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Showing posts from 2010

Broader Process Sharing - Service Request Fulfillment

While at a BMC UserWorld conference a few years ago, I wrote the following. It still applies and I wanted to put it down in a permanent spot where I could find it later.

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We're perfecting the Service Desk call center. What would it look like if we invited other campus support units to share our processes and tools, if not our Service Desk?

My recent experience moving into a new building has sharpened my focus on this issue. I'd like to share a taste of my experience by way of introduction and illustration of my implementation recommendation.

In my new office, I need to obtain keys, request door locks to be installed, deal with furniture alterations, move network and power outlets that were obstructed by furniture, request appropriate signage for our department, order new furniture, resolve electrical wiring problems involving and interface with the furniture, request building card swipe access, request thermostat adjustments, and request permanent placement of a proj…

Becoming a SharePoint Convert

SharePoint has always been in my peripheral vision, but never a tool that I actually used. We're in the middle of an investigation project to look at putting up an enterprise instance of it. I watched the Lynda.com intro training for SharePoint 2010 and I have to say that I'm quite impressed with how far SharePoint has come since my first introduction to it.

It is sporting the ribbon interface from the Office applications that I've come to like very much. The ability to keep calendars, task lists, and even documents synchronized with Outlook is awesome.

I wish it was a little more straightforward to save a document from Microsoft Word or Microsoft Excel in to your SharePoint work space for the first time. Right now, the interface feels a little broken to me. You click the button to browse for a SharePoint location to save, and word does absolutely nothing. You click the button again, and it still does nothing. It turns out that you have to click the SharePoint button, and…

Positive Attitudes in the Face of Change

We're in the midst of some pretty massive organizational changes in the Office of IT at BYU where I work. The changes were sorely needed, but they've changed a lot of things that people were really comfortable with, including me! As people have learned about the changes, or possible changes, to their areas, there have been a lot of glum faces and dazed expressions.

Serendipitously, I listened to a podcast recording of an EDUCAUSE presentation by Polley McClure titled, "Are We Having Fun Yet? Applying Positive Psychology in Challenging Times." She described exactly the sorts of emotions that I've seen around our IT shop as people have dealt with organization change in the midst of challenging economic times.

Her PowerPoint presentation had a good summary of her talk in the notes for each slide. The audio of the whole presentation is also available.

Process Ain't a Post-It

Some ITIL advocates insist that having a good process is separate from having a good tool. "If the process is right, you can do it on a post-it note. Putting it in the tool will speed things up, but it won't fundamentally change the nature of the process."

This is rubbish. It may be true for small scale processes, but technology automation can open up new process possibilities that just wouldn't be possible without a technology assist. I think that we should plan our processes with a tool in mind that can accomplish the task.

Think of a Service Catalog that gives an executive insight into the costs of the things he orders. He can dynamically scale up or down his order or services to meet his projected needs. He can tweak variables and make decisions because of the power of the tool. It gives him a visualization that simply wouldn't be available in a paper-based process.

The NewScale demonstration (a prominent Service Catalog provider) really drove this point hom…

ITSM vs. Biology

Information Technology Service Management (ITSM) is a specialization of the more general practice of Service Management. I'm at a Pink Elephant conference this week and I'm been thinking about ITSM versus human biology.

When you eat a sandwich, you don't need to provide advanced notice to your pancreas that a "change" is coming to the "body environment." You look at the sandwich and get a whiff of it and your body takes those signals to start the salivation process. Once you start masticating the food, you push some of it down your throat with your tongue. That triggers the peristalsis that carries the food down to the stomach.

Each stage in the process keeps the coming stages apprised of what is coming and they each know what they need to do. There is a lot of communication going on all the time, but there is no master planning. Two way signals keep information where it needs to be, exactly when it is needed, and no more.

We risk running into the same…