I’m on the road to Louisville, Kentucky to attend itsmf Fusion 10. I plan to post some updates through Twitter (see the twitter bar on the right) and I’ll maybe even post a few pictures and articles while I shlep around the conference – and yes, shlep is a technical term. If you’re going to be in Looeyville too, feel free to send a message to itilandme on Twitter and who knows, maybe we’ll run into each other.
When I started this blog I somehow thought it was a great idea to use the domain “itilandme” to highlight that it’s purpose is to focus on the ITIL framework. As much as I love ITIL and enjoy learning more and more each day, I’ve definitely read enough blogs and articles to know that ITIL is not the gospel when it comes to IT Service Management. It’s definitely the most in-depth framework out there and I still plan on obtaining my V3 Expert accreditation, but in a practical sense I’ve learned that it’s best to use any framework/methodology/technique to get IT to achieve its goals and the goals of the business. I definitely don’t intend to knock ITIL and I still hold the belief that it’s core function is to improve IT Services (which is why I hate posts that state the CMDB is the heart of ITIL http://www.itskeptic.org/heart-itil-service-catalogue), but ITIL has deficiencies that a different set of processes and knowledge can help overcome. At the same time I’m sure ITIL compensates for the shortcomings of other methodologies out there. At the end of the day ITIL, MOF, Lean, ITIL-lite, etc., all are meant to bring value out of the use of technology, and that’s what I care about the most.
I was just listening to the itSMF podcast and the topic of marketing and getting the business to understand the value of I.T. services reminded me of a simple, yet important lesson I learned in life. For a while (during my “what do I want to do for a living” period) I worked for my father-in-law at the family business. Without going into too much detail I’ll give a brief description of my father-in-law’s life: He came from a foreign country with no money, learned a specific skill and started his own business, became a respected lecturer and member of the professional community and now drives a Mercedes that’s worth more than my house. In essence, my father-in-law built a life following the textbook definition of an American dream. One vital lesson that I learned while working at his business is the importance of the bottom line and how much money was made that day. The reason for this importance was simple; no money = no business. This is a critical factor when it comes to operating in the I.T. world. Even more important than (dare I say) adopting a culture conducive for providing customer service or improving processes. The reason for this crucial thought is simple; the business understands money. In fact, just about everyone understands money. Heck, even time = money. So why do I keep reading and hearing people press the importance of I.T. and its impact on the business? Isn’t this something that everyone should just know? I guess not, because if everyone did have the “bottom line” mindset then experts wouldn’t be blogging, lecturing, videocasting, podcasting, etc., etc. about making sure the business knows the value of I.T.
I certainly don’t intend to undermine customer service or say that money is the most important thing in the world, but it really is the simplest form of value that anyone can understand. So instead of Service Management being about providing value, maybe the definition of Service Management should be changed to providing the best value.
On Friday I had the privilege to take part in a vendor’s local user group forum (ah heck, I won’t be vendor neutral and just tell you it was with Service-Now.com). Service-Now showed that their next release will include a specific time management module. This is a concept that’s not new to me, especially since at my current organization we’ve been wanting to build a separate field in our current ITSM tool specifically to allow people to enter in time spent on Incidents/Requests/etc. What amazed me is that this is the first vendor I’ve seen that includes it as an OTB feature. Maybe I’m not looking at the right tools, but I’m not really seeing this elsewhere. In fact, another positive feature set of Service-Now is that they include a project management module. How perfect is it to be able to use a tool to connect I.T. project management (translation: Service Design and Transition) to Incident and Problem Management? I have no idea why this isn’t prevalent in more ITSM tools, but if you read my previous post on considering Problem solving as a project, you’d understand my excitement with such a technology. Now here’s my next question. Could Time Management become its own process in ITIL? I honestly think it’s possible, especially to measure cost and efficiency it’s important to be able to track time as a metric. Since one can say time is money then it’s possible that this would simply fall under Financial Management, but I think time tracking as a whole should have its own process since it really follows the entire lifecycle of a service. Of course, I could also just be stuck on time since I saw a great documentary about Einstein’s theories on relativity. And since it’s definitely time for me to get my rest, I’ll leave the question open; should future versions of ITIL deal with Time Management processes?