Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Blocking and tackling

The more I read, and the older I get, the more focused I become on results. At the end of the day, people care about outcomes, and are less picky about the path we take to achieve them.

Many of the success stories about ITIL are really success stories about the culture of CSI. You'll see a common thread among them.

Establish clarity around goals and objectives tools later (perhaps MUCH later)
Get quick wins to build momentum
Focus as much on the organizational change as on the tools
Be willing to win a little at a time to win a lot in the long run.
Get better every day...not every 6-month review

As I counsel my clients, resist the temptation for large-scale CMMI Level 1 - 3 moonshots and focus on establish real commitment to CSI.

Do you have established processes, including written policies, procedures, and process owners?
If not, what are the 2-3 most important things to get started?

- Clear goals and objectives
- Accountable, empowered owners
- Reliable Metrics

Don't try to implement all the processes at once. Focus on processes and services that will optimize the value and help you achieve quick wins...Incident, Change, and Request Fulfillment come to mind as great places to start.

BTW, RF is consistently underrated (maybe because it doesn't make any vendors rich)...spending time making "routine service requests" really routine, for you and your users, is enormously beneficial.

Start small to win big!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

More on PM and ITIL

Ok, so I have been thinking about Carol's and IT Skeptic's comments about PM (and have read the thread he pointed me to, and an awful lot more) and I still think this comes down to a simpler notion. We have a yawning, enormous gap in most IT organizations between Design and Operations, in many cases cast in stone through outsourcing deals to different entities with no aligned targets or shared accountability. This creates the hot potato issue with which so many of us are familiar, and which really drives my interest in service transition, and particularly in placing Early Life Support (ELS) firmly in the hands of Release and Deployment Management. It is in fact the job of PM to manage the SUCCESSFUL transition of their project deliverables (which we'll assume to be a new or changed service) into the live environment, and to support it until

1) The service is accepted by the customer AND
2) The service is meeting its designated service levels (this implies successful event mgmt, operational monitoring and reporting, and other operational readiness capabilities that really should be flushed out more as part of testing and validation activities).

Project Management (and Software Development Lifecycle Mgmt, but that's another article) need to be able to coordinate service design and transition activities, and I would liken it to the approach ITIL takes with functions. PM necessarily coordinates across all the activities in service design and transition...based on the scope of their project. Process team leads perform activities across multiple projects in support of process goals and objectives (which should map to project goals around, for example, functional and non-functional (or warranty!) requirements).

The actual ITIL books don't in fact describe exactly how to run projects (and rightfully leave this for the complementary guidance), but like a similar discussion currently on one of the LinkedIn threads about how ITIL leaves appropriate space for governance models (can anyone say CObIT), it really does so for PM as well, leaving flexibility needed to encompass large programs and small projects alike, while still providing a core set of building blocks needed to build a good service.

I'd like to hear from all of you...where do you see the big gaps, and what are your recommendations for addressing them? If you were writing ITIL 4.0, what would you add/remove/change to improve the efficacy of the guidance?

Friday, May 28, 2010


If you look at the descriptions of Critical Success Factors associated with ITSM adoptions, the first one on almost any list is Management Commitment.

Sounds good...until you try to figure out exactly what that means...

Management Commitment is more than just the willingness to train people, or buy software, or even have big Communications strategies about how important ITIL's the willingness to BE committed. The best way to actually measure this is willingness to sign up for roles like process and service owners. In order to ask for accountability from IT teams and to employ meaningful governance and oversight of Service Management, the senior managers (with enough authority to enforce commitments) must be willing to commit themselves as well. IT staff notice when senior teams make real commitments, and will align their efforts accordingly.

I recently watched a short promotional video from one of the major ITSM vendors (I'll protect the guilty, but you can find it quickly if you look). It depicts a CIO describing the value of Business Service Management, and includes a roundtable with his senior IT staff. Ironically, the copy from the video is more typical than ever.

"I think we should tell the IT staff about the commitments I made on their behalf, so they know what I need them to do."

Can't get buy-in that way!

If you want IT organizations to commit to Service Management, IT leadership has to commit itself to processes like Service Level Management, which prevent "free lunch" behaviors and encourage the business to work cooperatively with its customers to evaluate evolving requirements against achievable targets. This involves listening to both clients and IT teams, and working to establish collaboration that focuses on the business value of the outcome, not only "do more with less."

