Continual Professional Development (CPD) to support ITIL®

AXELOS, the ITIL® Accreditor, has recently announced they are working on a Continual Professional Development (CPD) service to support the AXELOS Global Best Practice Portfolio including ITIL.

From their press release…

“The CPD programme will create and establish lifelong personal brand value by enabling individuals to stay current in their knowledge and protect the investment they have made in the AXELOS Global Best Practice qualifications. This best of breed service is designed to be truly customer centric – tailoring professional development to individual needs and allowing an individual to learn in a way that best suits them.”

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We will keep you posted as we continue to learn more about their plans.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!


DevOps Resources

In the last 2 years, there has been groundswell of interest in DevOps; some of my favorites;

  • Websites:
  • Certification Training:
  • Conferences: #DOES14
    • The DevOps Enterprise Summit will assemble leaders of large, complex organizations who are adopting #DevOps, and who will be sharing their transformation stories.
    • They have announced speakers from GE Energy, Macy’s, Disney, Blackboard, Ticketmaster, Target, US Dept of Homeland Security, Nordstrom, Capital One, Raytheon, Barclays…
    • If you love heroic and courageous tales of DevOps transformations, this conference is for you!
    • Use promo code ITSM20 for a 20% discount!

Until your next trip to LisaLand… Happy Reading, Conferencing and Training!

The Phoenix Project – I Still Love It!

PartsUnlimitedLast night, I spoke with Gene Kim – @RealGeneKim – author, evangelist and all-around wonderful person.  In the course of the conversation, we spoke about the impact the book, “The Phoenix Project: A Novel About IT, DevOps, and Helping Your Business Win” has had on our industry. Gene – our webinar was over two years ago – August 2012!

Looking back on my notes, here is what I said at the time.

There are only a handful of books that have a permanent location in my office bookshelf, and this is one of them. It’s a fantastic book that reads like a work of fiction, captivates like a mystery and educates like a textbook.

The characters are immensely engaging, and as the plot thickened I found myself thinking, “Holy Toledo Batman, how are they going to get out of this mess?”

Along with Bill, Patty, Wes, John and team, I was learning the core principles of DevOps.  It’s like one of those recipes where they hide the vegetables.  What you’re reading is good for you, but tastes so good going down, that you didn’t even notice.  I learned so much about DevOps, and how ITSM can truly help the business win.

If you have a chance, read it — I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I did!

Since that time, there has been groundswell of interest in DevOps; some of my favorites;

  • Websites:
  • Certification Training:
  • Conferences:
    • The DevOps Enterprise Summit will assemble leaders of large, complex organizations who are adopting #DevOps, and who will be sharing their transformation stories.
    • They have announced speakers from GE Energy, Macy’s, Disney, Blackboard, Ticketmaster, Target, US Dept of Homeland Security, Nordstrom, Capital One, Raytheon, Barclays…
    • If you love heroic and courageous tales of DevOps transformations, this conference is for you!
    • Use promo code “ITSM20” for a 20% discount! (Expires 9/28)

Until your next trip to LisaLand… Happy Reading, Conferencing and Training!

The Phoenix Project Reading Challenge – Case Study

Thanks to one of our favorite Alumni for this great idea!

Claudia Light, CPDE, ITIL Expert | Process Architect, Enterprise Technology Services, Oregon Department of Administrative Services, Claudia.j.Light@Oregon.Gov

“When I took the DevOps Overview class, I shared that I was purchasing copies of The Phoenix Project and The Visible Ops Handbook to share with our management team. You asked me to let you know how that worked out.

What I ended up doing with the books was to issue a Summer Reading Challenge in one of our management team meetings.  The challenge was to take one of the books, read it and come back with three improvement ideas that we could potentially implement in our own organization. Our administrator modified the challenge slightly, saying that the ideas could also be improvements that we have already made.  (She and I had talked a few days before about how her enforcing limiting changes to maintenance windows was part of step one in the Visible Ops Handbook. It was a very unpopular idea when she initially presented it, but it has helped reduce outages.)

