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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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Tuesday, November 07, 2006

A Risk by Any Other Name is Still a Risk

In keeping with the last post that challenges the artificial separation we have placed between IT and the business I would like to share a personal experience.

In my role, I have the privilege of being asked to speak at various conferences on topics related to IT Management. Earlier this year I attended a gathering of IT professionals focused on Risk Management. Un-surprisingly there was an emphasis on the growing list of business legislation with an IT impact.

During one of the networking breaks I sat around a table with a group of people who were obviously from the same financial organization. After introductions I made polite conversation in order to understand more about their organization and why they were attending the conference.

Throughout this conversation some interesting facts began to emerge.

Each of the individuals from this organization dealt with Risk Management as a primary focus of their job. (Corporate Risk Management, IT Risk Management, Information Security, and Internal Audit)

What became obvious was that for the most part these folks from the same company only new each other on a casual basis. More surprising was that they viewed their jobs as completely independent. So much so that each used their own model, and tool for risk classification which in no way aligned with each other or was used for a common purpose.

So my question to the reader of this blog is in what universe does this make sense?

Yet a majority of organizations I work with are setup in a very similar model.

Consider:

  • The financial results of a company are directly a product of the business roles and processes that generate them.
  • The business processes are for a large part automated by IT Services and Systems with no practical ability to revert to manual or non automated means
  • The IT services are managed, delivered and supported by IT processes such as ITIL
  • IT Professionals are directly responsible for the IT Processes

For all practical purposes there is not true ability to separate the business from its underlying technology and supporting management processes.

Troy

We notice things that don’t work. We don’t notice things that do. We notice computers, we don’t notice pennies. We notice e-book readers, we don’t notice books.  ~ Douglas Adams (1952 - 2001), The Salmon of Doubt

 

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 11/07 at 08:38 AM
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Friday, November 03, 2006

Business Alignment or Business Integration?

Many books and papers have been written on the subject of IT and business alignment. While not to downplay this important topic, one needs to ask why we are having this conversation. You don’t see the equivalent concerns about HR and business alignment, Finance and business alignment or Engineering and business alignment. The very fact that these are relevant topics today tells us something about the current level of maturity of our industry.

Most IT organizations around the world are at the very early stages of a technology to service evolution. The challenge before us is how to convince both the IT Techie and the business customer that IT does not simply manage hardware and software.

As IT organizations evolve into a Service Delivery model it is important to understand where the industry has come from and how Technology Management differs in focus from Service Management. Over the last 20 years IT planning, strategy, recruitment, skills training, and incentive programs have focused on developing centers of technology excellence. We have hired and trained individuals to hone their technology skills in order to optimize and reduce cost around the use of new technology innovations. However, for the most part education around a business perspective has largely been ignored. Nowhere is this clearer than the fact that most computer science degrees until very recently have been purely technology-focused and have little to no focus on teaching general business acumen.

There is a growing awareness that there is no real separation between the business process and the technology that underpins it. How do you separate Accounts Payable from SAP? Or from a different perspective why is the engineering group that builds an oil platform and the IT department that works along side them to hook it up to the information network seen as having a different position in the business organization. One group is considered a business unit and the other something unique and separate. The answer of course has to be that they are both enabling business functions and not really different at all.

What are your thoughts? Does this make sense? Is there a compelling business case that places the IT organization in a unique role in the business model?

Troy

Time is an illusion. Lunchtime doubly so. ~Douglas Adams

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 11/03 at 09:44 AM
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Sunday, October 29, 2006

The People Process and Technology Flaw

Most of us involved in the service management industry have heard the sacred triad or mantra (People Process and Technology)

Well in my view this carefully balanced three legged stool is inherently flawed and unstable. This view comes from personal experience that tells me that two out of the three of these elements can be purchased for the right price while the third is without price.

You see with big enough budgets

  • I can by the right tool.
  • I can buy processes or someone to build them for me.
  • However I will never be able to buy the hearts and minds of people.

This is why in a typical ITIL project only 1/3 of the total time needed is actually spent in process design or tool configuration. The vast majority of the time on any process related project is spent on selling and developing consensus around the new ways we are suggesting people view themselves and their jobs.

I will admit that there are those truly rare autocratic companies where a single word from on high makes something true.

However, for the vast majority of companies telling people they will behave completely differently, use new tools and perform tasks that they always believed were someone else’s job just because an executive with enough power says so is like Maria Antoinette telling the court “Let them eat cake”

History shows that assumptions like that rarely last for the long term.

So perhaps the real statement should be People, People, People, Process and Technology.

Troy

It is a mistake to think you can solve any major problems just with potatoes. ~Douglas Adams

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Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 10/29 at 11:50 PM
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