Sometimes it is a good idea to stop for moment, to take stock of where you are and where you want, or need, to be. Especially when you work in a hectic and high-pressure role such as IT support – I often feel that I’m so busy running around that I forget which direction I should be running in. Not so much “Joe the IT Guy” and more “Joe the Headless Chicken.” With this in mind, how is your IT service management (ITSM) going?
- Is the “ITSM team” meeting its goals?
- Does the business feel that they receive the value the IT organization promised?
- What is the improvement plan for this year, and the year after that?
- Are you happy doing this type of work?
All difficult questions and, mostly likely, me asking these questions immediately invoked some form of feeling in you. Maybe a feeling of success? Maybe a feeling of fear? Maybe a feeling of failure? Maybe simply “meh”?
Bring your own device (BYOD), or even BYOX appears to be an emerging norm in many organizations. It is a function of multiple factors:
- An IT savvy workforce (that’s good),
- The lower cost of computing technology (that’s very good),
- The emerging ubiquity of WiFi access (also good),
- The acceptance of cloud services and Apps (still good), and
- The expectations of people who get great IT service in their non-work environment, and expect the same when they get to their desk (bit of a challenge).
In my own experience, because I carry and use multiple devices, having to adhere to an organization’s IT infrastructure and rules is often much more of a pain than a benefit, and I would suggest that applies to most other users as well.
I’ve been talking a lot about getting back to basics with incidents and all other things IT service management (ITSM) related – and with good reason. While us IT guys like to think that our job is all about cool new stuff, the reality is that the ITSM basics have been around for a long time for one simple reason – they work!
So reminding ourselves now and again of those basics, and seeing them in today’s changed context is very valuable. ITIL® is over 25 years old, so something that has stayed in ITIL that long seems safe enough to call a basic. Those 25+ years might change how we deal with things, and how effective we can be, but most of the underlying concepts remain.
Well, it’s been almost a year since my last blog on continual service improvement (CSI), and I really do hope you’ve already passed the getting started phase, but if not – it’s never too late. The very first step I talked about in that blog is writing down a list of what you would like to improve. ITIL® formalizes this list of improvement ideas into what’s called a CSI register, and I want to focus in my blog here on what is needed to keep that register useful.
The CSI register was something new in ITIL V3 but the idea behind it is simple enough: capture all the possible ways that things could be better and choose which ones to actively pursue. It’s a valuable tool, but too often it’s seen as something to be created and then used up – like a project. In fact CSI’s 7-step improvement process can reinforce that idea. We run the 7-step process to generate ideas; that gives us the CSI register, and then we analyze and prioritize those ideas, decide which ones to implement and – hey presto, the magic works – things get better.
“The harder I practice, the luckier I get.”
– Gary Player, professional golfer
At the core of DevOps is learning. And DevOps stands on the shoulders of many giants, with one of those giants being the Toyota Way from which DevOps borrows concepts such as Kata, which helps people, teams, and organizations to improve, adapt, innovate, and achieve whatever they set out to do.