Sunday, 29 June 2008

ITIL Live Portal - what DID they promise anyway?

Well, this business has bugged me so much that I went back and checked 'The Official Introduction to the ITIL Service Lifecycle' found the following on page 7:
"1.6.3 ITIL web support services
These products are online, interactive services including a Glossary of Terms and Definitions, Interactive Service Management Model, online subscriber services, case studies, templates and ITIL Live (, an interactive expert knowledge centre where users can access time with ITSM experts to discuss questions and issues, and seek advice."
Let's go through these services one by one.
  • A Glossary of Terms and Definitions - Freely available on OGC Best Management Practice site
  • Interactive Service Management Model - currently the demo available on ITIL LIVE PORTAL which is hosted by TSO
  • Online subscriber services - Well... seems this is being tied in with the ISMM above.
  • Case studies - Where? These hardly count...
  • Templates - Also being tied in with the ISMM which will be a subscriber service.
  • ITIL Live ( - Subscriber service
  • Interactive expert knowledge centre - Where? Is this supposed to count?
Due to the use of commas in the text, I interpreted the statement as meaning that there will be online subscriber services but because they were listed separately to others that they were NOT the same as the ITIL Live OR the 'Interactive Service Management Model'.  Seeing as the currently ITIL Live Portal demo IS an Interactive Service Management Model it makes me wonder if we'll be expected to subscribe for the other web services that I understood to be free.  Is the misinterpretation all down to the use of grammar - or did they really mean to mislead us?  It seems I'm not the only one who was under this misapprehension either... check out The IT Skeptic.

Friday, 27 June 2008

ITIL Live Portal - Cheeky blighters, part 2

Okay... I've had a look and it strikes me that they are trying to go into direct competition with the likes of PinkElephant's PinkATLAS and Fox IT's FoxPrism products. This colours my prior indignation a little bit in - but only a little bit. I suppose we can't expect to get anything for free these days - especially from TSO.

1. The 'demo' is a bunch of screenshots with hyperlinks to other screenshots with a couple of templates for download. If compared to the quality of information available from PinkAtlas and FoxPrism - I think we'll find this sorely lacking so I hope the price tag will reflect this.

2. They haven't tested their survey before putting it out live to an ITIL best practice community. Well ain't that sensible? :P

3. Did I misinterpret the words of Sharon Taylor at various events? Is this 'Living Library' only about selling materials or is it really about a community sharing best practice?

4. Looks like they missed an option on their preferred service payments, i.e. free ;)
7) Having digested the offering, which of the 4 subscription models would you prefer?

Individual Lifecycle Stage Service Model: Provides access to the Service Model for one or more of the lifecycle stages. Any item from the Knowledge Base would be paid for on an ad hoc basis.

Service Model: Provides an annual online subscription to the entire Service Model. Any items from the Knowledge Base would be paid for on an ad hoc basis.

Service Model plus limited Knowledge Base: Provides an annual online subscription to the entire Service Model with a finite amount of content from the Knowledge Base, for example the templates. Any additional items would be paid for on an ad hoc basis.

Tailored Access Model: Provides access based on your Organisations profile. For example a consultant would require access to everything ITIL LIVE has to offer whereas a Change Manager may only require access to Service Transition, Operation and Design.
i. If yes, what areas of the site would you be interested in?

ITIL Live with full access to the Knowledge Base: Provides an annual online subscription to both the Service Model and all content within the Knowledge Base. – skip question 9

Points for design, not so many for content yet. Maybe we'll have that in another year?

By all means go ahead and take a look and be sure to let them know what you think. I have!

ITIL Live Portal - Cheeky blighters!

Well... we interrupt this broadcast with some disturbing news. Since June last year we've been looking forward to the promised complementary guidance that will be available on the ITIL Live Portal. The prospect of an official community all coming together for knowledge sharing seemed almost too good to be true - and well, it is. Silly me for thinking it would be a free service.

As someone registered as interested, I just received this e-mail:

Meeting the needs of the community

You recently registered your interest in ITIL Live via the website. To help ensure ITIL Live meets the needs of the IT Service Management community we are undertaking some quantitative research. As a thank you all respondents who complete the questionnaire by 1st July 2008 will receive a 10% discount off their year one subscription*.

This survey involves a short demonstration of ITIL Live followed by some questions relating to the offering. We would be very grateful if you could spend ten minutes reviewing the offering and completing the survey linked below.

ITIL Live Product Offering

ITIL Live has been created with the help of the Chief Architect and Authors of ITIL Version 3 to help you increase your understanding and assist you with your implementation of the ITIL Service Management Lifecycle.

It brings together, for the first time, the main practice elements of each of the lifecycle phases, the 27 processes that underpin each lifecycle phase and the Roles associated with each stage in a graphical Service Model. ITIL Live will help you see at a glance how the lifecycle works, who is involved, what they need to do and will offer supporting tools to enable them to deliver.

