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Don't Panic



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Troy DuMoulin, VP, Research, Innovation & Product Development

Troy is a leading ITIL® and IT governance 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 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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Friday, November 27, 2015

Business Acumen The Most Critical Skill’s Shortage in IT?

When You Don’t Know Where You Are Going Any Direction Will Do!

Businesses increasingly faces an IT skills shortage - a shortfall between the supply of qualified IT professionals and the necessary IT skills. In this blog article, I explore the business implications of what I personally see as the most the most important and growing skills gap. Despite the availability of numerous Governance and Service Management frameworks little progress seems to have been made over the last decade in closing the age old problem of a lack of general business acumen within the IT profession.

  • What business problems are created by this skills shortage?
  • How does the IT skills gap affect the bottom line?
  • What specific problems do businesses face as a result?
  • How do current advanced Computer Science degrees contribute or help with this issue?

When most people consider the question of an IT skills gap, they focus on the skills and knowledge required to leverage the current and emerging technologies. What often is overlooked is that the primary skills gap for the IT profession is business acumen. An IT skills gap in this area often results in a “language barrier” and failure to translate business objectives to technology strategy.

This issue, often referred to as a “failure of alignment”, can be the root cause of a much more troubling problem than the lack of specific technology skills (which can be sourced through third party solutions if necessary). Without the required skills, processes and knowledge related to managing the relationship of demand and supply, businesses are unable to take advantage of and build upon established information to help get ahead in an ever competitive market. Instead, precious time is often wasted on people trying to understand each other (and sometimes not understanding at all!) or trying to re-invent the wheel. This time could have otherwise been spent on problem solving on issues related to quality, speed or cost of current services or introducing new offerings related to competitive advantage!

The issue of being “lost in translation” is further compounded by the fact that many, if not most, advanced Computer Science degrees focus on technology skills and teach our emerging young technologists very little about the business of running an effective business within a business. They understand the fundamentals of coding, building data centers and configuring a network. However they have limited to no skills related to defining services, managing a portfolio process, establishing demand focused budgets and agreeing on common support models across the various internal and external technology silos.

As a big Douglas Adams (of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy fame) fan, I love referencing the “Babel Fish” as an ideal solution to this translation dilemma – an amazing fish that once stuck in your ear translates all foreign language into something you can understand. But until we can get our hands (and ears) on one of these, the next best thing we have for understanding each other across different geographies is the adoption of a common definition of terms using business focused and accepted IT Service Management frameworks such as ITIL, COBIT, CMMI, etc. Education and skills in the use of these frameworks have at a minimum the benefit of establishing a common language across technology silos. In the ideal situation, these skills will focus IT attention on the outcomes being delivered by technology solutions rather than the current myopic focus on the technology assets alone.

In my opinion, the adoption of a common definition of terms is one of the most important enablers of this increasingly global economy. It is imperative for businesses to have access to this level of knowledge in order to become more efficient and able to compete with growing global market pressures.

Troy’s Though’s What Are Yours?

“Technology advances at exponential rates, and human institutions and societies do not. They adapt at much slower rates. Those gaps get wider and wider.” ~Mitch Kapor

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Wednesday, November 04, 2015

PR 65 - Enabling Strategic Engagement With Business Relationship Management

Navigating The Complexities and Tiger Traps Of Service Provisioning

All human relationships are complex and fraught with challenges related to bias, expectations and emotion. Perhaps one of the most challenging relationships of all to maintain in a long term positive light is the relationship of service provider and consumer. Challenging in that often both parties in this specific relationship paradigm expect to come out of the experience having gained something of value, often with one side feeling as they have come away with the better deal.

However any long term relationship needs to be based on trust, integrity and mutual respect. The Business Relationship Manager plays a critical role as a connector, orchestrator and navigator in respect to finding a way to bring a win / win for both parties.

Join George, Jack and Troy as they discuss the positioning, purpose and critical nature of the Business Relationship Management role, context, certification and Global Professional Association.

