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Nov 23, 2013

ISO/IEC 20000 and ITIL Timeline/History

“History is a set of lies agreed upon.” - Napoleon Bonaparte
“History will be kind to me for I intend to write it.” - Winston Churchill
"We learn from experience that men never learn anything from experience.” - George Bernard Shaw

After ITIL history and ISO/IEC 20000 history posts, this blog has received quite a few requests to create a parallel timeline for the two. We have finally made some time for it and the result is this fancy poster. It is nice to notice the interest of younger IT people for the historical evolution of ITIL and ISO 20k.

ISO 20000 and ITIL History
We did our best to collect and consolidate the timeline details from various relevant sources. I will be glad to correct it if someone from the audience notices any inconsistencies or new important events.

Since this one looks OK, I made it available as a PDF poster.

Jul 3, 2013

AXELOS - new name of the joint venture managing ITIL and PRINCE2 certifications

As we mentioned in a previous post, Capita plc and Government Office created a new joint venture to promote and manage ITIL® and PRINCE2® certifications.
On 1st July 2013 the joint venture has been launched under the new name - AXELOS.
CEO of AXELOS is Peter Hepworth who came from Activision Blizzard (Call of Duty, anyone?).
AXELOS will be the owner of the intellectual property of the Best Management Practice portfolio. It will manage licensing schemes, accreditation and support of examination institutes, training organisations, and consulting organisations.
Have a look at the official press release.
A few less known curiosities:
  • On average one ITIL exam is taken every 1.5 minutes.
  • ITIL exams are available in 21 languages in over 150 countries worldwide.

Let us all hope these latest development will turn out for the best of international IT Service Management community.

UPDATE: Axelos shows first signs of life. Have a look at, first strategy hints and some nice market research figures there.

May 2, 2013

Cabinet Office let the 51% of ITIL/PRINCE2 to Capita plc

Her Majesty decided to let the 51% of ITIL/PRINCE2 ownership to Capita plc, a company selected after an extensive procurement process to create a new Joint Venture organization. 

Cabinet Office will get 10 million pounds advance and three additional annual payments of 9,4 million pounds. In return, Capita will own 51% of a new Joint Venture (JV) organization. Government Office keeps 49%.

That's a lot of money. And this transaction opens a lot of questions, for all involved subjects. What will change for ATOs, authors of central and complementary publications, certified companies and individuals? Who will write new versions?
How is the new JV going to triple the revenue in next ten years? Who is going to receive the short end of the stick? Furthermore, why is Cabinet Office selling a piece of a golden goose?

We on ITIL side of the fence recognized the V3 and 2011 pumped up the pyramid of revenue-generation. Owner of ITIL will earn much more in this new frame. Is the government really that bad in managing money generators as ITIL and PRINCE2 after thirty-something years of experience?

Time will probably tell. But I have a huge problem with patience...

Mar 10, 2013

Customer Satisfaction Survey Grading

What grades do you use in customer satisfaction surveys? How are grades influenced by the culture of the country? What to do if you perform surveys in different countries with different background?

I have been discussing customer satisfaction here a few times. Related to that, let me share a brief anecdote with you:

We implemented a new Service Desk SW on a customer's site. They are a managed services company providing support all over the world, 24x7. After the resolution of every ticket, contact person on a ticket receives a mail notification with a link to a short web-based survey.

There were just a few questions regarding speed of resolution, communication, competence of support people and overall satisfaction with the ticket resolution.

Grades were 1-5, with the above explanation that 1=poor and 5=excellent.

We received quite a bunch of survey results at the beginning, which was the intention. Here and there, a low score was received, but we were not alarmed, you can't please everyone. Service Manager was in charge to treat all grades below 3 as a customer complaint and to follow up with customers to raise their satisfaction.

Then one day we received two very bad results, averaging below 2. Both from the same market. Alert! We are doing something wrong.

So Service Manager sent apologetic mail with a inquiry what went wrong and how can we improve, blah...
The answer came quickly, from both customers, saying they are sorry, but they thought 1 is better and 5 is poor.

