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IT Governance

Continual Service Improvement: More Than Process Improvement

Continual improvement is an important mentality to have because it pushes you to constantly upgrade in all areas of your life. IT service management (ITSM) incorporates this philosophy in a big way, and in a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy discusses ITSM’s pursuit of excellence. ITSM, CSI, AOK ITSM focuses on continual improvement so that they can constantly improve the delivery of their services to their customers. However, it is wrong to …

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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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ITSM Can Address Business Continuity Management and Disaster Recovery

Always plan for the unexpected, because you never know when something detrimental may occur and derail everything you have worked so hard for. In a post at his blog, Joe the IT Guy discusses business continuity (BC) or disaster recovery (DR) plans and their importance. It is unfortunate, but most often the BS/DR plans are not kept in good enough shape to prove effective in a true disaster. They are left not updated, lost, or …

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Failure Is Not Optional: Why Project Failure Is OK

Back when I was on active duty in the U.S. Navy assigned to a systems command, I was assigned as project manager in the development of a methodology to incorporate technical performance within the realm of overall project performance measurement and control. I sat down before my boss, who was a brilliant engineer, and he asked me this question: “What is the value of failure?” Then, after a bit of discussion, he said: “That is …

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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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The Missing Link in Your Project Process

We are project managers. We know the importance of establishing a proper process to manage our project. It is a matter of effectiveness: We want to achieve the results. It is also a matter of efficiency: We want to use the most optimal process. Choosing and establishing the best processes for your project is an important step in managing your project. Let’s take the world of software development. The process can include many steps, such …

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What Does a Great Product Development Group Look Like?

Since 1989 we have been traveling the globe looking at great, and sometimes challenged, organizations. From an engineering and management perspective, here are some common “great” things we see. As you read them, contrast with your organization and determine where you would like your group to be. Deadlines, budget, and project status Goals are established, clearly defined, and communicated to the organization. These are usually related to deadlines, budget, and quality (e.g., defects or customer …

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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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Open a Window: Using Data and Self-Awareness to Remove Organizational Blind Spots

In 1955 the American psychologists Joseph Luft and Harrington Igham developed a technique to help individuals place themselves in context to the world and the people around them. This technique originated in the study of group dynamics and organizational behavior at the University of California and is a feedback/disclosure model of self-awareness. By combining the first names of the technique’s founders, this model came to be known as the Johari Window, represented by four quadrants. …

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Quick Fixes Make Quicker Problems in ITSM

Incident teams are expected to respond to problems and rectify the situation, but if the underlying causes are not fixed, they will be stuck in a never-ending firefighting mode. In a post for Service Management Journey, Ryan Ogilvie elaborates on how to effectively fix this issue. A conversation with a colleague sprouted an interesting discussion for Ogilvie. The colleague shared that he and his team were excitedly awaiting a new incident manager, because there was …

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