Recent comments
  • Service Desk is an obsolete model   3 years 4 weeks ago

    Oh I do agree we have to pay attention to the diminishing relevance of classical service desk principles. I now wonder what I have do to stay on trend toward a future where the mobile, digital lifestyle dominates and firms begin to learn the productivity advantage. What is this future? Yet, for now all you have to do is back up and survey the sad state of Customer Service Portal web sites...and see all the work you have before you :)

  • ISO 20000 lowers the bar   3 years 5 weeks ago

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  • Taking the Maximum out of the Problem Management Process   3 years 17 weeks ago

    Well presented prashant.
    This is suchismita from Optirus.
    Several times when an organization adopts ITSM process,it primarily focus on establishing ITSM tools in place and expect to get a considerable change in service delivery model through this solutioning.But ITIL processes are designed in such a manner that they always work in a interactive and cohesive manner.
    When we want to experience a moderate and measurable difference in our service model, the source of every module should be properly defined ,then only can look for a predicted output.
    For problem management is not an exception of it. If an organization have its performance measurement,availability measurement and capacity monitoring solutions in place and the inputs get properly filtered, assessed,corelated and transmitted to problem management module then we can definitively expect a positive and exemplary a
    output through proactive actions and change in practice.

  • New Year Prize Quiz for a new COBIT 5 textbook!   3 years 18 weeks ago

    The winner was Alexey Lamykin from Russia. Congratulations!

    Alexey was the only person to get all 20 correct.

    Here are the correct answers:

    1. What did ITIL V3 call practices?
    B. Good

    2. Which framework has 47 processes?
    C. PMBOK

    3. Who was the “grandfather” of COBIT?
    A. Erik Guldentops

    4. How many processes were there in the first version of COBIT?
    B. 32

    5. Which process name was new in the ITIL 2011 Edition?
    B. Change Evaluation

    6. ISO 2000 is about what?
    C. TSR

    7. Who has written official books for several versions of ITIL?
    B. Colin Rudd

    8. Which framework uses ISO/IEC 15504?
    D. COBIT 5

    9. Which of these is an ISACA framework that was used in the development of COBIT 5?
    A. Risk IT

    10. Which body owns the IT Capability Maturity Framework?
    D. IVI

    11. Which of these has both Social World and Physical World layers?
    B. COBIT 5

    12. Who owns the Management of Portfolios (MoP) framework?

    13. Which of these is a quantum computer?
    D. D-Wave

    14. Roughly how many people in the world pass an ITIL Foundation Certificate every month?
    D. 25000

    15. Which of these is NOT an APMG COBIT 5 qualification certificate?
    D. Governance Certificate

    16. Who is the IT Skeptic?
    B. Rob England

    17. Which is not a name associated with quality management?
    C. Claude Shannon

    18. What is Zachman famous for?
    C. Enterprise Architecture

    19. Which person was a factor in the introduction of UK Corporate Governance in 1992?
    C. Robert Maxwell

    20. Which organisation first developed ITIL?
    D. CCTA

    Explanations of particular questions:

    Q1. ITIL V3 (2007) used Good practices but in ITIL 2011 Edition it was switched back to Best practices the term that had been used up until ITIL V3 (2007).

    Q6 Notice it deliberately asked about ISO 2000 not ISO 20000. The ISO 2000 standard is about tyres for vehicles and TSR is Technically Specified Rubber. ( The only trick question). Most people thought it said ISO 20000 so gave a wrong answer.

    Q10 IT Capability Maturity Framework (IT-CMF) belongs to the Innovation Value Institute (IVI) - it is a governance and management framework.

    Q12 Since 1 January 2014, all Office of Government Commerce (OGC) including Management of Portfolios (MoP) framework have been transferred to a private company AXELOS ( see comment on Q20, too).

    Q14 Each month between 19000 and 26000 pass the ITIL Foundation exam. So 25 000 was the best answer to pick. Well over 2 million people now hold ITIL Foundation certificates.

    Q19 Robert Maxwell was CEO and Chairman of two famous UK-based companies( Mirror Group Newspapers and Maxwell Communications Corporation) and massive fraud was committed that was only discovered after he drowned on his luxury yacht. As a result of that fraud and several other major frauds from London Stock Exchange (LSE) companies, the Cadbury report was put together during 1992 (published December 1992) that was called "Financial Aspects of Corporate Governance".

