09.45 - 10.30

Shirley Lacy & Ivor Macfarlane - Optimizing your Service Assets

This keynote sets the scene for the current challenges and issues facing all those involved in Change Configuration and Release Management for Services in the current economic climate. It also addresses the latest issues in standards and best practice guidelines by the authors of the ITIL V3 Service Transition book.

11.00 - 11.45

Vawns Guest and Steve Straker , Fujitsu - Tough times 2.010 - Making process improvements

The objective is to identify reasons for improving processes in this current financial climate. We look at some quick wins that are not resource intensive; ask the awkward questions before your Manager does; explain some of the reasons why CCRM can stall; and finally explore whether a shift in mind set is required to get us back onto the roadmap? A session of show and tell, and to take something back to your own organisation and make a difference.

Practical Change, Configuration & Release Management (CCRM) enables all IT organisations to add value to the business by delivering successful releases through change, quickly, and with minimal risk, using a logical model of the infrastructure. Initial justifications and deliverables of these processes will have changed. Now is the time to review them. Having a continuous improvement cycle built in to CCRM processes is not only good practice but also required for ISO/IEC 20000 registration. It is now even more important to look for improvement as we prepare for the recovery in the market place and manage those budget pressures. Examples of how to start this improvement programme and quick wins for Managers are essential toolset and competency items. Remaining static is no longer an option.

NG, Ching was Daniel - Challenge in Change & Release Management for 24x7 textile manufacturing, and influence from PRC Police requirement

The ITIL model has a lot of success cases in clean and tidy office environment. Installation examples are seldom quoted including time-sensitive, around-the-clock shop floor implementatons. Challenges appear in handling machine interfaces, and the associated Change/Release process. CMDB management has is also not straight forward.

This presentation describes is a case study on Textile Manufacturing involving a very complicated process, with multiple decision points. Any change in machine software, interface to mainframe computers, and environment compliance create a tightly interwoven mess.

Textile operation can be very simple. There are two types - circular knitting and weaving. Weaving is much simpler than circular knitting, which is composed of weft-knitting, warp-knitting, yarn testing, dyeing, finishing, fabric inspection and package.

In the case study, there are around 2500 machines running in the shop floor across 50 hectares. There are 5 major processes across the previously mentioned 7 production steps. In term of computer software, the total number is running up to 10 core applications, including financial accounting, Sales Orders, Materials Requisition, Scheduling and Production Control, Colour Management, Recipe Control, Chemical dispenser, Lot-batch monitoring via Barcode (RFID is being phased in), multi-stage quality inspection with linkage to customer in-line quality complaint system, Master Production Planner, Rework Management, Email, Human Resources Management and Electronics Surveillance.

PRC Police exerts some stringent requirement in production activities monitoring to facilitate their cross-China controls.

Majority of systems are in-house developed. Business requirements constantly adjust to make the company remain competitive.

All RFCs can have a life span of 6 - 8 hours. CAB is constructed in a federated model. It is worthy of sharing their factory-level short-term RFCs, and the pressure to Change and Release Management. The CMDB has to build some authentication to avoid critical, irrevocable mistakes.

11.45 - 12.30

Rahul Oza - How to ensure your disaster recovery (DR) environment is more than a showpiece during recession

As organizations face challenges and increasing cost pressures the drive to reduce cost is more than ever before, no wonder the ITSM 'business enablers' still considered amongst 'fringe' or 'non-core' IT infrastructure are primary targets and more so are service support and the disaster recovery systems.

In this paper we will take a look at the practical challenges in maintaining DR environments and some of proven resolutions while keeping cost at the heart.

We often start by doing the right things, engaging expensive consultants at the right time, design and build for failover and disasters and DR testing prior to deployment (transition).