CIOs need to focus on business outcomes, and then work closely with their teams to support the optimal level of service to meet those needs, balancing cost/value. Taking specific service ownership of a key business service (perhaps, say, an online marketplace critical to sales growth) and taking specific accountability for service outcomes related to that service will raise the game a great deal, and drive the interest in metrics, continual service improvement, and ultimately business results. Once a CIO signs up for the most mission-critical one him- or herself, it's a lot easier to get other senior managers to sign up for other services, and really establish cross-functional "service views" of the world.

Management Commitment is good talk, but, most of the time, talk is cheap. If you want to see results, demand real commitment, and real action. It will help you dramatically improve your results!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


A mistake many people make trying to use ITIL guidance is expecting it to be explicitly prescriptive (in other words, a step by step procedural how-to). That's not what it's intended to do. ITIL at its most useful describes a way of thinking about the work we do (from the point of view of our customers and how, or whether, our services are delivering the optimal value). At each level of detail, legitimate people will raise questions. For example, given the notion of Service Portfolio Management, the strategic decision to build an organizational capability prefaces the arrival of actual customers with explicit Service Level Requirements. Seldom is the real world quite so neat. For that matter, processes we associate with managing transition activities are often supporting strategic planning and prioritization of effort, processes we associate with operation are often providing explicit design and architecture support, and so on. In short, even ideas like the Service Lifecycle are nice models, but that's what they are - models, and not even simple linear ones.

So what?

Service Management guidance provides a good jumping off point for thinking about implementing processes, services, and considering underpinning tools. In particular, it allows us to begin to define the key activities (and then it's on us to describe more explicit procedures and work instructions), roles and responsibilities (which then need to be mapped to actual people and governance), and metrics (which then need to be turned into actual measurements with actual feedback, reporting, and oversight). Most of the time the academic arguments that find their way into discussion boards (is a reboot a change?) can be answered for a particular organization based on usefulness (Are we tracking reboot events? Are we logging incidents for which the reboot is a workaround? Are we tracking reboots as part of a change/release implementation? Are we tracking reboots for standard MTBF maintenance activities?)

The answer of course is clear - it depends on organizational need. Remember, the tools (and processes, and guidance) are supposed to work for you, not the other way around!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

ITIL Implementation and the Big Picture

I'm currently helping to support a large scale introduction of the ITIL processes (at least some of them) to a large military organization. While there is a lot of focus on the blocking and tacking around processes, supporting tools, and the like, it never seems to amaze me how every one of these adoptions are really exercises in managing organizational change. Perhaps the most important role on your ITSM team is the role of the Communications Manager, because they have to really drive both the client organization and the project team through Kotter's 8 steps to Organizational Change (for a quick read on what these are, see

The fundamental reality of life is that people resist change for survival reasons. I know how to survive today. If you change something, I might not know how to survive tomorrow. So I resist. If change is forced upon me, I will adapt, lessening the pain (by not complying) where possible.

In an organizational context, this is a recipe for disaster. If you wish to be successful in your project, you must be successful in creating buy-in and real commitment from the customer. This is very simply a game of WIIFM (What's In It for Me?). For every stakeholder, you MUST understand the WIIFM, and communicate (again, and again, and again) and get buy-in to that to gain the trust and commitment of that stakeholder. Many times, this isn't a process issue, or a tool issue, but a political one. What are they winning? What are they preceived to be losing? How do we maximize the benefits and minimize the risks of the change (sound familiar?)

Friday, April 30, 2010

Cloud Computing and the real benefits for IT...and the business

I overheard someone at an ITSMF meeting yesterday suggest that some people believe that cloud computing could be "the death of ITIL." This underscores a claim I've made for some time...that most people STILL think of ITIL as "an operations thing." Certainly, cloud providers will continue to need to use mature, well-underpinned processes to manage the applications, storage, infrastructure, and facilities that the cloud service providers will deliver. Yet this creates a great new opportunity for enterprise IT; stop spending all your energy on reactive firefighting and start maturing your focus to look more in-depth at service strategy, cost/value, business alignment, and effective service brokerage that will deliver higher overall customer value.

In short, cloud computing may force us to do what we should be doing anyway...look at service lifecycles and outcomes and not just at processes and tools.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

What you need to know about ITIL...

Was just reading a white paper that a co-worker of mine was using to help explain the basic objectives of ITIL, and it was reflective of its publishing time, mid-2007, when many of us were struggling to figure out exactly how the alignment of V2 processes and the V3 lifecycle would work. There are mnay good summaries (the ITIL Pocket Guide is great...if you already know it anyway), but you might use this approach to explain it.

