Information Technology Service Management

Over the last few years I have facilitated several Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) work sessions within the oil and gas and utility industries. The challenge was to build consensus through identifying what is important, making recommendations and decisions and establish direction that would enable the IT organization to improve processes and services offered to their customers. The following article briefly outlines a number of lessons learned that came from our experiences.

An ITSM Work Session should provide the foundation for your organization to create the blueprint to propel IT services and business value forward. In establishing an ITSM initiative the following key groups must be involved:

Strategic: CIO and Directors to establish strategic intent, vision and enterprise objectives

Tactical: Directors and Managers to establish improvement objectives, priorities and program charter

Operational: Managers and Key Stake-holders to establish solution, roadmap, business case and project charters.

Fundamental to any ITSM session when engaging these groups is to develop a clear problem definition, defined and approved by the executives or senior steering committee. This is an area which IT often falls short. The lack of a clear problem definition negatively impacts the tactical and operational levels of the organization and limits the ability to move forward.

When working with your teams, build an understanding of all the work that is taking place in the IT department right now and how it fits within the ITSM support and delivery relationship models. Discussion, training and clarity will be required to ensure your people understand the ITSM relationship and delivery model. By engaging people in a defined work exercise, your teams can map out and see how their work aligns with your ITSM program requirements. This is effective in establishing leadership and team buy-in.

Establish a clear understanding of your points of pain (PoPs) and the IT maturity. PoPs can be established through focused brainstorming sessions. Once collected, your PoPs should be looked at from an organizational and process maturity perspective. This is often missed as IT has a habit of looking only at processes and tools to solve problems. Align your PoPs with the industry maturity model standards (non-existence, chaos, reactive, proactive, service, value). It is important that the content be translated into a service management maturity grid and aligned with the Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL) process categories. Work to obtain various IT teams, customers and business representatives’ perspective on the ITSM organizational and process maturity levels. This builds some reality into the PoPs and maturity levels thinking by dislodging IT from a position of working in isolation.

Build a business case and program plan that can be activated by your people. At this point you are seeking clear recommendations and improvement objectives (what), benefit realization (why), tactical needs (how) and time frame (when) for which to move your organization forward with your ITSM program. This is the foundation for your ITSM program business case and charter that will be divided into project and operational requirements. You will need a solid approved business case and charter to enable you to navigate the challenges that will unfold on your journey and to clearly articulate the streams of work to be completed. There needs to be an executive team or steering committee assigned to provide clear strategic guidance. When forming and using a steering committee, their mandate must be strategic and clear. Tactical task-based reporting can be left to the project management teams and their need for task-based results and status meetings.

Recognize that ITSM is not an IT tool solution. From a business perspective, IT needs to stop chasing tool solutions, and “flavor-of-the-month quick fixes.” Ultimately, the ITSM program is a business organizational change program that seeks to align IT with the business objectives and requirements, improve processes and change culture in an effort to control or decrease costs, increase productivity and contribute to the bottom-line. ITSM programs need to be effectively operationalized. Therefore change management and communication must be at the forefront.

Work with your teams to have them answer “WIIFM” and “WIIFT” questions (what is in it for me and what is in it for them). Ensure you established the fears, uncertainties and doubts (FUDs). Be prepared to have a long FUDs list. These will need to be acknowledged and managed within the context of the ITSM program and the change management and communications plan. Use your teams and people to establish a communication plan that takes into consideration your target audience and communication needs. Every organization has an approach to communications that may or may not align with their corporate culture. Prepare a clear communications strategy and follow it.

The information in this article is based on feedback obtained during facilitated ITSM work sessions and the work of dedicated IT professionals. Efforts focused on consideration for the strategic, tactical and operational requirements. Ultimately the goal was to improve IT. It can be done. Good luck.

Home Improvement Solutions That You Can Use

Home improvement makes a great hobby. After all, it builds useful skills, creates a sense of empowerment, and of course it improves the function and look of your home. There are lots of ways to do it, some right and some wrong. Check out these tips so the time you spend on home repair projects will all be time well spent.

Get new tiling. If your tiling does not match your walls, or is cracking and becoming damaged, replacing it is a better way of refurbishing your home that is relatively simple and inexpensive. Stick-on floor tiles are available at many house improvement stores, and if you want to use the real ones, they are not too expensive either.

You need to make sure that you are getting the best price for your building supplies when you are doing any repairs or renovating your homes. All building supply stores carry the same materials but they all charge different prices for the materials. In order to get the best price you need to compare all of the prices at the different stores.

No matter what project you tackle with you home repair, stay safe while doing it. Wear the proper safety protection for your eyes and hands. Read the operation manuals for the power tools that you are going to use. If you do not feel comfortable with anything and it seems dangerous, hire a contractor to do that part.

Almost all Do-It-Yourself projects are pretty easy and self-explanatory. Most people can paint a room, clean storm windows, and make minor repairs. Be careful not to overextend your actual Do-It-Yourself abilities in more complex areas. Unless you really know what you are doing, you are likely to have trouble (and encounter danger) with projects such as Do-It-Yourself electrical wiring and DIY sewer line replacement. Call an expert!

Adding casual living areas to a home, is a smart and profitable home improvement project. Many homes have just one living area, the addition of a second that can be used as a family room or den are big plus to potential buyers who see your home as place that they can grow with their own family.

Follow the above tips, and the investments you make into home improvements will be wise expenditures of both your energy and the resources it takes to complete a project. From the smallest project to the most complex, home improvement can be rewarding and worthwhile in many ways — as long as you pay attention to tips like these.

Europe Travel Tours – The Perfect Holiday Gateway

When it comes to choosing a destination for your holidays, there is no second opinion on Europe. Europe is one place where you can get the entire package of beautiful scenery, great locales; man made structure, culture and rich heritage all in one. The continent is huge and each of the countries has something to offer or the other. One can have a great time over and here and most important of all, it comes well under the budget. Europe travel tours just make an attempt to make your tour a memorable and cherished one.

For history buffs, nature lovers and for those who want to have great gastronomical delights can have a really good time in Europe. Countries such as Greece, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Hungary, and Switzerland are very much popular among the tourists. The tour programs to these countries are very well defined and are well planned beforehand, so that you can have the best of holidays without facing too many hassles.

As per your interest and time available, you can prefer to choose the destination. But do keep your budgetary allocation in mind, as it is very much essential. The main aim is to provide you the best possible destinations, so that you do not miss out anything. Every aspect of the tour package is taken care before hand. In fact, you are not at all required to worry about reserving hotel, booking air tickets, hiring cabs. This way, you get relief from a lot of hassles and worry free. Moreover, you get to save a lot of money.

Europe tour travels are designed such that it caters to the needs of every tourist. You get to enjoy the privilege of enjoying the best vacation of your life by paying the minimal amount. There are lots of service providers available online. On doing a proper research, you can very well get the best tour package available at present.