Was something wrong with the survey code? Customers sent us their screenshots, everything is fine, the explanation at the form header clearly stated "1=poor and 5=excellent". Both customers were from Germany. On a request to explain how they misunderstood this clear instruction, they said: "German school grading system is 1 to 5, a one being the best grade (Sehr gut), and five the worst - insufficient (Nicht genĂ¼gend)". So they didn't bother looking at explanations, they automatically presumed that this survey from another country complies to their long-term grading experience in German scholar system. Can't blame them.

Therefore we looked arround, what are grading standards in school systems around the world?

USA and influenced states use ABCDEF grades. Europe differs very much depending on history, somewhere 1 is bad, under the German skirt it is excellent (Chezh republic and Slovakia also).
Eastern European countries, Asia and Oceania use either Russian 1-5 system or percentage system 0-100%.

Customer Survey Grades

Interesting details:
  • Venezuela uses rather exotic 0-20 grading system
  • Ecuador and Serbia (opposite hemispheres) use similar 5-10 grading systems where 5=fail and 10=excellent.
  • A lot of countries use different grading systems for primary, high school and university grades.
So what approach to take in grading customer satisfaction in order to make it intuitive regardless of their local education background?
We had only two solutions:
  • Go to using 1, 2, 3, 4 grades, where customers won't be able to relate to their finer graded school system. 1-4 is also good because it eliminates the indifferent middle grade, and it forces a customer to decide for better or worse 2 or 3.
  • Take the -2, -1, 0, 1, 2 grading approach. Good: it is self-explanatory, negative numbers can't be good. Bad: it leads the customer to a mediocre "0" grade, suggesting that it is OK.
For now, we are using the second proposed grading system, accepting the downside that some customers see nothing bad in selecting a "0", which is a neutral grade.

An additional tweak would be to change grades to -1, 0, 1, 2, which would "push" a customer towards positive grades some more.

What metod do you think is most apropriate for you?

Related articles:

Customer Satisfaction 
How bad do we need it in IT Service Management? Where is it mentioned and where is it dealt with in ITIL V3? How do we manage it in real life?

Customer Satisfaction Survey: What Methods To Use?
How to gather customer satisfaction data? What methods are there? What ITIL says? What methods will work for you?

Aug 17, 2012

ITIL 2011: Free Mind Map

Surprisingly lot of you people asked for my refreshed ITIL 2011 edition mind map.
Since you have seen pictures of it in my previous posts, you know I have it ;)   I've put it here for free download.

ITIL 2011 Mind Map
ITIL 2011 Mind Map

Mind you, this is still my working version, so please let me know if you find any typos or errors.

Of course, if you decide to dig deeper, I recommend buying a full set of books from TSO or Amazon.

Download my ITIL 2011 Mind Map here.

If you don't have a MindJet MindManager, you can have a look in flash here (it will ask you for a viewer installation). Hope you enjoy it!

Jul 10, 2012

ISO/IEC 20000:2011 Free Mind Map

For the last few months I have been working on an implementation of ISO/IEC 20000 with one of my customers. Quite a challenge, and it was a success! Before we started, I have created a simple MindMap with notes about requirements. So I decided to share it with you for free.

These are just short notes about structure and requirements, just to give you a quick picture on what to expect.

Of course, if you decide to hop on certification train, I recommend buying a full set of ISO/IEC20000 documentation, at least the requirements and guidance on the application of SMS which are published in 2011/12 edition.

You can download my MindMap for free here.

If you don't have a MindJet MindManager, you can have a look in flash here (it will ask you for a viewer installation). Hope you enjoy it!

Have a nice day.

ISO/IEC 20000-1:2011 Mind Map

Apr 18, 2012

ISO 9000 - ISO/IEC 27001 - ISO/IEC 20000: How do They Fit Together?

With newly refreshed ISO/IEC 20000 alignment to ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 27001, I thought it would be nice to have a set of more detailed information about relations between these three, all in one place.

