more important then ever! -> credentials

44! This was the last result, when I counted my credentials, credentials for multiple different content… content on work (in the office) or content on web pages or other services.

We are nothing without credentials! Without credentials you cannot check your mails or check the news on twitter or facebook, you even cannot access you phone with entering credentials!

There is always a way to reset your credentials, in case you forget them once, but isn’t it a bit scary on how dependent we are on these credentials?! Today you are even able to buy something only by entering credentials… well, things like this should always be secured by multifactor authentication…

In the past, we had huge keychains with different sorts of keys, now we have credentials store on our smartphone or we have electronical keys on our smartphones…

So, we are already in the middle of Digital transformation, a few weeks ago, I decided to buy a smart lock for locking my cellar, instead of locking it with a traditional key based lock… or a another example: it is quiet normal today to buy tickets online (for the cinema or something like that)…. So instead of showing ip with a printed ticket, we just show the content of our electric wallet

In these days, it is more important than ever to secure our credentials, so why didn’t I invent a smart credentials store tool one or two years ago?! 😉

Bimodal IT

Bimodal IT

Rock solid and high available vs. fast and agile

IT is the main business enabler! Without the IT, the business is almost unable to fulfil their business, which means they will not earn money, so from the business perspective IT has to be available all of the time, but the cost of the IT services need to be lower as the outcome of the business… so every single IT service provider need to justify their efforts to run their Services. To being able to run a Service in High availability the service provider needs to properly design these services and they need a certain Infrastructure and well-designed processes to run these IT services… A highly available IT-Services reaches easily hundreds or thousands of assets which need to interact with each other. To successfully maintain such a big infrastructure you need some policys and processes, for example an Change Management or an Asset and Configuration Management… these additional “circumstances” around your IT service leads to the fact, that changes cannot be applied in a fast way… everything has to run through the official processes and so on, but this is absolutely necessary to secure a high available IT service, unplanned changes easaliy lead into a downtime of a service, so that is the reason why the customers need to accept these processes around the IT services.

Some on the one hand side, the business cannot fulfil their business without the IT, on the other hand, the business doesn’t like these processes, policies and procedures around the IT services, because they slow down the IT in total. The business demands a fast-acting agile IT, who can ract to the needs of the business in a nutshell.

The bimodale IT is one approach to address this problem.

The bimodale IT introduces 2 “modes” of running your IT Services or IT Infrastructure:

1.       Mode 1: stable / rock solid / high available / Traditional Mode
2.       Mode 2: fast / agile / experimental / improved Mode / next Gen IT

So to compare this with a real world example, mode 1 is your heavy cruiser, with the huge machines and the huge amount of horse power and the luxury cabins to host all of your “passengers”…

Mode 2 is your light speedy landing boat, which is only there to perform a small specific task, for example transporting your “passengers” to an island, meanwhile the heavy cruiser is waiting 10 km away from the island… It is almost impossible to land on that islands with this heavy crusier ship, but these light speedy landing boats can easily reach the island and drop off your “passengers” in a fast and easy way…. But on the other hand these speedy landing boats are way to small to carry all of the passengers of the big cruiser.

Having two kind of different acting IT modes introduces new possibilities for the Business. Especially a Cloud IT Infrastructure offers the possebility to introduce a Mode 2 IT.

Workplace 4.0

I am sure, you already heard this new “term” Workplace 4.0

This is nothing more than a new “fashion word” for the fact, that we must start rethinking!

Nothing is so constant as the “Change” and we must align this change with the way we are working… but from all kind of perspectives.

On the way:

          Where we work (in terms of in the office or at home)

          How we work (in terms of ressources)

          How we do our daily work (in terms of: Should me automate this process instead of using this paper based form?!) People working in the Government should be familiar with this question… 🙂

 

So from my perspective, these “term” should have the Name “rethink!” instead of “Workplace 4.0”…

Within the IT-Business, I already work more in different project assignments as in traditional assignments via the “Organigram” (With “Organigram” I mean the visual documentation of the structure of the company…). So this is already the first point where I (as an employee) have to rethink, when I am assigned to a project, not my boss from the Organigram is leading me. No, the leader within this project is leading or steering me…

And also “Clocks” (in terms of working hours) and working on fixed times during the day or the week is from yesterday. In my eyes, it doesn’t count anymore, if I am in the office from 8 o’clock in the morning until 4 o’clock in the afternoon. The Result counts, if I achieve the agreed goals… If I achieve these goals by working during night time or if I achieve these goals when working completely in the office, it really doesn’t matter! If you achieve the goals, then everything is fine!