While many people think ITIL is about processes, that is at best an incomplete point of view. ITIL is about changing people's perspectives about the tasks at hand we perform in IT. It's not about the technologies, or even the whole end-to-end IT services, but how (or whether) these services effectively underpin our customer's business processes and enable the business's outcomes; revenue, profit, market share, or simply meeting the organization's mission and vision.

IT Service Management then is about how we produce, maintain, and sustain services to deliver VALUE to our customers (in the form of services that enable them to perform better, faster, or more cost effectively than they might otherwise). The Service Lifecycle that underpins ITIL describes 5 key aspects or stages of this effort. While there are much more authoritative conversations about the following, if you get the following big ideas, you're on your way to really understanding ITIL.

1) Service Strategy - In life, we don't get everything we'd like. This is usually because of constraints; time, money, a jealous spouse, you get the idea. The goal, therefore, is to maximize the value we can create (and that we get!) given the limitations we have. IT Service Strategy works the same way. There may be many things we would like to do, but given our time, money, and other resources at our disposal, which ones will we commit to do, and how do we decide? The concepts of Service Portfolio Management, underpinned by Financial and Demand Management, populates good Business Cases for how we can choose wisely.

2) Service Design - Once we've decided that to provide a particular capability would be a good idea, we need to align our customer's requirements and desired outcomes with our service targets. This includes decisions about the service's utility (what it does) and its warranty (how well it does it, how well it's protected, how much of it there is, etc.). Service Design takes theoretical models of what a service MIGHT be and transforms it into actual working services, with transition, operational, management, and measurement supports.

3) Service Transition - Regardless of whether we're looking to add a new service, change an existing one, or retire (or transfer) one altogether, transitions create risk. In particular, risks of causing business impact and disruptions when we deploy changes. Transition is about managing those risks and delivering the intended value that drove the business objectives and goals in the first place, and ensuring that we effectively move services out of development and into production...without blowing stuff up.

4) Service Operation - Once services are live, customers have one basic wish...keep them up and running so they can work. Service Operation describes proactive and reactive ways to manage, maintain, and support live services to keep them available and keep the business processes flowing.

5) Continual Service Improvement - The magic word here is continual...not occasional (or never, except when the boss is really mad). All services and all processes can improve; we learn, and the magic trick is to be culturally agile enough to make many, many small iterative improvements to your services and processes as you learn them. This can be as easy as building a knowledge base of known incident resolutions and Known Errors, or can involve detailed trending analysis in the search for performance enhancements. If CSI becomes "normal" in your culture, you'll learn what many other types of organizations have learned over the last 60 years; that while managers the world over seek "quantum leaps" in improved IT performance, most of the time real organization maturity requires time and a consistent willingness to "hit singles", or make small improvements that consistently build up lots of small, incremental benefits.

I don't pretend that this is ALL you need to know about ITIL, but many people who hold ITIL certifications miss the bigger picture. Yes, there are processes, functions, roles, etc. They are a means to a bigger end; customer outcomes that help that customer meet its mission and compete and win in its market space.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Making sense of Cloud Computing - Part 1

One of our customers has asked us to produce a short course on Cloud Computing. While it's always easy to chalk this up to yet another round of IT Buzzword BINGO, the business models driving the interest in cloud computing are real, important, and must be understood if you want to be able to sustain your service value for your customers. This week, we're going to look at a number of different aspects of cloud computing and why they matter. We'll also take an honest look at the challenges that these models create, especially for security and privacy.

Today: Financial Models and Utility Computing

Most IT managers and staff are used to working with tangible service assets they own; hardware, software, tools, and other assorted infrastructure, applications, and platforms. Based on our available resources and organizational capabilities (knowledge, skills, processes, etc.), we would design, plan, develop (or buy), and deploy services in support of our clients. This required the IT organization to use the business's capital to invest in IT assets, which may or may not be optimally utilized (consider hardware utilization, applications and associated licenses, data center infratructure and environmentals, etc.). Capital investments require a substantial commitment of time and upfront money to create a capability, long before a payback period begins (when the new service is delivering value in operations). If the business's needs evolve, substantial changes in service warranty are needed (capacity, service continuity, security, and availability) and will require rearchitecture, re-provisioning, and ultimately waste time and resources.