    Q20 When ITIL was first introduced in 1989 it was from the Central Computer and Telecommunications Agency (CCTA) - a UK government agency created in 1980. When Tony Blair became Prime Minister in 1997, his government changed its name to Office of Governance Commerce (OGC) and now that has been sold by the present UK government to a private company AXELOS who hold 51% of it and from 1 January 2014 became the owners of frameworks, ITIL, PRINCE2, MSP, MoP etc..

  • COBIT 5 and Information – a new area to explore   3 years 31 weeks ago

    ISACA finally published COBIT 5: Enabling Information on 13 November 2013. It is freely downloadable to ISACA members and can also be bought as a printed book or e-book by anybody. It consists of 90 pages.

    More COBIT 5 guides are now being researched/written and are due for publication in 2014.

    Risk Scenarios for COBIT 5 for Risk (in first quarter of 2014)
    Sarbanes-Oxley using COBIT 5 (in second quarter of 2014)
    Controls and Assurance in the Cloud using COBIT 5 (in second quarter of 2014)


  • Price of ITIL exams increasing   3 years 32 weeks ago

    Royalties will increase 300%, not exam prices. We will have to wait for the EIs announcing there prices before we'll know. They decide how much margin they are going to have.

  • Price of ITIL exams increasing   3 years 33 weeks ago

    What is the current price and how much is the predicted increase?

  • IT service management in 2020 – the impact of Quantum Computing   3 years 33 weeks ago

    Geoff - true, the application of IT governance, ITSM etc. will most likely change, but not the method that it is derived from. That's the characteristic of methods that I've  always liked most of all: it doesn't change when technology or organization structure changes. So I don't agree with your final statement (the rest seems to be quite perceptive ;-) ) where you say "different methods will need to be used". 

    The examples on cloud and BYOD are typical technology-specific examples and therefore not related to the method behind the practice. The ISM method shows this clearly: it can be applied to BYOD, cloud, to small and to large organizations, to waterfall development techniques as well as to agile and scrum: the application changes (always dependent upon the organization and the technology), but the method is still the same. This typical characteristic of a method makes it worth while to invest in its development: it's always an investment in a better future.

  • IT service management in 2020 – the impact of Quantum Computing   3 years 33 weeks ago

    Jan, I accept what you say that popular frameworks will change,

    That is what Sir Isaac Newton stated as "standing on the shoulders of giants", i.e. adapting frameworks to take into account changes that other frameworks and standards have made. That is the way progress is made, isn't it? It is not plagiarism, of course. International standards have a model of looking at change every 5 years or so.

    Recognition that methods need to be applied to best practices is a good example of this happening and ISM is a sound example. The latest column by Michiel Croon further explains this well, I think, and reminds me that the Dutch have frequently been the first country to recognise significant ways forward in the ITSM world - even ITIL got started because the Dutch recognised its relevance and showed the world how to use it.

    So when quantum computing appears - and assuming it can't be used for tablets, desktops or office-based servers because of huge expense (D-Wave is currently $10M - the equivalent of buying an IBM valve-based mainframe in the 1960s) then it can only be used via a cloud provider. Then how an enterprise conducts its IT governance, IT service management, information security etc. will need to change - different methods will need to be used. Already today we are seeing much advice and guidance on how to manage cloud and BYOD using well-established frameworks.

  • IT service management in 2020 – the impact of Quantum Computing   3 years 34 weeks ago

    Geoff, I do not entirely agree. The popular frameworks (ITIL, COBIT, etc.) describe best practices, and therefore they will see some effect when practices changes.

    It's the methods that won't change: methods are independent from practice: they are applied to practice. Currently, there still is only one method in the ITSM field (the ISM Method), and its distribution is limited to NL-based organizations. So most of us will have to process the changes that will be seen in the practice-based frameworks we use - if your expectation comes true ;-)

  • Problem management: Especially Now!   3 years 34 weeks ago


    What a great column.  You are so on the mark.  It's incredible that in today'sdynamic IT environments many are still operating in reactive mode, versus proactive.  I can't recall how many times I've heard the complaint that their isn't sufficient funding for planning solutions (even to known risks), but remarkably funds seem to be found when we are forced to react.  If only folks would realize that it potentially costs considerably less resources to be prepared to react, versus reacting while you are trying to devise an action plan.   

