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The Abandoned Application Syndrome – by Mike Orzen

Once upon a time, there was an organization that perceived it would be much easier to obtain functional software by circumventing the IT group, than it would be negotiating the nearly two-year backlog of projects in front of their request. After all, the department had received numerous calls from vendors touting the functionality of their products and explaining how they could install, configure, and train staff – all at a reasonable price.

The functional business group was being held accountable to drive some critical results and perceived the IT department as a delay, if not an outright barrier, to achieving their objectives. They could not understand why it should  take so long for their internal IT group to respond to their high-priority request (2 weeks), when the vendor seemed more than capable of providing everything they needed in a “turnkey” solution and was available to begin immediately.

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Posted in IT Service Mgmt, Mindful ITSM, Project Mgmt.

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What We Need is a Great Big Melting Pot – of Best Practices

This post was inspired by a recent article by Ken Gonzalez entitled Best Practice: Are We Missing The Point?’

A discussion followed Ken’s posting on Back2ITSM and the question was posed ‘Why don’t organizations choose the appropriate practices from all of the best practices available and apply them to improve service delivery?’

I have an idea or two!

I said in response to Ken’s posting that I am working with a client that recently stated, ‘We are not doing ITIL any more. We are going to do COBIT instead’. I am sure you can imagine my reaction to that statement!

Unfortunately it is all too common. There seems to be a persistent belief that you choose one framework or methodology to work with and that it will meet all your needs.

There are a raft of frameworks and methodologies to choose from. Take your pick – ITIL®, COBIT®, OBASHI®, DevOps, P3O®, MSPV, Prince2®, PMBOK®etc. Not to mention standards such as ISO/IEC 20000.

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Posted in Mindful ITSM.

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Walk A Mile In Their Shoes

I had a conversation on Twitter recently regarding IT professionals spending time in other business units to spark innovation and the resolution of business challenges.

Twitter Karen FerrisA SaaStr article that said everybody in a SaaS company had to do 2+ hours in customer support once a quarter sparked the conversation. The tweets included suggestions that the CIO and IT managers should spend time on the Service Desk; everyone in Service Management should spend time on the Service Desk; and Service Desk staff should spend 2 hours per qu+arter shadowing someone in a business unit.

I don’t disagree with any of those suggestions.

I wrote a blog entitled ‘Walk A Mile In Their Shoes’ last year, which described some customer experience programmes for IT employees.

I don’t intend to repeat that content here, but rather augment it on the back of this recent conversation.

I think that a customer experience programme has two perspectives – that of the external customer experience and that of the internal customer experience.

External Customer

When was the last time you went on to your company website to see how easy it was to undertake a transaction whether that be to make a purchase or find the right person to contact to ask for further information?

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Posted in IT Service Mgmt.

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Why is a business case important and how it can deliver an optimum outcome?

Better-Business-Cases-Logo

 

 

A business case often provides decision makers, stakeholders and the public with a management tool for evidence based and transparent decision making. It is a framework for delivery and performance monitoring of the subsequent policy, strategy or project to follow thereafter.

The resultant project will only be successful if they have been planned realistically, with a clear focus after detailed consideration of the associated risks. It is a business case that clearly presents the risks, opportunities and threats involved putting them in perspective of the investment involved there in. Thus a business case is not just a record of the Return on Investment from a financial perspective but will present a summary of all the benefits delivered.

The Five Case Model, which is the UK government’s best practice approach to planning spending proposals and enabling effective business decision, goes beyond the financial dimension. The Five Case Model is a framework for “thinking” to help answer three basic questions of, ‘Where are we now?’ ‘Where do we want to be?’ And, ‘How are we going to get there?’

These are never easy questions to answer and often change as more information comes to light. For significant projects the business case is developed through three iterations. These are the Strategic Outline Case (SOC), the Outline Business Case (OBC) and the Full or Final Business Case (FBC).

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Posted in Exams, Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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Seven Reminders Why We Need ITSM

Mindful ITSM LogoA recent article in itnews.com.au called ‘Seven Reminders the World Runs on IT’ illustrated how IT systems have become so ingrained in every aspect of our day-to-day lives and the impact that failure can have. When I read the article my mind re titled it to ‘Seven Reminders Why We Need ITSM’. I suggest you read the itnews.com.au article in conjunction with this post. Here is my take on their 7 reminders. Continued…

Posted in Change Management, IT Service Mgmt, Mindful ITSM, Project Mgmt.

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Who’s This Project Sponsored By?

The 2014 edition of Best Practices in (Organizational) Change Management from Prosci highlights in its 8th consecutive study, that active and visible sponsorship is once again the greatest contributor to organizational change success.

The greatest obstacle to success was identified as ‘Ineffective Change Management sponsorship’.

By a two to one margin, the top suggestion from the study’s participants in regards to what to do differently on the next project was ‘to more effectively engage sponsors by involving them early and ensuring they are active and visible throughout the project’.

