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Ryan Ogilvie

Balance Incident and Change (or Prepare for a Thursday Beatdown)

Recently, as part of a professional networking organization, I was tasked with scheduling a session for like-minded colleagues. The challenge, I soon found, was that while most people were good with Thursday, one service desk manager was adamant that he couldn’t make it. When I asked why, he said they are almost always overloaded with incidents on Thursday, so the likelihood of making it was next to nil. Intrigued by his ability to see into …

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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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Finding Value in Event Monitoring

Fact: Your IT operations are monitoring your infrastructure in some capacity. Whether it is network traffic, database activity, application health, or a combination of these, your goal is to ensure stability. How well is this working out? Depending on your IT organizational structure, each “silo” may answer that everything is working rather well, so you might want to reframe the question to determine what value your monitoring is adding. If you were to look at …

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Four Questions for Quenching Knowledge Management

The thirst for knowledge must be quenched. Every day people are looking for answers that they need. The question you have to ask yourself as a service provider is, “Are you positioned to satisfy their needs?” One of the fundamental challenges with knowledge management isn’t capturing the information; it is usually the ability to actually manage it. Part of the discovery process should lead us to ask ourselves why we need to do this in …

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How to Use Metrics to Optimize Service Delivery

I want you to think about all the different types of organizations you worked for. Whether they were Finance, Communications, Energy, Agriculture, or Transport, there was likely one similarity among them: The reporting that was done from an IT perspective did not produce metrics that mattered. Why? It’s simple—we (as an IT organization) tend to loop endlessly on the metrics as they apply to IT. We must move away from thinking that “recovery from failure …

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Unlike Scotch, Problem Records Do Not Get Better with Age

At a recent service management event I met up with a friend who is a problem manager, and as practitioners do, they tend to vent about one issue that they are facing in their organization. We started talking about a problem record that they had open and how it seemed it was never going to be closed off. Digging a little deeper, I asked why it was still open. “You know…the root cause of this …

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The Evolution of the Service Desk: A Better Help Experience

Is your Service Desk still relevant? Pretty bold question when we are talking about how we provide support and services for our business needs? For the most part IT organizations have set up a ‘help desk’ to address their business challenges with regards to IT. Over time this may have transitioned to a Service Desk. The challenge is whether this has been a transformation in name only. The first thing you need to understand is …

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