You are in the escalation chart, what does it really means?

I, as part of a management team and lead of a Line of Service, am in the service delivery management escalation.

In the ITIL books you can read a lot of pages about what does means, your responsibilities, expectations around the role, typical actions….

But, does the books talks about how your customer see this fact?

Your customer knows what this process means, he bought it, and he wants to be sure that he is receiving what he is paying.

So, he is going to ask you about major incidents, RCAs, improvement actions and a good list of questions to see if that fantastic escalation process works.

So, for the formal escalation, we have reports, meetings and things like that.

But I also like the informative escalation specially before meet a customer. In a nutshell:

“hi Peter, I’m going to visit John, how is everything going on?”

If you are asked by a customer about what’s going on with a problem and you do not know anything about it, his reaction will be in the second or third time: he is not aware about what’s going on. He is going to have a negative image of what you do.

But, if you are aware and you  are able to inform about it with some details, his reaction will be different. He is aware you are not going to resolve any problem, he knows you can support your team, and he knows that at the end of the day there are SLAs that cover the agreement between both sides and that it does not matter if you are aware or not of this issue, but at the relationship level, his reaction and attitude about you and your proffessionality is going to be positive.

White House Subway, Atlantic City, NJ

If you pay peanuts you get monkeys

Services work with the same rule: services should not offer more value than is being paid for.

There is SLAs that measure all the variables your service is measured. The rest is added value you have to play with.

To play with them?

Right, there are services with the unique objective of provide the outputs for what they are created for. If the customer wants more, they have to pay more and cannot be discussion about it.

But there are other services that enables you to generate other type of value for your business and that generates ineterest for other business initiatives that could fit with your service model.

What type of services have you in your portfolio? do you have clear what are the services that provides more value to your customer? Are they well delivered?

Tempo Framework (EC)

During these last months one of the things I have discovered has been Tempo Programme, the European Commission framework to coordinate all the IT challenges develop for and by the EC.

I have just giving a quick view to some of the documents that I needed to review discovering that there are so many processes and procedures aligned to ITIL: change management, demand management.

The use of Rational Unified Process (RUP) is extensive and the preffered development path is what we call internally Increase Development Path (IDP).

The nomenclature used is more or less the standard in other standard methodologies, so it seems that the work under this methodology is not so different to the standards.

Change Freeze

This period of inactivity is established to protect the IT infrastructure, application and/or other business activities from any change activity that may undermine its stability and operation.

For instance, during Christmas that there is a lot of staff on holidays and each time more and more companies agree this type of stops.

In addition service providers are happy because they also have fewer problems to achieve SLAs and staff can also enjoy this vacation period.

Everybody knows about this period of inactivity but suddenly they realise that this period is coming and they need to deliver something.

What’s happen then?

There is an avalanche of change requests before Christmas, overloading the change management service.

Asset Management

I’m happy, I’m going to lead an improvement plan on a global asset management service.
It’s not a big deal, nevertheless the idea of understanding the asset management lifecycle, the billing processes of the assets, the way that this type of services are managed and the standard processes that govern it…. it’s what makes me happy.


Capacity Management

I continue trying to improve the vision I have on the ITILlife cycle model. Today I have reviewed the role of the capacity manager.

It’s supposed it is a strong technical infrastructure role that:

  • Understands future resource needs, delivering these needs through a capacity plan (similar complexity to a project definition). This plan can includes forecasting and modelling.
  • Defines the application sizing to ensure required service levels can be met,
  • Defines and stores capacity management data that allows,
  • to monitor, analyze, tune, and implement necessary changes in resource utilization,
  • Manages demand for computing resources, which requires an understanding of business priorities. These resources can be servers, connections, help desk….
  • Models & simulate infrastructure performance,
  • Builds a periodic (annual, biannual) infrastructure plan with input from other teams.
  • Is coordinated with the continuity manager, availability manager, data information manager, financial manager (who establishes economic constrains)…

A capacity manager is not a role focused on organizational capabilities or specialised on procedures or processes.

ITIL Positions & their weight

There are a lot of ITIL positions in the ITIL-world, each one with a clear definition of the roles & responsibilities.

Apart from the service manager position, that is who leads the work done in the framework (I know, I know,… ITIL does not like to be called “framework”… best practices!!!) for the rest of the positions,

what are the more relevant positions???

Is there a clear hierarchy? or it depends of the implementation of the account and the weight of each role?

ITIL Foundations v3

This week I have assisted to a training about ITIL foundations.
The session started as a bored teorical training session about a framework, and taking into account that all the concepts were known by me, the first hours were hard.
I was sitted with a colleague that also know CMMI so we were all the session relating ITIL naming convention with CMMI concepts. It was better…
After that we were reviewing how each one has in our services implemented different practices and the reason to achieve them (the business contrains), so this real cases were so so useful as learned lesson.
Some basic conclusions:

  • CMMI is an organizational framework that can cover all aspects of a business. ITIL is focused on IT Processes for Service Delivery Processes.
  • As ITIL is not a driven tool as CMMI, there are not stages as in CMMI that allows you to clasify companies by level of achievement of that framework.
  • But these tools are really long term frameworks that talk about the maturity of the processes in a company. How to arrive to this maturity stages easily? You need other tools as Six Sigma, Kaizen… that provide you an increase in quality aspects.

Please, let me know if I’m wrong.