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Recruiting for the service desk

The travel industry is a good place to recruit: they are friendly and polite, they can work with urgency, they understand closure, and anyone who can work Galileo and Magellan booking systems has enough IT nous.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 60

CMDB and impact analysis

The Byzantine complexity of the modern IT environment means that the only device capable of grasping the implications of a change or failure in one component is wetware. Vendors claim that software tools exist with this miraculous ability but only a human can understand whether it matters that one server is out in a load-balanced farm of web servers supporting UDDI lookup to Web Services providing functionality common across four applications. You need a CMDB called Sue. Make sure more than one person can do this, and keep them happy.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 50

Asset managment and CMDB

Management or auditors will periodically demand lists of Stuff. Given that their requirements are entirely random and unpredictable, the most efficient way to deal with this is to respond on an ad-hoc basis by reallocating staff to collate the data.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 50

Reference sites

it is worth seeking to be a reference site. Being a reference site will bring love and attention. This requires far more vendor resource than could ever be sustained in more than a few clients, so be one of them.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 43

Continual improvement

Prohibit continual improvement. Once a system is barely adequate, leave it alone. Its life expectancy is short so why invest in optimising something that will be torn down soon enough?

Introduction to Real ITSM page 27

Process repeatability

Repeated procedures ingrain habit, which stifles staff creativity and flexibility. The more different ways a procedure is performed, the higher the probability that one of those ways will still work after cataclysmic change. This is simple Darwinism. Repeatable processes are like the agricultural monoculture of a cloned crop: highly productive in good times but highly vulnerable to disease, pests, climatic extremes or other stresses.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 26

Strategic planning

Governments, laws, executives, competitors, technologies, recessions and fads come and go like the weather. As the old military saying goes “No plan survives the first encounter”. Strategic planning is as futile as an umbrella in a cyclone... Better to sail the unpredictable winds of change, as flexible and unencumbered as possible.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 37


There is no governance in ITSM (though it creates some data for governors to use). There is no governance in IT (though it also creates data for its masters). Governance is performed by governors, who don’t work in IT (heck governors don’t work)... Now that “management” has come to mean anything that people do, and “governance” is used to mean what “management” was supposed to, this raises the small problem of what to call Real ITSM governance.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 27

It is all about the culture

When any idealised model meets People, the laws of logic are suspended, and rationality flies out the window.

When ITSM frameworks go through this realitsm transformation, the output is Real ITSM. Most BOKs are process-centric. Real ITSM is people-centric: it understands that what really happens is dependent on the people – their motivations, culture, personal agendas, fears and desires.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 4


it should be noted that firemen spend an awful lot of time polishing the fire engine, rolling and unrolling hoses, and playing cards. Any manager who expects Service Desk and Level One Support people to be always busy (“fully utilised”) does not understand what they do. Real Level One Support has plenty of spare capacity.

Introduction to Real ITSM page 64

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