Show Notes:

  • Why has it been so Long!
  • PinkFORUM Leadership Event
  • Jack introduces the New Business Relationship Management Course
  • Service Providers and Business Partner Relationships
  • What exactly is Business Relationship Management?
  • The BRM is a Connecting Point (Point of Contact - Working Channel)
  • Shaping Vision - Translating
  • Universal Translator - Babel Fish
  • How does the business see IT as a provider?
  • Does your BRM suffer from the Stockholm Syndrome?
  • BRM Maturity Model
  • The problem with parachuting BRM’s into a Liaison role without support structures
  • BRM Metaphors: The Connector, The Orchestrator, The Navigator
  • Practitioner Radio 37 Portfolio Mgmt. Trains, Tunnels and Plate Spinning
  • Demand Shaping & Filtering (The Funnel, Filter & Valve)
  • Where do BRM’s come from?
  • Need the ability to influence and facility based on trust / credibility
  • BRM’s require a great deal of Emotional Intelligence
  • CIO’s function as a Strategic BRM
  • The BRM Certification from APMG
  • The Business Relationship Management Institute

George’s, Jack’s & Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“The Semantic Web isn’t inherently complex. The Semantic Web language, at its heart, is very, very simple. It’s just about the relationships between things.” ~Tim Berners-Lee

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Sunday, June 14, 2015

PR 64 - Enterprise IT Governance - MIA

For a team to win games and claim championships, it needs to be more than a group of individual star players with unique sets of specialty skills. Winning teams operate under a common vision and mission, and share a playbook established by strong leaders who understand how the various members of the team are best organized to achieve team goals. Following this analogy, business and IT leaders across an enterprise should logically share a common vision, portfolio priorities and agreement on how to collectively leverage technology resources and data to achieve business objectives.

To carry our sports analogy a bit further, what is needed is an informed and skilled Senior Coaching Staff who understand that their primary responsibility is to take a team of very diverse players and optimize their performance as a collective whole, versus focusing on one or two star players. While using sports analogies helps, the real challenge facing the IT industry is defining what is actually meant by the concept of “Governance.” This year’s Pink Think Tank (PTT15) has taken on the subject of Enterprise IT Governance - Missing In Action.

Join George, Rob England (The IT Skeptic) and I in this episode of Practitioner Radio as we discuss the challenges organizations face in defining and establishing Enterprise IT Governance.

Show Notes:

  • Guest: Rob England “IT Skeptic
  • Rob producer of the PinkTHINKTANK (PTT)
  • Pink15 PTT Topic “Enterprise IT Governance - MIA”
  • For Pink15, the major topic of discussion for the PTT is IT Governance.
    • Some experts define IT governance as processes that ensure the effective and efficient use of IT in enabling a business to achieve its goals. But IT governance is a term that, although widely used, is not really fully understood (or many believe, even practiced). So, what does ‘governance’ mean? Apparently, many agree it is important to have. However, when people (even experts) are asked what governance is, you will get widely different answers as to what it is, what it consists of, and why it is so important. The PTT will seek to debate, define and document this subject so that Pink15 attendees can better understand the components of governance and why it is important to a high-performing IT organization.
  • PinkTT ScreenCast Overview:
  • George “What Is IT Governance?”
  • Troy “Governance = Oversight eg: Parenting”
  • The Debate - Where does IT Governance happen?
  • IT Governance Standard ISO 38500
  • IT Governance happens at many levels “Re-cursive at multiple levels”
  • PTT Member Alison Holt - Co Author of the ISO 38500 standard
  • Governance (Evaluate, Direct, Monitor)
  • Multiple Levels (Board, Business Level, Business Unit Level.. )
  • Enterprise IT is not limited to what you consider IT in your Org Chart. (IT The Function vs IT The Resource)
  • Governance Frameworks
  • Management Frameworks
  • Many organization’s stop a Policy when executing Governance
  • COBIT identifies 7 Key Enablers which need to be Governed
  • George “What is IT Governance lacking or Missing and Actions”
  • Troy “We have Silo Governance very few organizations have Enterprise IT Governance”
  • 1st Pink Think Tank - IT Governance Paper
  • Rob England Article on IT Governance: Organizations have failed their IT like bad parents
  • Enterprise IT Is MIA at both the Board and IT Levels
  • Governance is a dirty word for many people “Big Brother, Audit Compliance”
  • Shadow IT is a symptom of the lack of effective Enterprise IT Governance
  • IT is not governed in the same way that money or financial resources currently is
  • Critical Success Factor - we need to think of IT as Value Streams (Lean IT)
  • We need to move from a silo / city state model to a federated governance model
  • Need to look for Triggers to find and opportunity to start an IT Governance journey
  • Troy’s, Rob’s and George’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

    “If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else.” ~Yogi Berra

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