belief that things will finally change
- During the electoral campaign, some people want a new government; others want to keep the one in place
- During the IT initiative, some people want the new features; some people don’t want a change
- Both groups have a Service Catalog. IT calls it the Service Catalog; politicians call it their plan,etc
And finally, my favorite:
Politicians make all sorts of promises they won’t keep and they will come up with all sorts of excuses for not keeping them. IT makes promises to the customers that they think they can deliver but we all know they won’t be able because they did not check with the rest of IT and their suppliers.
By the way, this particular blog entry is done for humor purposes only.
Friday, September 26, 2008
Keep em around reply to Gary
This is a reply to Gary who commented on “More keeping em down on the farm.”
Hey Gary, thanks for commenting. Gary asked if I was aware of any companies who have implemented a “tiered” pay scale for the Service Desk. Actually all the things I mentioned in that series of blogs are based on personal experience. I have worked as a Service Desk Manager at several companies that have used these methods to try to encourage Service Desk staff to stay at the Service Desk instead of looking for higher paying jobs inside and outside the company.
The percentages I used in my example here are just examples. The percentage you may need could be higher or lower depending on circumstances. But if the staff sees a career path at the Service Desk that allows them to grow you are more likely to keep them longer. Having a tiered pay scale will certainly be an integral part of an overall strategy to increase longevity. I have seen it done successfully at companies where I have worked and also at companies I have visited as a consultant.
Work with Human Resources to be sure you have appropriate job titles and job descriptions to match up with your tiered pay scale. Good luck with your strategy!
Thursday, September 25, 2008
No sightings of Nessie during my trip to Scotland, but I’ll bet if I went for a swim someone might mistake me for him!
ITIL’S 20th Birthday Celebrations Coming To 13th Annual ITSM Conference & Exhibition
TORONTO, ON – September 25, 2008 – Pink Elephant today announced that ITIL’s 20th birthday will feature prominently at the company’s 13th Annual International IT Service Management Conference and Exhibition, February 22-25, 2009 in Las Vegas.
A nostalgic view of ITIL’s roots, and how this solid foundation has brought ITIL to its present world-renowned success, will take place at a networking reception on the evening Tuesday, February 24.
“ITIL has come a long way since its humble beginnings in 1989, when the first book – Help Desk– was published,” says Pink Elephant President, David Ratcliffe. “Today, it is hugely acclaimed as the best practice framework for IT Service Management. Our conference will offer the perfect opportunity to reflect on ITIL’s journey, and recognize those who have played major roles in its development.”
Listen to the latest conference podcast from David Ratcliffe and George Spalding, Pink’s VP of Global Events.
The conference theme, IT Business Integration: With A Little Help From My Friends, borrows from the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band album to illustrate what it takes to become a value-added business partner and contribute positively to an organization’s bottom line. A $400 conference early bird discount is available until October 31. Visit the 13th Annual International IT Service Management Conference & Exhibition website or call 1-888-273-7365 for more information or to register.
Tuesday, September 16, 2008
Pink Awarded Multi-Year ITIL Education Contract With State of North Carolina’s Office Of IT Services
Over 3,300 Staff Will Receive ITIL Version Three Education
TORONTO, ON – Pink Elephant today announced it has been named exclusive supplier of IT Infrastructure Library version 3 (ITIL V3) education for the next three years with the State of North Carolina’s Office of Information Technology Services (ITS).
Over 3,300 ITS staff will receive formal ITIL training and certification, based on V3’s new Service Lfecycle approach, through to 2011. This will continue the state’s long-term commitment to the best practice framework and its relationship with Pink Elephant.
“We have been successfully transferring our ITIL knowledge to ITS since 2005,” says Pink Elephant President, David Ratcliffe. “With this additional commitment to IT Service Management best practices, ITS stands out among several government agencies we have worked with across the US and Canada over the past few years.”
In addition to receiving awards, the most significant visibility given to ITS’s ITIL program, called the Operational Excellence Program, was a case study in ITIL V3’s Continual Service Improvement book, authored by Pink Elephant’s Gary Case and George Spalding.
After making improvements with ITIL, which stemmed from an extensive awareness campaign and training, ITS achieved the following quick wins in less than three months:
• Improved ability to resolve incidents within its target timeframe by 32%
• Improved ability to resolve Service Requests within its target timeframe by 20%
• Increased Change Management process compliance more than twofold, resulting in fewer incidents and reduced downtime
Pink Elephant’s provision of ITIL V3 education is intended to sustain ITS’s implementation efforts as its Operational Excellence Program enters into its next phase.
Pink Elephant is proud to be celebrating 20 years of ITIL experience – more than any other supplier. To date, more than 100,000 IT professionals have benefited from Pink Elephant’s expertise. From 2007 to present, Pink Elephant has trained over 5,000 students in ITIL V3 with certification pass rates that exceed the industry average, based on data from APMG, the official ITIL accreditation provider. Click here for more information about Pink Elephant.