Well off course this way cannot get applied to all areas, without a bus driver, you cannot drive a bus for example… Let me give you a another example: I absolutely like enjoying a coffee in a nice café… It is already quiet normal to meet people in their with their tablets and huge earphones on their head… like me, I am currently enjoying my coffee too and I am working on this post! And I am not Jokeing! Well, but I don’t have one of these fancy earphones… 🙂  But it is the truth! look:

And this leads me to the next topic, rethink on the way how we work… new technologies introduce new methods of working… automate processes, rethink things you do… rethink why you are doing specific things… I think this is the hardest change for the most of the people… because this requires a high level of self-organisation and it requires being familiar with changes… Some people don’t like changes especially older people… I don’t mean this in a bad way… but always following the same procedure creates comfort and self-assurance…  always editing this procedure means change, change is something we have to get used to…

 

My 10 golden Rules in Project Management

My 10 golden Rules in Project Management

During my work, I had to manage a lot of different projects and I also worked with a huge amount of Project managers. I also went through the the Prince2 Practioneer education and certification.

On one Day I started to create my personal golden Rules for Project Management.
These are my rules:

1.       Save the Humanity

If you loose you people you will loose you project… So always take care of your people!
effectiveness and being productive is good, but humanity is more important!

2.       Personal Communication is first choice

If you have to communicate something, always communicate it in direct personal way, avoid E-Mails, if possible… if personal eye-to-eye communication is not possible, then use a phone an communicate it… E-Mails should always be last choice!

3.       Never underestimate the power of stakeholders

stakeholders can make you fail and they can also make you win, so always be aware of stakeholders. Create a list of your stakeholders and group them and investigate their intention

… “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus, and the right people in the right seats.” 🙂

4.       SMART GOALS

There is nothing worse then, shooting on a target that will constantly move… You will never hit it! You have to set specific Goals, these goals need to be documented, the need to be measurable, they need to be achievable (don’t set your goals to high!), they need to be relevant and they need to be timetable.
Non specific Goals are the number one reason for failing projects in my eyes!

5.       Reporting means Freedom

If you are stuck in your project or if you experience problems or issues in you project, be aware of the effort you invest to solve them by your own… small problems can bring the whole project to fall… So, Report your issues to your steering committee… You don’t have to carry this project on your own, the whole steering committee has to carry it, and they have to support you!

6.       State of the Art: Project Marketing

Project marketing, curse or blessing?! In German, we say: Do something that is good and then speak about that and communicate it… but the problem is, that you have different kind of receivers of information’s, if you involve people in your activities, they could get bored from your information’s or they even can get envious… (like: wtf?! Who the hell are you, with your important project… J… mr big business and so an yah yah!) or they could also just ignore you, like: I could not care less about your f**** project… just go and die! 🙂
So, this is one more good reason for a register of stakeholders!
There is no golden rule for project marketing… Project Marketing should be align with your stakeholder register…If your project marketing is too less, no one noticed the project and if you are doing too much project marketing the people will get bored or even annoyed…

So in terms of making your project a success:
… “Get the right people on the bus, the wrong people off the bus” 🙂
Sounds hard, but basically it is important…

7.       Who is your audience?!

Always be aware of your audience! This again requires a register of all your stakeholders!
Highly aware of the set of information’s you give to your current audience… not only the content of you information’s need to be compatible to your audience also the way on how you deliver them (small example: being technical with a technician and being high-level with someone from the Business or Management)

8.       Stick to the roles

Well, in times of “agile” the organisational structure is not important… But you need to be aware of the different roles in your project structure… a project is a product of teamwork, you cannot fulfil every single role on your own… steering yourself for example you cannot be part of the steering committee and also being the project manager…
Don’t hesitate to speak about it, if someone is not fulfilling his role or the responsibilities of his role… well, speak about it humanly! Don’t blame him in front of the a big audience! 🙂

9.       What is your Main goal?! Adjust your aiming for it…

Never lose your eyes of your smart Goals! Adjust your course on a regular base, don’t spent too much efforts on things you really like!  Apply the Pareto principle, too much perfection on small things can result in loosing too much time on small details, which in total will lead into a huge delay on achieving the main goal…

10.   Avoid different levels of Information to all levels

Again stakeholder register! A different level of specific information’s on stakeholders can lead into a huge confusion on your stakeholders… well, sometimes you have to be careful with information’s… because you definitely have to deal with some information’s, which should not get to some people… But there will also be information’s which are relevant for every single person or stakeholder, sometimes you need some kind of information grid… (a mix of a stakeholder register and a register of information’s)

Value of a IT-Service

What is a IT-Service?!

