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Monday
Aug062012

Common is the new Black, Working with Global Processes - Practitioner Radio Episode 30

Troy’s Thunder Bolt Tip of The Day:

Troy’s Thunderbolt Tip: Remember that that a Common Process can be defined at different levels of commonality. It is important to make a decision based on value cost and risk just how common you need your processes to be.

Show Notes:

  • Global Processes
  • Viewer Mail and Feedback
  • Where do you see SHOW NOTES? Troy’s Blog or Chris’ Blog
  • Common Definition of Terms, What’s Common?
  • COMMON PHOTO SEE ABOVE
  • Standard vs. Core Plus vs.
  • Regional Tool 1 vs Regional Tool 2
  • What’s easier to manage a completely common process or a core plus?
  • Change Management CORE ….but PLUS regional differences.
  • Repeatable processes show the most process when customer facing?
  • The THREE ITIL Customer Facing Process in ITIL:   Service Desk, Request Provisioning, & Strategic Intact (Demand Intake)
  • Shares Services, YOU HAVE to have common processes
  • It’s easier to make common processes that don’t involve humans
  • Is Cloud really the savior we think it is….I THINK NOT…it’s much more dangerous. 
  • ITSM tool philosophies, HAVE NO GUARD RAILS
  • Sun Tzu Toyota - You can copy someone’s process, you can't copy someone's culture
  • It’s not American to be “common”
  • McDonalds is “Core Plus”

 

Listen below or download the MP3 HERE!  / iTunes / PinkAPP for BlackBerry, iPhone and Android

 

 

 

     

TRANSCRIPTION:

 

