About mylisaland

Co-Founder and COO of ITSM Academy

Go Outside and Play

As I sit here typing this on the “computer that lives in my purse” I think again, “I’m so glad I live in the future”.  I consider myself a pretty Early Adopter of technology (and social media) and I really appreciate how much it has enriched my job.  And how so many other tech advancements have enriched my personal life.

But, when I look at my friend’s 3.5-year old daughter, who has had her own Kindle since last Christmas (13 months!) it makes me thankful that I am of the “last outside generation”.

We HAD to go outside to play, there was nothing else to do.  We only had 3 channels on the TV!  I grew up with parents who placed value in saving for college over buying us fancy toys.  So, while there was access to gaming in my teenage years, that wasn’t an option in my family.

mybikeMy childhood was filled with dare-devil stunts on our bikes (look ma’ no helmets), pick-up ball games in the empty lot across the street from the house, jumping on Kelly’s trampoline, swimming in the pool until we were prunes, and laying out in the backyard with Crisco for my “suntan lotion” and lemons washed into my hair.  On rainy days, it was cards, Monopoly, treasure hunts and books.

Those “non-tech” activities taught me skills that I’m not sure how many kids are learning today.  Including, but certainly not limited to;

  • Fear nothing
  • Use your imagination, you can create any world you want
  • Read books, you can escape to any world you want
  • Organize games – if you are enthusiastic, your friends will follow you anywhere
  • etc. etc.

I can’t even begin to speculate how the hours, and hours (and hours!) of Monopoly and strategy games assist me in running our business….

Alright, I acknowledge that this somewhat sentimental ranting is possibly a by-product of getting older…but I know this, I am so very thankful that “go outside and play” was one of my Mom’s top mantras. (Followed very closely by, “did you put your toys away?” and the perennial, “have you made your bed?”)

And I’m glad that it’s stayed with me.  That I still really enjoy swimming in the ocean, walking on the beach, a pick-up game, riding my bike (and scooter), playing cards, reading books, etc. etc.

So if you are feeling stagnant, unimaginative, or just tired / old, here is my advice: “Go Outside and Play”!

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Playing

LisaLand

Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Round Table

CSM Round Table

Join us for a complimentary webinar: Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Round Table on Thursday, February 20th at 11am (Eastern) – Register

Everyone is talking about Agile and Scrum. But how does Agile apply to service management and DevOps?

Spend some time with two of our ITSM Academy Certified ScrumMasters, Donna Knapp and Jayne Groll, as they share their insights and advice on how Agile can improve IT’s velocity and Time to Value.

Have questions you want included? Post them on Twitter; #askITSMscrum @ITSMAcademy.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!

2013 The Year of Innovation

At the end of 2012, we declared that 2013 would be “The Year of Innovation” here at ITSM Academy. And I’m proud to say it was!

This year, we’ve concentrated on 2 large projects.
1. my.itsmacademy.com – our Learner Portal
2. GAME ON! An Interactive Learning Experience

fill_the_seat.jpgAs I wrote about a few weeks back, part of the reason we were able to accomplish standing up both of these in a single years was by attaining our Certified ScrumMaster certs along the way. We have morphed from a standard Waterfall project methodology, using Agile instead. That wasn’t an easy transition.

Focusing on Shippable Products and running in 2 week sprints has been great. This has really helped us with prioritization. In an organization our size, self organizing teams makes sense, but appointing 3 individuals to be Scrum Master, Product Owner and then Team Members, isn’t always realistic. So we’ve taken the best of what we learned from Scrum, and have adapted to fit our needs.

An exciting by-product of this, is that it really helped us focus on our next Line Of Training – Agile ITSM.  We have 4 new classes which we are adding early 2014:

  • DevOps Overview – 4 hour virtual class, introducing concepts of DevOps. January 24 and February 28 (with many more options to come), virtual classroom.
  • DevOps Fundamentals – 2 day certification course, this course provides attendees the ability to formulate a high-level strategy and action plan for adopting DevOps in their organization.  April 7-10, virtual classroom.
  • Certified ScrumMaster – 2 day certification course, which we are delivering in partnership with a leading Rep of the Scrum Alliance.  March 17-18 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
  • Agile Service Management: Applying Scrum to Process Design – 5 hour virtual class. Coming soon.

So, with our 10th anniversary behind us (how is THAT possible?  Oh, Jayne Groll wrote a great blog about our first ten years…) we continue to grow, morph and change.  Which I’ll be honest, is something we are proud of 😉

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Innovating!

LisaLand

 

T’was the Night Before Christmas

Twas the Night before ChristmasWell, it’s Christmas Eve here in Florida, and Baby it’s Not Hot Outside 😉  Only 68 degrees, with a high today of 79! Brrrhhhh.