Within the last 5 years, I finally learned to understand what a IT-Service really is!

This post should give you an idea, which kind of real value a IT-Service can provide!

I am sure that the most of the IT-Professionals within IT Service company’s didn’t fully understand what a IT-Service is! And that is normal, because almost no one ever explains this to them! so the most IT-Professionals are caught in the technical daily business view… No one every provides them with a High-level overview…

Let me give you an example to explain, what a IT-Service really means:

The best example for this case is the company DHL..

DHL is a global player in Logistics and they are specialized in delivering packages or mail.

So, the typical customers of DHL are the senders and the receivers of packages or mail. So basically, a customer asks DHL to deliver a specific package from destination “A” to destination “B” (the receiver). Sounds easy so far… well for DHL this is a lot more detailed process and they must perform a lot of different tasks to fulfill this service, but from my perspective DHL is good in optimizing these internal processes and their main business enabler is their IT! Now you start to ask: why?!

Let’s do a little time travel, to explain this:

20 years ago, DHL was not there yet, but the Deutsche Post was in place already… and there were mail offices all around Germany, and the Deutsche Post had a huge number of employees who worked in the local post offices or as delivers and so on…

So basically, a customer always needed to go into one of these mail offices to send a package from “A” to “B”… it was not possible to send a package without placing the request within a local mail office… these mail offices were usually opened from 09:00 am in the morning until 04:00 pm in the evening… and that is the first limitation in this whole DHL Package delivering Service (from the customer perspective) … I (as a customer) was only able to send a package if I could make my way into these mail offices within these usually opening hours…

But then there was a second limitation:

If I (the sender) would send a package to someone else, and he (the receiver)… is not at home when the DHL delivery employee tried to deliver the package to his address, the package could not get delivered… well, they soon started to redirect these packages to mail offices, so that the receiver were able to pick up his package from the mail offices, but then again… the receiver was only able to pick up his package within these usually opening hours of the mail office…

And this is exactly the point where the IT-Service kicks in! Because:

DHL introduced DHL automated Package stations (DHL Packetstationen in german) and they introduced the ability to place orders via the internet… so from that moment on the customers were able to place orders from their living room, by simply printing a small sheet of paper and glue it on the package itself… and then with these automated package stations the customers were able to send or receive packages whenever they wanted… this Service was not limited anymore to the opening hours of these mail offices…

And this is the best example of a valuable IT-Service! Only with these IT-Services DHL was able to extend their business and save money at the same time, well, off course they at first hat to invest into their IT to establish these IT-Services… But now their Packages Delivering Services is established and well used by customers..

So, the IT-Service is the real business enabler in this case.

Pareto principle – curse or blessing?!

The “problem” with the Pareto Principle

Within the last few years, I learned to love the Pareto principle…

The Pareto principle says, that you can achieve 80% of your overall goal investing 20% of the overall efforts! The achievement of the 100% result of your overall goal would cost 80% of the overall effort!

paretoSo, in the end this means, that everyone of us should get rid of perfectionism!

Because perfectionism leads into investing too much efforts into the product itself instead of getting the product finished. Basically, this is a smart idea, and following this principle helped me a lot to feel better in projects or during my daily work. But what I see more and more, that people are taking this principle as an excuse when they fuck up their projects… J And I am not joking now!

I am honest in this case, I have seen this many times now, and I am sick of this!

30% or 40% are not 80%!!!
So stop bullshitting about “Pareto” and start steering your project!and focus on achieving the 80%!!! grrr

The number one requirement of beeing able to adopt this principle is the ability of keeping the overall overview of your project and having a clearly measurable Goal which needs to get achieved, so you need to know the minimum set of features which need to be in place to say, yes! We achieved 80%. Yo need SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) Goals!

What does “devops” mean?

What is DevOps?

 The word Devops is a combination of the words “development” and “operation”. The real meaning behind these words are the „phases“ within a service, product or software development…

Let’s take the case „Software development“ as an example to explain “Devops”.