We would be very grateful if you could spend a few minutes reviewing the ITIL Live Demo.

As you will have seen from the demo, the Service Model will be accessible via three routes. Each offers several tiers of drill down capability each illustrating a further level of detail. Within the deepest level you will find the Knowledge Base offering access to downloadable templates and, in time, other documentation such as real life examples, further guidance and subject-specific publications to assist with you day-to-day use and adoption of ITIL.

Please let us know what you think of ITIL Live by completing a short survey

*Assuming the product goes ahead this offer is for one single user base subscription only per respondent. Redeemable within one month of product launch this offer is not to be used in conjunction with any other offer or discount.

Excuse me... am I supposed to be pleased at the idea of a discount for something that we were led to believe would be free of charge?

I'm off to review the product (which it now clearly is) and fill out the survey. I recommend that you do the same!

I shall write up my thoughts on the product for my next blog post, delaying the write up of the itSMF e-symposium on Service Delivery Automation.

Tuesday, 24 June 2008

Referral does not = endorsement !

Hmm... whilst I appreciate people driving traffic to my blog, I just want to highlight that in the case of 'Loyalist Certification Services', I have had no experience of them and their referral to this blog is in no way an endorsement by myself of them and their services. Although it is not specifically stated, I believe it is implied so wanted to clear that up.

My ITIL training was completed with Fox IT whom I would recommend without hesitation.

Service Delivery and Service Automation

On Thursday I attended the latest itSMF e-symposium 'Service Delivery and Service Automation' (the presentations will be available from the archive in a couple of days if you missed it). There were four presentations, each of which seemed to skew more towards either the 'Service Delivery' element or the 'Service Automation' element. They were:'

- 'The Strategy for Success' by Chris Dowding of Fox IT
- 'How to create an automated Service Management structure in line with business need' by Jack Robertson Worsfold of Icore
- 'Building a foundation for an effective approach to process automation' by Chip Mason of IBM
- 'For the Customers ........ we change and automate' by Matthew Burrows of BSMImpact

I thought the most useful of the four was the third presentation by Chip Mason although there were a few things in each of the others that made it worthwhile. So if you only have time to listen to one - make it his. In the main, the e-symposium confirmed that I'm heading the right way with our soon to actually happen (maybe? hopefully? !) ITSM Programme in terms of definition of services and workflow to automate delivery of said services where possible.

As with the last event, I will post my key learning points from each presentation over the next two blog entries covering two presentations in each as well as detailing the Q&A.

Just a note about the facilitation by Mike Simons of Computerworld UK... better than the last in that we actually got comfort breaks this time (much appreciated). However, when it was clearly not an appropriate forum to be asking presenters for their recommendations on ITSM and workflow tools - why put them in the awkward position of asking? Far better I think to acknowledge the volume of requests, state that it was not an appropriate forum for vendor recommendations and refer people to the itSMF discussion or private e-mails (which happened with each but why put 3 of the 4 presenters through the question?).

Friday, 20 June 2008

ITIL v3 Qualifications Update

I know that this information has been out for awhile but I now realise that I haven't actually posted about it and I really should...

Fundamentally, we now know the offical names for the new ITIL v3 exams. There is also a published schedule for when we can expect to see the syllabi and examinations for the new qualifications.

Official Qualification Titles:
The Qualification Board involved the ITSM community by surveying itSMF members and Accredited Training Organisations (ATOs) on their preference for the formal titles of ITIL Qualifications. The results of the survey were reviewed and endorsed by the Board and are as follows:

Service Lifecycle and Service Capability Modules and Managing Across the Lifecycle will be known officially as ITIL Intermediate Certificates.

A candidate who has achieved the minimum accumulation of 22 credits across a selection of balanced V2 and V3 modules will be awarded the ITIL Expert Certificate.

Candidates who satisfy the requirement of the currently titled Advanced level will be awarded the ITIL Master Certificate.

As I have written previously, this is all very well but it makes it a very expensive, both in terms of time and money, route from the uninitiated through to ITIL Master. Whilst it is still possible, I recommend the v2 manager's certification route with the v3 manager bridging exam as the cheaper option. You can always read the v3 books after ;)

Read the full press release from the APMG on the itSMFi website.

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

You're fired...You're hired! - Prince 2 style...

The Imp has been on adventures in another country and is now back, refreshed, and looking forward to what the remainder of 2008 holds. How fast it seems to be going!

If you are one of the many who have seen Alan Sugar's 'The Apprenice' and you have an interest in project management, you may appreciate this post. I read an amusing white paper published by FGI ltd entitled: '"You're fired": What The Apprentice Project Managers could learn from PRINCE2™'

The author takes us through a review of the series highlighting some of the tasks and how things could have been handled had the Prince 2 methodology been applied (in a very pragmatic way I might add). It leads to a rather interesting conclusion over who should really have been hired and who should have been fired. I won't give it away - read it for yourself (note - their Prince 2 resources website requires registration).