Welcome to another edition of Practitioner Radio. Pink Elephants  podcast for the IT management community. Welcome to Practitioner Radio: Pink Elephants Podcast. IT service management, IT management, just the IT community, everybody. It's even good for people not in IT. We've got a couple of HR folks out there. 
Hey, this is Chris Kensy (sp?) episode 30. Troy, 30. 30, can you believe it? Wow. 30, 30, that is 15 hours of practitioner radio. Well, some times it feels like 15 hours, and sometimes a [xx] just a few minutes minutes ago so. So, this wee on the This is 30 minutes in ITSM audio.
We've got global processes; we're gonna talk about that.
We've been inundated -different parts of the globe you were in Asia and I was, I don't know where I was. And we got some actual mail. So real quick, for me I met somebody who is a big fan of yours, Troy. His name is Russell. He works at a company called Manta. I was out speaking in he says, "I listen to you guys all the time; even my family listens to you." I feel sorry for them. 
But, big hello to Russell.
We're home entertainment now Do you believe it? Actually I can, I see what's on television. Come on. What families say. Hey Russell, how are you doing? And then You were just in Asia and then you got a couple of pieces of fan mail while you were there, you wanna talk about those? Well yeah, one was about, there was a question about key performance indicators and critical success factors and I said we could address it briefly in the next show, though that's not the topic for today. 
And another one was that, hey! We're on iTunes, right? So, one of the things you and I have forgotten to do, if we keep talking about our shows and our show notes, and it's in the show notes, but we never tell them where it is, where are the show notes. Because we always assume they actually get there from one of our two blogs, either your blog or my blog.
Yes.
And that's of course where the show notes are. But if you're on iTunes and you've subscribed to Practitioner Radio, we've never actually said that.
No.
So shame on us.
We're in IT. We don't communicate.
So if anyone's looking for the show notes servicesphere.com or pinkelephant.com and look for the blogs. The big red button that says don't panic, that's my hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy blog and you can get from there.
Yeah, so if you want to go back because I actually had a request I didn't mention yet on air, just because I was actually to the point where I get too many requests about Practitioner Radio. All of the show notes are available in a couple of different places. So you can go to Vimeo, V-I-M-E-O. You can find them there if you just search for Practitioner Radio. 
If you go to Sound Cloud all the show notes are always there, just search for Practitioner Radio by [xx].com or Pink Elephant and the blog for Troy, the show notes are there. And just recently some people have noticed, thank you For those of you sending me emails saying thank you. All of our shows are actually transcribed. 
So if you can't get an episode of Practitioner Radio... or you just don't have time to listen or you're on a plane disconnected, you can actually read the transcriptions. So I know I post the transcription on Sound Cloud and on my blog. I don't know, Troy what's going on, but there's lots of places. 
So thank you for the feedback. Thank you for letting us know that not everyone knows where these things are. It's important that people know how to get to them. As far as the KPI question, Troy, we'll keep that for next week and try to address that. Because that;s SLA's [xx] yes, critical success factors and how do they all work together. 
That might be up, that's the next show.
Well, there ya go.
So, a big thank you to Mark from The phone for defining episode 31. So, your definition on common, I doubt is the same as mine. 
You know, this is the thing about having a common language and some people say that's the best element of having a framework- that we can actually have a common definition of terms. This actually became very interesting because I had if that's true with all and this is a global organization and they wanted to talk about deploying global processes and I said, OK, that's cool, a challenge, but cool what do you mean by the word "common"? 
And I proceeded to give them four different definitions of what common can mean. Well, actually three. There's a fourth which, you know, you can't ignore either. So when you think about common, and we're going to put some discussions or a picture about how this might be received in the show notes but first of all there's the not common- do your own thing, everybody basically does their own process the way they want to do it. 
But then there's another concept that people talk about a lot which is, we're gonna create this center of excellence and what is a center of excellence? Well think about a small group of people who get together and they collect collateral, they collect documents, templates, and they create really kind of a repository of IP, knowledge documentation, and this might be an internal process engineering group, an ITSM group whatever. 
But what the idea here is that you have, this common resource pool of information, and if you're so inclined you can go and you can use that information, use that content, so at least there is a same gene or DNA pool where various parts of the organisation polls their stuff [xx] now that doesn't guarantee you a [xx], but at least it's the same family background, so you can trace your ancestry back to this center of excellence. 
feel uncontrolled because of unexcess of works, OK they kind of moving upon a continue a comment you have something called Core Plus, or Core and Additional. And I like to think of this as, okay, there's these base elements that we must all agree on. Right, so we all agree that the process flow has six steps not five. 
We have a common understanding of prioritizing. or, what a major change is versus a minor change; common goal and target for restoration SLA, so these are common things we have to have as core, but above and beyond that, by regional variance differentiation, you can have differences. So, there's core and the plus might be, for example, yes we have a chosen set of key performance indicators. 
A severity or priority one incident is defined this way and a goal is restoration within SLA target within 4 hours 80% of the time. Okay, that's a chosen KPI. everyone shares that one but you might have a half a dozen more metrics you want to record for your own personal basis you might decide your region's going to use one tool and another region another tool. 
That's possible. It's more expensive. What you've done there is determine that you're going to have both these tools kind of configured exactly the same way; but because you're using different technologies, you're going to have different procedures. 
So, Core plus gives you the sense of, you know, the base elements are core and common, but i can have variance above and beyond and then the other [xx] concept of common is really common, everything is standard, there is no deviation. Process rolls off the assembly line the same way every Every single time. 
Everything is equal, every thing is common across the entire scope of whatever you call your process of organization. one of the interesting things here is that you don't have to pick just one of these four levels, you really can process by process, have four .. different decisions- do your own thing, center of excellence, core plus, or standardize. 
So it's not just a statement, we're gonna have common and everything will be the same. That doesn't make any sense. It's not logical. Well it certainly seems easier to manage. Well, in a sense yes, but it's also more difficult to keep glued together just think about a process across multiple [xx] you got [xx] how do you keep that together its not impossible but it is definitely First Speaker: lot more work. 
So, you know, we think about things from a value cost and risk perspective. So in one organization, and this is specifically so for, lets call them engineering or architecture type processes.
Second Speaker: Mm-hmm.
First Speaker: What's the value of having a common engineering or architecture process across the US, Latin America, Australasia. You know, what's the value? It could be that you see that value, that you might decide, because that's a very tailored type of outcome, I want a unique solution You might choose to leave architecture processes at a very do-your-own-thing level; you might decide at availability capacity to leave those at a center of excellence; you give them some some base reports some templates for how to collect and aggregate capacity data and you might say OK, here is some guidance on a, let's say, I am thinking some examples here uh change management, concept. 
You know, we have to have these base core elements, but there are regional changes that might be able to be done regionally. so there is a slight variance of how you do regional or local change approvals verses changes that must go to the global change advisory board. But then if you are trying to hold together a common support organization, with a fall service desk, we had that conversation a couple of episodes ago. 
You need common prioritization, common support model, common queue system, common tool. Because you're literally gluing together this organization as one continuous support organization. So then those four examples you've made a choice based on value, cost and risk of having various levels of common. 