Normally a software development of a IT-Service provider has to run through these phases:

1.       Development
2.       Test
3.       Acceptance
4.       Production (daily operation)

So, if a company wants to achieve maximum amount of quality of his product (the developed software in this case), they need to walk this way and establish these phases.

But, like I already mentioned in that post: (http://www.svenheide.de/2016/04/16/agile-product-development/)  Quality is expensive! And today the customers are simply not willing to pay this higher price for quality anymore… Everything has to be cheaper!

This is exactly where “Devops” kicks in… Basically the main goal of “Devops” is to reduce the time-to-market time of a development… “Devops” addresses the reduction of the amount of efforts that the phases in the middle (phase 2+3) to a minimum…

Additionally “Devops” addresses a new way of cooperation between the team who develops (Development team) the application and the team who actually releases or runs the application on the future production environment (Operations team).

So “Devops” also requires a new way of thinking of different teams or departments IT-Service providers, many IT-Service providers experienced these “internal fights” between the their software developers and their people who actually run the production environment (the employees who are actually responsible for rolling out the new software releases and run  it high available and with the highest amount of quality as possible).

These “internal fights” resulted into a reduction of the overall service delivering to the end customer… because in the end, he is the primary user of the new software product or the new service, and only because of this fact, that internal teams within the IT-Service providers were collaborating in a bad way, their service is not available so the customer cannot run their main business…. that is a double fail then…

“devops” is an approach to avoid this case. And this is the reason, why so many people from the ITIL IT-Service Management fraction love “devops”, because “devops” and ITIL v3 are basically aiming for same target:

Serving the Business, so that…the “Business” gets enabled to achieve their Goals!

nothing more nothing less!

The following picture got inspired by Pit (aka known as Frank-Peter Schultze (http://www.fpschultze.de/), he explained this once to me with as heart in the picture… 😉

 

devops

Balance

A few weeks ago, I spoke about agile product development… (http://www.svenheide.de/2016/04/16/agile-product-development/)

Basically this is a smart „thing“… but what I see more and more within our daily business, is that the huge amount of pressure on companies to more and more reducing the time-to-market for product releases like hardware devices or software products… and that is the reason, why I came to the following conclusion:

…too much pressure on reducing the time-to-market time, destroys quality!

…on the other hand, investing too much effort into developing and testing (over and over again), the development costs will explode and in the end you have a premium quality product but you are unable to sell it or no one wants to buy it, because there are several other products like yours…

So, there has to be a healthy balance between development time and effort and the release date of a product… this is like basic business management… the invested effort should not exceed the expected return or result.

effort

IT-Service Management Barcamp in Munich

This year in March, i was able to attend my first Barcamp in Hamburg… The topic was: IT-Service Management (http://sm-camp.org) and it was organized by Robert Sieber (http://different-thinking.de/blog/).

To learn more about Barcamps check this: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barcamp

Basically it’s a self-organized conference of people who want to share experiences or their thoughts with others to that specific topic. In my eyes it is a perfect way to discuss a specific approach on which you are working on… this Barcamp is ideal to receive feedback from others. So I learned to love Barcamps… in October Robert already organized the third ITSM-Barcamp, this time in Munich in the LMU Munich (https://www.uni-muenchen.de/index.html) on the 14th + 15th of October.

So on Friday (14th of October) we were 30 participants in total from many small, mid-sized or big-sized companies.

Every morning the possible topics for a sessions will be collected and then the interesting sessions will receive a time and a room slot… in Munich we hat 3 rooms so, we were able to create 12 possible sessions…

Here is the result of the session planning for day one:

sm-camp-oktober1

Everyone is able to raise a topic for the camp, so if there will be people who are interested into that topic, it will get a session assigned.

For example, I wanted to discuss my “architectures of service company’s topics, which I posted here: http://www.svenheide.de/2016/07/19/architectures/

The main question I had was: How do you deliver the big picture of your whole company to a newly introduced employes or is it necessary to do that?

My first approach was, to create the picture (in the post above) as a support tool to explain that whole architecture of a service company, I thought it is a good idea to explain it with this picture, but the majority of the other people were not happy with this pictures, because it will scare a new employee who has no experience of Service Management, someone who is deeply into Service Management will maybe get a better picture of his company, but only you are able to create some mapping examples within that picture and specific examples from real-life daily story’s from the company.

