blog

An Overview Of IT Service Management

Posted by on 9:32 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

An Overview Of IT Service Management – by Stuart D. Galup, Ronald Dattero, Jim J. Quan and  Sue ConGer An overview of IT Service Management talks about the common misconceptions technical minded people are faced with. We IT people tend to address the nature of an IT service as something technical such as a web service for example. We need to get people to understand what IT Service Management is truly about, if we are seriously wanting to implement the set of best practices in organizations covering the world. In today’s organizations IT is playing an ever more critical role in the overall business side of things. Business requirements are dependent upon the IT infrastructure. With all of this going on, we need a best practice of how to best meet the business and IT needs; whilst ensuring the alignment of the two. This is the key part of where IT Service Management comes to play. ITSM can assist to help define processes and metrics, and provide guidance of management assessment, planning and implementation of IT processes to optimize the IT infrastructure strategy. ITSM conforms to standards such as ISO/IEC 20000 and best practices such as ITIL. But remember ITIL is a best practice way of implementing ITSM it is not a framework, nor a specific structure for how to achieve things within the...

read more

Towards TQM in IT Services

Posted by on 9:22 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

Towards TQM in IT Services  Towards TQM in IT Services – by Xian Chen and Paul Sorenson This paper discusses a key aspect in IT services called Total Quality Management. (TQM). It also has reviews of four critical sections which contain different levels of perspective and opinion. Overall the paper was informative and I enjoyed that they talked about the Deming Cycle and the four stages of Plan, Do, Check, Act. I like this model, as I find it simple to remember and I have been exposed to it on multiple occasions with good results. The four perspectives which are used to define an IT service are Conformance quality, Gap quality, Value quality and Excellence Quality. Conformance quality means that something is performed in conformance to original specifications. Gap quality is in regards ts meeting or exceeding customer expectations. Value quality is the direct value to the customer. This often means a direct benefit from the customers point of view. Excellence quality is commonly referred to as a “Universally agreed upon recognition off excellence.” A common way to calculate gap quality is by means of an online survey. This can help to measure the gap (if there is one) between service and product support within the IT infrastructure in the organization. TQM is a very powerful managerial technique, and it is clear that organizations are recognizing this; with the common movement shown world-wide amongst IT...

read more

Taming the Help Desk

Posted by on 11:33 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

Taming the Help Desk by Taming the Help Desk by Geoffrey Sperl This article is about a geek turned manager who is self-running the IT help desk at Wayne State University in Detroit, USA. Often IT help desk staff who excel are promoted to managerial positions with no true thought as to how they will cope with their new-found roles. He talks about “self-taming” where it means that you must whip yourself into shape before you can start doing the same to all your team members. He makes a good point about the casual norms in an IT workplace, especially one which is run by a geek! If you are mainly working with your peers then casual dress is considered fine, but any other occasion and you need to dress appropriately along with everyone else. Geeks need to humanize themselves and draw themselves back to the real world. People need things explained to them in plain english, and the thoughts you have need to actually be spoke aloud (providing they are polite!) Write things down and have a plan! If that is all you do. Things never recorded will never be accomplished. Consider the resources you will need to operate the IT help desk and include things such as training. Even though you are now the manager don’t forget to include training for yourself, particualrly managerial training. Train and hire effective staff. As before, have a solid plan to follow and be a leader! Take an active role with your position and lead people, don’t just hide behind your paperwork. Only have meetings if needed and always have a plan, record the meetings and have an agenda. Meetings can be the biggest waste of...

read more

Mastering IT Change Management Step Two

Posted by on 9:34 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

Mastering IT Change Management Step Two: Moving from Ignorant Anarchy to Informed Anarchy This article is an example of how to implement a change management process from scratch, with the main goal at the present point in time being “Create and implement a standard process flow, identify interdependencies among systems, recognize relationships within the organization, and set up lines of communication.” The common scenario started with is where a user reports a bug to the IT help desk, they would find no previous record of said bug and it would be forwarded on to the developers responsible. The bug was fixed, and now it was realized that the reason this bug was there was because a previous part in the system had changed causing this to happen. There was no link of communication between the IT help desk and the developers who fixed the problem. This is called “ignorant anarchy”, where each group are acting independently of each other in isolation. They realized a change was necessary. Submission, Approval, Review, Notification and Implementation where 5 categories were introduced for change management implementation. This allowed users to report a problem and for it to be dealt with accordingly by the correct person. It is listed in centralized repository where all IT staff can see it. This will also help for future events, as they will save time by realizing the bug has occurred before and why. Working in total isolation is often bad, people need to work together and share necessary resources to have the optimum job performance and satisfaction...