That got me to thinking about Christmas Past….so for all of you that had matching PJ’s – and even those of you who didn’t… Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy 2014.

Until Your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Holidays!

Hey, There is Something to this ‘Agile’ Thing

A few months ago, several of the ITSM Academy team (including yours truly), earned our Certified ScrumMaster (CSM) Certificates.  While Scrum – and Agile – are typically utilized for software development projects, we quickly realized a lot of the knowledge and tools that can be applied to any project type.

Here at the Academy, we’ve undertaken one of the biggest projects we’ve ever tackled. We are standing up a Learner Portal, www.my.itsmacademy.com.  This portal will touch every line of business, and is a huge value-add for our learners.  To learner more about it, please click here.

When we came home from our Scrum training we were, “hot and happy and ready to go”. We were planning on applying our new skills to the Learner Portal project.  But then the real world reared its head and we didn’t immediately, or correctly, begin applying the knowledge.

I’ve said, since we started the company, that we will never use that terrible expression about the Cobbler not being able to fix his own kids shoes.  Based on this, and our desire to recoup our return on investment, we knew we had to buckle down and built a plan.  So that’s what we did.

We didn’t start fully, we probably didn’t even start “right”… but we started.

We identified our first Sprint – and have been running ever since! With each Sprint retrospective, we take the time to improve the way we are using Agile and our Sprints.

The result has been that we are getting more “ship-able products” to market.  These include (but are not limited to 🙂

So, in a nutshell, Agile is keeping the Academy rolling at a brand new speed!  We are excited to introduce the courses above, which will help our clients and alumni start Sprinting too 😉

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Sprinting!

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Jury Duty

No post this week, I am doing my America duty and serving on a Jury.  There is lots of great people observing (one of my favorite pastimes), but in general, it’s not pretty.  We are a very complaining people as a society!

I want to get on a history soap box and remind my fellow jurors about the fundamental right to trial by a jury of your peers…but I fear it wouldn’t do any good and just drag the whole process out even longer.

The good news is, there is a blog bubbling up about my experience.  But until the trial is complete, I can’t talk about it…

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy People Observing!

LisaLand

Water Both Gardens

“Hi, my name is Lisa, and I’m a workaholic”. For those of you who are reading my blog (thank you!) I think it’s important that you know that about me.

Since #ILoveMyJob, this really works out for me. I am a process junkie, and I really love fine tuning and re-engineering our process here at ITSM Academy so we can deliver the most efficient and effective training possible. As any small business owner can tell you, your company can consume your life. To paraphrase Michael Gerber, you not only have to work in your business, but on your business. And that can be time consuming.

It is so easy to get lost in building the company, that I sometimes put my personal life on a back burner. And it’s not good or fair to my family, or frankly, myself.

As often is the theme in my posts, years ago I heard an expression that really resonated with me. “You need to be sure to water both gardens”.

Yes, it’s very important to me that I grow my business, but it’s even more important that I continue to grow my marriage, and foster the most important relationship in my life, the one with my husband.

Plus, the added benefit, when I stop and hang out with my husband, we do tons of cool stuff. We go to the beach, canoe, ride bikes, travel, hang out, see friends, play with our dogs, drink beers, etc. Important side note; I may use #ILoveMyJob a lot, but I also can hashtag #ILoveMyHusband and #ILoveMyBudLight with equal amounts of enthusiasm!

Now it’s 6:30 on a Saturday morning and the hubby is stirring. Let me go water my other garden 😉

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Gardening!

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Happy Thanksgiving

Top 10 Things I Love about Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving

  1. Pulling out all of the serving items, and thinking about my Mom, Grandma and Mother-in-Law, which is a happy/sad since none of them are with us anymore
  2. The smell of the food cooking
  3. Listening to Alice’s Restaurant at noon
  4. Having the house filled with family and friends
  5. All my cheesy Thanksgiving decorations, most of which have been gifted to me over the years
  6. Pecan -vs- Pumpkin “Pie Off” I have every year… which one do I really love more???
  7. Sitting and watching football after we eat
  8. Taking the dogs for a walk around the block, and pretending like that exercise negates the food we just ate 🙂 (LOL)
  9. Pumpkin pie for breakfast the next morning
  10. The turkey sandwich leftovers the next day

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Thanksgiving!

What is DevOps?

Join ITSM Academy on Thursday, January 16, 2014 at 11am (Eastern) for our webinar; What is DevOps?Register

whatisdevopswebinar

This webinar introduces  attendees to DevOps, the cultural and professional phenomenon that is rocking the IT world.  By encouraging better collaboration, communication and integration between development and operational teams, DevOps is enabling organizations to build, deploy and operate quality software faster

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!
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