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Don't Panic



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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."
~Douglas Adams


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Thursday, June 20, 2013

Practitioner Radio 43 - Major Incident Review and Root Cause Analysis

Digging Deep On Those Things That Matter!

Providing effective support is a basic DNA element for any service organization which seeks to deliver customer value. This is especially true in situations where service disruption may present significant financial, brand or even human safety concerns. This is certainly true in the world of IT Service Management where disruptions to key IT Services and Systems can disrupt financial markets, ground fleets of airplanes, impact front line defence systems or threaten critical life support systems in a hospital environment.

Lets face it the news is full of situations where a “Computer Glitch” has had some major impact on the life and welfare of our economy or personal lives.

With so much riding on the stability and reliability of IT Services it is critical that we have mature IT support processes and roles in place. Also it is important that we have the discipline and practices is place to learn from our past experiences. To this end the ITIL framework describes two support practices that on the surface look similar but have subtle but important differences.

Join Gary Case, Chris and I as we discuss the differences and synergies of the Major Incident Review and Problem Management’s Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

Show Notes:

  • Service Level Management Evolution – lots of people didn’t know about the history
  • Colorado - mini Pink office.  Anointed as heart of US Service Management movement
  • Difference between major incident review and root cause analysis around Problem Management
  • After a major incident is resolved you get together as a team and ask questions “what did we do well/not do well?” “what can we learn for future incidents?”
  • Sometimes there’s issue with people worried about even declaring something a major incident
  • Should a major incident be logged as a problem?
  • Problem is anything significant that has impacted the organization’s ability to achieve outcomes – could be a single significant event OR a recurring incident (i.e. underlying problem causes incidents)
  • If you’re going to define a problem it should be a conscious decision against criteria
  • Problem management should be the simplest process to implement
  • If culture is ‘we don’t like problems’ people will be reluctant to do Problem Management properly
  • The investigation is about root cause analysis
  • Seen people change an incident to a problem just to get more time
  • Problem management is part of CSI (step 5, analysis)
  • Like Rob England’s Standard+Case – problem management like case management is not linear
  • Are there people who are natural problem solvers / investigators?
  • Learning styles and information gathering skills play big part of who should be doing this
  • Problem Management often needs to be a whole-brain activity – some are more attuned
  • People sometimes resist answering certain questions because they don’t welcome visibility – flashlight being shone around
  • How will culture evolve so that people don’t mind the light?
  • Base decisions on data, make sure you have the correct data
  • Governance is needed and on going communication to explain why data is needed
  • No longer can just say ‘Trust Me’
  • Once door is open / light is on something has to be done differently – can’t hide any more
  • What can a mature organization do? Ensure people are allocated appropriate amount of time for root cause analysis
  • Immature orgs: step back and start defining what the definitions are, trend reports, identify one or two problems to try the process and as proof of concept

Gary’s Thunderbolt Tip of the Day: Whenever you’re doing major incident review and root cause analysis it should never be about pointing fingers or placing blame – it will kill effectiveness of process. It should be about how can we improve and how can we deliver better value out to our customers.

For additional information on this subject:

Troy’s, Chris’s and Gary’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“It is not that I’m so smart, it’s just that I stay with problems longer.” ~Albert Einstein

To subscribe to Pink’s Podcasts on iTunes

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 06/20 at 03:22 PM
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Don't Panic

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Practitioner Radio 42 - Becoming A Change Agent

Change Agents Leading The Charge For Positive Transformation

When you hear or read the term “Change Agent”  do you think of images of secret agents working behind enemy lines incognito working toward some secret purpose? Or perhaps your mind conjures up images of a flamboyant larger than life character such as James Bond who spends much of his time being seen in all the right places and playing for high stakes at a casino on the French Riviera? Or perhaps if you have a few decades of experience you remember the humorous Maxwell Smart with his Shoe Phone and Cone of silence. smile

The truth may not be so Hollywood but the role of a Change Agent is part Leader, part role model and yes perhaps in part a specifically elected agent who has been chosen to infiltrate and bring about change from the inside out.

Join guest: Rae Garrett, Chris and I as we discuss this interesting topic and how you be and select the change agents that lead the thin edge of the wedge of transformation. 


  • Ultimate Answer to Life the Universe and Everything: summon Rae Garrett!
  • Rae’s role – teach people to become change agents and become empowered. Teaching leadership.
  • First show talking about creating change agents
  • Key things people need to think about: nobody likes to be told what to think or what they’re going to change, if we expect people to embrace change make sure it’s their idea and we’re empowering them to do it themselves
  • Are some people just not going to change? Troy – Western cultures can be more individualistic, some other cultures are more group orientated
  • Practitioner Radio Episode 21 - Culture & ITSM Transformation Projects
  • A change agent sets out to make an improvement and has to convince others it’s a good idea
  • Usually people are different in home life than their work life
  • Change agent needs to believe in the change to have any hope of inspiring belief in others
  • Core Design Team Members and Change Agents
  • If there is an influential peer group leader you have to get them on the team – respect and act upon their concerns
  • Change leader may have to compromise to get this person on board
  • Don’t always need the whole win straight away
  • Awareness requires only that we pay attention and see things as they are, it doesn’t require that we change anything.
  • There is a role for mindful contemplation
  • How do we know what’s best for everyone?
  • Barbara Coloroso – in parenting models extremes are not good (too unbending or too permissive)
  • Key is creating a vision that’s inspiring enough that people do want to follow you
  • Continually improving cycle
  • Piaget said you have to help people get to disequilibrium then to get past that
  • Key influencers can help get those who don’t believe they can make a difference on board
  • Hardest thing can be unlocking the attachment to the past - Victoria Grady - Attachement Theory
  • 1% rule – 1% of people online are change agents, 9% are influencers, 90% are observers
  • Identifying those who are more impactful – what if you have no relationship with them?  Figure out your platform – may be a middle-man or extra step needed to get to them
  • Have to get a spectrum of people. Have to do stakeholder mapping – who plays what role
  • Rae case study: company had a lot of upper leadership going to meetings, had to convince them they had to have the people who actually do the work in the meetings – they have the answers
  • Go to the source of the thing you’re trying to change

Rae Garrett’s thunderbolt tip of the day: Remember you are going to make change contagious. The people who do the work know the answers about what has to be improved. When they decide the change is a good one they’re going to keep the momentum going the change will be a reality.

Rae’s, Chris’s and Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” ~Mahatma Gandhi

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 06/11 at 11:11 AM
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