5 Tips for Coping with the Service Desk’s Post-Holiday Rush

Dealing with post-holiday IT services

Who doesn’t love the holidays? The feeling of goodwill, the great TV, seeing friends and family. How awesome is the holiday period? But here’s the thing, when the first week of work post-holidays rolls around, having chocolate for breakfast and drinking your own body weight in alcohol will become a distant memory once reality sets in.

It’s even tougher for the corporate IT service desk. Chances are they run a skeleton staff over the holidays and when it’s back-to-work time, they have a huge backlog of lower-priority calls to get through. Sound depressingly familiar? Don’t panic or cry into your cup of coffee just yet, here are five tips to help your service desk survive the post-holiday rush.

Read More

7 Top Tips for Effective Inventory Management

Inventory Management

In the IT service management (ITSM) world there’s often talk of the need for configuration management and configuration management databases (CMDBs), and also IT asset management (ITAM). It can seem a steep challenge for many organizations, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t start with something far simpler – inventory management.

It’s all well and good talking about configuration and asset management but what if you just want to start with the basics? For instance, inventory management is an activity, or process, that should be easy to implement in theory. But in reality, scope creep, tool set limitations, and plain-old confusion about what inventory actually is, means that getting it right the first time isn’t necessarily a given.

Done well, inventory management can get the day-to-day costs of your IT estate under control and set the stage for more-involved asset and configuration management later on. With this in mind, I give you my seven top tips for effective inventory management.

Read More

The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Release Managers

Highly Effective Release Managers

Aha, the highly-effective series continues. Release management is often a misunderstood process, or capability, with the dividing line between it and change management often blurred. Let’s try to clear the blurriness in this blog.

Release management is the process that deals with major deployments, aka “the complicated stuff,” and its scope extends to hardware, software, networks, code, the cloud – anything that’s big enough and complex enough to need a significant level of coordination and support to deploy it effectively. How good your release management capabilities are – both initially and longer term – depends not only on your release management process but also the effectiveness of the people involved.

Read More

5 Awkward Questions for the Production-End of the DevOps Pipeline

Awkward DevOps questions

DevOps isn’t just about development, the creation of new code and capabilities, there’s also the need to release to the production environment in a way that’s both swift and “safe” – protecting business operations in line with the organization’s appetite for risk.

Much has been said and written about the left-to-right DevOps pipeline, most of it about the starting left-hand side where the developer and version control system trigger a continuous integration process to create a new test environment. But wait, what about the “production side”?

This awkward, right-hand end of the pipeline (the shaded-red area in the diagram below) is often skirted around or skimmed over when good practices are shared in blogs or at events.

Read More

Enterprise Service Management 101: My Next 5 Tips for Getting Started

Enterprise Service Management 101

Following on from my previous enterprise service management blog, here’s more tips on how to get started.

As a quick recap, part 1 offered advice on how to: (1) self-assess, (2) look for quick improvement opportunities in other lines of business, and (3) plan effectively. I’ll continue with another five “getting started” tips:

Read More