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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL® IT Governance and Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Expert certifications and has extensive experience in leading IT Service Management (ITSM) programs with a regional and global scope.

He is a frequent speaker at IT Management events and is a contributing author to multiple ITSM and Lean IT books, papers and official ITIL publications including ITIL’s Planning To Implement IT Service Management and Continual Service Improvement.


The Guide

"This blog is dedicated to making sense out of the shifting landscape of IT Management. Just when we thought we had a good handle on managing technology, the job we thought we knew is being threatened by strange acronym’s like ITIL, CMMI, COBIT, ect.. Suddenly the rules have changed and we are not sure why. The goal of this blog is to offer an element of sanity and logic to what can appear to be chaos."

Hitch Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

"In many of the more relaxed civilizations on the Outer Eastern Rim of the Galaxy, the Hitch Hiker’s Guide has already supplanted the great Encyclopedia Galactic as the standard repository of all knowledge and wisdom, for though it has many omissions and contains much that is apocryphal, or at least wildly inaccurate, it scores over the older more pedestrian work in two important respects.

First, it is slightly cheaper: and secondly it has the words DON’T PANIC inscribed in large friendly letters on its cover."
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Thursday, March 26, 2009

Good To Great and ITSM Projects

The Long Sustained Road To Success

Another successful Pink ITSM conference is now a few weeks behind us but we are already hard at work developing the schedule for next year’s event. One of the sessions that I am looking forward to delivering next year is a review and reflection on the well known business book “Good To Great” by Jim Collins.  Good To Great: Why Some Companies Make The Leap…And Others Don’t

It seems like the message is already getting out there since I received an excellent question in my inbox the other day:

“Troy, I was checking out the Pink 2010 conference website and saw you were doing a session on “Good to Great.” I would agree the book has some good concepts, but was curious how you would address the authors selection of Circuit City as one of the key companies, considering that Circuit City no longer exists. It would certainly contradict his “Build to Last” concept.

Just looking for your thoughts.


Rob you ask a fair question and here is a considered response based on the opportunities I have had to work with many organization on their ITSM journey over the last 12 years. The most difficult challenge that companies face over the long haul is the ability to sustain momentum for their initiatives. I have seen time and time again that something well started falters over time based on leadership changes (which changes culture and values) or leadership focus. The principal of sustainability is a major deliverable of governance that is often lacking in many companies.

I recently wrote blog post on this very subject: 7 Enablers for ITSM Expanded - Program Momentum

In order to sustain “greatness”, the principles/best practices discussed in the books need to be implemented over and over again (Continuous Improvement and Process Maturity are key to ongoing success). The reason Circuit City (and a couple of others in Collins’ book like Fannie Mae) ran into major trouble is they STOPPED practicing the principles that made them “great”.

I think what his book (and other best practice business books – including ITIL) imply is that there are some principles that can help a company/department succeed, but future success is dependent on the condition that these companies/departments continue to follow the same practices and that they implement continuous improvement best practices.

I have seen this played out time and again in organizations that have adopted IT Service Management. They literally spent hundreds of thousands of dollars if not more on their goals only to abandon their objectives due to a shift in leadership and or leadership values. I suppose the average CIO retention rate in North America of 18 months does not help this challenge much.

So perhaps companies like Circuit City forgot their own recipe of success, or took some risks that were not in line with their principles. We need to remember that companies/departments are constantly evolving and therefore liable to change their leadership/personality/culture/vision that got them to the place they were before they changed. The Home Depot case study is a prime example of this culture switch. Initially a family oriented culture established by the founders of the company, but very different now with the introduction of new leadership with very different values.

Best selling business books provide examples of organizations at a point in time. Look at all the books that reflect on GE under Jack Welch’s leadership but very little is written about that organization today if you catch my meaning. If you can manage to replicate the philosophy of what made an organization great in your business/department and then sustain it with the good old Dr. Deming’s (Plan, Do Check, Act) circle of continual improvement a company has a better chance at “Long Term” success.

Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“Leadership is the wise use of power. Power is the capacity to translate intention into reality and sustain it.” Warren G. Bennis

(4) Comments
Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 03/26 at 11:07 AM
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Don't Panic

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