As you start your week, I would like to posit 2 things to consider:

1. No matter what initiative you are working on, build in an improvement mechanism. What our stakeholders view as valuable today will not be what they value tomorrow. We must account for how to handle the change, creating improvement opportunities in both what we do and how we do it.

2. Take an iterative approach with small steps. If the last two years have taught us nothing else, the best long-range plans and initiatives will be disrupted by external factors.

Disruption is coming.

Asset Lifecycle

Asset Lifecycle Management, for Software and Hardware, needs to be discussed more in our industry.

Yes, the ITAM and ITSM tools give us a lifecycle workflow, but we must vtively manage the lifecycle to ensure we treat assets as investments … which is what they are.

For example, we need defined processes for onboarding and decommissioning assets. Neither are innate to the tools.

Without both, you cannot manage the lifecycle.

We should also know the status of each asset, location, user/s, and much more, including when it is to be replaced or upgraded.

Measuring Better

We must do better.

We measure many things, but few relate to business objectives.

We capture a lot of data, possibly too much, but do so without matching to business objectives and desired outcomes.

Two things we must begin doing:

1. Ask all stakeholders what outcomes they desire, and prioritize accordingly.
2. Make sure every activity, measure, and resource to these prioritized outcomes.

Sounds simple.

It is not.

However, there is no better time to start than now.

Three “C’s” of Trustworthiness

ITIL4 DSV gives three C’s of trustworthiness in the context of a service relationship:

Capability – can they produce results?
Commitment – committed to outcomes?
Consistency – will they perform as expected?


Outputs or Outcomes

Why do we measure outputs instead of outcomes?

There are many reasons, but here are a few:

1. outputs are easier to measure
2. to measure outcomes, you must ask stakeholders what outcomes they desire
3. our tooling is set up to report and measure outputs
4. we don’t think in terms of outcomes (sad, but true)

In IT, we are a service provider. This means we deliver (co-create) value through services.

This value comes in the form of outcomes.

An example where everyone can relate:
– you call the Service Desk
– they answer inside of 7 seconds (output)
– the agent resets your password (output)
– you can use your laptop (outcome)

IT provides the End User services to the organization. Uptime and usability might be desired outcomes.


Turning data into something actionable is more difficult than it seems.

We have ample data … possibly too much.

This data must be actionable for decisions.

Data is gathered, governed, and secured for decision-making.

Remember the D-> I -> K -> W model

The goal is to enrich and contextualize the data into wisdom.

Now, think about your ITSM & ITAM data. What do you need to do for that data to help make better enterprise-wide decisions?

These are the questions that need to be asked.

Don’t Blame the Tool

If an ITSM or ITAM tool implementation is unsuccessful, it’s not because of the tool.

These tools are the best they’ve ever been and are improving all the time.

If an implementation is unsuccessful, it’s because of the service provider (implementer) or service consumer (client), not what’s being consumed (tool).

Getting calls after unsuccessful implementations, my questions usually are:

– what has leadership done to ensure success?
– were all stakeholders involved and engaged?
– were processes, procedures, and work instructions built for the users to be successful?
– how was the CMDB scoped?
– what governance was put in place?
– was discovery working well?
– what type of knowledge transferred and documentation created?
– was the tool implemented similarly to how the implementer has implemented the last few?

The tool implementations are transformations and have so much that can go wrong.

Our Why

We have a problem in our industry …

millions of people have gone through ITIL Foundations training, but the majority of organizations struggle with Service Management.

Though good and helpful, this tells me that the answer is not more trainings. The material is not being applied.

I want to posit one potential enabler for improvement:

a place for thoughtful discourse.

We need to be able to share ideas, strategies, and everything else to raise the bar.

This is one reason I started the Service Management Leadership Podcast.

Check it out if you have not already.

Our stakeholders are expecting more and more from Service Management.

Skill, Not Experience

With every organization becoming increasingly complex due to technology, I have seen something surprisingly change …

the increased focus on the skills to solve the problem placed ahead of time in the industry.

Yes, industry experience matters.

However, someone who knows how to solve the problems you are facing through expertise and intelligence will only struggle to learn the organization for six months to a year, if that long. But, that is just one small piece of the puzzle as that person knows how to solve the problem they were hired.

The learning curve for someone with good – not great – ability who is intimately keen on the industry will take years to catch up in skills and abilities, if they ever do.

With common technology problems to solve, the industry-specific requirements will become less important.

I know some will disagree.Please comment below.

But, I would argue that most organizations are more similar than most realize. Having bridged many industries, I can say that the core problems are very similar.


Imagine the future with AI, RPA, and every other known technology innovation.

Now, imagine the governance needed to ensure the organization remains, compliant, addresses stakeholder needs, and operates in a measured manner.

The future is bright, but we will see a few organizations – who have not invested in the needed governance – be made an example.

Now is the time to stand up the governance mechanism and add the technology innovations as your organization is mature enough to handle