and we have a diagram that we'll put right in the show notes online so people can see this when it comes to these four types of process standardization. You took apart at a very fine level, because in my head I'm listening and picturing it. one level, center of excellence level for support. Change or lease having a core plus. 
And I think I can really get my hands around and the idea of regardless of where we are on the globe or [xx] from our support are almost assembly line like driven, because excellence and repeatable process I would think, I'm stretching Troy This is where Practitioner Radio gets dangerous. We'll probably be most important at the customer facing side, right? 
So the repeatable McDonald's experience. in fact that's the way we look at it and you think about it, its really only three customer facing processes and ideas in context. There is the service desk and the support which is what we just talked about. There's a request provisioning side of it, you know, front-ended by catalog or the service desk. 
And then there's strategic intake or demand And in tech we are looking for new customer requirements to understanding new markets new technical events you can take eventual of. Or else we he called it, "B-Y-O-D." 
Well, that's one way to go, yeah.
You know those are [xx] customer facings. You might want to standardize those.
But, a lot of the processes of the back-handing Especially when we get to, like,more of the design and strategy processes. Yeah. Those could have variances. Depending on, truly, your enterprise [xx]. strategy; or if you have one.
Very few organization actually have an enterprise strategy; they might have an enterprise infastructure strategy across the globe that doesn't mean they have an enterprise application strategy right, and that is a variance there as well concept of common actually has to be looked at in varying levels. 
It's not, I think, accurate or even logical to assume thing across that span of control can be, you know, assembly line like standardized. It doesn't make sense from a value cost to risk perspective. Some things do. I mean literally some things, the risk of not having a standard approach, especially when you're in a shared services organization and you're trying to support a common customer across that organisation, you've gotta have it all glued together, and that's not just the internal organisation, but if you're, and you probably are going to be integrating suppliers Right, in various regions. 
Each of those suppliers must now integrate into your common management system and frame of reference. They can't have their own base for severity or priority definition. They have to share yours. Because when you bring in family members into your value system, they literally have to adopt your family morals, values and ideals to become a family member. 
No, and we talked at great length about the importance of suppliers and making them part of your family. And I will put a link because that was a really good show. I wish we had that one transcribed. I guess it's not to late. A global infrastructure standardization seems to almost the common play some in some folks. 
Because they do, they look at their infrastructure, whether it's completely internal to buildings or data centers they own, or they they work for the supplier, but either way they've thought very carefully about the approach to the infrastructure, what's involved in the infrastructure and I think part of that's because people just have this illusion that the widgets, the hardware, the Almost to make a klacklebargle, or somehow he's more easily controlled? 
I don't know, but when you said that it really made me think that Why is it because we always do have an infrastructure team, but we don't really look at these other teams and they integrate. do they ever sit down and talk about common. Well actually one thing that's important to understand- it is easier to standardize the non-human element. 
right so we know what it means to do data center consolidation, desktop image standardization. Well, until the machines talk back. Yeah. Enterprise application standardization and more and more of our applications are becoming standardized; what was kind of custom, if you had collaboration or a CRM tool; now we're all using the same one so there's fewer and fewer applications which are actually unique to each business unit and/or each region. 
So there's this growth towards standardization, which is being fueled by Cloud. Mm. You know, because that's a key note there. Standardization is key. But let's take that apart for about standardization Cloud and because i am also witnessing watching a lot of news around Cloud. There are people, I know these guy be aware of Matt Baron. 
You know, he was talking to me on the phone the other day, and he develops on the Service Now platform, and he needed so he just wrote an application on the platform, and just started using it; and then when he [xx] somebody doing this, "Oh, I wrote something; i started using it ." 
So, while the infrastructure of the platform itself was common, he was taking pieces and creating new things that really didn't fit into any of the process. 
And begin to have deviation again, right? Here's something that's [xx] taking a side note, but this is very interesting. I was talking to Ray Garrett, one of my co-workers. Love Ray, by the way. Oh, yes, that's right you're in the same city. Yeah. And she and I were talking about the, kind of the difference between the new ITSM tool philosophy and the pre [xx] post generation and before, you had a tool which would have a process and that process was very rigidly designed into the tool, so there was lot of guidance [xx] force you into doing unless you chose to break the back of the tool and make it do whatever you did before. 
It was hard. Though to do that you had to make some pretty willful [xx]. The new generation of tool, and these are her words, not mine. This is a quote of Rae[sp?]. Have no guard rails.
Hmm. Right? They have, you know You're bowling and there is nothing in the gutter. Yeah. To keep the ball between the gutter. If there is a there is path but there is no guard rails. It will let you do any thing you choose to. It was actually easier in the new generation of platform as a service-type product to actually go anywhere you want to and this is where you do need to have the process and the human controls to make that sure people don't, when it's not required or not the ideal thing take off on their own path, some times it is in fine to be [xx] things sometimes it is not. 
Are your similar to the term anthrophy [sp?]. anthrophy [sp?] yes, any human system unless you coninue to add energy to actually fail. Yeah, so I was watching a special on television about how, it was on string theory so there. Laugh at me now. They were talking about on trivia and this idea of the error of time and how One of the ways we can measure time is the fact that things go from a state of consistency to a state of an inconsistancy. 
We can't measure, we percieve forward movement because we see things change.
It unravels, yes.
And it end up in my words, not the television show's, a hot mess. And it's funny because there are so - we're talking about common processes and your four levels here, whether they be standard or core plus, center of excellence or do your own thing. And at Subway's, you know, Tools have always gotten this, you know. 
Oh, this tool's better! You know, since it's newer and shinier, and everything else. Because it doesn't have the hangups of these other tools! But they just end up developing a different set of hang ups. In this case yes we have the ability to go much wider in our variance. Yeah. but in you know what nothing is ever static and that's a key point you made and new direction and improvement, every [xx] will basically die on the vine. 
Yeah. Right? You have to put it in the context of a continual service improvement or quality system approach. Because unless you do it doesn't remain relevant, it becomes static, it becomes old, it becomes useless and it dies. The entropy kills it. Yeah. even though it was theoretical physics I'm sitting in there watching that, thinking of Practitioner Radio, which is pretty Pretty crazy in itself. 
Made me think of Big Bang theory. No, No. Ah, Eldon, Sheldon, my friend. a guy named John Williasont [sp?] talking about devops, he mentioned Toyota and their processes he made a real interesting comment and I wanted to share it with you. But when they were interviewing, I can't pronounce the gentleman's name, but one of the Chairmans of Toyota, and they were allowing Americans to come in and see how they ran their plants and things. 
He says they can copy our processes all they want, they can't copy our culture. And discipline. And culture has a big deal to do with Whether who want common or not. Do you know its American to be common. Its not to say that [xx] common. Its not American to be common. or the same as. I think you're messing with my head because I'm American. 
What does that mean? It could be more of a western cultural thing. No, you're Canadian, for people who don't know Troy's Canadian which is what Americans pretend to be when they leave the country, what does that mean. Well I actually I am do that actually. Are you? Yes I am, But the reality is. There is a persona in the US, which values uniqueness above commonality. 
We don't want to be one of a large family context. We prefer to be unique. In fact it's almost non-American to be standard. Because there's this concept of kind of wild west, unique, on the cutting edge, entrepreneur, innovator. And you think, culturally in other parts of the world, that's, for lack of a better [xx] heresy I mean. 