  • Service management offices (SMOs) starting to appear more, says Navvia, but most is still reactive   3 years 41 weeks ago

    Interesting report. I'd like to make two points

    Firstly, I think that because most respondents are still focussed on Incident, Problem and Change, whether they are using ITIL V2 or V3 is largely academic.

    Secondly, the business case for investing in proactive processes is still a hard sell for most organisations, even though there is now a fair amount of evidence showing their value. I think that organisations and their clients in general need a better understanding of the linkage between the proactive processes and the quality of the services that they supply / receive. When a service is perceived as an enabler adding value rather than a utility, this connection can be made more easily. 

  • Review on the latest book on ITIL: PDCA for ITIL   3 years 41 weeks ago

    I purchased this book when it was released and while I agree with the statement that it “is written in a very schematic way” I would not go so far as to say that it enables us “to use it for fast implementation”.

    I premise my caveat on the fact that, like so many other ITIL(R)-related publications, it falls prey to using terminology and the application of the intent of terms somewhat loosely. Let me illustrate by way of examples.

    The term CSF (Critical Success Factor) has prominence throughout the schematic model that is described. The issue I would raise is that the CSFs that are provided do not meet the ITIL definition of a CSF which defines it as “Something that must happen if a Process, Project, Plan, or IT Service is to succeed". The implication that flows from this definition is that when we define a CSF we are defining pre-requisites to success.

    The earliest published reference to success factors was in the article “10 problems that worry presidents. By: Spencer, Lyle M.. Harvard Business Review (HBR), Nov/Dec 1955, Vol. 33 Issue 6, p75-83 which described it as answering the question “What are the essential factors that produce success in my company?”

    This was followed up by RH Daniel et al, in a 1961 HBR article who identified the need for “success factors” that enable the success of the business - saying there should be at most 3 to 6 such factors to focus on. This was expanded by Rockhart in 1979 to be “the limited number of areas in which satisfactory results will ensure successful competitive performance for the individual, department or organization. CSFs are the few key areas where ‘things must go right' for the business to flourish and for a manager's goals to be attained”. Current definitions are variations on these original works though it has not changed substantively since 1955 – just clarification.

    Here are some CSF examples from the book with a more likely assignment of what they actually are using a basic process and performance model:

    ·         Sample Event Management CSFs:

    o    Resolving Events with defined time lines (a Target if anything – but you first have to accept the premise that “Events” have to be resolved. All Incidents are Events, but not all Events are Incidents...)

    o    Lessons log, how the previous Events were resolved (an Output resulting from an Activity if it is done, but Events are not necessarily Incidents so...)

    o    Documentation suggestions to other processes (an Output)

    ·         Sample Incident Management CSFs:

    o    Resolving Incidents with defined time lines (a Target)

    o    Maintaining customer satisfaction (a potential Benefit from an Outcome of Incident Management (such as “minimized incident outage times”))

    ·         Sample Supplier Management CSFs:

    o    Develop metrics that can depict an accurate snapshot of supplier service performance (an Activity)

    o    Regular meetings with Suppliers (an Activity)

    There are examples like this in each CSF list throughout the book. You may disagree with my assignments, but what you cannot disagree with is that they are most definitely not CSFs according the accepted definitions for CSFs. But in ITIL(R) related publications this is not unusual as the provided CSFs in the V3 books didn’t satisfy its own glossary definition for a CSF either.

    Likewise, some of the suggested workflows are suspect. Again an example:

    ·         From Event Management we see (subset shown):

    ...-> Event diagnosis and resolution -> Event closure

    We do not diagnose and resolve Events – what is there to diagnose and resolve in “backup finished successfully”? (This is a valid Event). And when was the last time you closed an Event – we close Incidents, Problems, and Changes – but Events?

    It is also missing KPIs – it has Measures as a heading but then has a sub-heading’s of Metrics and CSFs as the content. This is another common oversight and misapplication of terminology in ITIL(R) books. The correct relationship is:

    Measures -> Metrics -> KPIs -> CSFs

    A more appropriate heading for a section that contains the above content might be “Performance Model” – and you actually start on the right and work backwards to the left.