Nova versão do ITIL: O Hoje e Amanhã de TI
Desde que o ITILv3 foi oficialmente lançado em junho do ano passado, muitos gestores de TI e até profissionais de consultoria torceram o nariz para a novidade, o que vem causando um efeito de descrença ou de distanciamento deste novo modelo. Muito lembra, inclusive, a resistência inicial do mercado quanto aos novos sistemas operacionais da Microsoft.
O fato é que poucos pararam para conhecer de perto os ganhos e facilidades com o novo formato e o como esta nova Boa Prática foi criada. Quem já compreendeu e desmistificou o seu uso está se preparando, ou já deu início aos seus planos de implementação de processos na nova versão.
Seguramente, o ITILv3 é um dos modelos de referência mais consistentes do mercado, e, particularmente, desconheço qualquer outro trabalho de atualização de Boa Prática (tais como PMBoK, COBIT, CMMI) que tenha sido tão abrangente, participativo, neutro e intensivo, quanto o que foi realizado para o ITILv3. E é fácil entender o motivo.
Em 2004, quando a OGC (Office of Government Commerce) assinou a carta do Projeto ITIL Refresh (o qual gerou o produto ITILv3) foram consumidos seis meses para a definição do escopo detalhado do projeto, incluindo uma vasta pesquisa entre os principais grupos de executivos do segmento ITIL.
Durante esta fase foram entrevistadas e avaliadas: Mais de 100 Organizações Privadas e Públicas que desenvolveram suas iniciativas de ITIL; Mais de 500 Profissionais Praticantes da área; Players Fornecedores de Serviços e Ferramentas - HP, Microsoft, Fujitsu, CA, EDS e IBM; Fornecedores de Treinamentos Oficiais em ITIL; Institutos Donos de Boas Práticas - ISACA, Carnegie Mellow, PMI, COSO; Institutos de Padrões – BS (British Standard) e ISO (Internation Standard Organization) e Institutos de Examinação – ISEB, EXIN e Loyalist College, além de associações profissionais - itSMF e ISM .
Ao todo foram mais de 6.000 comentários, entre sugestões e críticas. Estes comentários foram revisados, consolidados e priorizados. Desta forma, vemos que Boas Práticas não é teoria, mas baseia-se em práticas observadas e que funcionam bem em muitas situações e diferentes organizações.
Olhe para as dezenas de processos descritos nos livros e você verá que muitos deles você os tem implementados (de uma forma mais ou menos madura) como parte de sua Gestão de TI. Isso principalmente se a sua organização sinaliza para um modelo de Governança de TI. Do ponto de vista operacional, é o mesmo ITIL de sempre, no entanto, numa perspectiva estratégica com maior alinhamento e integração. Tudo isso de uma forma mais clara e simples.
A nova versão aborda a maioria das coisas que uma organização deve fazer para entregar serviços de uma maneira profissional e sua relação com outros modelos e funções, tais como: Governança de TI, Gerenciamento de Projetos, Gerenciamento de Aplicações, etc. A v3 ajuda na definição de formas integradas e otimizadas de trabalho: enxugando custos, melhorando a qualidade, a comunicação e a produtividade das equipes.
Quem assegura isto é o grande número de participantes do projeto de atualização do ITIL. Enfim, se adequadamente implementado, o ITILv3 garante às organizações de TI o que existe de mais atual e eficiente para viabilizar, hoje e ao longo dos próximos anos, a integração TI-Negócio, com mais prática que recomendações.
Carlos Teixeira, consultor sênior da Pink Elephant
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
2nd Edition Of Bestselling Service Catalog Book Now Available
TORONTO, ON – Pink Elephant today announced that the second edition of the book, Defining IT Success Through The Service Catalog, is now available. The book launched this week at itSMF USA’s annual conference in San Francisco.
As more organizations are maturing in their understanding and use of ITIL’s Service Level Management process, they are realizing that the Service Catalog is a critical piece of the puzzle. The premise of the book is to help organizations better understand how to use a Service Catalog to define, measure, cost and govern increasingly complex IT services.
The book’s first edition, authored by Pink Elephant’s Troy DuMoulin in collaboration with Bill Fine and Rodrigo Flores of newScale, was published in February 2007, prior to the release of ITIL version three. It has received rave reviews on Amazon and is now out of stock due to overwhelming demand.
The second edition has been updated to align with the language and concepts in the IT Service Lifecycle model and the roles defined in the new ITIL books.
To order a book, fill out the online form.
For more in-depth instruction on the Service Catalog, Pink Elephant offers How To Create A Service Catalog According To ITIL Best Practices, a two-day course scheduled in cities worldwide and available in-house. Call 1-888-273-7465 to register or for more information.
Monday, September 08, 2008
Ride along little doggie…yeee-haw!!
Here’s another technique you can use for the Service Desk function, along with all the others we have discussed in this string of blogs. I call it “ride-a-longs.”
Just what is a ride-a-long? Well earlier in my career I was in sales. One of the techniques we used for new sale people was to have them ride together with experienced salespeople to learn some veteran techniques.
Staff from the Service Desk could “ride-a-long” with two groups.: First, the second-level and third-level technicians; And secondly:with people from the business in the various departments that are supported by IT.