Absolutely so the rights of individual outweigh the rights of the many in the U.S.. this is counter the spot conversation we've had before. But if you're in India, the rights of the many out weigh the rights of the few. Right? So when you're in the classic arranged marriage going to be arrange to be married to somebody, it's a family decision. 
Both families interview each other and the families decide whether the match is good. that would never fly in the US because the rights of the individual outweigh the rights of the many. In the US, the rights of the individual outweigh their rights. And this is probably true of Western culture in general. 
So there's this view of my rights are greater than the family culture I belong to. So, there's this move the individualism always. I want to be different and unique, stand out. Well, yeah, I couldn't get any more American. Except maybe if my B M I was made five points higher closer to ninety one, I'd be probably more American. 
But I. So ask yourself: does it appeal to you to basically follow the same path as other people? So, it comes back to our show about process standardization. You know, it's great. We've got these four levels of process standardization that we can apply to our different, you know, depends whether there be support or quest management, change, etc., but do we design or do we you know, you talked about continual service improvement. 
You know, at what point do we introduce a cultural aspect to these? And are these influenced by culture, or is culture or do we not even let that enter, I mean the process is the process. I mean obviously do your own thing. 
Well there is definitely a culture international application. Right. Because working on a global basis I've seen it many times. I've had the honor to be part of five different global initiatives. So one was a a major goods manufacturer which was based out of the UK had a major US operations, well, when you believe the friction between the two because the US will reject anything coming the UK was a tea party all over again, every single time any conversation [xx]. 
Ah, familiar. Right. Another major initiative was started in the US and had a European specifically UK side of it, and there was this belief that nothing good could come out of the colonies. So it was like that was a major issue. in Asia, especially in the Indian culture, you can provide that rights of the many take precedent over the rights of the few, so there's not a major issue for compliance there. 
Right. In Latin America, because they're never rushed to do anything, they'll certainly say yes, they agree but it's always manana. In fact manana, tomorrow, never comes. So absolutely, culture has a major implication on acceptance of comment. There's a much higher willingness to accept comment in a dramatic culture then in the U.S., for example. 
Because, I would think, in, you know in a design and build project, if you're really focusing on being agile and scrummy and trying to get something done, The idea of do your own thing might make a lot of sense unless you're in a culture where they don't want to do their own thing because it doesn't feel natural. 
or it's too much risk, or the cost of variance is too unwieldy. Because do your own thing comes with two outcomes. It has three outcomes. It has a high tailored outcome, a highly tailored outcome, and that's a positive for some people. I get a unique experience every time I come to this thing. okay now. 
But it also means you have a higher variance of activity, because every place you do this you'll find it done differently and because you have a higher variance from a [xx] prospective, you're going to have high risk and high cost The more times you duplicate something, the willingness you have to live with for high variance high cost high risk. 
So you have to balance the value of uniqueness against the variance cost risk component. What our challenge is in for IT culture is that we are more on the do it your own way kind of concept. Almost everything is in that category. So we have multiple change processes, multiple ticketing processes, multiple inventory processes and we duplicate and make redundancy almost a way of life, which has a high cost, high variance, high risk. 
So there's some balance, we have to kind of swing the needle back in some areas. This also applies to services, by the way. Right, because you have a common hosting service but you might have a very unique desktop service in different regions. Yeah, and a lot of services that I, you know, from a technology standpoint subscribe to, offer me in the process of signing up for them, wildly different options that I'm willing to pay for, which is one of these kind of panaceas that we dream of when it comes to IT. 
You know, having the ability to say "well I demand 24 by 7 even though the rest of the company doesn't have it."
When you were talking about this, I thought, I kind Should you almost as a human cultural process Geiger counter. Do you have a like listen and go "Okay, high variance, high cost and just like that's what you're thinking and then you listen to someone and go okay, standard and good, low cost, and repeatability, and consistency and, I mean, is that the way you think? 
I mean, you think in a way that I would love to learn how to think. 
Well, you've got to know the game you're in to play the game, right? So you've got to understand what are the expectations and the rules. So yeah, I mean, I help people understand what their decisions mean, that's primarily what I do. So, you know, this wonderful thing of uniqueness is great but you understand there's a cause and effect here. 
You can have uniqueness but this is what it means. high cost, high variance, high risk. And if the value of that outweighs the other three, wonderful! Stay the way you are. There's no reason to change. But if you can tolerate those three, and you look at it from the perspective, you've gotta make some changes, you have to come up with this continuum somehow to you earlier because you made me think of a non I T context, you're the one usually bringing these to my head, but this is a great kind of example of the core plus. 
McDonald Global McDonalds is Core Plus. Oh, yeah. Why do you think I say that? Oh, completely, because I can get my core food items, whether I'm in Brazil, France or Hong Kong. But what's really interesting is if you go to McDonald's in those places, they'll always have the [xx] which is the big mac but with a fish on top. 
Big mac with anchovies hmm, yum. Yeah. Well I don't know. I'm trying to think. I mean they just have the sandwiches, I'm like "Ah I wish they had that in America." But they always have my core stuff. It's because I feel safe. We've talked about me and when I was in Germany, just recently first thing I did was look for the McDonald's, right? 
I had to have something that made me feel safe. And to be honest it was french fries. Yeah, so they have this concept of core plus, right? As opposed to, you know, that gives you the variance, that kind of balance between standardized, which gives me better agencies better cost, but also better margins, because I can buy in volume. 
I can do things, and in a common way in bulk and build supplier models that allow me to optimize that. But I also had that variance as I need it. I mean, that's a really great example Troy have to put that on a slide deck because, you know, McDonald's Global is core plus. I mean, that is like the most perfect example. 
And maybe our listeners They are thinking about their process standardizations and how they look locally, may be we can not to borrow their concepts, I mean It definitely addresses the cultural issues we were talking about. Though people wanna feel like they have some basis of uniqueness right, that's the core human is that I want to be unique, I want to stand out, I don't want to be one of a crowd. 
Right. But can you find some middle ground where there's [xx] and that allows me [xx] above the [xx] of the unique variance versus its all just do it your own way everywhere because I can't bring anyone to agree that we should have common. Well, one place where Core Plus... I was just in the Midwest, and they have Tim Horton's there. 
for now, so you people successfully like driven your scurge through the border. For those of you who don't know, Tim Hortons is a coffee...how do you describe Tim Hortons to someone not from Canada?
It's Canadian culture. 
Yeah, it's Canadian culture like, yeah, literally. But I was sitting there and I went through the drive through and it was all the same stuff you had in Canada. And I was like, make it a little American, offer me a doughnut with triple glaze or something.
That 's standardized, that's a good example of standardized, but so is other coffee places, right?
Starbucks doesn't vary no matter where you go it's the same thing.
No, Starbucks is standardized, and they have the business model that allows them to do that and they optimized their profit and their margins because of it.
 All right, Center of Excellence, Core Plus Standard or do your own thing. I'm gonna do my own thing and say that it's time for Troy's Thunderbolt Tip of the Day. 
Okay, Chris, remember that a common process can be defined at many different levels of commonality. It's important to take a decision or make a decision based on the value cost of risk of just what has to be standardized and what could be core plus. Don't assume everythinguniversally the same level of consistency. 
Nice. Consistently quality, good stuff. Thank you, Troy DuMoulin. I'll see you in two weeks. Take care. life. 

