Wednesday, 28 April 2010

The Psychology of Service Data...

For the next six months or so there will be a reduction in my activity in the blogosphere as I'm diving deep into the world of service management data for a large international organisation. Of course ITSM data, service improvement and organisational factors all should exist cheek by jowl in the the IT service space.

Data gives you the understanding (or knowledge and "wisdom" as ITIL would have it) of your situation, and if staff are any good with regression lines and multivariate modelling you may even be able to predict likely future outcomes. Thankfully I spent a few years getting to know Excel in some considerable depth and I'm also pretty handy with the Microsoft SQL Server suite (the recent Integration, Reporting and Analysis Services packages are excellent). I'm also adept with the reporting application that is used with many service management packages such as Remedy - Business Objects.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

ITIL: Sweet F.A.?

Here's a hypothesis: many in IT are lazy about areas of work that do not involve their principal area of interest. In other words, technologists' core interest in their work is proportional to how technological that work is. Amongst the real tech-heads that I know, point and click IT is anathema. For many of these individuals, command-line operation, configuration and installation is enjoyable and demonstrates true expertise. Yes it requires thinking through at every step, but this is considered an intellectual challenge and therefore fun. Yet for other activities such as service support processes and governance, the same individuals simply do what is necessary to acheive the standard required of them.

Here's a second related hypothesis: As these techies grow older and are promoted, perhaps these instincts remain. The individuals will still be deeply concerned about the technology that the organisation delivers but will experience a temptation to take shortcuts when it comes to delivering the other stuff required by the organisation. To paraphrase George Orwell: 'Technology good - other stuff important but boring'. In such a mindset, shortcutting may become rife. By shortcutting, I mean the equivalent of point and click for aspects of the working environment. Need to create a support structure? Point and click on ITIL. Need to improve processes? Point and click at 6 Sigma. I'm not making judgments here - human information processing has natural limits and we all use cognitive shortcuts of one type or another to help us navigate the world in an efficient manner.