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Patrick Bolger

Hornbill Staff
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Patrick Bolger last won the day on January 18 2018

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About Patrick Bolger

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  • Birthday 06/29/1966

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  1. @Claire Holtham If we're using ITIL as guidance, a customer wouldn't raise a release request. Typically they'd log a service request to ask for the software to be updated (this could of course also come from incidents, or a problem records if the update was being applied to fix something), and a change request would be raised off the back of this. Once the change request had been authorised (or it was a pre-authorised standard change), then the release request would be raised and the change associated with it. For something like a software update, you might have multiple associated incidents, problems and changes associated, which could all be closed if the release was deployed successfully. In essence, release requests are outputs from your change management process, and wouldn't be raised by customers.
  2. @yelyah.nodrog This Smart Guide is fairly old, but should be relevant - https://support-works.com/resources/smart-guide-the-truth-about-service-catalog/
  3. Folks, It looks like Thursday, July 25th is the favourite option so far. We're split fairly evenly between the two time slots of 15:00-17:00 and 17:00-19:00. I'll have a chat with the team and will get their thoughts before we make a final call on the time. Once we have, we'll let you know and by then, hopefully we'll have tempted few more people to join us.
  4. @Martyn Houghton We're also planning to do a quick phone call to customers based around London and the South-East, as it's possible that many people haven't even noticed this post. Hopefully, there's enough interest to make it worthwhile and get a good sample of the content that customers are most interested in.
  5. @Stephen.whittle The plan is to meet up in a pub in Marylebone for a couple of hours to discuss the content that our customers would find most useful. We chose Marylebone, as it's quite easy to get to. Have a look at the topic I listed above, as we've provided a few different dates/times and asked people to let us know which ones might work best for them. People could easily have missed the post, so we'll be contacting customers based in London and the South-East to make them aware of it. Hopefully, we'll get enough interest to make this worthwhile, as we're really keen to get this type of practitioner-focused content out to customers.
  6. We’ve had so many positive comments about our recent Hornbill Insights event; the venue, the presentation sessions, and the additional value that was delivered by running the event over two days. Your feedback is invaluable, and alongside all the positive comments, we received several suggestions on how we can improve things for INSIGHTS20. More time to network with Hornbill staff and other customers was a popular theme. It was suggested that we hold the roundtable sessions early on, so people can mix, get to know each other and learn more about how other customers use Hornbill to tackle specific challenges. The surgery sessions were clearly a bit hit, with many of you requesting a bit more one-to-one time with our Product Specialists. We would like to say a heartfelt Thanks to all the presenters for such engaging sessions, especially to our customers, @Marc Littlefair (BTG Plc) and Paul Neville (London Borough of Waltham Forest), who gave us such useful insights into how Hornbill is delivering increased value to their organizations. Like you, we would love to see more customers presenting next year, and if any of you want to share your stories, please let us know and we will be more than happy to help. Huge congratulations to all of our STARS awards nominees and winners. You are setting a high standard for service management professionalism, and we hope to follow up with each of you, to share the secrets of your success with the wider Hornbill Community. A special thanks to our sponsors and partners, who not only supported the event, but also offered discounts on their products and services to Hornbill customers: · The Service Desk Institute (SDI) – get 10% off any training SDI training course by quoting SITS10 at check out · itSMF UK – get £100 off a 2-day ticket to the itSMF UK Conference (Nov 18-19) by calling 0118 918 6500 and quoting Hornbill INSIGHTS19 · ITSM Training Zone - get 20% off any foundation course using the voucher code hornbill19 We are incredibly fortunate to have such an active, innovative, and engaged community. INSIGHTS is your event and we are delighted that so many of you could take time out of your busy schedules to attend. We have taken your suggestions on board, and we look forward to a bigger and better event next year at INSIGHTS20.
  7. @Stephen.whittle Can you make it to the proposed Customer Roundtable event we suggested here?