    ·         For each CSF you should have one or more KPIs

    ·         For each KPI you should have one or more Metrics

    ·         For each Metric you should have one or more Measures

    And, in going from left to right, we see the inverse:

    ·         All Measures should be used in at least one Metric

    ·         All Metrics should be used in at least one KPI

    ·         All KPIs should be used as an Indicator of the presence of at least one CSF or expected Outcome

    Each layer is distinct and has relationships to the layer above or below it that can be described. This also helps to contextualize why you are measuring in the first place – and you should only measure things where you have established a reason for so doing.

    The concept of what the book is supposed to address is ok as is the structure of the approach. Perhaps a future edition can improve upon the concept and address the types of issues that I have identified.



  • Axelos thinks of licensing ITIL consultancy - and other hilarious news   3 years 45 weeks ago

    Good article(s) Larry, we need to switch focus from technology to people and the business.

    If we empowering our staff to be business focused, reward soft skills and business focus and train our managers to understand communication, then everybody can use ITIL as it was ment to be used - as a framwork for delivering services that support the business. Couldn't be simpler :-) The change is not in processes, it's in people! 


  • Axelos thinks of licensing ITIL consultancy - and other hilarious news   3 years 45 weeks ago


    Agree - same conclusion as my article based on a Gartner study

    "“business-minded techies and technology-literate business types will be equally eligible for these new posts: They can come from either side, but they’ve got to be individuals who want to continue lifelong learning and master all of it.”


  • Axelos thinks of licensing ITIL consultancy - and other hilarious news   3 years 45 weeks ago


    One sentence in 7 pages that touches what we really need to focus on:

    "Softer skills – opportunity to steer ITIL closer to the business with greater emphasis on softer skills at individual and organisational levels"

    The rest is in my opinion "Non Value Add" and to detailed to be usable for anyone except Axelos in commercialization....


  • Problem management: Especially Now!   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Paul - spot on. This is an area where we can profit a lot. ITSM organizations are still very reactive, fire-fighting. I picked on this in another small column, by saying that we can learn a lot from traditional Risk Management.
    In the ISM Method, risk management (named 'quality management') is one of the six core processes of any IT service domain. Unfortunately, ITIL almost entirely ignores this wealth of knowledge from outside IT. The ITIL practices of Problem management and CSI can be put together and then replaced by regular risk management structures, to simply improve any organization. The problem is that Lumberjack won't sharpen his ax, and continues to put his energy in new technology, as if that really satisfies the customer....

  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Right, Capita, not Axelos. But the effect is the same.

    I truely believe the field of service management needs various flavors to evolve. And I'm not trying to offend you, just saying what I think. The Dutch way, as I've done for decades.

    Absolute domination by one flavor - ITIL - is killing for innovation. ITIL contains lots of good stuff, but domination wouldn't benefit this world. USMBOK is one of those 'other' flavors. Axelos' plans for ITIL seem to be in the direction of making it perfect, super-complete, etc., getting every big market player involved in the game.That is the direction of domination.

    You know I hope the best for USMBOK, but I still can't see how your move to a completely new job can stimulate that, as you've always been the personification of USMBOK.

  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago

    The USMBOK is quite mature and needs little time to continuously improve. Books on related topics are already scheduled to be published. The key challen ge we all face is how to engage (continuously) the workforce and stakeholders. Hence my decision. It was also important to join an organization that thinks outside the box.

    You used my statements to make a point you wanted to make - thats what I am offended by. You used the statement to effectively dull the USMBOK initiative.

    What on earth are you on about - compete with ITIL. Never have. If you have my writinsg you will appreciate its an entirely different approach to servicve management - customer centric, and based upon the origins of service management. Its also been positioned as 'introducing outside-in to ITIL' its complimentrary if anything.

    Once again your response contains inaccuracies. G2G3 is not a subsidiary of Axelos - there is no relationship other than they are each part of Capita.

    USMBOK sales are vibrant t. New on line services are ready to be enabled. New education is being readied. It is very much alive...