Welcome to another edition of Practitioner Radio. Pink Elephants  podcast for the IT management community. Welcome to Practitioner Radio: Pink Elephants Podcast. IT service management, IT management, just the IT community, everybody. It's even good for people not in IT. We've got a couple of HR folks out there. 
Hey, this is Chris Kensy (sp?) episode 30. Troy, 30. 30, can you believe it? Wow. 30, 30, that is 15 hours of practitioner radio. Well, some times it feels like 15 hours, and sometimes a [xx] just a few minutes minutes ago so. So, this wee on the This is 30 minutes in ITSM audio.
We've got global processes; we're gonna talk about that.
We've been inundated -different parts of the globe you were in Asia and I was, I don't know where I was. And we got some actual mail. So real quick, for me I met somebody who is a big fan of yours, Troy. His name is Russell. He works at a company called Manta. I was out speaking in he says, "I listen to you guys all the time; even my family listens to you." I feel sorry for them. 
But, big hello to Russell.
We're home entertainment now Do you believe it? Actually I can, I see what's on television. Come on. What families say. Hey Russell, how are you doing? And then You were just in Asia and then you got a couple of pieces of fan mail while you were there, you wanna talk about those? Well yeah, one was about, there was a question about key performance indicators and critical success factors and I said we could address it briefly in the next show, though that's not the topic for today. 
And another one was that, hey! We're on iTunes, right? So, one of the things you and I have forgotten to do, if we keep talking about our shows and our show notes, and it's in the show notes, but we never tell them where it is, where are the show notes. Because we always assume they actually get there from one of our two blogs, either your blog or my blog.
Yes.
And that's of course where the show notes are. But if you're on iTunes and you've subscribed to Practitioner Radio, we've never actually said that.
No.
So shame on us.
We're in IT. We don't communicate.
So if anyone's looking for the show notes servicesphere.com or pinkelephant.com and look for the blogs. The big red button that says don't panic, that's my hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy blog and you can get from there.
Yeah, so if you want to go back because I actually had a request I didn't mention yet on air, just because I was actually to the point where I get too many requests about Practitioner Radio. All of the show notes are available in a couple of different places. So you can go to Vimeo, V-I-M-E-O. You can find them there if you just search for Practitioner Radio. 
If you go to Sound Cloud all the show notes are always there, just search for Practitioner Radio by [xx].com or Pink Elephant and the blog for Troy, the show notes are there. And just recently some people have noticed, thank you For those of you sending me emails saying thank you. All of our shows are actually transcribed. 
So if you can't get an episode of Practitioner Radio... or you just don't have time to listen or you're on a plane disconnected, you can actually read the transcriptions. So I know I post the transcription on Sound Cloud and on my blog. I don't know, Troy what's going on, but there's lots of places. 
So thank you for the feedback. Thank you for letting us know that not everyone knows where these things are. It's important that people know how to get to them. As far as the KPI question, Troy, we'll keep that for next week and try to address that. Because that;s SLA's [xx] yes, critical success factors and how do they all work together. 
That might be up, that's the next show.
Well, there ya go.
So, a big thank you to Mark from The phone for defining episode 31. So, your definition on common, I doubt is the same as mine. 
You know, this is the thing about having a common language and some people say that's the best element of having a framework- that we can actually have a common definition of terms. This actually became very interesting because I had if that's true with all and this is a global organization and they wanted to talk about deploying global processes and I said, OK, that's cool, a challenge, but cool what do you mean by the word "common"? 
And I proceeded to give them four different definitions of what common can mean. Well, actually three. There's a fourth which, you know, you can't ignore either. So when you think about common, and we're going to put some discussions or a picture about how this might be received in the show notes but first of all there's the not common- do your own thing, everybody basically does their own process the way they want to do it. 
But then there's another concept that people talk about a lot which is, we're gonna create this center of excellence and what is a center of excellence? Well think about a small group of people who get together and they collect collateral, they collect documents, templates, and they create really kind of a repository of IP, knowledge documentation, and this might be an internal process engineering group, an ITSM group whatever. 
But what the idea here is that you have, this common resource pool of information, and if you're so inclined you can go and you can use that information, use that content, so at least there is a same gene or DNA pool where various parts of the organisation polls their stuff [xx] now that doesn't guarantee you a [xx], but at least it's the same family background, so you can trace your ancestry back to this center of excellence. 
feel uncontrolled because of unexcess of works, OK they kind of moving upon a continue a comment you have something called Core Plus, or Core and Additional. And I like to think of this as, okay, there's these base elements that we must all agree on. Right, so we all agree that the process flow has six steps not five. 
We have a common understanding of prioritizing. or, what a major change is versus a minor change; common goal and target for restoration SLA, so these are common things we have to have as core, but above and beyond that, by regional variance differentiation, you can have differences. So, there's core and the plus might be, for example, yes we have a chosen set of key performance indicators. 
A severity or priority one incident is defined this way and a goal is restoration within SLA target within 4 hours 80% of the time. Okay, that's a chosen KPI. everyone shares that one but you might have a half a dozen more metrics you want to record for your own personal basis you might decide your region's going to use one tool and another region another tool. 
That's possible. It's more expensive. What you've done there is determine that you're going to have both these tools kind of configured exactly the same way; but because you're using different technologies, you're going to have different procedures. 
So, Core plus gives you the sense of, you know, the base elements are core and common, but i can have variance above and beyond and then the other [xx] concept of common is really common, everything is standard, there is no deviation. Process rolls off the assembly line the same way every Every single time. 
