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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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Sunday, September 07, 2014

PR 60 - The 3 Architectures of A Service Based Organization

Its Hard To Win When Playing With A Partial Deck

In episode 60 of Practitioner Radio George and I explore the reality that most technical focused IT organizations proactively govern and manage only 1 of 3 core architectures required to deliver, sustain and improve customer value.  The predictable result of this scenario is that as an industry we struggle to deliver on our goals, suffer from poor customer satisfaction and are rapidly losing customer trust and market share.

The answer to this challenge is in part found in the realization that a Services / Outcome based Organization has to manage 3 Core Architectures to ensure that the services it provides are fit for use and fit for purpose now and in the future. Join George and I as we discuss what it really means to move from a Technology to a Service Based Organization mindset and competency.

Show Notes

  • PinkFORUM14 Scottsdale Arizona
  • Montelucia Resort
  • PinkFORUM Leadership Focus - What does it mean to be a leader in a Service Based Organization?
  • Topic: The 3 Architectures of a Service Based Organization
  • Larger Principle of Architecture Governing, Managing Resources to achieve future state results
  • Moving from a Technology based organization to a Service Based Organization
  • What is a Service Based Organization?
  • What is a Technology focused Organization? (Optimizing and Maximizing Technology Resources)
  • A Services Based Organization is an organization that manages Services and their outcomes
  • A Service Based Organization: An organization that defines themselves by the services they provide not the technologies they oversee
  • Restaurant Analogy - Outcome Variations which define the consumer experience
  • 3 - Architectures, (Technology, Service and Process)
  • Process Architecture: Engagement, Strategy, Design/build, Run
  • All 3 Architectures are already in place but a Technology Organization will not focus, govern, manage 2 out of the 3 architectures.
  • Most organizations which adopt an Process framework never get much further than basic operations and move to production processes.
  • What does “Were Doing ITIL Really Mean?”
  • ITIL is simply a reference model against which we can assess and establish the potential for improvement
  • ITIL typically comes in through the Operations side of the IT Function and It rarely moves further back into the lifecycle of Plan / Build due to limitations on Enterprise Governance
  • The real constraint is politics and perception not that the process exists or not
  • All organizations do all the processes in ITIL and beyond however the question is about their maturity and capability
  • Process Architecture - Generic set of practices that any IT organization needs to gain and retain customers / marketshare
  • Process Architecture is the set of generic practices which either differentiate me or preclude me from gaining future customers
  • Restaurants which look great but have terrible service. No one wants to eat there!

  • Tragedy: In design we plan / build with context and relationship. However, when we put it into production we let go of the knowledge of service architecture
  • Any service organization has a process architecture (Engage, Requirements Generation, Plan, Build, Run)
  • To not manage 2 out of 3 core architectures is trying to guess what my customers want on the menu
  • Who owns this? (Super Chef vs Sou Chefs) - Accountabilities for each area
  • Leadership - defining and driving accountabilities
  • Gartner ISCO Services Organization
  • B4B - Supplier Maturity Model
  • All 3 architectures of potential for externalization
  • The Big Switch - Nicholas Carr
  • IT Service Outsourcing
  • Just because I externalize a practice does not mean I relegate accountability
  • We all have to have the same 3 sheet of music.
    • What is not defined cannot be controlled
    • What is not controlled cannot be measured
    • What is not measured cannot be improved
  • If we are blindly governing 2 out of 3 architectures we probably cannot expect to be in business much longer.

George and Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“Environment sets the context for everything else in terms of where you are playing.” ~Forbes

To subscribe to Pink’s Podcasts on iTunes 

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What Leaders Need To Lead - PinkFORUM14

Leadership Is Directionless Without A Goal or Defined Future State

As I think back on Pink Elephant’s recent Leadership Forum and the overwhelming positive experience it was for so many of our customers as well as the Pink team I have been thinking about what makes this event special and unique. Without a doubt there are many excellent IT conferences and at Pink we take pride in the variety of events we have produced over the 20 years. However based on the numerous comments we have received from our customers this focused leadership event evokes some of the strongest and most passionate positive comments.

Reflecting back on this I believe this is due to the fact that this event is unique in several ways. For starters it is perhaps the only IT Management conference which focuses primarily on the mind set, attitudes, behaviours and demonstrated skills needed from and by IT leaders. Key to this focus is the understanding that leaders at every level of the organization need to enable and promote collective vs individual results. Dr. Tasha Eurich delivered the closing keynote “Hope Is Not A Plan”” and summarized this perfectly when she stated “The skills and abilities needed to succeed as an individual are not the same as those required to succeed at leading or being part of a team” This statement is key, in that the IT culture tends to focus on identifying, grooming and promoting individual technical specialists or stars and then recognizes their star ability by promoting them to lead and manage other technical specialists most of whom are primarily focus on producing individual results. The result of this prevailing approach to leadership and management grooming results in highly competitive, political, silo’ed and personal results driven cultures where according to the survey conducted at the event by the opening key note speaker Dave Logan “Tribal Leadership” - our predominate culture results in a spirt of “I’m Great And Your Not”.

Needless to say that this individualistic mind set and approach to leadership development will not lend itself well to collectively delivering value and improving collective effectiveness.

In this context Leadership must begin with a laser focus on establishing a shared team mindset, priorities and collaborative practices focused on delivering customer value. In my view the theme of leadership development is exactly what makes this event unique in the IT industry. While tools and frameworks are useful we cannot leverage them effectively unless we first establish True North and gain organizational agreement on a common understanding of a shared Vision and Mission. In short effective leadership begins with establishing shared beliefs and leading a group of talented subject matter experts (SMEs) in such a way that they endorse and get behind a set of common values and priorities. Only at this point can an organization effectively discuss leveraging frameworks and tools where needed to establish efficient and effective Management practices.