Most businesses seek a different model (and not just for IT!). Businesses generally prefer operating costs (pay-as-you-go) to capital costs, because we can stop buying it if we don't need it, or request more capacity or a different level of continuity or security (availability is a bit messier, as we'll discuss later this week) for an understood price per service. Utility Computing is really nothing more than delivering on the promise of ITIL Service Level Management, where for an understood and agreed price we will deliver an agreed level of service at a defined level of quality. The biggest difference then is WHERE we will deliver it...

In the Cloud Computing context, as with the ITIL Service Model, we seek to deliver value to customers while avoiding the ownership of certain costs and risks. Depending on the level of Cloud Computing your organization may consider, this includes potentially choosing not to own

- Applications - we'll use providers with SaaS (software-as-a-service) models to host and deliver key software applications, especially generic ones like productivity applications (a la Google docs) and ones where access across a number of devices and locations is a strong benefit (CRM applications like

- (Development) Platforms - we'll count on our cloud providers to provide our developers with rich toolsets for building and deploying cloud applications; for example, Microsoft Azure extends .NET developers tools to build in the cloud.

- Infrastructure - we'll take advantage of the benefits of server virtualization, grid computing use of processing capabiliites, and enormous server farms managed by providers such as Amazon, Google, IBM, and many others to scale our storage, data management, and processing needs as they evolve, and make agility and real Capacity management far more accessible and realistic.

As our ITIL readers know, effective provisioning of whole services to customers involve the correct combination of these three things aligned with the business's needs and managed to deliver a reliable underpinning of their key business processes. Clearly cloud computing has enormous implications for the entire service lifecycle. To deliver "utility" computing, we must do more than just create pay-as-you-go models; we must actually deliver the right level of utility!

Next time, we'll talk about Cloud Architecture

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Linking ITIL with Project Management

One of the many issues facing organizations trying to get substantial traction with ITIL initiatives is the incorrect perception that ITIL is "for operations." I can't begin to count the number of developers and project managers who have openly asked in one of my Foundations classes "this isn't for projects, right?" Well, yes, of course it's for projects, since projects are how we perform most activities in IT; design, development, service improvement projects, new service initiatives, and the list goes on.

In many cases, the ITIL community is firmly responsible for this misconception. Asked to describe their ITIL adoption and good practices, they inevitably point to Service Desks, Incident and Problem Management processes, and occasionally Change Management or a CMS tool implementation (often without an underlying CM process to drive its use or efficacy).

With ITIL v3, we have a chance to fundamentally reset everyone's expectations of ITIL. We now acknowledge the whole Service Lifecycle, beginning with Strategy. It's reasonably easy to see the parallels of the activities of Service Strategy and Service Portfolio Management with a PMO; look at business cases, assess ROI and VOI, and approve and charter projects. Likewise, Service Design and Transition provide clear processes and guidance for managing the tactical aspects of capturing functional, nonfunctional, and usability requirements (think utility and warranty), performing service and measurement design, developing or acquiring applications, infrastructure, and metrics management tools, coordinating testing and validation, and overseeing transition planning and execution and operations uptake. These are the fundamental parts of planning and executing any good IT project, and would look very familiar to a PMP. By the way, these models work brilliantly in agile development models as well as more traditional waterfall approaches (which don't work, but that's a different post).

The biggest risk we have for successful ITIL adoption is that very often senior IT management really has no idea what ITIL really is. They think in terms of the most basic Service Operation processes, the Service Desk function, or maybe Change Management, but generally have absolutely no idea how ITIL helps to bridge the yawning cultural chasm in many organizations between Development and Operations. When we teach that Management Commitment is a mandatory critical success factor for ITIL implementation, it begins with basic understanding and clarity of vision across the Service Lifecycle.

Virtual Course Launch

Today is a big day for Deep Creek. Today we are announcing our very first public schedule for ITIL learning programs, supported by an army of sales partners eager for a consolidated calendar of available ITIL courses. The content of the release is included here...

Deep Creek Center

6609 Blackwatch Lane

Highland, MD 20777


January 7, 2010

For immediate release

Deep Creek Center launches Industry’s Most Comprehensive ITIL Learning Program

Solution to fix access to ITIL Intermediate and Advanced training programs

Deep Creek Center, a leading provider of ITIL training, mentoring, and consulting services, announced the launch of a global initiative to combat limited access to the skills-based training needed to support industry ITIL initiatives. Deep Creek’s comprehensive ITIL certification programs will be made available in a live-over-the-Web format and will provide a guaranteed way for students looking to get high-quality expert-led training to get the training they need, regardless of location.