Everything is equal, every thing is common across the entire scope of whatever you call your process of organization. one of the interesting things here is that you don't have to pick just one of these four levels, you really can process by process, have four .. different decisions- do your own thing, center of excellence, core plus, or standardize. 
So it's not just a statement, we're gonna have common and everything will be the same. That doesn't make any sense. It's not logical. Well it certainly seems easier to manage. Well, in a sense yes, but it's also more difficult to keep glued together just think about a process across multiple [xx] you got [xx] how do you keep that together its not impossible but it is definitely First Speaker: lot more work. 
So, you know, we think about things from a value cost and risk perspective. So in one organization, and this is specifically so for, lets call them engineering or architecture type processes.
Second Speaker: Mm-hmm.
First Speaker: What's the value of having a common engineering or architecture process across the US, Latin America, Australasia. You know, what's the value? It could be that you see that value, that you might decide, because that's a very tailored type of outcome, I want a unique solution You might choose to leave architecture processes at a very do-your-own-thing level; you might decide at availability capacity to leave those at a center of excellence; you give them some some base reports some templates for how to collect and aggregate capacity data and you might say OK, here is some guidance on a, let's say, I am thinking some examples here uh change management, concept. 
You know, we have to have these base core elements, but there are regional changes that might be able to be done regionally. so there is a slight variance of how you do regional or local change approvals verses changes that must go to the global change advisory board. But then if you are trying to hold together a common support organization, with a fall service desk, we had that conversation a couple of episodes ago. 
You need common prioritization, common support model, common queue system, common tool. Because you're literally gluing together this organization as one continuous support organization. So then those four examples you've made a choice based on value, cost and risk of having various levels of common. 
and we have a diagram that we'll put right in the show notes online so people can see this when it comes to these four types of process standardization. You took apart at a very fine level, because in my head I'm listening and picturing it. one level, center of excellence level for support. Change or lease having a core plus. 
And I think I can really get my hands around and the idea of regardless of where we are on the globe or [xx] from our support are almost assembly line like driven, because excellence and repeatable process I would think, I'm stretching Troy This is where Practitioner Radio gets dangerous. We'll probably be most important at the customer facing side, right? 
So the repeatable McDonald's experience. in fact that's the way we look at it and you think about it, its really only three customer facing processes and ideas in context. There is the service desk and the support which is what we just talked about. There's a request provisioning side of it, you know, front-ended by catalog or the service desk. 
And then there's strategic intake or demand And in tech we are looking for new customer requirements to understanding new markets new technical events you can take eventual of. Or else we he called it, "B-Y-O-D." Well, that's one way to go, yeah.
You know those are [xx] customer facings. You might want to standardize those.
But, a lot of the processes of the back-handing Especially when we get to, like,more of the design and strategy processes. Yeah. Those could have variances. Depending on, truly, your enterprise [xx]. strategy; or if you have one.
Very few organization actually have an enterprise strategy; they might have an enterprise infastructure strategy across the globe that doesn't mean they have an enterprise application strategy right, and that is a variance there as well concept of common actually has to be looked at in varying levels. 
It's not, I think, accurate or even logical to assume thing across that span of control can be, you know, assembly line like standardized. It doesn't make sense from a value cost to risk perspective. Some things do. I mean literally some things, the risk of not having a standard approach, especially when you're in a shared services organization and you're trying to support a common customer across that organisation, you've gotta have it all glued together, and that's not just the internal organisation, but if you're, and you probably are going to be integrating suppliers Right, in various regions. 
Each of those suppliers must now integrate into your common management system and frame of reference. They can't have their own base for severity or priority definition. They have to share yours. Because when you bring in family members into your value system, they literally have to adopt your family morals, values and ideals to become a family member. 
No, and we talked at great length about the importance of suppliers and making them part of your family. And I will put a link because that was a really good show. I wish we had that one transcribed. I guess it's not to late. A global infrastructure standardization seems to almost the common play some in some folks. 
Because they do, they look at their infrastructure, whether it's completely internal to buildings or data centers they own, or they they work for the supplier, but either way they've thought very carefully about the approach to the infrastructure, what's involved in the infrastructure and I think part of that's because people just have this illusion that the widgets, the hardware, the Almost to make a klacklebargle, or somehow he's more easily controlled? 
I don't know, but when you said that it really made me think that Why is it because we always do have an infrastructure team, but we don't really look at these other teams and they integrate. do they ever sit down and talk about common. Well actually one thing that's important to understand- it is easier to standardize the non-human element. 
right so we know what it means to do data center consolidation, desktop image standardization. Well, until the machines talk back. Yeah. Enterprise application standardization and more and more of our applications are becoming standardized; what was kind of custom, if you had collaboration or a CRM tool; now we're all using the same one so there's fewer and fewer applications which are actually unique to each business unit and/or each region. 
So there's this growth towards standardization, which is being fueled by Cloud. Mm. You know, because that's a key note there. Standardization is key. But let's take that apart for about standardization Cloud and because i am also witnessing watching a lot of news around Cloud. There are people, I know these guy be aware of Matt Baron. 
