Archive for the ‘itil’ Category

ITIL 4 – Keep it Simple and Practical

April 15, 2019

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ITIL 4 – Think and Work Holistically

April 12, 2019

Ten things changed in ITIL 4 (for those who know ITIL v3/ITIL 2011 edition)

April 12, 2019

This list is arbitrary. There are more changes (like the introduction of practices like project management or workforce and talent management).

The list then:

  1. BRM is now RM – to manage all relations with stakeholders, not just with the customers
  2. IT Asset Management is now separated from Configuration Management (likewise, Release Management is also separated from Deployment Management)
  3. Change Management is now Change Control (beneath it stays the same)
  4. Organizational Change Management (OCM) is now a practice (more vivid since ITIL practitioner)
  5. CSI Register is now Continual Improvement Register (CIR)
  6. Service lifecycle is gone. Look at Service Value System and Service Value chain activities instead. The service value chain activities are always present in the practices (its clear how practices contribute value unlike before with processes for the service lifecycle)
  7. Four dimensions (not unlike COBIT previous enablers, draw from the People, Process, and Products, and from Service Design’s 5 aspects) are always considered for complete service management
  8. Guiding principles (reviewed from ITIL practitioner) give explicit guidance (you can check sort cartoons on these on previous posts)
  9. Processes and functions are now practices. Grouped in general, service management, and technical management. 34 practices. Getting closer to COBIT here too (each practice has activities too)
  10. Incident and Known error definitions are simpler, non-ambiguous (yes!)

ITIL 4 – Collaborate and Promote Visibility

March 20, 2019

ITIL 4 – Progress iteratively with feedback

March 18, 2019

ITIL 4 – Focus on Value guiding principle

March 12, 2019

Taking the ITIL Practitioner exam: Ins and outs

August 30, 2016

A post at AXELOS forums prompted me to write about my experience while taking the ITIL Practitioner exam. I am posting here based on my reply there.

I’ll write more generic stuff on taking the exam itself, then studying/preparing for it and finally some specifics. Disclaimer: It’s my personal view from my own experience. I tried hard not writing ambiguous stuff. My goal is to help you on getting the certification because you’re prepared for it šŸ™‚ So, adopt and adapt to YOUR way.

The exam is harder (in part because it is different in style and scope) than ITIL exams below ITIL Expert level. It combines relatively large topic coverage with template based questions and the specific scenarios (that you only get to read when you seat the exam) consume precious time. “It is what it is”, like it or not. So reserve the time to study (with more than one pass through all the content please) and have a good night rest the day before the exam.

The exam
– You need to know really well the ITIL Practitioner book and where topics are. I think it’s a good idea to use little post its to help find the chapters. Use theĀ Table of ContentsĀ and the word index at the end, it’s good and faster than your memory. It works. Some topics are touched in more than one place like stakeholder analysis or reporting (these are just examples; there’s naturally lots of cross-referencing between the main topics like OCM with communication for instance). So it’s more efficient wasting as little time as possible looking for context in the book.
– I find one or two questions really difficult to understand. So don’t dwell too much on those. Tough decision because of the way the exam is organized (specific scenarios give context and at least for me it was hard coming back to a different block without re-reading the scenario again). I establish a half-way goal (like half the questions at half time or a bit earlier for buffer). I tend to be faster and review as little as possible but this time I reviewed a lot! So, make the time for it.
– It takes time to read the specific scenario, the question, then think on the right answer and/or eliminate the wrong ones. So it’s not efficient jumping around the questions; it’s more effective doing them by specific scenario blocks of questions.