Experienced practitioners participating in the study identified four challenges or hurdles to organizational change management, with the top one being ‘ineffective sponsorship’. Continued…

Posted in Change Management.

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APMG UK Showcase 2014 – Overview

APMG UK Showcase 2014 – the flagship event for knowledge sharing and networking took place on a sweltering hot day in July.

Thanks to everyone who joined us at this year’s UK APMG Showcase to make it a memorable event. From the onset the QEII in Westminster was brimming with attendees – resulting in avid networking, polite conversation and bacon consumption.

We enjoyed a full-house as the event kicked off with an amusing, thought-provoking keynote speech from world-renowned behavioral economist and award-winning Financial Times columnist, Tim Harford.

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Opening keynote with Tim Harford

Tim discussed why it’s important to make mistakes in business – explaining that it’s only by learning from our mistakes that we can continue to learn and grow, and deliver innovation.

After Tim’s presentation delegates chose from an array of interesting Birds of a Feather (BoF) roundtable discussions, which took place throughout the event.  The BoF hosts did an exceptional job of immersing people in their subject matter – tables were surrounded by people fully engaged in discussion.

Each table was equipped with an iPad – allowing people to express their thoughts on discussions via a live feed displayed in the main showroom.

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Posted in Agile, AgilePM, Change Management, Events, Project Mgmt, Qualifications.

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Are You Getting The Most From Your Service Desk Career?

 

Life after certification

Are you a Service Desk Professional looking to progress your career?

Are you interested in training but not sure where to turn?

If you have answered yes to the above – then APMG International’s Service Desk Institute Certification could help you. Our comprehensive FAQ’s section has helped many candidates and training providers. If you still have any questions or would like to speak to a local training provider about becoming certified, then please click on the find a training provider button on the Service Desk Institute Certification page.

Delivering exceptional, fun and inspirational experiences for everyone working in IT support, SDI is here to support you in making your service desk be the best it can possibly be. If you are a Service Desk professional looking to progress your career or if you want to prove your ability in your current role, then Service Desk Institute certification could be just what you need.

Posted in IT Service Mgmt, Qualifications.

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Showcase BoF Session: How to gain 8% productivity by better use of information and related technology

Did you know that your organization probably loses 7.6% productivity due to IT problems? And that almost half of it is due to ineffective and inefficient use of information systems?

Do you believe that your users could get more value out of investments in IT? Do you think that they really understand the data in the systems and are not making costly mistakes based on misinterpretation? Is anybody monitoring how well the information systems are being used and if they’re proactively helping users?

How competent are they in specifying their IT needs and delegating it to IT? Would the IT department also benefit from the user organization becoming a better IT customer? Is the IT department in the business of building good cars or getting the drivers from A to B?

In this session you’ll have the opportunity to share your thoughts about these and other questions and learn from others how to develop competences on the ‘other side’ of the great Business-IT Divide. Where appropriate, guidance from frameworks such as BiSL, COBIT, BABOK and TOGAF will be referenced.

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Posted in IT Service Mgmt, Mindful ITSM.

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IT Asset Management – We have effective process in place…don’t we?

IAITAM best practice

When we think about how technology has changed, it is concerning that so many people do not fully appreciate how much personal and confidential information is stored on ‘losable’ assets; I’m sure many of us have clicked on the ‘save password’ option more than once on our phones for convenience. On laptops we save important documents to our C Drives to work on remotely because the main server is slower than we are willing to put up with.

But what happens if the hard drive is damaged or our phone is lost/stolen? Particularly if our role is in the public sector and this information may be called upon for future reference or even for, evidence.

Disastrous consequences can befall government and private organizations when key assets or data is destroyed or lost. Everyone screams conspiracy or stupidity particularly for sensitive or vital data; however could these IT Asset Management faux pas simply result from grossly inefficient IT Asset Disposition processes?

So, why is IT Asset Disposition a vital part of IT Asset Management important?

Today IT Asset Disposition is more than just another waste stream an organization is accountable for. There are now multiple options available to organizations. Equipment reuse, software redeployment and resale provide savings opportunities and possibly pay for or afford a positive cash flow for the ITAD process.

With these opportunities and savings there are inherent risks associated with mishandled, lost or stolen assets caused by improper oversight.  IT Asset Managers must ensure any private data is properly removed using software which meets government data erasure standards or accredited IT disposal contractors and that this process is properly documented for audit purposes.

At any step during the ITAD process, errors can and do occur and organizations can be subject to fines, penalties and public disgrace.  It is vital that IT Asset Managers and their teams understand how to mitigate the risks associated with improper disposal of IT assets and determine the appropriate path for their organization and the options available.

How IAITAM can help?

The concept of IAITAM started as far back as 1998 when a group of software and hardware asset managers began meeting to discuss the need for a centralized organization devoted to expanding and codifying information and knowledge within the IT Hardware & Software Asset Management fields.

 

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Posted in Cyber Security.

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