You know, he was talking to me on the phone the other day, and he develops on the Service Now platform, and he needed so he just wrote an application on the platform, and just started using it; and then when he [xx] somebody doing this, "Oh, I wrote something; i started using it ." So, while the infrastructure of the platform itself was common, he was taking pieces and creating new things that really didn't fit into any of the process. 
And begin to have deviation again, right? Here's something that's [xx] taking a side note, but this is very interesting. I was talking to Ray Garrett, one of my co-workers. Love Ray, by the way. Oh, yes, that's right you're in the same city. Yeah. And she and I were talking about the, kind of the difference between the new ITSM tool philosophy and the pre [xx] post generation and before, you had a tool which would have a process and that process was very rigidly designed into the tool, so there was lot of guidance [xx] force you into doing unless you chose to break the back of the tool and make it do whatever you did before. 
It was hard. Though to do that you had to make some pretty willful [xx]. The new generation of tool, and these are her words, not mine. This is a quote of Rae[sp?]. Have no guard rails.
Hmm. Right? They have, you know You're bowling and there is nothing in the gutter. Yeah. To keep the ball between the gutter. If there is a there is path but there is no guard rails. It will let you do any thing you choose to. It was actually easier in the new generation of platform as a service-type product to actually go anywhere you want to and this is where you do need to have the process and the human controls to make that sure people don't, when it's not required or not the ideal thing take off on their own path, some times it is in fine to be [xx] things sometimes it is not. 
Are your similar to the term anthrophy [sp?]. anthrophy [sp?] yes, any human system unless you coninue to add energy to actually fail. Yeah, so I was watching a special on television about how, it was on string theory so there. Laugh at me now. They were talking about on trivia and this idea of the error of time and how One of the ways we can measure time is the fact that things go from a state of consistency to a state of an inconsistancy. 
We can't measure, we percieve forward movement because we see things change.
It unravels, yes.
And it end up in my words, not the television show's, a hot mess. And it's funny because there are so - we're talking about common processes and your four levels here, whether they be standard or core plus, center of excellence or do your own thing. And at Subway's, you know, Tools have always gotten this, you know. 
Oh, this tool's better! You know, since it's newer and shinier, and everything else. Because it doesn't have the hangups of these other tools! But they just end up developing a different set of hang ups. In this case yes we have the ability to go much wider in our variance. Yeah. but in you know what nothing is ever static and that's a key point you made and new direction and improvement, every [xx] will basically die on the vine. 
Yeah. Right? You have to put it in the context of a continual service improvement or quality system approach. Because unless you do it doesn't remain relevant, it becomes static, it becomes old, it becomes useless and it dies. The entropy kills it. Yeah. even though it was theoretical physics I'm sitting in there watching that, thinking of Practitioner Radio, which is pretty Pretty crazy in itself. 
Made me think of Big Bang theory. No, No. Ah, Eldon, Sheldon, my friend. a guy named John Williasont [sp?] talking about devops, he mentioned Toyota and their processes he made a real interesting comment and I wanted to share it with you. But when they were interviewing, I can't pronounce the gentleman's name, but one of the Chairmans of Toyota, and they were allowing Americans to come in and see how they ran their plants and things. 
He says they can copy our processes all they want, they can't copy our culture. And discipline. And culture has a big deal to do with Whether who want common or not. Do you know its American to be common. Its not to say that [xx] common. Its not American to be common. or the same as. I think you're messing with my head because I'm American. 
What does that mean? It could be more of a western cultural thing. No, you're Canadian, for people who don't know Troy's Canadian which is what Americans pretend to be when they leave the country, what does that mean. Well I actually I am do that actually. Are you? Yes I am, But the reality is. There is a persona in the US, which values uniqueness above commonality. 
We don't want to be one of a large family context. We prefer to be unique. In fact it's almost non-American to be standard. Because there's this concept of kind of wild west, unique, on the cutting edge, entrepreneur, innovator. And you think, culturally in other parts of the world, that's, for lack of a better [xx] heresy I mean. 
Absolutely so the rights of individual outweigh the rights of the many in the U.S.. this is counter the spot conversation we've had before. But if you're in India, the rights of the many out weigh the rights of the few. Right? So when you're in the classic arranged marriage going to be arrange to be married to somebody, it's a family decision. 
Both families interview each other and the families decide whether the match is good. that would never fly in the US because the rights of the individual outweigh the rights of the many. In the US, the rights of the individual outweigh their rights. And this is probably true of Western culture in general. 
So there's this view of my rights are greater than the family culture I belong to. So, there's this move the individualism always. I want to be different and unique, stand out. Well, yeah, I couldn't get any more American. Except maybe if my B M I was made five points higher closer to ninety one, I'd be probably more American. 
But I. So ask yourself: does it appeal to you to basically follow the same path as other people? So, it comes back to our show about process standardization. You know, it's great. We've got these four levels of process standardization that we can apply to our different, you know, depends whether there be support or quest management, change, etc., but do we design or do we you know, you talked about continual service improvement. 
You know, at what point do we introduce a cultural aspect to these? And are these influenced by culture, or is culture or do we not even let that enter, I mean the process is the process. I mean obviously do your own thing. 
Well there is definitely a culture international application. Right. Because working on a global basis I've seen it many times. I've had the honor to be part of five different global initiatives. So one was a a major goods manufacturer which was based out of the UK had a major US operations, well, when you believe the friction between the two because the US will reject anything coming the UK was a tea party all over again, every single time any conversation [xx]. 
Ah, familiar. Right. Another major initiative was started in the US and had a European specifically UK side of it, and there was this belief that nothing good could come out of the colonies. So it was like that was a major issue. in Asia, especially in the Indian culture, you can provide that rights of the many take precedent over the rights of the few, so there's not a major issue for compliance there. 
