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BiSL in 3 Minutes


1. Current version

BiSL® (Business Information Services Library) 2nd Edition

2. The basics

BiSL (Business Information Services Library) is a framework and collection of best practices for business information management.

3. Summary

BiSL (Business Information Services Library) was developed by a Dutch IT service provider, PinkRoccade and made public in 2005. BiSL was then transferred to the public domain and adopted by the ASL BiSL Foundation. The current version is the 2nd Edition, published in 2012.

BiSL focuses on how business organizations can improve control over their information systems: demand for business support, use of information systems and contracts and other arrangements with IT suppliers. BiSL offers guidance in business information management: support for the use of information systems in the business processes, operational IT control and information management.

The library consists of a framework, best practices, standard templates and a self-assessment. The BiSL framework gives a description of all the processes that enable the control of information systems from a business perspective.


Posted in Qualifications.

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ASL in 3 Minutes

ASL Logo1. Current Version

ASL®2 (Application Services Library)

2. The basics

ASL (Application Services Library) is a framework and collection of best practices for application management.

3. Summary

ASL (Application Services Library) was developed by a Dutch IT service provider, PinkRoccade, in the 1990s and was made public in 2001. Since 2002 the framework and the accompanying best practices have been maintained by the ASL BiSL Foundation. The current version is ASL2, published in the Netherlands in 2009.

ASL is concerned with managing the support, maintenance, renewal and strategy of applications in an economically sound manner. The library consists of a framework, best practices, standard templates and a self-assessment. The ASL framework provides descriptions of all the processes that are needed for application management.

The framework distinguishes six process clusters, which are viewed at operational, managing and strategic levels see Figure.

The application support cluster at the operational level aims to ensure that the current applications are used in the most effective way to support the business processes, using a minimum of resources and leading to a minimum of operational disruptions.

The application maintenance and renewal cluster ensures that the applications are modified in line with changing requirements, usually as a result of changes in the business processes, keeping the applications up-to-date. The connecting processes form the bridge between the service organization cluster and the development and maintenance cluster.

The management processes ensure that the operational clusters are managed in an integrated way.

Finally, there are two clusters at the strategic level. The aim of the application strategy cluster is to address the long-term strategy for the application(s). The processes needed for the long-term strategy for the application management organization are described in the application management organization strategy cluster.


Posted in Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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ISO/IEC 20000 – Minimizing the Documentation

Hands with empty paper reaches out from big heap of crumpled papers

I wrote a previous blog about the mandatory documents required by ISO/IEC 20000-1. Following on from that, I have been asked how to minimize the number of documents.

The mandatory documents were listed in a previous blog. They add up to:

• 6 policies
• 8 plans
• 14 processes for clauses 5 – 9 plus other processes for sub-clauses of clause 4 e.g. documentation management, resource management, internal audit, continual improvement
• 19 procedures
• 5 definitions
• 12 other documents e.g. SLA, service catalogue.

Remember that documents do not need to be very long – in fact they are more likely to be used if they are kept short and succinct. Some documents can be embedded within a tool e.g. procedures. Documents should be written to be used and useful, not just because the standard requires it.


Posted in ISO Schemes.

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AXELOS has granted APMG extended contract

I am delighted to inform you that AXELOS has announced today that APMG has been awarded an extended contract as an AXELOS Exam Institute (EI) for a further three years from January 2015. AXELOS took the decision to offer the extended contracts in order to ensure that its EIs have the stability to make further investments in quality systems, enhanced exam delivery and increase their global reach. Continued…

Posted in Accreditation.

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Agile in 3 Minutes

AgilePM Logo1.   The basics

Originating from the world of IT where the concept of Agile refers to a set of software development methods based on iterative and incremental development, where requirements and solutions evolve through collaboration between self-organizing, cross-functional teams. Nowadays, the principles of the Agile approach are also used in other domains, for example design & engineering, product development, manufacturing, etc.

2.   Summary

Incremental software development methods have been traced back to 1957. ‘Lightweight’ software development methods evolved in the mid-1990s as a reaction against ‘heavyweight’ methods, which were characterized by their critics as a heavily regulated, regimented, micromanaged, waterfall model of development. Supporters of lightweight methods (and now Agile methods) contend that they are a return to earlier practices in software development.

Early implementations of lightweight methods include Scrum (1993), Crystal Clear, Extreme Programming (XP, 1996), Adaptive Software Development, Feature Driven Development, DSDM (1995, called DSDM-Atern since 2008), and the Rational Unified Process (RUP, 1998). These are now typically referred to as Agile methods, after the Agile Manifesto.

The Agile Manifesto was written in February 2001, at a summit of independent-minded practitioners of several programming methods.


Posted in Agile, AgilePM, Project Mgmt.