“The market has had a difficult time providing access to the Intermediate and Advanced ITIL learning programs that many organizations need to ensure the success of their ITIL adoption activities,” said Patrick von Schlag, President of Deep Creek Center. “Deep Creek has offered accredited private on-site and rich-media self-paced learning options for a number of years, and these options meet the needs of a number of customers. But for small and medium-sized businesses, as well as businesses located outside of major IT markets, access has been very limited. In addition, the needs to consolidate demand have resulted in very high class cancellation rates around the industry. Deep Creek is the first ITIL provider to commit to run all of its courses, and to provide the guarantee that customers need to commit money and time to training their staff in ITIL best practices.”

“Supporting the ITIL training space has been very challenging”, stated Andrew Wight, CEO of CompuWorks, a leading IT training provider in Boston, MA. “While there are many companies with broad needs to train their teams in ITIL Foundations, taking care of students with more sophisticated needs has created a supply/demand problem in many regions. Deep Creek’s instructor-led online live programs help to address this issue and help us meet the needs of our enterprise class customers who are serious about making ITIL work in their organizations.”

Deep Creek and its partner channels train millions of students annually in IT and IT management disciplines. Deep Creek Center is a leading provider of IT skills development, certification, and learning consulting services. We help organizations plan, build, and validate effective, integrated learning solutions that provide demonstrable, tangible business results.

Picked up

Happy to note that our recent post on Change Management was released to the larger ITIL community as this week's DITY by ITSM Solutions.

Amazing how they can photoshop my picture...better than plastic surgery.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

ITIL Hands make light work...

Today's post really is meant to remind all of us (myself very much included) why ITIL and IT service management matter. 20 years ago, if my e-mail service went down, hardly anyone even noticed (On my BITNET account, I probably could send e-mail to about 5 people). Now, an e-mail outage can disrupt world commerce (ask anyone who has a Blackberry). Over the last 20 years or so, IT has transformed from a nice-to-have business enhancement to truly a utility - something that is basic and mandatory to operate virtually any aspect of a business.

This means that IT/business integration and alignment aren't hackneyed buzzphrases, but absolutely necessary to the organization's survival. We shouldn't use the ITIL framework or any other frameworks, models, or quality systems to add certificates to the wall, but to enable our businesses to meet their mission. If our IT teams understand services and service culture at its most basic level as our role in enabling the business to achieve its goals, we will be much more effective, and a much more powerful asset for our business partners.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Request Fulfillment is really obvious...and really important

One of the new processes in ITIL V3 is the Request Fulfillment process. The premise is simple enough; we get a number of routine service requests from users, so how do we deal with them and get them taken care of in a way that minimizes the pain? Users want us to facilitate the approvals process and cut red tape, and we in IT want to automate as much of the workload as possible so that we can invest more of our resources and capabilities in other activities that may deliver higher business benefits. The part a number of organizations struggle with is exactly how this works, and here is where we need to look at linkages across the lifecycle.

Back in Service Design, we describe the process of Service Catalog Management and the notions of the Business Service Catalog and the Technical Service Catalog. Business Service Catalogs describe the menu of service options available to customers, and Technical Service Catalogs describe the "cookbook", or procedures to provision and deliver the service. By publishing the Business Service Catalog, we make the services more transparent and available to the users. By publishing the Technical Service Catalog to our technical/functional teams, we provide the basis for consistent policies and procedures in deploying these standard services.

The role then of the Request Fulfillment process is to facilitate using these. A heavy emphasis in the books is on automating workflow activities; automating service requests and Financial and Compliance approvals on the client side, and automating provisioning and configuration management activities on the IT side. We can then use our understanding of lifecycle management to break down the process activities, and then look to leverage workflow management and automation tools to speed these through.

Even though Incident Management gets all the press (after all, it's when fires happen that people actually notice IT), Request Fulfillment is the key to maturing your provisioning activities and ultimately in freeing up Operational resources that can be reinvested in more proactive service activities such as Problem Management, Testing and Validation, and Service planning.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Common Sense isn't so common

Sounds like we're having a few of the usual pseudo-debates on a number of the LinkedIn groups again...I always hesitate to get involved in these conversations because so much of this is comon sense, but then again, perhaps common sense isn't so common.