Let’s talk about the other IT support technicians. Spending regular time with technicians will have the same effect as having the newer sales people riding with the veterans. The Service Desk staff will get a chance to gain some tribal knowledge and improve their ability to understand technology and troubleshooting techniques.
Visiting the business will allow the Service Desk staff to increase their “business awareness” and better understand what each business unit is trying to accomplish and how. Seeing first hand how the business operates will also show the business how serious IT is in improving services and integrating with the business.
As a side benefit, both these ride-a-long techniques will improve rapport and relations with the second- and third-level teams and the business.
The Service Desk staff will also feel a greater sense of belonging and will feel that the IT organization and the company are interested in their development. This sense of belonging will give them another reason to stay around longer. If you want to keep staff members longer these are important to that end.
Wednesday, September 03, 2008
Understanding desired customer outcomes
I recently had some people ask me about how to explain a particular diagram in the Service Strategy book. The diagram in question is Figure 4.7 on page 70.
One of the reasons for the difficulty with understanding this diagram and those related to it is that too many people do not understand what are the customer’s desired outcomes.
There is a great quote in the Service Stratgey book at the very beginning of chapter 3 on p. 31:
‘People do not want quarter-inch drills. They want quarter-inch holes.’
- Professor Emeritus Theodore Levitt, Harvard Business School
IT people think the wrong way because they are presenting drills (technology solutions) to the customer. The customer is not interested in the drill but is interested in making holes efficiently, effectively and at the lowest cost possible. It must present to the customer how the customer’s drill will help the customer to be effective and efficient and understand how much it is costing the customer to use the IT component for their desired outcome of making holes.
So, how does figure 4.7 fit into this?
In order to help with this one, we first need to refer to diagram 4.8 on page 71. Look at the 4 examples provided above the diagram and you will see that that all have common elements that relate to diagram 4.7.
In diagram 4.8 we have 3 columns: the line of service (Catalog), Utility Part A (Outcomes supported) and Utility Part B (Constraints removed). Let us construct an actionable component in terms of utility (as the diagram title says) by using the top most boxes in each column.
“Mobile workspace services provide value to the customers when the field staffsecurely access enterprise applications without being constrained by location or time.”
An organization would probably writes something similar but using a more “personal” language. For example:
“Our mobile workspace services provide value to our customers when our field agents securely access our global enterprise applications from anywhere at anytime of the day or night.”
How can the above service description relate to diagram 4.7?
Let us assume that our field agents need to be able to process credit card transactions 24 hours a day using wireless devices.
Using this example as it relates to diagram 4.7, the desired outcome by the customer is “Payments are secured.” So where do the descriptors for the top row and the left column come from?
About the top row
The top row of this diagram is taken from the “value context” section of diagram 4.4 (p. 68).
Diagram 4.4 illustrates that the Service Catalog describes the services the IT organization provides in clear, day-to-day language (i.e.: not technical). First, the catalog categorizes the services into lines of services which are further broken down into the service archetypes. For example, one business unit could purchase/use the “custodial” service of “protecting” valuable and sensitive information and data while another business unit would purchase/use the “custodial” service of “monitoring” transactions.
In this example, the “custodial” service line (U4) is made up of three service archetypes. They are store, protect and monitor. If you have read my previous blog entries you know that services require customer assets in the form of capabilities (A1 to A5) and resources (A5 to A9). Please remember that people are both capabilities and resources.
The top row in diagram 4.7 represents the customer assets. They are the capabilities of Process (A3), Knowledge (A4) and the resource Financial Assets (A9).
About the left column
The left column is also taken from diagram 4.4. The three archetypes in figure 4.7 can be found in diagram 4.4 as part of U4 for monitor and secure and U5 for process.
That being said, we then need to look at figure 4.6 on p. 69. Imagine the grid in diagram 4.6 is empty. Using the example in figure 4.7, the grid would be filled in as follows: the service would be looking at a combination of U4-A3, U4-A4, U4-A9, U5-A3, U5-A4, U5-A9
Using only the three archetypes and the three value context we end up with diagram 4.7
We end up with a desired outcome of Secured Payments which is accomplished by the following
- Processing the payments
- Monitoring the payments
- We want to conduct business securely through, and with, secure electronic documents
Does the above explanation apply to my example?
“Our mobile workspace services provide value to our customers when our field agents securely access our global enterprise applications from anywhere at anytime of the day or night.”
Of course it does!
It is not difficult to imagine a field agent at a customer site, connecting to the customer database, placing an order, monitoring the status of the order and eventually processing the payment for the order. All this is accomplished by using a secure, wireless device (from anywhere) at any time of the day or night *(around the globe as in global applications).
We want our customers to be confident that their accounts with us is secure and accurate. From our perspective as a business we know that the documents are secure and that the payment has been processed into our bank account.
The difficulty is that too many people do not take the time to read properly; they only glance over the text or look at the pictures. Too many people see the word strategy and claim this is way over their heads. Too many people make a mountain out of a mole hill when they see the word service.
Stop making excuses. Take the time to read and understand. Use analogies and map what you do to these concepts. Please remember that most diagrams in the ITIL books are only examples.