ITSM Academy Presenting at Fusion

I think this is the 10th year in a row that at least one ITSM Academy team member has spoken at @itsmf_usa Fusion – #SMFUSION14 – event.  As Montgomery Gentry says; “That’s something to be proud of.”

This year, my business partner, Jayne Groll (@ITSM_Jayne) has been invited to present on two topics:

And Donna Knapp (@ITSM_Donna) will be co-presenting with Anthony Orr: Breakfast Briefing 01: How to Pass Your MALC Exam – If you are planning on becoming an #ITIL Expert, and you are attending Fusion, don’t miss this breakfast!

Until your next visit to LisaLand…Happy Conferencing!

ITIL is turning 25 this year…just like me, who knew! ;)

Guest Host Post – by Donna Knapp (@ITSM_Donna)

ITIL is turning 25 this year…just like me, who knew! 😉

ITILResearchIn honor of this milestone, AXELOS commissioned a study (The Importance of ITIL® – A Global View – 2014 and Beyond) to provide a global and independent assessment of the current perception of ITIL, engaging nearly 400 C-Level and medium tier service managers in key international regions across a range of industries.

One of the stated reasons that the study was commissioned is because ITIL’s benefits are being questioned in light of factors such as cloud computing, more advanced automation, and agile. The results of the study reaffirm ITIL’s value, particularly in the eyes of IT executives. In fact, according to the study, just under 70% of executives indicated that ITIL is becoming more important in light of these trends.

Other interesting results presented in the survey include:

  • 71% of those surveyed view ITIL as playing a tangible role in supporting the move to DevOps and Agile
  • ITIL 2011 adopters are more likely to see ITIL as growing in importance
  • 40% of non-2011 respondents plan to move to 2011 soon
  • Certification and training was deemed the most valuable resource (over, for example, the core books themselves)
  • Having said that…43% of respondents specified ‘too busy’ as their reason for not taking ITIL training (Lisa Note:  this is one of the many reasons ITSM Academy is now delivering live, virtual training and supplementing with our Learner Portal!)
  • We still have a ways to go, however…only 21% of the organizations surveyed had achieved ‘improved agility and flexibility in provisioning services’  through ITL (Agile Service Management to the rescue!)

Have I peaked your interest?

Click here to check out the complete study.

Until your next visit to LisaLand… Happy ITILing!

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

DevOps Gold: What the Olympics Teaches Us About Agile Development and Release

I am kind of “little girl excited” about our next webinar.  Probably because, ever since I was a little girl, I have LOVED the Olympics; summer and winter, I equally love them both. WebinarBanner_Sept2014Some of my fist TV memories are centered on the Olympics.  Nadia, Flo-Jo, Eric Heiden, Greg Louganis, Mary Lou, Apollo; actually it would take too long for me to list them all! Let’s just say it’s serious.  And now with TiVo, it’s almost ridiculous… but that’s for another day…

The point of today’s post is to invite you to our September Webinar; DevOps Gold: What the Olympics Teaches Us About Agile Development and Release. Presented by: Dave Roberts, Executive Advisor, BMC Software.  Thursday, September 18, 2014 at 11am (Eastern) – Register

At the recent winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, we saw athletes from all over the world striving for excellence. Some turned in the best performance of their lives and came home with a gold medal. Others, some favorites, struggled and saw their dreams slip away. In this presentation, we’ll see how DevOps done right is a lot like the Olympics. If you set reasonable goals, train hard, and execute well, you’ll reach DevOps Gold, too. But if you take your releases for granted, you may end up with nothing to show for it.

Register Today

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!




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 😉

Tell the Story With Business Value Dashboards

We are VERYDashboardWebinar pleased and excited to have Jeffrey Brooks, a Research Vice President with Gartner, Inc. as our presenter on our next webinar.

Thursday, August 21, 2014 at 11am (Eastern)

Jeffrey Brooks is a Research Vice President in the IT Operations Management team of Gartner. His research focuses on IT service management, including service desk, incident management, problem management, change management, process improvement (including the ITIL framework) and SLA management, as well as IT service catalog. Mr. Brooks helps clients understand the key metrics, best practices and core processes required for IT to deliver meaningful service and support that align to the goals of the business. Mr. Brooks has also authored numerous publications, including co-authoring “The Help Desk Manager’s Crash Course” (2009), and he has received numerous individual and team awards, such as Customer Service Manager of the Year (2011) by the Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, HDI Team Excellence Award for External Support (2010), and Customer Service Company of the Year (2009) at the NCTA 21 Awards.

Register Today

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!

Converting a Budget Deficit Into an Innovation Surplus – USPS

I’ve been meaning to write the blog, “I Left My Brain in San Francisco” for the last 2 weeks. Unfortunately, without a brain, it’s pretty hard to write a blog!  And I say that I left my brain in San Fran, because it was blown away by what I learned, saw and heard at the ServiceNow #Know14 conference.  What a great event they have grown into.  The line-up of presenters, topics, labs… it’s really a well orchestrated week, filled with learning and fun – two of my favorite things….

One of the BEST presentations was by the folks at the United States Postal Service, titled Converting a Budget Deficit Into an Innovation Surplus.

The title certainly caught my attention, and it sounded like it might be a little different from the other presentations, so I attended.  And man, am I glad that I did!

I am so impressed with their Service organization, and how in tune they are with their stakeholders and customers, that I reached out and asked if they would re-present for ITSM Academy’s June webinar… and they said YES 😉

So I am very happy to say;

Please join us for a complimentary webinar: Converting a Budget Deficit Into  an Innovation Surplus on Thursday, June 19th at 11am (Eastern) – Register 

Presenters: John Edgar, VP of IT and Kathleen A. Warnaar, Manager, Performance Achievement, United States Postal Service.

EXCLUSIVE WEBINAR BANNER June 2014“It’s no secret that the United States Postal Service operates under a stringent budget deficit, but what may surprise you is that the IT organization has converted that deficit into an innovation surplus. Join USPS, John Edgar, VP of IT and Kathleen Warnaar, Manager, Performance Achievement, as they discuss how they’ve been able to align IT as an enabler in support of a cross-organizational initiative focused on service, revenue and value transformation. Employing new strategies and approaches in service definitions and delivery, IT is successfully achieving operational efficiencies, cost savings and customer satisfaction. John and Kathleen will discuss how IT is reinvesting the savings delivered by their ITSM initiatives to drive additional innovations and automation across the enterprise.”

Have questions you want included? Post them on Twitter; #askITSM.

Until your next trip to LisaLand…Happy Learning!