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Stuart Rance

Stuart Rance

Stuart is an ITSM and security consultant, trainer, and author who has worked with clients in many countries, helping them create business value for themselves and their customers. He was the author of the 2011 edition of ITIL® Service Transition and lead author of RESILIA™ Cyber Resilience best practice published in June 2015. Now that his children have all left home, he has plenty of time on his hands for contributing to our blog - lucky us!
 

I recently found myself discussing the use of change models with a customer. This customer, like many others that I come across, thought that every IT change should be classified as either...
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People will do whatever it takes to meet the targets you set, even if this is not the right thing to do for your customers. Most of us who work in IT...
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Some highly visible IT organizations have adopted ideas from DevOps, Agile, Lean and other frameworks to help them deliver great customer experience, with lower cost and higher quality. But what about the...
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The ITIL Practitioner Guiding Principles aren’t just for management. Here are some examples of how service desk agents can use them too. I often talk to people about the ITIL Practitioner’s Nine...
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There has been a lot of reporting in the press about Meltdown and Spectre, a couple of recently identified IT security issues.  Some of my customers have been asking me whether they...
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Editor’s Note: While reviewing the level of readership of our blogs, we couldn’t help but notice that certain blogs never lost their popularity over the years. This is one of them –...
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If you’re not familiar with the new EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), then you’d better start learning now. Even if you’ve never been to Europe you still need to obey this...
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You need to train and mentor service desk and IT support staff in techniques they can use to diagnose incidents and problems. They won’t become good at this just because they have...
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Here are the 16 questions posed during a recent “Ask the Experts” webinar about cybersecurity challenges, and a summary of our answers. You can learn more by listening to the webinar. On...
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I was working with a customer recently and they asked me what key performance indicators (KPIs) they should use to measure IT change management. After thinking about this for a while I...
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Every IT organization has a service portfolio, even if they don’t think of their services in this way. Making improvements to your service portfolio is essential if you want to deliver services...
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If you’re really busy working on lots of different things then maybe you should think about limiting work in progress. If you start one thing and finish it before starting the next...
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If you work in an IT organization, you may be tired of being told that you should focus on creating value for customers. You already know that you should be delivering end-to-end...
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When you work on a service desk, calls from angry users can be very hard work, not least because of the way we’re likely to feel about them. Being at the other...
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All the IT service providers I’ve worked with assure me that they measure the services they provide. They use metrics and KPIs to do this, and have service-level agreements (SLAs)  with their...
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I have often said that, in our rapidly changing business and technical environment, continual service improvement (CSI) is the most important service management process. If you don’t keep improving what you do,...
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If I asked you how your organization does problem management, would you, like so many of the people I have worked with over the years, tell me that you don’t do it?...
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Enterprise service management (ESM) is the use of IT service management (ITSM) tools and processes to support other lines of business within an organization. It’s a term that’s generally used by IT...
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In a previous blog I talked about “starting where you are” as a guiding principle for people who want to improve outcomes for customers. I talked about how this means not throwing away...
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I visited two very different customers recently.  They had very different problems and the solutions I suggested for them were also very different. But there was one thing that they had in...
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If you’re involved in ITSM improvements, and especially if you’re fairly new to the field, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed. One thing that can really help you to focus is to follow...
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One of the biggest problems we have to deal with in IT service management (ITSM) strikes whenever we fail to meet the expectations of our customers and users. No matter how good...
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Some time ago, I wrote a blog about Defining Metrics for the Service Desk. Recently someone asked me what about the help desk? This person works for an organization that doesn’t have...
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IT organizations often spend huge amounts of time, money, and other resources on managing incidents, but they spend surprisingly little on problem management work that might reduce the number of incidents in...
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My colleague Ivor McFarlane once described the concept of intelligent disobedience to me. This term was first used in relation to guide dogs.  Service animals need to be trained to obey their...
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I was riding home on my bike recently when the traffic lights turned red, as they do.  I stopped, and waited for them to turn green again so I could go.  There...
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DevOps is currently very fashionable, and so I hear lots of people talking about how their IT organization will be doing DevOps over the next year or so. The trouble is, as...
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We all like to believe we are doing a good job. We all take pride in our achievements. But sometimes those of us who work in IT focus on the wrong things,...
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As an IT service management (ITSM) consultant, customers sometimes start by asking me to carry out a maturity assessment. They usually tell me that they want to know how they compare to...
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Great IT services create value for customers, with a focus on customer experience and customer satisfaction. Organizations that deliver IT services must manage a balance of people, processes, and technology. When it...
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In my recent blog 5 New Year’s Resolutions for ITSM Practitioners, I recommended that people should think about how they manage availability. I was surprised by the number of people who contacted...
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New Year’s resolutions are traditional at this time of year. So I’ve been thinking about what would be great resolutions for people who work in IT service management (ITSM). Here are my...
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Customer satisfaction isn’t only about the quality of the service you deliver, it’s just as much about how well you set and then meet customer’s expectations. The most important thing to get...
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Continual Service Improvement (CSI) is one of the most important concepts in ITIL, but very few IT organizations put anything in place to make it happen. Everyone knows that they need a...
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I’m really looking forward to speaking at the FUSION service management conference this year. FUSION will be running from 1-4 November 2015 at the Hyatt Regency in New Orleans, and if you’ve...
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In many organizations there is a separate information security team that deals with all things relating to security. This team is responsible for designing and implementing all the controls needed to protect...
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I really enjoyed delivering a webinar with Stephen Mann recently.  The webinar, which was called Real-World Tips for Self-Service Success, attracted a large audience, and generated some great feedback. If you missed...
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It’s summer time in the Northern hemisphere, and many of us are getting ready for our annual holidays. It’s really great to get away from work for a while, but some people...
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Many IT organizations see employee self-service as a ‘knight in shining armor’, ready to solve all their service desk issues in one quick project. However, for many organizations, their investment in self-service...
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I was recently involved in a discussion about IT services and how to deliver acceptable levels of availability. This discussion was triggered by a failure of the London air traffic control (ATC)...
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I’ve written about continual service improvement (CSI) before. If you haven’t read my previous articles then you might like to look at Continual Service Improvement (CSI) - The Most Important Service Management...
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What Is ITIL?