  8. Folks, I’m keen to get your thoughts on the types of practitioner-focused content that you would like to see us producing. We can easily create content that we ‘think’ would be useful, but it would be far better to get your input first, so that we can prioritise the stuff that would be most useful to you as practitioners. I thought that the best way to kick this off was to have an informal chat, over drinks and snacks in a pub, so we posted a few dates in July to gauge interest. The post has only been up for one day, but at the time of writing, we have only had one person who responded. Now, perhaps this is because you can’t take time away from work, especially so soon after Insights. However, we have provided some evening timeslots, which shouldn’t impact your working day. It could be a timing issue, as it’s holiday season, or it could be that you’d simply prefer us to just churn out content that ‘might’ be useful. Perhaps the format is wrong, and instead of a physical meet up, we should just canvass the entire community online. Personally, I think it would be better to have some free-flowing dialogue first, then armed with the output of our meeting, go back to the community with a list of proposed content and ask whether there’s anything else that people would like to add. If I’ve got this wrong, and people don't want (or are unable) to meet for a couple of hours this month, please let me know and we can happily try a different route.
  9. @Stephen.whittle I was planning to post a new topic about getting a group of Hornbill customers together to discuss which content they'd like to see most. We've both created and curated content around ITIL in the past, however the challenge is to provide material that's truly practitioner focused. Watch this space for an excellent webinar, which we recorded recently with @Darren Rose on how to get the balance right between managing projects and hitting service level targets. Alongside doing a better job of sharing good practitioner content that we create/curate, I'd like to canvass our customers for the type of content they would find most useful. I'll organise a few dates and potential venues this month, so that we can kick this off and will post a new topic this week so people can join the discussion.
  10. Love me Tender Although Elvis Presley and Vera Matson were given the credit, the principal writer of “Love me tender” was Ken Darby. At the time, Elvis’ publishing deal demanded that writers concede 50% of the credit for the song if they wanted Presley to record it. When asked why he credited his wife, Vera Matson as the co-writer, Darby responded… “because she didn’t write it either.” This blog was inspired by a post from James Gander on the Back2ITSM Facebook group. James’ original post was making a different point; that vendors sometimes don’t make it easy for people to invite them to bid in a selection process. The post took on a life of its own, with some insightful comments explaining that tender documents are often poorly constructed. My (rather long) comment in response to this post on Back2 ITSM is copied below … Over the last twenty years, I have personally seen hundreds of PQQ’s, RFI’s and RFP’s. On at least a dozen occasions, I’ve seen the same tender document from different organizations, where the name has been changed, but the content is the same. On the one hand, it’s a relief to know that the response won’t be hard work, but on the other, there’s a sense of real disappointment, because vendors want to understand the challenges that organizations are facing and whether our solutions can make a difference. If that information is missing from the tender, vendors must go through the motions and reply to the tender, in the hope that we can tease out the information we need, should we get through to the next phase in the selection process. Responding to tenders is resource-intensive, time-consuming and expensive exercise, so if the tender looks like it’s been written with a specific vendor in mind (which happens frequently), it may make commercial sense to withdraw early. Although few vendors will complain about the quantity of RFP’s they receive, they will justifiably moan about the quality. In my experience, the most common mistake is that most tender documents focus extensively on ITIL® process adoption. They describe the IT infrastructure, the support organization structure, and page after page of process requirements. However, they fail to explain the challenges the IT organization is facing, or the outcomes that are needed to deliver value to their customers. Vendors want to sell you software, but it’s not just about making the sale, because bad business is expensive. If the RFP has not helped the vendor to understand real challenges, they will struggle to deliver, the customer won’t be happy, and the vendors reputation suffers. If the vendor can identify, early on, that they can’t provide a good match for your requirements, they will walk away. A well-crafted tender document allows both parties to recognize this, and part company, before everyone wastes time and money. Occasionally, a tender document sticks out like a sore thumb, because it fully describes the current state of service management within the organization, provides real clarity about the business challenges that need to be addressed, and describes the desired outcomes from implementing a new tool. They reek of a service management team that understands their customers and the improvements that must be made to deliver value to them. These tender documents are as rare, but when you find them, they're a pleasure to respond to. I feel a blog coming on… ITIL® all end in tears Although tools vary in the ways they deliver functionality to support ITIL® I would go as far as to say that modern ITSM tools deliver more ITIL® capabilities that the average IT organization will deploy in a lifetime. Buying for the future is not a sensible justification for specifying the need to support 15 ITIL® processes if your organization is struggling to cope with 5. A tool will not change the culture of your organization, and unless you set realistic expectations about what can be achieved, within a sensible timeframe, you will end