The study
– I recommend reading The whole ITIL Practitioner book inĀ one go first so you know what’s harder for you. Use different ways to review the content. For me it worked writing summaries, lists and – to a lesser extent than usual – mindmaps. Writing it down makes me notice patterns and think on it in a different way (good because my memory is bad šŸ˜‰ I’ve used as a rule of thumb the weight of the questions per main topic as a guidance on how long I’ve studied for each (I studied first the heavy ones – did not follow exactly the book sequence for deeper study.
– Study really well the Introduction of the book; most of the easier questions come from here (it’s really good and has new stuff there. I like the way the Service definition is deconstructed in value, outcome, cost and risk as a way of explaining what a service is), you can thank me after passing the exam for this one.
– Try the mock exams officially available, they do reflect the kind of questions in the real exam.
– Go beyond the questions available within the mock exams. Especially the ones using the templates at the end of the book (the Toolkit chapter). You will certainly have questions made on top of practical examplesĀ using thoseĀ templates.

Specific tips (please take them with salt; it’s my perception of my exam)
– For the measurement and metrics… The questions on this main topic used frequently templates from the appendix. So it’s good to review the specific templates and mock exam questions using templates.
– For CSI Approach you’ll have to be careful with outputs from each step (it really shows on the mock exam – I stress this again: study the mock exams),
– As for the Guiding principles, I suggest you take note whenever you find references of one or more of them on the other chapters; they do not show up always in a clear way in the book.
– Beware of the deceptive communication chapter. It’s quite easy to understand while reading it but I found the questions hard. That being said maybe it’s just the case this is the part I need to learn and practice the most šŸ˜‰ [I’ve been doing that by the way]

Hope this helps! In the end of the day, you’ll have to approach the ITIL Practitioner exam in a systematic way. Reserve the time, plan for it… and just do it.

An interview with Stuart Rance

February 12, 2014

Starting 2014 interviews with Stuart Rance, author of the ITIL 2011 edition Service Transition book and a true dynamo on pushing practices and having people discuss what really matters.

Stuart Rance

1. Do share your very best practices on chocolate degustation. Dark? With almonds? Swiss? Belgium?

Iā€™m glad you asked that! Iā€™m very fond of dark chocolate coated brazil nuts, but dark chocolate with hazelnuts or almonds is nearly as good.

2. Lately I’ve observed lots of discussion on incident versus problem. Could it mean ITSM still has lots of concepts not well understood by the community?

I think most people understand the concepts, but very few people seem to be doing a good job of problem management. Part of the reason for this may be because of the way activities are assigned to incident or problem management, which I think could be improved. Iā€™ve written about this in a blog article at http://www.sysaid.com/blog/entry/why-you-should-stop-doing-problem-management – I intentionally made this blog a bit controversial to try and get people to discuss the underlying issues.

There is one area where I think that ITSM concepts are poorly understood, and that is in the area of service strategy. Iā€™ve heard people complain that we shouldnā€™t include service strategy concepts in ITIL foundation training because they arenā€™t relevant to most people in ITSM and I find that really scary. Key concepts in service strategy include value creation and how customers perceive value. Sadly many people in IT still think in terms of technology solving problems, rather than in terms of creating value for people. I would love to see improvements to ITIL training so that everyone with a foundation certificate really understood that services are about creating value for customers, not about ITSM processes.

3. Social media is here to stay – as once you remarked, for instance we’ve never met in real life but we share and discuss. How do you think it as influenced Service Management progress?

I think discussions in social media have opened out the creation of best practice to a much wider community. Not very long ago there were only a few people contributing to the creation of best practice for ITSM but I have been involved in debates with lots of really creative people, and some of these have led to us having face-to-face meetings where we continue the discussions. There are some very frustrating forums where people seem to endlessly debate the same sterile ITSM questions, such as ā€œis a password reset an incident or a service requestā€, but I just ignore those and focus on the places where I see useful things happening.

There is a danger that those of us who participate in social media can forget that we are only a very tiny subset of the people with ideas and opinions. It would be great if we could get more people involved, and to do that we have to create truly welcoming communities where people feel that they can join in and get benefits.

4. Regarding Taking Service Forward initiative with the service meta model Adaptive Service Model… what’s your expectation on how these efforts will benefit the ITSM world?