By | May 5, 2015 in ITIL

If I type “What is IT” into my favourite search engine then the suggestion “What is ITIL” appears near the top of the list of suggestions, so I guess lots of people...
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Recently a customer asked me how many different categories they should have for managing incidents. They seemed to think that, like a magician, I could pull an “ideal” number of incident categories...
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. When I started in the IT industry I was a fairly junior hardware engineer. One day I went out with an experienced engineer to learn about a particular mini-computer that he...
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I have written a number of blogs about metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) recently, each focussing on a different area of IT service management. These blogs were very popular — this...
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We talk a lot about transformation in IT. That the changing IT landscape is causing us to evaluate and ultimately adopt new technologies. Or at the other end of the spectrum, that...
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In my blog last week, I recommended 6 tips that you might like to consider as New Year’s Resolutions. They were all about things you can do for your IT organization. This...
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As 2014 draws to a close I’ve started to think about what’s going to be important for IT service management (ITSM) professionals in 2015. Here are 15 tips that you might like...
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Whose Fault Was It?

By | November 25, 2014 in ITIL

We all know that IT service management is about people, processes and tools, but for some reason we always seem to focus on the processes and the tools and forget about the...
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I have written a number of blogs about metrics and KPIs recently, each focussing on a different area of IT service management. Here are some links in case you’ve missed any of...
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I have written about how to define metrics and KPIs for IT service management processes before. In Defining Metrics for Change Management I discussed the importance of identifying stakeholders, and defining CSFs...
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I know that the question “How long should an ITSM project take?” is going to get an answer of “It depends on what you’re trying to achieve”, but stay with me a...
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When I ask people how they acquire the knowledge they need to do their jobs they describe a huge variety of approaches that work for them, including working with other people, attending...
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I have been working with a customer who wants to improve their service transition processes, and I came across a situation which I’ve seen too often in the past. The configuration manager...
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Whenever I look at the tools, processes and metrics that IT organizations implement for their change management processes I see a huge difference between what I think change management is for and...
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Sometimes people ask me which service management process they should implement first, or which process is the most important. They probably expect me to give the typical consultant’s answer of "it depends",...
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Few IT organizations are really good at problem management; it is often only used for managing the aftermath of major incidents. I think that one of the reasons for this is confusion...
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