Right. In Latin America, because they're never rushed to do anything, they'll certainly say yes, they agree but it's always manana. In fact manana, tomorrow, never comes. So absolutely, culture has a major implication on acceptance of comment. There's a much higher willingness to accept comment in a dramatic culture then in the U.S., for example. 
Because, I would think, in, you know in a design and build project, if you're really focusing on being agile and scrummy and trying to get something done, The idea of do your own thing might make a lot of sense unless you're in a culture where they don't want to do their own thing because it doesn't feel natural. 
or it's too much risk, or the cost of variance is too unwieldy. Because do your own thing comes with two outcomes. It has three outcomes. It has a high tailored outcome, a highly tailored outcome, and that's a positive for some people. I get a unique experience every time I come to this thing. okay now. 
But it also means you have a higher variance of activity, because every place you do this you'll find it done differently and because you have a higher variance from a [xx] prospective, you're going to have high risk and high cost The more times you duplicate something, the willingness you have to live with for high variance high cost high risk. 
So you have to balance the value of uniqueness against the variance cost risk component. What our challenge is in for IT culture is that we are more on the do it your own way kind of concept. Almost everything is in that category. So we have multiple change processes, multiple ticketing processes, multiple inventory processes and we duplicate and make redundancy almost a way of life, which has a high cost, high variance, high risk. 
So there's some balance, we have to kind of swing the needle back in some areas. This also applies to services, by the way. Right, because you have a common hosting service but you might have a very unique desktop service in different regions. Yeah, and a lot of services that I, you know, from a technology standpoint subscribe to, offer me in the process of signing up for them, wildly different options that I'm willing to pay for, which is one of these kind of panaceas that we dream of when it comes to IT. 
You know, having the ability to say "well I demand 24 by 7 even though the rest of the company doesn't have it."When you were talking about this, I thought, I kind Should you almost as a human cultural process Geiger counter. Do you have a like listen and go "Okay, high variance, high cost and just like that's what you're thinking and then you listen to someone and go okay, standard and good, low cost, and repeatability, and consistency and, I mean, is that the way you think? 
I mean, you think in a way that I would love to learn how to think. 
Well, you've got to know the game you're in to play the game, right? So you've got to understand what are the expectations and the rules. So yeah, I mean, I help people understand what their decisions mean, that's primarily what I do. So, you know, this wonderful thing of uniqueness is great but you understand there's a cause and effect here. 
You can have uniqueness but this is what it means. high cost, high variance, high risk. And if the value of that outweighs the other three, wonderful! Stay the way you are. There's no reason to change. But if you can tolerate those three, and you look at it from the perspective, you've gotta make some changes, you have to come up with this continuum somehow to you earlier because you made me think of a non I T context, you're the one usually bringing these to my head, but this is a great kind of example of the core plus. 
McDonald Global McDonalds is Core Plus. Oh, yeah. Why do you think I say that? Oh, completely, because I can get my core food items, whether I'm in Brazil, France or Hong Kong. But what's really interesting is if you go to McDonald's in those places, they'll always have the [xx] which is the big mac but with a fish on top. 
Big mac with anchovies hmm, yum. Yeah. Well I don't know. I'm trying to think. I mean they just have the sandwiches, I'm like "Ah I wish they had that in America." But they always have my core stuff. It's because I feel safe. We've talked about me and when I was in Germany, just recently first thing I did was look for the McDonald's, right? 
I had to have something that made me feel safe. And to be honest it was french fries. Yeah, so they have this concept of core plus, right? As opposed to, you know, that gives you the variance, that kind of balance between standardized, which gives me better agencies better cost, but also better margins, because I can buy in volume. 
I can do things, and in a common way in bulk and build supplier models that allow me to optimize that. But I also had that variance as I need it. I mean, that's a really great example Troy have to put that on a slide deck because, you know, McDonald's Global is core plus. I mean, that is like the most perfect example. 
And maybe our listeners They are thinking about their process standardizations and how they look locally, may be we can not to borrow their concepts, I mean It definitely addresses the cultural issues we were talking about. Though people wanna feel like they have some basis of uniqueness right, that's the core human is that I want to be unique, I want to stand out, I don't want to be one of a crowd. 
Right. But can you find some middle ground where there's [xx] and that allows me [xx] above the [xx] of the unique variance versus its all just do it your own way everywhere because I can't bring anyone to agree that we should have common. Well, one place where Core Plus... I was just in the Midwest, and they have Tim Horton's there. 
for now, so you people successfully like driven your scurge through the border. For those of you who don't know, Tim Hortons is a coffee...how do you describe Tim Hortons to someone not from Canada?
It's Canadian culture. 
Yeah, it's Canadian culture like, yeah, literally. But I was sitting there and I went through the drive through and it was all the same stuff you had in Canada. And I was like, make it a little American, offer me a doughnut with triple glaze or something.
That 's standardized, that's a good example of standardized, but so is other coffee places, right?
Starbucks doesn't vary no matter where you go it's the same thing.
No, Starbucks is standardized, and they have the business model that allows them to do that and they optimized their profit and their margins because of it.
 All right, Center of Excellence, Core Plus Standard or do your own thing. I'm gonna do my own thing and say that it's time for Troy's Thunderbolt Tip of the Day. 
Okay, Chris, remember that a common process can be defined at many different levels of commonality. It's important to take a decision or make a decision based on the value cost of risk of just what has to be standardized and what could be core plus. Don't assume everythinguniversally the same level of consistency. 
Nice. Consistently quality, good stuff. Thank you, Troy DuMoulin. I'll see you in two weeks. Take care. life. 

 

 

 

 

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by Chris Dancy