up with a tool that is overly-complex, expensive to maintain, and with lots of functionality that never gets used. A tools ability to support ITIL®, or any other framework, provides no guarantee that it will improve service quality or deliver value to customers. In fact, it frequently has the opposite effect. Too much emphasis on IT process adoption draws attention away from the customer experience and the issues that have an impact on the business. This isn’t good for the service management organization, its customers, or for the vendor. Some time ago I wrote a Smart Insight Guide “Essential considerations before selecting your next service desk tool” which delves into this topic in more detail. It has been downloaded more times than any other Smart Guide on our website, so hopefully the message will eventually get through. Sadly though, we still see far too many IT organizations determining their shortlists based on where a vendor dot appears on a Magic Quadrant. Put the effort in up front Regardless of the sources you use to do your research, or which vendors make your shortlist, there is no better way to mitigate risk than by trialling the tool in your environment, with your data and processes. This approach works because the IT organization gets to use the tool - for real - while developing an understanding of what the vendor will be like as a partner. It works for the vendor too, as requirements become crystal clear (in a way that cannot be specified within a tender document) when the tool is being trialled. I could write volumes about the issues with tenders and RFP’s as procurement tools, but the IT Skeptic, Rob England (inspired by the same post on the Back2ITSM Facebook group) has saved me the trouble, by capturing the main issues on his blog. Rob says, “RFPs are easy to mock as a procurement tool. They are an inefficient and ineffective way to buy anything.” As I explained above, well-crafted tenders are a pleasure to respond to, but they’re rare. Crafting such a document takes significant work, but if your procurement rules demand a formal selection process, it’s worth the effort. If you use a tender template created by someone else, you will fail to communicate the challenges you need to solve and will end up choosing a tool based on features. When the new tool is implemented, the initial focus on service improvement will make things better, but only for a short time. Once the tool has bedded in, the focus on improvement usually stops. Mediocrity takes over, the tool gets blamed and the whole cycle is repeated, without any attention paid to the lessons learned from the previous experience. Consider the advice in the Smart Guide, put the effort in up front, and trial the tool. It’s the best way to ensure that you’ll get a tool that’s right for your organization, and a vendor that you’ll be happy with as a partner. If you’d like to share your (good or bad) experiences of tendering processes and tool selection, please use the comments section below.      
  11. Thanks @Darren Rose - Hopefully we can get a few more takers and I will look to get this off the ground.
  12. I was thinking about starting a monthly podcast to discuss Service Management topics. I think it would be great for the Hornbill Community to hear your views on industry news, emerging technologies, new practices and the challenges of Service Management and how they can be addressed. I've participated in a number of podcasts in the past, but they're usually hosted by vendors, industry analysts , or consultants. I think there's a real need to hear from practitioners and get their thoughts about our industry. We have a wealth of knowledge and experience within the Hornbill Community and we'd all benefit by sharing it. At this stage, I'd like to see whether any of you might be willing to get involved, either as a regular host, or just appearing as a guest. It would probably take no more than 45-60 mins of your time. If there's sufficient interest, I'll start thinking about the logistics of putting this together. If you're up for being a host, or a guest, please let me know, and if there's enough interest I'll put a rough framework together to kick things off.
  13. Sorry to hear about the accident @Josh Bridgens and glad you're OK. It sounds to me like you're doing all the right things by focusing on outcome and the business value of what you are doing. You might be too busy to post for a while, but shout if you need help.
  14. I've spoken to one customer that's up for entering for the SDI awards in 2019, but had no response from others in the Hornbill Community. The submission deadline is Oct 19th, which will be here before we know it. If any of you up for entering, please let me know ASAP, as I'll do much of the legwork to help you with your entry. Whether you win or not, I promise it'll create a buzz and do wonders for the morale of your teams. The awards brochure is here - https://www.servicedeskinstitute.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/IT-Service-Support-Awards-2019-How-To-Enter-Brochure.pdf and if you have any questions about the process, please send them my way.
  15. @Josh Bridgens I'd suggest you pick just one thing that you can do to "make the life of the IT department easier" and have a crack at that. If you haven't got the time to fit this in alongside your day job, do it at home. Before you start working on that "one thing", I suggest you validate the usefulness of solving that problem with your colleagues/managers. If you can make a significant problem go away, you've created a business case to give you the capacity to take on the next problem, but this time, during working hours. If you can attach a notional cost to the problem, then you can show the ROI too. I'd also suggest that you document the challenge, the cost of not addressing it and the solution you ideally want to deliver. If you need help calculating costs, speak with one of your colleagues in Finance/Accounts and ask them to help. Once you've selected the problem you want to tackle, I'm happy to help you flesh this out and give you some guidance on how you might put a case together to resolve it. I hope that helps.
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