Fight the chaos: Design your toolbox properly

You need tools and methods to accomplish your daily tasks. No one will deny this insight. I would like to give you an insight into my box of tools and methods. These tools and methods work for me, but they do not have to work for you. The design of your personal toolbox depends on your job. Depending on who you ask, my job role consists of several roles: Currently, I am working as a consultant, head of the business unit, pre-sales consultant and technical account manager.

Lean ITIL Service Operation

The IT Infrastructure Library (ITIL) is a set of pre-defined processes and common practices (I try to avoid the word “best practice” when talking about ITIL) for the IT service management (ITSM). When I talk with customers about ITIL, they often complain about the overhead of ITSM processes, that were designed according to ITIL. I already wrote about this in one of my previous blog posts (Is lean ITSM a myth?

Is lean ITSM a myth?

When I talk with companies about IT processes and IT service management (ITSM), ITIL seems to be the de facto standard for ITSM. Implementing an ITSM without using ITIL, seems to be impossible. I have many customers that have implemented ITIL-based ITSM processes and most of them had enormous trouble during the implementation and/ or operation. Lean ITSM and ITIL? Companies mainly have three problems during the implementation and/ or operation of ITIL processes:

Industrialize your IT - after you have done your homework

Today a tweet from Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor) has caught my attention: Don't waste money on automation without first looking at your processes. https://t.co/PWeFDbyQkb pic.twitter.com/7RvhmvS6GQ — Keith Townsend (@CTOAdvisor) May 8, 2016 https://twitter.com/CTOAdvisor/status/729141035692068865 Keith wrote a nice blog post and I really recommend to read it. His point is, that automation enables business agility. The point of automation is to enable business agility. Business agility isn’t achieved by automating inefficient processes. The start of an IT automation project begins by examining existing processes and eliminating inefficiency.

Kanboard - Kanban made simple

I really like the idea behind Kanban. I wrote about it in 2014 (Organize your work with Kanban), and I even wrote my bachelor thesis about it (Industrialisierung der ITIL Service Operation Phase unter Verwendung von Lean Management // Industrialization of the ITIL Service Operation phase with Lean Management). The word “kanban” comes from the japanese and can be translated with “signboard”, “card” or “billboard”. Kanban is a scheduling system and helps to implement the pull principle in a lean manufacturing system.

Complexity knows only one direction: Getting more complex

Complexity, in general usage, tends to be used to characterize something with many parts in intricate arrangement. Wikipedia Following this disambiguation, and assuming that “many” means N > 2, all systems with at least two or more components are complex. But that would be an exaggeration, right? Why is information technology complex? Most systems in information technology (IT) are complex. Almost everything we are working with, consists of two or more components, regardless if it is hardware or software.

Organize your work with Kanban

Everyone has their own technique to organize work. As you maybe know, I’m a big fan of Lean. And you know maybe also, that Lean is a philosophy based on the aspect to create value for customers and eliminate waste of resources in production processes. Taiichi Ōno, the father of the Toyota productionsystem, defined seven forms of waste. Womack and Jones developed Lean Production, which is based on TPS, and highlighted five principles to achieve a lean production.