How to Choose and Use Business Software

I don’t really like the term “business software”. I’m really talking about service desk tools and knowledge management products, but there isn’t an appropriate collective noun for those specific things so I’ll just lump it all in with MYOB. Do you have a preferred collective noun? Leave it in the comments.

There’s a whole slew of software options out there for getting your job done. Here are some tips to help you choose what might be right for you.

A Request For Change…To Change

I’ve spent the holiday period going over the Change Management process in the 2011 ITIL® Service Transition book. I know! It’s fun isn’t it?! Anyway, I remarked on Twitter that the definitions for the types of change requests ( is rather confusing. Here’s the excerpt in question (from page 65 of the digital edition):

There are three different types of service change:

  • Standard change A pre-authorised change that is low risk, relatively common, and follows a procedure or work instruction.
  • Emergency change A change that must be implemented as soon as possible, for example to resolve a major incident, or implement a security patch.
  • Normal change Any service change that is not a standard change or an emergency change.

It’s also worth noting that a standard change would not require a change request form to be filled out, as the term “pre-authorised” alludes to.

My IT Predictions for 2012

I think we all know by now that BYO device and cloud computing are ruling the conferences and conversations at the moment. Don’t get me started on the “cloud” terminology, by the way. Also known as the Internet, non? Anyway, these two things herald some change in approach to IT service management.

ITIL v3 Foundation Course—My Thoughts

Thanks to the HDAA, the Knowledge Bird went to Sydney last week for the three day foundation course in ITIL v3. They were kind enough to bestow a free course on me, having won the White Paper of the Year, at this year’s Australian itSMF conference.

Who knew such dry material could be so fascinating?

Things I’ve Learned From my Customer Service Failures

My IT career started on an internet help desk, supporting home users with their dial-up modem connections. Call volumes were high and wait times often lengthy. It wasn’t uncommon for customers to be angry from get-go. It’s a high-stress environment and there were times I ended up under the desk in the foetal position, crying into my headset. It was a valuable experience, though, for the memorable lessons I took away from it.

Categorising knowledge

Don’t get too granular straight away. It’s like going to a restaurant with a menu full of acceptable choices—it’s too hard to decide and you end up with the parmigiana.

‘General’ or ‘miscellaneous’ is the parmigiana of knowledge base categories.

Knowledge 2.0 – Social Media Policy and Process Tips

If you aren’t already on the social media bus, you’re probably thinking about it. If you are using social media as a tool for your business, are you using it effectively?

Web 2.0 is the term given to web-based apps that encourage information sharing, such as Twitter, Flickr, Facebook and so on. Let’s take Twitter, for example. If you’re proactive in monitoring user experience and managing complaints, Twitter can become a valid mechanism of your service management model, just like the telephone, email and other customer contact methods. Social media gives you a way to access the conversations your user community is having, simply by searching for your product or business name. If they’re complaining or sharing ideas and you’re listening, you have a chance to fix those things or build on those ideas. I like to call it Knowledge 2.0.

Thoughts from my first itSMF National Conference

Last week’s trans-continental junket to Perth for the Australian itSMF National Conference was well worth the time, effort and cost. Quite apart from the award, it was wonderful to meet some great people who were kind enough to give me career-related tips and advice; and who made me feel like one of the bunch, even though it was my first itSMF conference. Isn’t it interesting that a room full of IT professionals can get together and share information with each other but transferring knowledge within our own organisations is still so difficult?

The Knowledge Bird wins Whitepaper of the Year

Wow. I’m so excited tonight to have received the award for Whitepaper of the Year from the itSMF Australia. The IT industry seems to be crying out for practical help with communication. And really, a knowledge base is just an organised form of communication. If you’re looking for a copy, you’ll find it here, but I’m sure itSMF members will have access to it through their normal channels.

The Australian national itSMF conference has certainly been worth the trek across the country. Some great sessions with compelling content. I plan to share my thoughts on what I’ve heard over the coming days.

itSMF Australia National Conference 2011

The IT Service Management Forum is the only internationally recognised and independent organisation dedicated to ITSM. The Australian chapter is holding it’s national conference in Perth, 17-19 August, and I’m proud to say A Simple Guide to Creating a Knowledge Base has been nominated in the 2011 Whitepaper Competition.

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