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Why is Business Relationship Management (BRM) so important in today’s rapidly evolving IT world?

The LEF has been following the BRM trend for many years, and in our past research we have observed four different business/IT relationship models – those of Provider, Promoter, Partner and Peer – and thus four distinct roles that Enterprise IT must address if the function is to contribute fully at all levels of the business. (Ref to image).

Business RPrintelationship Management has always been an important capability, even in the days when IT was primarily a means of driving efficiencies and reducing costs – the Provider role.  Today, as IT moves to the front of the firm, leveraging the full spectrum of BRM roles has become essential if Enterprise IT is to serve the business by also providing competitive edge and driving growth.  Given the growing power and impact of information and communications technologies, this covers not only the operational needs of the business, but also its strategic directions.

Posted in Accreditation, Business relationship management, Exams, Project Mgmt.

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Top 7 Tips for When You’ve Failed an Exam

Exam FailureThe typical emotional response to failing an exam is distress and self-pity. That’s understandable, but thoughts of that failure being conclusive are irrational. Many of our candidates have been in the same situation, but have continued to pass the course having successfully taken a re-sit examination.

For those who have just taken a Foundation Level exam – some of our ATOs provide an instant preliminary result, giving candidates an immediate indication of their final mark. If you’ve taken a Practitioner Level exam via an ATO – APMG will issue the final results 48 hours after receiving the pack from the respective ATO, invigilator or trainer.

Please note – preliminary results are not concrete; candidates will receive their official results within the results turnaround time.

In the event you have failed an exam – here are some helpful tips on how to recoup:


Posted in Exams, Qualifications.

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Driving sustainable change in the Project Management culture across Airbus

Airbus has gone through some significant change in recent years. It is interesting to see it has embraced the transformation at the heart of the business – its people.

Two critical reports published in 2007/08 on the efficiency of project delivery found that quite a few of these projects were late and over budget. The root causes for this were often project management challenges, technical issues, talent shortage, supply chain challenges and politics.

Airbus has a development path for staff involved in project management and program management office. But, there was a need to establish processes and tools to help embrace cultural change better. Mark Robinson, Head of PM People, Airbus, explains, “The need to embrace cultural change was driven from board level which helped it become an integral part of the working in Airbus with a long term vision. “

Airbus launched two key drivers to facilitate change across the whole group – Product Categorization and PM Certification. Product Categorization assessed every project against 16 weighted criteria. The aim was to assess the projects before the launch stage as these processes often impacted PM certification and Earned Value of the project and allowed project leaders to gain a better understanding of the project and challenges involved.  Project Categorization: the score differentiates five different levels as illustrated in the image.

Project prioritization image

There was a need to drive a dedicated development path for the PMOs and project leader. They needed to set a strategic direction and harmonize group policies on project and program management which wasn’t done before. Five levels of PM certification were identified looking at the various experiences people had within project management i.e. Iron-Bronze-Silver-Gold-Platinum.

To support this Airbus also set up an Airbus Group PM Council and a Steering Board.
Airbus introduced the PM Certification to facilitate cultural change across the organisation and ensure that PM Certification aligned with the project categorisation process. The focus was not just on the PMOs or project leaders but the wider population who enable successful project delivery..


Posted in Earned Value Management, Earned Value Management, Events, Project Mgmt.

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APMG Chosen to Deliver the World Bank Group’s New Certification Program

It’s a momentous occasion for us at APMG – we’ve recently established a partnership with the World Bank Group (WBG) to create a new qualification program for people working with Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs).

WGB’s the world’s largest development bank. Its objective is to reduce poverty in poorer countries. It has created a multi-module Global Certification Program (GCP) address the pressing need for governments to utilize effective PPPs.

Growing populations and aging infrastructure are straining the capacity of many nations to deliver essential public services and grow their economies. Overcoming this infrastructure deficit will require public and private sectors working together, and well-structured public-private partnerships (PPPs) are one solution for helping governments raise the large sums of capital needed to meet infrastructure demands and spur development.

Posted in Accreditation, Exams, Qualifications.

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‘Agile Governance’ – a slim guide (sprint 6)


The team of 30 (very dedicated) turned up again on the evening of 25th September for the 6th ‘sprint’ in the development of this guide. Publication expected Q2 2015. If you are interested in getting involved with this initiative please add your name to the APM mailing list by following this link.

David Lang of Barclay’s Wealth kindly welcomed the participants to the plush conference suite on the 30th floor of the Barclay’s Canary Wharf HQ. We have had some great hosts welcoming us into their offices in this series of meetings, including Ordnance Survey and HSBC. This meeting focused on ‘P3O’ (Portfolio, Program and Project level): Continued…

Posted in Agile, AgilePM, Better Business Cases, Project Mgmt.

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