I issued the challenge two weeks ago. I will be checking in at today’s meeting to see what their progress on the reading is and to set a deadline for the uptake of ideas.  I have had a discussion with George Spafford, Gartner analyst and one of the authors to get some advice on things to consider when doing the uptake.  He had some great advice:

  • Gently probe why.  It’s about establishing why something is needed and using that as a guide – everyone must understand why change is needed.  George pointed me to the TED talk by Simon Sinek about How Great Leaders Inspire Action. It is the “why” that must resonate with people in order to create the interest in the how and the what. People don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.
  • Overlay the discussion with, “How does this support our customers and our strategic plan?” How does this matter in the short term and in the long term? To tactical pain and suffering and strategic enablement?
  • Look at what has worked well, but don’t just preserve the status quo.  We need to review the status quo and understand the direction that is needed, what we can change and then evolve accordingly. It is dangerous to try and change too much at once. Instead, do a series of plan-do-check-act experiments to evolve in the direction needed. Whatever we do in this step needs to support why changes are needed.
    • Don’t get painted into a corner. Look at good existing practices. Can this expand to other groups? Promote the idea of “let’s get this written down and talk about it.” Table things that aren’t right yet, but don’t lose them.
  • Look at what are the greatest constraints we face today. The greatest constraints are often policies that made sense at one time but don’t make sense anymore. Look up the Five Focusing Steps by Dr. Eli Goldratt at the Theory of Constraints Institute. It has a generic mental model for overcoming constraints:
    • Identify the constraint – where does work bottleneck? Break fix vs. project work. Look at people and process. To increase capacity take the weight out and off load. (This was the Herbie the boy scout from The Goal. I am reading it now.)
    • With a system, we want to understand what is the biggest constraint that if we focusing and break it, then we improve our overall movement towards a goal.
      • Look at the critical path, shorten items on this path. Understand that shortening things not on the critical path doesn’t speed up anything. If we shrink tasks on the critical path then the overall duration decreases.
    • Exploit the constraint – What is the unnecessary stuff that can be off loaded.
    • Subordinate the rest to the constraint
    • Elevate the constraint – People jump to this step first by investing in additional capacity around the constraint. But without doing the first 3 steps this risks wasting the investment.
    • Avoid inertia – when you have alleviated this constraint, find the next one to work on.
  • Most people learn by doing.  George also pointed me to Mike Rother’s You Tube video on the Toyota Kata from Lean 2012 about the constant cycle of coaching. Look at what we are trying to accomplish and what’s holding us back.
  • Document the ideas without judgment to help people feel free to express their ideas. Don’t worry about the “how” for now, just capture the what. Collect the ideas first then go back to probe the why. Refer to Goldratt’s work on the thinking process. Draw out the main themes. Don’t optimize in isolation. Move toward the goals or protect the goals.

I enjoyed your Agile Service Management webinar and it’s also given me some good ideas.  I will be contacting your team in the near future to set up a repeat with our process owners and process managers.  Our progress on maturing our processes has slowed to a crawl lately and I think we definitely need an agile approach to start making progress again.”

Thanks Claudia and George!  

Until your next visit to LisaLand…Happy Reading




1 : generally agreeable
2 : being friendly, sociable, and congenial

It’s SUCH a great word, and great way to live your life… I wish people used it more, and lived it more!

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Amiability 😉

Full Circle – from ESM to ITIL and Back Again

I guess it means that I’m getting old… I can look back over my career now and see many things coming full circle.

As example, we just celebrated our 10th anniversary here at ITSM Academy.  Of course, we are much larger, with more robust processes in place (and 30,000+ Alumni!) But, with the introduction of our new Agile Service Management Line of Training, there are many parallels to when we originally launched our ITSM/ITIL Line of Training.

Earlier this month, I was fortunate to attend the ServiceNow Knowledge14 Conference, and that’s where it really hit me.  Several people talked to me about “Enterprise Service Management” and how that title needed to replace “ITSM”.  I don’t disagree, but it struck me as so funny.  10.5 years ago, I was an ESM Practice Manager, but got so much feedback that people didn’t know what that meant.  My favorite was, “Why would you call yourself that when your are the ITSM Practice Manager?” Based on that conversation, I did something as unethical as it gets here in LisaLand…. I went onto LinkedIn and changed my job title…(insert shocked face here!).

So what does this mean, this movement to (as one presenter called it) – Innovating Beyond ITIL: Enterprise Service Management.  Well, quite simply, it’s where we should have been 15 years ago.  The focus of ITSM / ITIL / ESM – whatever you want to call it – has to be outside of IT.  The focus of any successful (insert your letters of choice here) Program needs to be on;

  • the services we provide
  • the stakeholders we provide them to
  • the cultural change that needs to shift our IT organization into a service provider

One of the KPMG presenters said, “Innovate on ITIL, but don’t emphasize the IT in  ITIL”. Which will leave some feeling IL – LOL (sorry, couldn’t help it!)

