IT Service Management

Handling a big IT Rollout

My post today is on the subject of ‘the big rollout’ – when a new or upgraded application is rolled-out to end users.

My experience of this over my career is mixed to say the least. It varies between someone calling and saying ‘I’ve got a problem with this new application WidgetSkillz’ and me saying ‘Oh what’s that?’ at one end of the scale, whilst at the other, I had an employer plan meticulously for 1000 ‘rollout’ Incidents in the first week and receive only 20 or so.

Firstly, I’ll risk being a master of the obvious and state why new rollouts cause problems

Handling Difficult Helpdesk/Service Desk Customers

A long time Serio customer and friend (who shall remain nameless) asks ‘I’ve been asked to write-up some guidelines for our operations manual about dealing with difficult customers who call our help desk. I’m struggling so I thought I’d ask you!’. What prompted this was an exchange between a first-line helpdesk staff member and an internal customer with a print problem which seems to have gone badly wrong.

I’m always glad to help. However, after hearing the following anecdote (which I apologise for re-telling) you may think otherwise about asking for my assistance.

Getting Inventory Data when Machines are Off

A few of the more recent posts have covered aspects of Asset Management, Configuration Management and the CMDB. This post is related to the series about Configuration Management for beginners because it discusses a very useful tool for gathering Configuration information.

This tool is a small software agent which is installed on a target machine and is capable of returning configuration information over the network ‘live’ - but what about those machines that are not switched on when this information is gathered?

Setting-up a CMDB for Beginners

This is a follow-up to my earlier beginners Asset Management and Configuration post.

I described previously how it was difficult to keep an Asset register up to date – but keeping a CMDB up to date is harder because it holds more information.

Here’s the problem. In the previous post I mentioned some computers (Items) that ran enterprise-level services, and how we’d show them on a CMDB. Part of the information we’d store about each Item might include

Problem Management KPIs - Amendment

This is a follow-up to my earlier Problem KPI post. Commentator Mark asked ‘what about Known Errors’, something my suggestions for KPIs did not cover. Thanks Mark.

Remember that the whole point of Key Performance Indicators is to tell us how effectively some process or activity (in this case Problem Management) is working. Therefore the question is what Known Errors tell us from a KPI perspective – should they be included or not as a KPI?

Problem Management KPI Suggestions

This is a follow up to my last post on the subject of KPIs in Problem Management – read that previous post for background. In what I write I’m assuming that the KPIs are going to be used in a report whose audience will be the Problem Management team (therefore, quite detailed).

I’ve concluded that we are looking for signs that the Problem Management process is working. Here are some suggestions for you to try.

1. Number of Problems raised.

Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for Problem Management

Customer Nick asks for ideas on data he can use as a KPI for Problem Management.

That’s a really good question, and before answering it I’ll refer to the definition of what a Problem is. However, the definition of a Problem is slightly different to what the goals of Problem Management are, namely (taken from the ITIL Service Support book):

“The goal of Problem Management is to minimise the adverse impact of Incidents and Problems on the business that are caused by errors within the IT Infrastructure…”

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