Think, there is a great chance that a Service Provider aiming for 27001 or 20000 already implemented ISO 9001. And once we have two standards out of these three, how much more work is it to get the third one?

For new people here:

If a company already adopted a Quality Management mindset from 9001, then going either for 27001 (Information Security Management) or 20000 (Service Management) is a natural thing. Usually the order of implementation is determined by local market demand and governmental regulation of the core business (Financial organizations, Service providers, military...).

Implementation of ISO/IEC 27001 brings a significant market advantage to a Service Provider, since it is often a requirement in tenders, especially in European countries. It will make you care about security, both yours and of your customer. In the beginning it will feel a bit restraining, but for a good reason. It will significantly reduce risks of losing contracts due to information security reasons.

ISO/IEC 20000 requires a broad specter of implemented processes, but if you are a service providing organization with some experience and knowledge of ITIL (could it be otherwise?), then it shouldn't be a problem. It will only make you define neglected or less cared for aspects and Service Management processes.

Here is a simple diagram I use in presentations to communicate a quick win-win feeling to the audience:
Overlapping ISO 9001, 27001 and 20000
How ISO 9001, 27001 and 20000 overlap

And here is a table of more detailed relations.
ISO 9001 - ISO/IEC 27001 - ISO/IEC 20000 Mapping
ISO 9001 - ISO/IEC 27001 - ISO/IEC 20000 Mapping

This is still a working version of the table, but still pretty usable. Hope you enjoy it. If it displays too small for you when clicked on, you can copy it with rightclick and paste it to your favorite text or picture editor. Or, click here on my Google pages.

Apr 17, 2012

ISO/IEC 20000 Refreshed

As we all probably know, in February this year a new edition of ISO/IEC 20000-2 (Guidance on the application of service management systems) was published, following the last year's (April 15.) new edition of ISO/IEC 20000-1. Now that we have Requirements and Code of practice, we can talk more on what's new and how it fits in what we already have.

I would like to shortly outline main new moments that happened to ISO20k during last year.

First, as expected, standard is more mature and seasoned. After 5-6 years in production, bottlenecks and most of logic-defying points are corrected.

There are more requests (256 "SHALLs" vs. previous 170) but they are more reasonable, understandable and even somewhat less demanding then before.

Language is "internationalized", in a way that you don't have to be born in UK to understand most of it.

Also, terminology and content is made more compatible with ISO 9001 and ISO/IEC 27001 since these standards are likely to coexist in Service Support organizations.

ISO/IEC 20000 Process Schema
ISO/IEC 20000 Process Schema

Some changes reflect a shy alignment to ITIL 3, although the overall concept indicates major divorce from ITIL altogether. Prior to pre-release info, this was a subject of guesswork: is the new edition going to be aligned to ITIL V3? So we got our answer-a firm NO.  It would be difficult to align to ITIL's new 'I want to be all and encompass everything' philosophy. So ITIL is now more aligned to ISO20k then vice versa.

Additionally, ITIL is now lifecycle-oriented framework of best practices (or wannabe best :) and ISO20k is a process-oriented standard, so the intentions behind each one are basically different.

Clause 3 Terms and definitions now has 37 terms instead of 15 from previous edition. Two items are removed: service desk, and change record. Service Desk since it refers to a function, and ISO20K is process oriented with no other organizational references.  Change record probably to remove potential ambiguity with ISO9000 records.
  • Some additions to clause 3 are for additional compliance with ISO 9001: continual improvement, corrective and preventive action, customer, nonconformity etc.
  • Some other additions refer to ISO/IEC 27000 family: information security and information security.
  • Also a few are here to refer flirting with ITIL 3: service, service request, transition...
Previous clauses 3 Requirements for a management system and 4 Planning and implementing service management are now merged to 4 Service management system (SMS) general requirements. Introduction of SMS is the main indicator of alignment with ISO9000 (Quality Management System - QMS) and ISO/IEC27000 (Information Security Management System - ISMS).