KPMG also spoke a lot about Global Business Services.  I did a little follow up reading and, “Global Business Services (GBS) business operating model is poised to replace standalone outsourcing and shared services…with around 60 percent of the organizations embracing GBS over the next three years. The research also predicted that expenditure on external GBS is expected to nearly double-up to reach $73 billion in 2017 as against US$ 40 billion in 2013.”

arrows_tail_spin_multi_colored_400_wht_9654And to take us full circle now on this blog….I think, we are back to where we should have started 15 years ago.

I also think that getting older gives you some perspective that makes life more interesting…. but that will go full circle too.  One day, we won’t be able to remember any of this anyway.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Circling!

A Personal Blood Moon!


It’s official, I’m going to have to start a “Guest Host Posts” section!  This wonderful blog was written by my teammate (and instructor extraordinaire) Rose Lariviere.  Rose can be found on Twitter @ITSM_Rose.  

Lunar Eclipse – April 15th, 2014.

eclipseA lunar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes directly behind the Earth into its umbra. This can occur only when the Sun, Earth, and Moon are aligned exactly, or very closely so, with the Earth in the middle. Hence, a lunar eclipse can only occur the night of a full moon. (Wiki)

After reading this I began to speculate on just how amazing it is that the entire universe works together to occasionally align itself. We know that true joy and success in life requires balance.  Sometime we glean these lessons from the wisdom of others and sometimes we learn from the painful consequences of not having the right balance.  At least twice a year the entire universe works to align the Sun, Earth and Moon and this year that triggered a provoking thought.   How often to I officially take stock and align the critical elements of my life?  How much more could I accomplish if I did?

When viewing a lunar eclipse the moon will take on a deep copper red color and has been tagged as a “Blood Moon”.  We can consider our business, relationships, health,or take any one area and determine what needs to be aligned or come under control. Every lunar eclipse will be a reminder to align and calibrate once again.

blood moonFor me it is time for a personal “Blood Moon”.  I have decided to use this time when all of the heavens come together to calibrate to take inventory of my own life.  Time to look at where I am now, who do I want to be and what can I do to create the alignment in my life that will energize, spark, adjust, and prepare me to fulfill a greater purpose in this life than I would have otherwise.

What are the critical elements of your life that could benefit for a personal “Blood Moon”?

I am off to ponder mine and to get started.

It’s Lisa again; asking Rose if she could write a post for me was one of the things I did these week to try to add some balance to my schedule so this blog is so fitting.  TY Rose.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Calibrating!

Would You Look at That!

Lynda May 2013Many thanks to my new friend – Lynda Frederick, MSPM, PMP – for agreeing to share this blog post with me (and you!).  You can find Linda on LinkedIn at:

I love this true story about a couple named Dow and Nancy.  Dow was busy working on his PhD and his wife Nancy helped out as his part time assistant and typist.  Dow was doing research in the maritime industry, so the couple spent five months in Europe traveling to different port cities and studying ships, ports, and logistics.

On a rare day off Dow and Nancy decided to explore a maritime museum; they just couldn’t get enough ships!  They came around a corner in the museum and saw a stained glass window that was a picture of… nothing!  It was just blobs.  After a brief glance, Dow said “That’s the ugliest thing I have ever seen!” and he proceeded on.






Nancy hung back and continued to look at the window.  There was something intriguing about it and she wondered what message the artist could be trying to send.  Suddenly, she saw it!  It was as if she was standing above a koi pond looking down at fish.  Instead of the silhouettes of fish that we draw as kids with an oval body and a triangle tail, the fish were beautiful blobs that gracefully overlapped each other.  “Would you look at that!”  Nancy called for Dow to come back to look at the window again.

Once Nancy pointed out the elusive koi, the couple stood for a few minutes taking in the beauty of the fish in the window.  When they returned from their research trip, Dow and Nancy loved to tell the story of the fish window.

Here’s a challenge for you.  What do you look at every day?  What do you overlook every day?  Where have you become complacent?  I challenge you to look for something in a new way.  Look for fish!  Find something you can improve or refine or automate or clean up or simply make better.  The fish are there, you just need to look for them.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Fishing!

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


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!