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Write-up itSMF Sweden conference (Mar 2013)

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  • 1. White Paper What’s in your portfolio? – ITSM in focus itSMF Sweden, Malmö, 5 March 2013 This paper summarizes some observations made during a one day interactive event in which the author gave a presentation on ‘The Flipside of IT – Introducing BiSL’.Photo: John Wallhoff, Robert Falkowitz, Christian Nissen, Mark Smalley Mark Smalley, 11 March 2013 1
  • 2. IntroductionApproximately 60% of the 25 attendees worked in IT departments of(mostly) public and private organisations – the rest of the attendees workedas trainers/consultants.The agenda: • Mark Smalley (NL) - The Flip Side of IT - Introducing BiSL • Robert Falkowitz (CH) – A Portfolio of Portfolios • Round table discussions (photo) • Christian F Nissen (DK) - Why ITIL implementations (sometimes ) fail in real life • Malin Nordström (SE) - PM3 and ITIL in interaction, management objects versus IT servicesUnfortunately Marlin had to pull out so the chairman John Wallhoffimprovised a discussion around PM3. 2
  • 3. Author’s observationsLiaison officerThe attendees agreed with general industry consensus that there’s a problemwith the relationship between business and IT, with lack of knowledge andunderstanding on both sides. A role was foreseen for an intermediary to getboth sides to improve the way they engage with each other.A Portfolio of PortfoliosRobert Falkowitz provided a case study of an organization showing how it hasevolved from project portfolio management, to application portfoliomanagement, setting the stage for service portfolio management. Heemphasized the importance of service portfolio management as a functionthat interacts with the various project managers, whose projects deliver newproducts and services, and with product managers whose products (typicallyapplications but also infrastructural components – service could be email anda product Outlook) are used to fulfil the service. At a higher level, serviceportfolio management manages an ‘portfolio of portfolios’ (of products). Hedistinguished between managing services and managing delivery of services.Orchestration roleA coffee break discussion focus on the kind of roles that are needed forfuture-proof ITSM. There was consensus that an orchestration role is neededto coordinate various external an internal parties. There also seems to beneed for a more content-based role that is tasked with determining theinformational needs of the business. This might be comparable to thebusiness analyst role but often business analysts are only triggered by‘projects’.Knowledge management versus information managementThere used to be plenty of interest in knowledge management but this seemsto have faded away. The question was posed how much of ‘businessinformation management’, as defined by BiSL, is addressed by knowledgemanagement.Demand-supply versus pull-pushWhen discussing the validity of the demand-supply paradigm, RobertFalkowitz made the point that it might be more relevant to thing about pushand pull.Organizational anorexia 3
  • 4. A lunchtime discussion touched on extreme cost-cutting and somebodycoined the term ‘organizational anorexia’ as a metaphor for emaciatedorganizations.Benefits and risksIn one of the formal discussions the question was posed why business casesaren’t taken seriously after the investment has been authorized. Thistriggered the opinion that only costs are of interest. While this is often theonly lever that the business has to control IT, the author suggested that ITshould give the business choices in benefits and risks.Complex Responsive ProcessesIn a very insightful talk, Christian Nissen discussed three approaches for ITILinitiatives, which can be summarized as mechanistic Business ProcessRedesign, rational-social Continuous Service Improvement, and social-constructive Complex Responsive Processes. The kind of organizationdetermines which approach will be the most effective.Photo: Christian Nissen 4
  • 5. PM3A relatively unknown quantity outside Sweden, the Maintenance ManagementModel that the consulting firm På AB has developed, seems to fit a gap thatis not addressed by other frameworks – at least not when the model wasintroduced. It is often used in decentralized (in the business line) applicationservice departments that fulfil an intermediary position between the businessusers and the centralized IT department that deals with the infrastructureand keeping applications lights on. One of the central concepts is ‘object’,which could be an application or a (business) service. There seems to besome similarity with ASL and possibly BiSL and it is worthwhile investigating. 5
  • 6. AuthorMark Smalley is Ambassador-in-chief at the not-for-profit, vendor-independent ASL BiSL Foundation and is aself-employed IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT.He is specialized in Application Lifecycle Management andIT Governance. Mark is a regular speaker at internationalconferences, where he has reached out to thousands ofIT professionals.Follow & engage with Mark on Twitter @marksmalleyEmail: mark.smalley@aslbislfoundation.orgFurther details, publications & speaking engagements at Smalley.IT 6