How to be a great CIO (IX): Focus on the smiles, not the trains

Service Management guru Ian Clayton posted a great paper from one of his customers, about why Outside-In thinking is paramount to avoid frustrating everybody and yourself, as the article wisely says:

“For most organizations, it is a natural tendency to look inward at what they do. They are focused (sometimes totally) on how the work is designed and accomplished, and performance measures are geared toward achieving internal goals. (…) 

Failure to please the customer leads to, well, failure.” 

The article is short, download it from http://www.servicemanagement101.com/files/lockheed-lean-for-services-white-paper.pdf and while you are at it, subscribe to Ian Clayton’s blog.

CMDB is dead

CMDB2

We are being asked less and less about how to integrate a monitoring system with a CMDB.

Main reason: in the past, people thought that building a full-fledged, galaxy-comprehending CMDB was kind of easy and even mandatory (blame ITIL). But nowadays, people are aware of the horror stories and more wary about using a CMDB beyond Asset Management (yes, CMDBs are great for that!). 

Only exception: people who arrived late to the party, and still think that a CMDB as defined by ITIL is beneficial or even doable. (If you are among them, please read this, this, this, and this).

By the way, the most popular post last year has been “CMDBs: butterflies or caterpillars?”. For a reason. And I am happy about it.

So what’s all the rage right now? Well, people went too fast from loving an all-encompassing Service Management solution (as proposed, and with sound reason, by ITILv3) to adore a tactical, scope-limited and still inside-out patch called APM. Again, APM tools, as CMDBs, are a good thing, if used properly. But they are not being used properly. I gave my two cents on it here.

Have a great afternoon.

How did you do in 2012?

Were you able to achieve more Visibility during 2012?

Did you remove blind spots in IT operations and business processes, did you align infrastructure management, did you get a holistic, consistent, real-time view at every level for critical services?

And, thanks to that, did you notably improve overall services, generating more value for your business and adding more meaning to your position?

Whether you did or not, remember: right now it is time for your New Year’s resolutions. A great occasion to decide that 2013 will be the year you are going to create the highest value for your company.

From this friendly blog we’ll try to continue helping you achieve that as much as we can.

Happy Visibility in 2013!

A big, big hug from Barcelona.

The problem with APM

Further Faster

Figure 1 – Technical products only go so far, while ambitious ITIL projects usually end in sweat, blood and tears. Business Service Management (BSM) can take you much further than APM tools, business-value wise.

A few months ago, the site BSM Digest was renamed APM Digest because, in the words of its editor, APM has become a “much more popular term, at least here in the USA”. Which, in my opinion, is a real shame.

Considering that, until recently, monitoring was focused mainly on the network and servers, why would turning the application into the focal point be a missed opportunity? After all, it clearly represents an evolution towards real, in-the-flesh customers from the deep oceans of pure infrastructure. Continue reading

Blog presents Blog

I have always tried not to talk about my company in this blog. The idea of the Visibility Blog is to present a personal view about things, even if that view is not exactly the company’s view.

Although I have to admit that sometimes it’s inevitable to refer to Tango/04 when discussing topics such as Agile Service Management (look Ma, no CMDB!). It’s hard not to, as it’s the best example of Agile Service Management I know. And the only one, really.

But the point is that the Visibility Blog disseminates new ideas that may be useful even for customers of the (horror!) competition, besides sharing my managerial expertise with CIOs, CIOs-to-be or any other manager, not necessarily in IT.

However, we needed a specific channel on Monitoring, at both the strategic and technical levels. And, of course, to air news about what we do, our products, techniques, tips, new releases, case studies, educational videos, and stuff like that.

Therefore, we created the Monitoring Blog—the new official corporate blog of Tango/04. Which, as you imagine, will try to help you get the most out of your monitoring projects.

You can find it here. And please subscribe via RSS here (because you’re already subscribed to this blog via RSS, right?).

Hope to see you there, where we can freely say things like the fact that we’ve invested many, many millions of dollars to create the wonderful new generation of cloud-enabled, tablet-enabled, beautifully crafted and insanely awesome Tango/04 monitoring products.

Something I’d never, but really never ever even think of mentioning here.

Magic

Quote

If you’re lucky, you’ll have the experience of working in a high-performing team early in your career.

As you continue working, you will soon realize that high-performing teams are truly magical, and more rare than you might have first expected.

And if you keep working, you’ll find yourself becoming committed to creating high-performing teams. You won’t succeed every time, but you’ll try.

(Luke Hohmann)

Great article on improving team performance by aligning their values here (game included!).

Teaser of How to be a great CIO (VIII)

How about learning more about your users’—or customers’—hidden motivations and getting them to prioritize everything they want from you in detail? How about creating a proven path to success and removing all the things that are stopping you the most from getting there? How about doing all of this by playing games?

Interested? Oh, let’s play then. See you on Wednesday.