I know what I would like to see, which is the creation of an open, shared, common architecture and ontology for services that is in the public domain and available for many people to use. Even better would be if the owners of all the different best practices and standards adopted (and adapted) this architecture, so that we could all do a better job of adapting and integrating multiple different frameworks. I canā€™t really say that this is an expectation, but it is an aspiration. I would like to encourage your readers to get involved, join in the discussions and help us to create this architecture.

5. From your experience can ideas and practices like Tipu, Standard+Case, process mining applied to service management and others from “alien” fields outside ITSM really flourish and gain momentum without Axelos support?

Both Tipu and Standard+Case come from the fertile mind of Rob England, and maybe you should be asking him this question. I really do like many of his contributions to ITSM best practice, but it is hard for ideas like this to compete when hundreds of thousands of people every year are taking ITIL training. It would be really good if we could find ways to communicate developing best practice to a wider audience, and maybe that is something we should put more effort into over the next year.

6. [Mistery question from Aprill Allen!] Ā If you were putting together a new service management program team, which celebritiesā€”living or pastā€”would you choose?

In general I think that celebrities would be a terrible idea for a service management team. We donā€™t need heroes and people whose main talent is marketing themselves, but in the spirit of the question I will offer some names.

Overall charge of the program and Continual Improvement:

Eli GoldrattĀ (if you havenā€™t heard of him then do some research)

Demand management and BRM:

Steve JobsĀ (tell me what customers will want next year)

Service operation processes:

Rob EnglandĀ (who else)

Change – Initial assessment checklist, anyone?

April 1, 2013

Cuff checklist, by nasa_appel @ Flickr, Some Rights Reserved

Cuff checklist by nasa_appel @ Flickr, Some Rights Reserved

Came up with this initial change assessment checklistĀ for early identification of potential issues that must be taken care of.

The sparkle was a detected tendency that somehow inflicts change analysts to disregard planning and risk analysis. I found this in a customer that relies heavily on aĀ subcontracted service provider for most of its service management activities.

As with all that has real value, it takes work and real thinking.Ā A checklist can be helpful as a kickstarter.

People

  • Does it need specific people in my organization?
  • Does it need specific expertise not available in my organization?
  • Is there a clear potential affected user list?
  • What training for end users will be needed?
  • What training for operational and administration level is required?
  • Does it need multiple teams effort?

Technology

  • Will it need specific resources (not people)?
  • Does it include technology never used within our organization?
  • Does it need additional testing, staging environments?
  • Does it need specific licensing?

Process

  • Is it dependent on other changes?
  • What is the scope of the change? Does it affect only one component or several?
  • Is it possible to fully test the change?
  • Is there a work-around available should things go wrong? If so does it need specific preparation and resources?

Business

  • Do we know what benefits it will bring?
  • Does it have a clear business deadline?
  • How critical are the affected services?
  • What is the duration and scope of possible service disruption?Ā Can the change be deployed within a scheduled maintenance window for services affected?
  • Are there any special circumstances regarding this change?

I am working on testing this set (or a smaller one) on a customer.

Interested in how much meaningful analysis can really be performed early on a change life cycle and what the payoff will be.

Business Service Orchestration

March 18, 2013

http://www.flickr.com/photos/leonabuco/3150899866/sizes/z/in/photostream/

Maestrina, by Leo Nabuco @ Flickr, Some Rights Reserved

This paper shared by Jan is good read on service catalog and how one should look at it. For starters we should look from the point of view of the ones using it.

End users and business managers (customers) see and expect different – even if related – outcomes from IT services. As referenced in the paper, Joe Peppard distinguishes two types of value of IT services:

User utility – Which is defined as the benefit a user or community of users attaches to a particular service, based on the usefulness of the service to them in the performance of their jobs.

Organizational benefit – Which is based on the extent to which the service supports the organization in achieving its business objectives.

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