Not to say we did not discuss tools and methodologies at the Leadership Forum, however they were always presented in the context as enablers of true goal of demonstrating transformational leadership focused on customer value and improving marketshare through continual improvement on team performance and effectiveness.

Fatima Cabral (Pink’s CEO) shared with me a very telling comment from one of the attendees. She shared with Fatima that while she really enjoys our major 13+ track conference in February she also values the Leadership Forum’s unique audience. She explained that she was amazed that regardless to whom she spoke to at the Leadership forum she was assured of having a meaningful conversation about key leadership issues others were facing and overcoming in their own organizations.

So in this context, I have to assume that as Iron sharpens Iron this event provides a unique opportunity for people engaged in IT Leadership roles to learn, become recharged and gain useful insights on how to effectively go home and influence their teams to move from Tribal Leadership’s “I’m Great and Your Not” to the needed “Were Great” belief needed to operate as a truly effective team working towards the same goals.

If you the readers of this post believe this is a worthy goal I hope to see each of you there next year as we do this again!

Troy’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

“Business leaders must explicitly define their organization’s purpose… it shapes every other aspect of “BRAVE Leadership.”…behaviors, relationships, attitudes and the work environment. The purpose, “why” we do what we do, creates a meaningful place to work. The values are also important in creating an intentional culture because they are “how” we do the “what,” whether it is pizza or widgets or accounting.” – Nick Sarillo

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Sunday, July 13, 2014

PR 59 - LeanIT - Gaining Sr. Leadership Buy In

Enabling Leaders To Make A Difference & Teach Others To Do The Same

Most Sr. leaders have a clear vision about what they want to accomplish and where they want to go in respect to their strategic goals. Many have a solid plan for how to deploy the changes they wish to accomplish. However few Sr. Leaders understand how to effectively make their plans a reality coupled with the ability to sustain them after they are no longer engaged.

LeanIT offers a set of principles, thinking models and tools that provide Sr. Leaders with the skills and knowledge they need to accomplish their objectives. However, the challenge is how to convince them that LeanIT offers tangible methods to accomplish sustainable results.

In this episode of Practitioner Radio George and I speak with Mike Orzen who is a co-author of LeanIT; a popular and Shingo Prize winning book on the subject of applying Lean principles to IT Services and Processes.

Show Notes:

  • Special Guest – Mike Orzen
  • LeanIT Book
  • LeanIT winner of the Shingo Prize
  • Lean a Business Improvement Model now being applied to an IT Context
  • The Elevator Summary: “Creating value for the customer with the least amount of effort required.
    • Doing the work right, complete, accurate the first time (Quality)
    • Least Amount of time necessary (Delivery Time)
    • Focusing on Quality and Delivery Time we get (Flow)
  • Lean Summary from Mike Orzen
  • Lean also means getting on the “Lean Scale” looking for waste starting with an assessment
  • Lean is about changed behaviors: Problem Solving, Transparency of Issues, Alignment of Leadership, Management and associates
  • Lean environments generate an atmosphere of trust and no-fear
  • In many IT Environments it is better to look good as opposed to being good “Blowing Sunshine Upstairs”
  • Go To Gemba – getting to the ground level and seeing challenges at the source
  • Bottom Up – Top Enabled Successful Transformation
  • Gorilla Lean with the collation of the willing
  • Developing a center / island of excellence
  • Improvement In Stealth mode – wining the ability to sell up
  • 75% of LeanIT Opportunities do not have a company wide Sr. Leadership commitment
  • Make sure you pick LeanIT Projects that will be your poster children
  • Kaizen Improvement (personal, department, process, system)
  • People say and do exactly what their bosses focus on most frequently
  • The beliefs and practices of Leaders / Bosses have a huge implication on whether lean projects are successful
  • Process Frameworks such as ITIL or COBIT describe the right things to do (effectiveness) – Lean focus on doing the right things at the right level. (efficiency)
  • Adopting best practices with out Lean thinking puts the design at risk of being over engineered.
  • Lean Approaches can be applied to any discipline (cyber security example)
  • Questions to ask Leaders:
    1. Are you getting the results you need?
    2. Are you maintaining the ability to sustain those results?
    3. Are you able to attract and retain great people?
    4. How do your people feel about coming to work and recommending your company to other for employment?
  • Lean is about:
    1. Getting results
    2. A Culture of trust and respect
    3. A Culture of continual process improvement & daily team based problem solving
    4. Alignment of purpose
  • Lean is more about improving throughput and speed of value delivery versus cutting costs
  • Lean Leaders and Management need to do the following: Eliminate Waste, Teach Others to do the same
  • Lean Leadership:
    1. Clear Vision of the goal
    2. Leaders Have a Plan to deploy the goal
    3. Leaders and Managers set a behavior based examples for others to follow
  • Three steps to get Leaders to move forward with LeanIT
    1. Get the Leaders involved in the assessment
    2. Get some of the leaders involved in the analysis and planning
    3. Use a rapid cycle deployment model for everything you do (2 weeks max to deliver results)
  • Lean gives you a concrete CSI Method and thinking process
  • Three Questions to ask as part of your LeanIT efforts
    1. What are we doing now that we doing now that we need to stop doing?
    2. What are we not doing now that we need to start doing?
    3. What are we doing now that we need to keep doing?

Troy’s, George’s and Mike’s Thoughts What Are Yours?

““Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence.” ~(Harvard Business School definition of leadership)”

To subscribe to Pink’s Podcasts on iTunes 

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