terça-feira, novembro 28, 2006

ITIL - Change or Configuration Management. Which comes first? - Follow-up

( "Requestion" from Dieter Newmann )

The Service support book has several references about the need to have change in place to support ConfigM. It also describes that if you don’t have change management that you need to freeze the CMDB and manually record all changes until you do have change mgt in place – completely impractical except in the very smallest of organizations... :)

The activities of ConfigM are PICSV – planning, identification, CONTROL, status accounting and verification and audit. Control ensures that no CI is added, deleted or modified without appropriate authorization – an approved change request.
Implementing config and populating a CMDB with no process to manage it would be foolish.

Also, the cost of implementing config and the CMDB mean this process should not be the first one attempted. You would be hard pressed to get budget approval (this can cost several hundred thousand Euros for the tool, the database license, populating tools and the large amount of time it takes).

It doesn’t take much for things to go wrong and buy in wanes. You also aren’t likely to get many second chances, so tackling such a big project ( ConfigM ) too early creates a large risk.

Change does need config – how else do you properly assess an RFC? The same way most shops do it – get the people in the room that know about the systems. This is not perfect of course – lots of danger by relying on what’s in people’s heads, but, it can be done and without a CMDB what choice is there? Config however, needs change to ensure that the records are kept accurate and up to date. Change also can be ‘improved’ or formalized fairly quickly, without a lot of cost and can provide immediate benefits. This does need to be part of a larger plan to include other processes however as change mgt. left in a low state of maturity, or in isolation, may never become what it should and it might forever only be ‘change control’.

Hope it helps,


ITIL - Change or Configuration Management. Which comes first?

( Question from Dieter Newmann )

It's another case of the hen and the egg ...

In my ( not extensive ) experience of ITIL, or just plain IT operations, I have observed that a centralised Service Desk is essential to kick start the ITIL foundation. Please remember that SD is a function, not a process. In my opinion, SD is the backbone of the ITIL framework. Whether it's Service Support, or Service Delivery, Service Desk is the single point of contact (SPOC).

There would be no use of having ConfigM or change management process, IM, or PM ahead of SD. For a simple reason: When you do not know what services IT is providing to its customer, you cannot have any support process too. Hence, identify your deliverables, develop a Service Catalogue, ensure that you can support all services mentioned in the catalogue. Setup a SPOC, which is your service desk, and voila!! your first step towards service support has already been taken. You need not have complex ITIL tools to support your SD. A spreadsheet can do the job as well,as long as all requests are logged and efficiently followed up.

Do remember, SD is SPOC for the following processes:

Incident Management: To know your organisation pain area (In IT). {Can be obtained from SD}
Problem Management: To get a trend report.{Can be obtained from SD}
Configuration Management: SD can update the CIs better than any site engineer.
Change Management: All RFCs / FSCs have to be with SD.
Release Management: SD coordinates and analyses the impact.
Capacity: A trend in number of calls, PM can contribute to it
SLM: SD is the owner of SLAs/OLAs/UCs

Due to time constraint I am not able to emphasize more however I guess I've made my point.

Hope these comments are of some help.


ZMP-Zertifizierung im Februar 2007 am Goethe Institute

Hallo !

Es gibt was Neues.

Die nächsten ZMP Prüfungen finden noch im gewohnten Format in der Zeit vom 12. 02. - 13. 02. am GI Lissabon statt.

Bitte schreiben Sie sich in der Zeit vom 08. - 19. 01. 07 rechtzeitig ein, damit sie unsere Anmeldung berücksichtigen können.

PS. "gewohnten Format" = ohne Änderungen ( wegen der Einführung der GI-B2-Prüfung ... )

Hals- und Beinbruch ...


PS. Bis jetzt habe ich nichts gemacht. Ich bin total im Arsch !

sexta-feira, novembro 24, 2006

ITIL Implementation - Question

Question from Dieter :

"Hi Manuel,

I have my ITIL Foundation and Manager Training. I'd like to ask an implementation question, particularly from you, who I know have just started implementing ITIL in your organization.

1. Which ITIL module do you start with?
2. In what logical sequence did you implement the 10 modules?
3. How long does each module take?

With Best Wishes

Dieter Newmann"


Hallo Dieter.

Long time no see ...

Well, in October I started the phase of design and implementation of the Configuration Management Process for the company I work for ( PT-SI ), but prior to that there were already a lot of ITIL Processes in place, that is, in the design phase.

To my mind there are no right or wrong answers, but it depends on the situation. I can summarize :

1. If you are fighting fire or having a constant haunting pain, start from the most painful process (thereby giving the most immediate business benefits);

2. If you are trying it for the first time without customer pressure, then try the simplest (e.g. SD, IM) where you can get quick wins;

3. If have current processes in place and want to start from the most effective, that implement a CCR (which first or together, depends on IT maturity, time constraint, complexity, etc.);

4. If you are in the project mode, planning for next year, you can start with customer SLR and SLA;

5. If you are more forward thinking and want to do it right the first time, then begin with ISO20K and related Management Processes.

On the other hand, change has to come before config, else what keeps the CMDB up to date? Also, config and the CMDB are the most complex, lengthy and expensive of all the processes to implement so making that your first ITIL project is not a good idea.
Benefits and pay back way too long.

Success with ITIL needs to have some early wins that don't cost too much and can be implemented quickly. This gets you the buy in needed for the bigger projects.

In fact there are several of the processes that should be considered before config.

Ideally, one would implement change, config and release together, but since these take different lengths of time and substantially different efforts to implement, the only way to launch them together is to know the effort, plan the end date and stagger the start dates so they coincide - not very practical.

I suppose you could also build your processes, shelve the ones done first until they are all ready for launch. In my opinion also not a good idea.

Start with an assessment to understand the points of pain and biggest return for the business. Understand the business priorities and from there you can create a plan for 1-2 years to start making process improvements. Your plan should contain quick wins as well as identify the first 2-4 processes that you should formalize or implement.

Hope this helps.


PS. How is the preparation for the CPE going ?