ISO/IEC 20000 with number of SHALLs for every clausee
ISO/IEC 20000 with number of SHALLs for every clause

Former Incident management now became Incident and service request management, one of small concessions to ITIL 3.

A significant tribute to ITIL 3 is clause 5 Design and Transition of new or changed services. Which represents a serious chunk of 20k, but that's about it, if we are looking for an expansion of ITIL ISO20K love story.

There is no release module any more, and Release management is now in 9 Control processes, logically  together with it's sisters Change and Configuration management, now called Release and Deployment management, just to be sure everyone understands what is it all about.

Catalogue of services is not just a recommendation in part 2, it is required in clauses 4, 5 and 6.

Clause 4.2 Governance of processes operated by other parties is added in order to make SP demonstrate management of his external suppliers and internal business organizations which participate in service delivery.

These are the basic changes I've noticed. My opinion: ISO/IEC20000 goes in the right direction. Requirements are more mature and aligned with the real world. ISO20k is a very useful formal framework for service improvement, aligned with industry best practices. Especially when used in synergy with ISO 9000 and ISO/IEC 27000. If you are a serious service provider (as my company is), then 20000 is the way to go. It is good for you and your company too.

Apr 6, 2012

ITIL Continual Service Improvement

Continual Service Improvement
CSI is not strictly a lifecycle stage, since it spans through all four other stages. It is mainly a set of Quality Management skills put together to make better Strategy, Design, Transition and Operation. Therefore the main tool is Deming's circle (Plan-Do-Check-Act) together with Seven-step Improvement process.

Continual Service Improvement relies also on change management and capability improvement methodologies. Everything is oriented to align processes from Strategy to Operation, and thus comply to changing business requirements.

Purpose of ITIL Continual Service Improvement is to ensure IT Services alignment with business needs. This is  done via improvements to IT services through Strategy, Design, Transition and Operation stages. We want to improve effectiveness of service, process and cost.

I will quote these in a best effort to provide quality info under 'fair use' terms
  • Review, analyze, prioritize and make recommendations on improvement opportunities in each lifecycle stage
  • Review and analyze service level achievement
  • Identify and implement specific activities to improve IT service quality and improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the enabling processes
  • Improve cost effectiveness of delivering IT services without sacrificing customer satisfaction
  • Ensure applicable quality management methods are used to support continual improvement activities
  • Ensure that processes have clearly defined objectives and measurements that lead to actionable improvements
  • Understand what to measure, why it is being measured and what the successful outcome should be
  • Overall ITSM health
  • Alignment of Service Portfolio with changing business needs
  • Organization maturity and capability
  • Continual improvement of all aspects IT services and supporting assets
  • Continual service quality improvement
  • IT Services alignment to business needs
  • Cost effectiveness
  • Identification of improvement opportunities in all processes via monitoring and reporting
  • Identification of improvement opportunities org. Structures, resources, partners, technology, training and communications
Here are some Key principles:

CSI approach
It is a somewhat changed improvement approach from V2. here are steps and deliverables:
  • What is the vision? - Align with business vision, mission, goals and objectives
  • Where are we now? - Baseline assessments
  • Where do we want to be? - Measurable targets
  • How do we get there? - Service and process improvement
  • Did we get there? - Measurement and metrics
  • Feedback branch to beginning is How do we keep the momentum going? - Manage the implementation of improvement changes
ITIL Continual Service Improvement Mind Map
ITIL Continual Service Improvement Mind Map
Service Measurement
Why do we Measure?
  • To validate
  • To direct
  • To justify
  • To intervene
Baseline - current state of CI used as reference value for future comparisons

Vision to measurements:
  1. Vision
  2. Mission
  3. Goals
  4. Objectives
  5. CSF
  6. KPI
  7. Metrics
  8. Measurements
The seven-step improvement process
This is the only process in CSI, as title says it consists of seven steps, nicely mapped to a Deming's PDCA cycle and Knowledge management DIKW cycle. Picture is worth 1000 words. Enjoy:
CSI Seven-Step Improvement Process diagram
 CSI Seven-Step Improvement Process diagram