So most of the people prefered some small daily work stories to explain the big picture, and instead of using the architecture picture, someone suggested to use a other picture, basically it was the picture from this topic: http://www.svenheide.de/2016/06/24/processes-in-companys/. Well, this topic was about explaining “processes” to employees which is basically the same, because without every small process within a company, the whole company in total cannot fulfill their business…

So, that is what I like about Barcamps… Yo received a valid view and feedback to your approach…this has a very high value in my eyes… In the end a session it looks like this: Someone is the session host, and the others are part of the session everyone can add content

sm-camp-oktober2

In total I was able to attend on 5 other sessions… The topics were:

-CMDB/CMS (Configuration Management Database or Configuration Management System),
-The reason behind Service Management or of the company in total…,
-What should “IT” cost?!
-ITIL is Dead – Lets discuss this
-FitSM (which is the little brother of ITIL… 🙂 ) (http://fitsm.itemo.org)

I really enjoyed to discussions and the exchange, sometimes these discussions were a little to much philosophizing, but on the other hand: philosophizing can be the beginning of innovation!

I also really enjoyed the evening program and the diner in the Augustiner Braustuben (http://www.braeustuben.de) in Munich!

So, if you are working in IT-Service Management, I really recommend you the next SM-Camp (http://sm-camp.org). Next time it will be in Dresden.

Cloud Infrastructure Hosting in a nutshell

The simple word „cloud“ is in everyone’s mouth within the business scene…

I don’t mean these private cloud features like we have it already for quite a while on tablet devices or mobile phone devices (sharing files across all devices) …

I mean the Cloud infrastructure services from big cloud hosting services like Amazon (Amazon Web Services) or Microsoft (Microsoft Azure).

More than 8 years ago some people (in my eyes very smart people… 😉 ) were already talking about this “rise of the cloud” and this will change the whole IT Business in total… and they were absolutely correct and every single IT-Service Provider needs to be aware of this change!

But what is this Cloud Infrastructure Service?

The basic idea behind the cloud infrastructure service is to create a simple service that enables customers to access IT resources in an easy and cost effective way.

Let me explain it with a small example:

There is a company which is really good in creating ideas and creating products out of these ideas which they will sell to customers. But like every company, they have a limited amount of resources or budget available to run their business…

This company will at least have the following tasks or you can also say “departments” 1. Ideas Development, 2. Product Development, 3. Product Manufacturing, 4. Sales, 5. Product Support 6. IT-Infrastructure, 7. IT-Infrastructure Support. The first 6 tasks are necessary to run the core business, that is actually the main reason for the existence of this company, but without IT it is almost impossible to run a business today, well, normally you also have task like basic administration like human ressources or something like that, but I will leave them out for this example to keep it simple.

So you can group these tasks to:

  1. Core Business tasks
  2. IT-Infrastructure tasks

And in traditional companies the amount of resource’s will be assigned like this:

cloud

So basically without IT, they cannot run their business, so they have to invest resources and budget into their IT-Infrastructure… things like: data centres, servers, software, licensing, managing and securing the IT-Infrastructure, so this will at least consume 40% of the whole resources of a company… well maybe it will take less effort if some of these tasks are already handle trough a service partner, but I will leave this scenario out for now, to keep it simple…

As soon as the business will grow, the requirements to the IT will also grow, which means the company needs to invest into their IT-Infrastructure… normally IT-Departments are struggling with these increased requirements and it takes them to long to serve this increase in time, the IT-Department needs to order the servers, they need to get installed in the data centers, the servers need to get installed in terms of software, the applications need to get configured, this takes time!

As soon as the IT-Department will have the servers up and running (3 months after the request of the business 😉 ) the company will experience that this was only a short peak within their business and the bigger requirements are gone since 2 months, but now the company already invested into their IT-Infrastructure… and what now?!

With a cloud infrastructure service this company could change their whole assignment of resources to this:

cloud2

There is no need for: data centres, servers, software, licensing, managing and securing the IT-Infrastructure and stuff like this. The company only needs a small amount of IT resources to build and run the cloud service infrastructure. More resources to focus on the core business… and the next advantage is flexibility… the amount of the IT-Infrastructure can easily get adjusted to the business needs I mean: immediate scalability! So from the Business perspective this “rise of the cloud” is a huge opportunity!
People who are working in IT-Business immediatly need to adopt this rise of the cloud, because traditional IT is yesterday…