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Don't Panic



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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research & Development

Troy is a leading ITIL®, IT Governance & Lean IT authority with a solid and rich background in Executive IT Management consulting. Troy holds the ITIL Service Manager and 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 acronyms like ITIL, Lean, Agile, DevOps, 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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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.


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

Posted by Troy DuMoulin on 10/29 at 11:50 PM
  1. Hi Troy,

    Your dead on with this one.  People are the most important because, well, they do the work.  That being said, I believe a common flaw in many ITSM initiatives is not explaining the value of ITSM to all levels in the organization. While securing executive sponsorship is critical to secure funding, not securing common support for the initiative will make attaining any ITSM achievements difficult to say the least.  And with out a record of continuous achievements, the funding dries up pretty darn fast. 

    The key to this, I believe, is to deliver value to those who aid in the grunt work of ITSM.  Many individuals recognize that they exist in IT silos, want to climb out, but don’t know how.  By providing service management resources that many in the silos have craved for so long, the silos themselves begin to weaken and collapse.  Ask what they need, ensure it is aligned to ITSM and the business, and provide it when possible. 

    The result is that ITSM can make the work “better” to those throughout the organization as well as to those who matter most: the customers.

    Just my humble opinion….

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/09  at  09:40 PM
  2. Well said John

    There have been times over the last few years that I have worked with company’s where there was little to no credence placed on the need to get their staff on board with a change. The perspective being they are our employees and they will just do what we tell them to so no need to communicate, get their input/involvement.

    In short the view was spending anytime than a bare minimum needed for the initial communication was a waste of effort.

    In my experience this typically results in some short term gain but once the spotlight of executive focus has moved on the people revert to what ever they were doing before. (typically the path of least resistance)

    One of my favorite quotes on the need to get buy in is:

    “Until reason is satisfied, an individual cannot proceed in any direction wholeheartedly.”  Huston Smith

    Posted by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)  on  03/12  at  11:37 AM
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