read more

Service Management in Operations

Posted by on 9:34 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

Service Management in Operations  from the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS) AMCIS 2008 Proceedings Association for Information Systems Year 2008 by Sue Conge,  MaryAnne Winniford and Lisa Erickson-Harris This article looks at IT frameworks such as ITIL (IT Information Library) and COBIT(Control Objectives for Information and Technology) and how managers understand and use ITSM in IT operations. ”Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) focuses on defining, managing, and delivering IT services to support business goals and customer needs, usually in IT Operations.” Results showed that those using IT Service Management (45%) and those with no IT Service Management (37%) are relatively similar. It also portrays that ITSM is common knowledge in the IT industry but it is either used reasonably well, or not used at all. It also showed that “Roughly 25% of companies with 20,000 or fewer employees reported using ITSM, compared to 60% of companies with over 20, 000 employees.” Clearly indicating that ITSM is implemented more in smaller organizations. Two more large factors were that ITSM is too difficult to implement successfully (50%) and that company’s outsourcing to avoid accountability (61%). This clearly shows some confusion on the understanding of ITSM and what constitutes an IT service and adding to additional management concepts. I can see key benefits of using ITSM in an organization such as when using SLA’s. However; it is often time consuming to train employees about ITSM and the various frameworks. So implementing key aspects is often important, but I don’t believe any organization can perform “out of the book” framework operations at any...

read more

You Want us to Support WHAT?!?

Posted by on 9:34 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

You Want us to Support WHAT?!? Negotiation, Delivery and Cultivation: The Gateway to Excellent Service Deployment – Nathan Carpenter & Ryan Tucker  This article is about the Campus Information Technologies and Educational Services (CITES) taking their help desk to a whole new level in customer satisfaction. Whilst I have not personally worked in an IT help desk situation, I can almost guarantee that they do not all run as smoothly as this one does! An important aspect to take from this is that it is vital for IT managers to consult and collaborate with all staff at all levels across the IT help desk. Often people working on the help desk are managed hegemonically and their voice is seldom heard, and opinion or thoughts barely taken into consideration. They talk about being at “the table” which reduces the level of entropy amongst the employment hierarchy of the help desk. It ensure that going on’s are kept informed for everyone, right throughout the organization. I like that the IT organization is forming new organization structures to cope more efficiently with rapid industry and organizational changes. The traditional hierarchical managerial structure is being changed into a more flattened structure, which allows people right across the organization to voice their opinions, and be kept informed of all changes. This creates a more positive workforce for employees because if they feel important and in the loop of decisions, it is a proven fact that they will work...

read more

Developing a Service Catalog for Higher Education ITS

Posted by on 9:35 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

Lyons (2009) Developing a Service Catalog for Higher Education Information Technology Services This article is a great example of improving an IT system successfully. Often, IT systems can be ‘upgraded’ only to have negative impacts upon the end users, as they weren’t consulted or worked with alongside the project development. Hobart and William Smith Colleges customers for ITS were faced with a hard to use online system with services grouped according to their IT functions (database, network etc) rather than their desired end service result they were expecting to achieve. This creates a steep learning curve for the customers as they need to understand IT industry jargon, in order to use the services available. The developers came up with a few good approaches to rebuilding the existing system with the following thoughts: “First, our customers need to be able to easily and quickly access information when they want it”. “Second, once people find the information they want, they need to be able to take action to request the service or find out how to perform the steps necessary to do it themselves”. This gave them a good basis to begin with. Additionally it was established that: “Appropriate expectations for service level, cost, and time should be set at the beginning of any interaction so that assumptions and surprises can be minimized.” To meet the project goals they structured their surveying specifically to a core group of known customers with varying technical expertise and previous use of the online ITS system. The end result is great. A simple UX design with headings related to services such as “Fix A Problem”, which customers can predict the outcome and know they will get the service they require. Success was measured by a higher site visit count, improved customer satisfaction, and reduced customer call helpline among other things. A good example of a successful IT project to meet the customers needs....

read more

What Determines IT Spending Priorities?

Posted by on 9:35 am in Implenting ITSM: A Case Study Focusing on Critical Success Factors | 0 comments

What Determines IT Spending Priorities? Source: Hoon S. Cha, David E. Pingry and Matt E. Thatcher The authors of the article go into great depths in order to explain how businesses determine the amount that they need to spend on IT. This is a difficult thing to prove as IT costs are by no means fixed and are rather intangible to account direct costs to. Businesses currently spend an average of around 40-45% of their budget on IT. It can be noted that companies can make comparisons on IT spending with their competitors to benchmark spending and budget allocations. This can be difficult as IT’s importance and characteristics vary greatly between businesses. In order to help businesses a survey was conducted on “1,495 business leaders in Alabama, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas during the 4th Quarter of 2005 to examine the firms’ IT spending priorities across business functions”. The survey focused on things such as industry type, firm size, location, and past IT performance to better judge budget allocation for that particular company. The results showed that the highest IT spending priorities are in administration, production, and distribution. The lowest were research and development and security. For some companies this may be fine. The general consensus from this is that companies are more focused on the running and profitability of their business than innovation and securing their systems. Security and innovation are becoming increasingly important items to cater for in IT, and hopefully this will become more aware in the...

read more