Archive for November, 2009

You can’t improve IT, if you are not measuring IT


The 7-Step process in CSI phase of ITIL has identification of what needs to be measured as one of the steps.
There is no way of improving a service or a process, if we are not measuring. Measurments allow us to do two things
1. Know where we are
2. Help determine where we want to go
Often in my experience, we take the standard set of metrics and put all of them on a dashboard for various stakeholders to review, irrespective of the relevance of these beautiful looking graphs. I would in this post and in future try to put together some  tools which help in identifying what needs to be measured. One of such tools is GQM – Goal Question Metric Approach. In some of the next posts, I would write about illustration of the GQM related to ITSM Processes.
Read more about the GQM here and here.


Categories: Analytics, CSI, Good Read Tags: , ,

(Humor) Lead by Example

Thank you Scott Adams!

Categories: Humor Tags: ,

Black and White of Configuration Management

A term mostly used either with printing or photography, but I use it to today in Not Just ITSM to link to two very different thoughts on CMS or Configuration Management System as most would know it!

In the latest DITY newsletter,  Carlos Casanova has written about A-FIRM structure for CMS and mentions CMS as a successful IT System. A-FIRM stands for

A – Architect: Architect and map out your ascent before actually setting out on your climb. If you do not do this, you will be lucky to reach a base camp from where to launch your serious climb.
F – Federate: Determine which camps may already be well established along your climbing route and which you can leverage on your ascent. These are components that you must factor into your long-term solution and are vital to any success you achieve.
I – Integrate: You will not be able to carry all your supplies on your journey so seek out others who can provide insight and assistance. Be on the lookout for those who may have already succeeded in partial ascents and can work with you to reach the peak. There will be times where you will have to leverage these for short periods of time until you can find a more sustainable long-term solution to accomplish that portion of your climb.
Compared to Federated components, these components are ideally just short-term solutions. They may be able to mature into a long term-federated solution, or they will need to eventually be replaced by a different long-term solution.
The key is to recognize which of these two categories they fall into. Wrongly assess a short-tem stopgap measure as a long-term solution, and you may die on the mountain during your climb because of faulty or incomplete data provided by them.
R – Reconcile: This will likely be one of your most challenging tasks because you will undoubtedly face many situations where you need to make a critical decision armed with less-than-ideal data. These decisions will make or break your entire ascent. Choose the wrong data and your team dies on the climb; choose the right data and you have a chance to succeed. Notice that there are no guarantees of success even if you choose the correct data.
M – Merge: Over time, you will identify situations and groups that you can combine to provide more reliable data and/or support you on the next leg of your ascent. You need to carefully execute these mergers to ensure you do not negatively impact the value you are seeking to achieve. Eliminate the wrong data or people, and you endanger the entire mission. Do it properly and you reach the peak faster, with less risk and at a lower cost.

Read the newsletter here or download a pdf here.

On the other hand, Rob England, the IT Skeptic writes at length about CMDB and CMS being an Industry created myth.

These two are masters of their trade, and have very different views on the same topic. In my limited experience with CMDB, I cannot help but agree with both of them right now. Also I feel that CMDB is a term that is very loosely used by many without realizing or knowing the content that should go in there… For a lot CMDB is the solution to all their problems, and now CMS is the solution to all their problems. I, however, think that CMS or CMDB being the solution to a problem is just a hypothesis, which needs to be proven right or wrong after the roll-out. Small or big, simple or complicated, CMDB or CMS, would NOT work, if one is not aware of what the objective of creating it is for the organization and what we want to achieve from it.

Eight Levels of Analytics

I came across a lovely article on levels of Analytics Maturity on SAS website. The 8 levels mentioned in the article are

  1. Standard Reports
  2. Ad Hoc Reports
  3. Query Drilldown
  4. Alerts
  5. Statistical Analysis
  6. Forecasting
  7. Predictive Modelling
  8. Optimization

I am yet to see maturity at anything more than a level 4 in most of the organizations that I know about, however I have been a part of Statistical Analysis and Forecasting in the BPO World. Click here to read the article, or here to download the pdf version.

ITIL V3 – Structure and Certifications

Though it is expected that most people know about this already, however ITSM in my opinion is about revisiting the importants, refreshing the memory and keepings things in radar. Here is a good summarization of  the certifications related to ITIL v3 and what roles do they fit in, written by Rick Lemieux on DITY!

Click here to download the pdf.

Gartner Perspective – IT Spending 2010

Gartner recently published a detailed report on their perspective for IT Spending. You can get the detailed report here. I was particularly interested in the forecast around IT Services and here is some text around that from the report.


Worldwide IT services spending is on pace to total $781 billion in 2009, a 3.5 percent decline from 2008. In 2010, worldwide IT services spending is forecast to reach $816 billion, a 4.5 percent increase from 2009 (see Table 5).


Categories: Reference Links Tags: ,

Listening for opportunities…

I was reading this post on Nathan Gilliat’s blog, The Net-Savvy Executive about the importance of listening and the breakup of various modes of listening. While this blog and post is more about use of Social Media and its usage, I personally felt that listening is something which is very very important from an ITSM point of view as well and that too at all stages of a process or a project

  • You need to listen to your stakeholder and customer, when you are trying to identify objectives of an ITSM Project
  • You need to listen to the IT user when you are trying to find what is not going so right with your process execution
  • You need to listen to the data that your processes are throwing at you to understand how things are going
  • You need to listen to  voice in the corridor as well to understand the perception and take any corrective action
  • You need to listen to your previous experience of similar projects within or outside the current environment or process to build a more robust solution and something that has a higher degree of implementability

and so on and so forth….

Categories: Good Read Tags: