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Ryan Ogilvie

Problem Management Is Like Watering Plants

I can remember the first place I lived in on my own without roommates. A friend dropped off a potted palm tree as a housewarming gift. They said, “It will make your place look better, more lived in.” I shrugged and placed it in a spot where it would get loads of light. In the first few months I took good care of the plant, watering it and providing regular doses of fertilizer and so …

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Feedback Loop: If They Don’t Think You Care, They Won’t Care Either

We have all been there before at some point or another: In an effort to understand the business, we solicit information from them in a “how are we doing” button or survey. The trouble that may present itself is that, while we are working to improve things from a delivery perspective, we may not have fully built out a strategy to manage the lifecycle of the feedback. Here are a few points to consider, but …

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How You Can Improve Business Support

While on a support call recently, I had the misfortune of suffering through long hold times, dreary music, and being transferred from person to person with no end in sight. While I waited I had plenty of time to think about what could be done better not just for this experience, but also from my own perspective to improve interactions with my own business. Listen More, Speak Less First, start by listening to your business—really …

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How to Find the Value of Service Improvement & Sell It to Leadership

In tougher economic times, many organizations will start to evaluate all the components that make up their operational model. In other words, they look for value. A challenge for those delivering services will be to illustrate not only the current value that they provide but also future-state value that can be added with some margin-of-improvement initiatives. When speaking about business value, we must first recognize that this term can be interpreted in slightly different ways. …

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Have You Sold Your Leaders on Asset Management?

In tough economic climates, companies are looking for ways to streamline their processes in addition to reducing overhead costs. One area for consideration should be asset management, if it isn’t already. The overall goal of asset management—whether it is hardware, software, or something else—is to ensure the governance over the assets throughout their lifespan. Simply put, you will know what assets the people in the business are using and the costs associated. If you were …

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The Three Challenges to Worthwhile Communication in ITSM

The ability to communicate effectively is still a challenge for most people despite their line of business. Because of this there are countless books, articles, and experts on the subject of improving communication. My simple advice is to personally connect with the audience wherever you can. In the service management space, we need to ensure that we communicate consistently in language that the business community understands. If I have said this once, I have said …

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Do You Have Any Idea What the Customer Really Wants?

I was prompted to think about customer service the other day when I was in line at a bank (yes, an actual queue in a physical bank). The customer ahead of me was speaking with the teller and trying to get a concern across that ultimately required a manager to resolve. Before the person left, they said to the manager, “It’s about time you got my service right!” I started to think to myself—everyone expects …

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The Value of Sharing for Your Career Growth

Whenever the topic of blog writing comes up, the question I get asked the most is, “Why do you do this in the first place?” In order to explain why, we need to go back to the end of the last century—the year 1999. I had just finished my post-secondary education as a civil engineering technologist. As the final term came to a close, I had a gleam in my eye and I was looking …

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Reducing Costly Incidents through Knowledge

How can you improve the customer experience though knowledge management, you might ask? From an incident perspective we should start with the Service Desk to determine exactly what types of calls are coming in, a “top ten” of sorts. These may be common questions that, if they are handled through some form of self-service functionality, can reduce the calls into the Service Desk right at the beginning. It is likely that your Service Desk has …

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Cover Your Assets

The other day as I was waiting on the train platform, I bumped into an IT operations manager whom I hadn’t seen for a while. Since I normally saw him in the evening ride home I had assumed he was on holiday. “Quite the opposite, I’m afraid,” he sighed. “We have had our major software vendors reviewing our compliance, so I have been working late and explaining our problems to leadership.” “Didn’t go that well?” …

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