  • Simulation games. NEED to have or NICE to have?   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Great write up, Paul! Not at all surprised ;-)


  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago


    A few points:

    1. Competition is never a prerequisite for improvement -- only the desire to and having a proper orientation are.
    2. For as long as I've been involved with this initiative, one of the key mantras has been "to help customers preserve and protect an existing investment in IITL." Understanding what isn't covered and ensuring that those gaps are systematically addressed isn't competiton.


  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago


    Being an employee of G2G3, responsibe for managing a continent, will surely have a limiting effect on your options to spend time on USMBOK. Until now, you were always in charge of your own time. Your new job will clearly limit your options. 

    The statements are direct quotes from your own broadcasting. Nothing is "made up". It's an opinion on an observation.

    The item's core statement is "We simply need competition to improve". I personally think your new job will not stimulate competition with ITIL, especially because G2G3 is a subsidiary of Axelos. And I regret that because you had one of the very few initiatives going.

    When we all go for a single flavor, the world wouldn't taste any better.

    We'll see what time will tell.

  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago


    I agree with your overall comments. You wrote:

    "although I admit to failing to develop a method to continuously engage both the workforce and stakeholders - I don't think I'm alone in that."

    No, you aren't alone in that, but I would also not consider it a failure. You started out with a pretty bold idea (for the USMBOK) that flew directly in the face of "best practice" and common thinking. Given the size of the team, there are only so many directions one can push the thinking/research in, without losing focus or potency. You've done a more than admirable job on that front. So, don't go around apologizing. It's not required.


    For the past number of years, I have been/am proud to refer to myself as Ian's partner in the cultivation and promotion of the USMBOK and its content. Ian and I bring different (yet sometimes suprisingly similar and very complementary skills) to the organization and growth of the USMBOK. One of my main passions has been around the area of Organizational and Personnel Development/Transformation. It's something I've been working on for the majority of my professional career.

    In fact, I thought long and hard about this and it's exactly why I chose the name Engaged Consulting for the company I founded. Engagement is the entry point into the game. Without it, nothing will be fundamentally altered. Adding the framework/method du jour will be the equivalent of that old saw that "you're just rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic."

    While this has not been at the forefront for the past few years, I've been watching closely and can see that there is a significant shift in progress. There's been more recognition in the past 18 months about the need for a new way of doing things that respects this than I've seen in my entire career! I am excited to think that the time has finally come to be able to address this explicitly.

    The work that I have done in this area will continue to be elevated in importance and visibility and will have an appropriate place in the context of the USMBOK. There is no "Plan B" here or any desire to minimize or be distracted about what is being built. In fact, I think that our move helps add focus and raise the level of conversation being had, as we're explicitly taking on the engagement/transfomation challenge that organizations are facing today.

    In summary, this is about helping organizations get real about:

    1. The challenges they actually face (versus what they already think about it);
    2. How to think and engage (individaully and organizationally) about them;
    3. How to cultivate and shape a response that's appropriate and timely (versus traditional planning/program methods).

    The last thing this "industry" needs (if it can authentically even be called that) is more FUD or hyperbole to distract people from having serious conversations about what is actually worth their time and attention.

    This is a time to lead, not to encourage teeth gnashing or wringing of hands. Please join me.


  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago

    Watch the USMBOK space carefully...... :-)

  • CAPITA makes another move: Ian Clayton hired as SVP for G2G3 Americas   3 years 46 weeks ago

    With respect Jan, although I admit to failing to develop a method to continuously engage both the workforce and stakeholders - I don't think I'm alone in that.  I think your statement is somewhat harsh "Ian admits he hasn't succeeded".... perhaps its just the way Dutch write English.

    I'm proud of what I have been able to help IT organizations achieve with respect to customer centrc (outside-in) thinking and the proper application of the true service management methods, not those promoted by process centric thinkers.  I will continue to do this.

    As for being missed - I'm going nowhere, unless you know something I don't.  being part of a strong and innovative G2G3 team only adds strong backing and even more capabilities to my own.  Oh - and I am an employee of G2G3.

    Frankly, I thinks its also recognition of what I have managed to do - explain and apply the true service management, in the form of the USMBOK.  As for my focus moving away from the USMBOK - rubbish!  

    What gives you the right to make things up????  

    Next time - instead of promoting gossip, seemingly to attract eyeballs to your website with sensational and inaccurate information - give me a call and ask your questions directly.