Certification v Experience

Isn't this silly? It was silly for CNAs, MCSE's, CISSPs, and every other certification too (would you like a lawyer who has passed the bar but never tried a case before? A doctor with no experience treating your illness?). Certifications are independent acknowledgements of certain knowledge...and perhaps some developed skills. Coupled with expertise, a bit of wisdom, and the ability to work well in teams, you may have the makings of a good teammate or team leader. People or employers who expect certifications to be a magic bullet are likely to get what they deserve...

Is ITIL a panacea?

People have religious-level discussions over whether "the book" (should we add holy?) says we ought to do a particular thing or follow a particular procedure. All manner of consultants, technical wannabes, and other pretenders pose as oracles interpreting the "word". The ITIL describes a set of good practices that are demonstrated to work well in a variety of environments. Please understand that in no way does this mean that there are no other ways to do the same things well...or that all the "answers" will be found.

"The ITIL requires that we..."

ITIL is a set of books on my (and hopefully your) shelf, sometimes gathering dust, sometimes being very useful. The ITIL doesn't require anything...but our management should require that we use well-tested, validated policies and procedures for how we design, provision, and deliver services.

Be pragmatic, everyone. The goal is our organizations and customers achieve their mission by providing effective, efficient, and well integrated IT services to support the business.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Changing how we think about Change Management

One of the more challenging problems with deploying ITIL processes is our desire to make workflows linear. We teach the lifecycle one domain at a time, and teach processes in association with the book in which they are described. Reality is seldom so tidy, however. Processes like Change Management, Service Asset and Configuration Management, and Knowledge Management have a much broader scope; they span the entire service lifecycle and can become confusing if we try to limit them to a particular lifecycle domain. In this post, we’ll discuss the reasons why Change Management needs to be “liberated” from Transition, and how this simple idea will improve your organization’s ability to manage change.

Considering Change

Service Strategy describes the notion of managing a Service Portfolio. Our Resources and Capabilities define a set of Service Assets to be invested, with the goal of maximizing returns for our customer (Value Creation) and for the Service Provider (Value Capture). While many of these resources are invested in ongoing Operations activities (somewhere between 60-70%, depending on whose data you see), much of the remainder is invested in new or changed services in our Service Pipeline. The job of Service Portfolio Management is to define the Portfolio, analyze Business Cases for new or changed services, approve a new future state (in other words, choose the business cases we’re going to commit to doing), and charter the new portfolio (which has the effect of establishing projects to proceed to design and build the new or changed service in the business case).

While some Business Cases are requests for entirely new services, most come from different RFCs. Alignment between the Change Management process and what happens in Service Strategy and Design simplifies this workflow a lot. If we consider Change Management to begin in Strategy, RFCs begin with goals and objectives (e.g. removing a Known Error, implementing a CSI recommendation, etc.). By categorizing the Change, Standard Changes are weeded out and pre-approved, Emergency Changes are quickly driven to an ECAB for assessment, decision, and action, and Normal Changes are assessed by the appropriate CAB for cost, risk, impact, and business value. Given the scope of the Change request, some change requests can be handled at lower levels of the organization (though still through formal change management) where larger scope and resource-impacting changes should have Business Cases developed and these considered together as part of the overall Service Portfolio Management process. As a result, we have consistency in our Change Decision Authority, resource alignment and allocation across projects, and a consistent means of prioritizing the work to be done.

Once an RFC is approved, Service Design describes how we build the change, with the Change Management process continuing to coordinate multiple changes and working with other processes to prepare for effective Transition. This could include planning testing and validation windows, scheduling access to build and test environments, planning how changes will be packaged for release and deployment, and verifying business fit. “Coordinating Change” then largely is described by monitoring status of change build, ensuring proper Service Transition and Operational Readiness Plans are in place, and ensuring that communications is maintained among the various technical, process, and business stakeholders. Once the Service Design Package is complete, Release and Deployment Management can take the change and its associated documentation into the DML and coordinate appropriate packaging, build, test, and deployment/installation of the change according to our transition plan. Once deployed, Change Management finishes its workflow as always with a Post Implementation Review confirming technical success and business outcome (based on the Evaluation Report’s assessment of Change Acceptance, Predicted, vs. Actual Performance, and “unexpected side effects”). Assuming we’re good to go (with other remediation as necessary), we can close the Change at this point.

By thinking of Change this way, it’s easier to see how to use groups like PMOs to help adjudicate how projects align to new and changed services, portfolio management goals, and how to align Change authorities more sensibly. Most importantly, it improves our likelihood of delivering well designed, planned, and effective changes more quickly, improving our ability to adapt IT services to meet our customers’ changing needs.