Then we start to take things for granted: a steady state and reduction in incidents gives us a feeling of 'wellness' and we gradually take things for granted. A new 'operations' team now takes care of the system and contractors, developers and designers either move on or are relieved from their duty. The operations team is then transitioned to a new 'offshore' vendor with half the team size and then perhaps to another 'offshore' vendor with still smaller team strength with no sight of DR documentation, no knowledge transfer (it was from a competitor) and having never taken part in a DR exercise.

It is understandable that an organization have to take tough measures to control cost however is this new team now confident to undertake a DR operation when it really matters?

Experience shows this leads to chaos at the worst of times and despite spending millions on DR design and development, organizations take months to get their systems up and running whereas original plan would have been a few hours.

As part of this paper presentation I will highlight from my experience why this happens and what more can be done to improve the situation given the constraints.

Robert Schwegler - Achieving scalability, speed & reliability in the real world

Robert Schwegler is Chief Architect of bwin.com, Vienna, Austria and has many years' experience of IT engineering & service management in demanding eCommerce businesses. This session explores best practices for Change, Configuration & Release Management which have been found to deliver genuine value, backed up with case-study information.

Robert and his co-authors have studied best practices both within bwin and in other companies which have granted them access for case study purposes. This has allowed them to build up a good picture of what things really work in different types of business situation, what practical steps have to be taken to make them work, what pitfalls and hurdles need to be overcome on the way, and what doesn't work. Today's presentation will focus on how to achieve:

  • Scalability - how to grow the business without being overwhelmed by the volume of change
  • Efficiency - maximising throughput while minimizing costs
  • Reliability - in situations where faults can cause huge real-money losses
  • Responsiveness - rapid delivery of change in response to customer requests and/or business situations
  • Cultural / organisational change - to allow best practices to flourish and to improve morale and confidence

13.30 - 14.15

Phil Waller - Case study: Improvements to deliver more IT Changes successfully at Sainsbury's

The case study covers an improvement project for delivering IT changes successfully. The agreed aim was to 'Plan and implement changes 'Right First Time' in response to priorities whilst ensuring service'. The approach was to work closely with all stakeholders to establish the requirements, simplify the process, implement a risk based approach, improve impact assessment, decision making, change scheduling and ultimately the success rate of IT changes.

A policy and improved process were introduced across the IT functions and their suppliers, business partners that implement changes to the Sainsbury's IT services and environment, the Programme Management Office and projects. The project objectives were to reduce unexpected disruption caused by change, reduce the risks relate to IT change and improve IT's reputation in meeting expectations. The approach was to simplify the process, implement a risk based approach, improve impact assessment, decision making, change scheduling and ultimately the success rate of IT changes.

Chris Beighton - Both ends to the middle - building a CMDb

Chris was in at the start of the Met Office CMDb and will tell the story of how they moved from nothing, to where they are now in only 18 months. Do they have a working CMDb? No, not really. Have they brought benefit to the business by trying, absolutely yes. Will they get there? You decide.

Some organizations start with no budget and no tool and have to beg for both. We had both. From the outset we were presented with a tool and a budget and told to get on with it, nirvana? No, not really. We were faced with a tool that we didn’t understand and no-one liked and a go live date for the incident and change management side that couldn't be moved. We had to learn how to use the tool, define the parameters and rules for the CMDb, populate the data and go live on time. Once we had done that, we had to convince everyone that the CMDb that we had just deployed was a pretty good idea. Once we decided on strategy, we had to populate... In this presentation, I will describe the lofty goals we had and how we downsized them in the harsh light of reality, how the exciting world of federation became long evenings of Excel macros and how fixing the asset record is in danger of taking over from building the CMDb.

14.50 - 15.00

Shirley Lacy - A workshop to find out about how to implement changes and releases successfully

A workshop to find out about how to use change, configuration and release management to implement changes and releases successfully The session helps participants to understand the different perspectives on improving the change, release and deployment management processes. It will provide insight into the strengths and weaknesses of current practices together with the latest thinking on the subject that will help practitioners. The session will help participants to:

  • Understand the different people and perspectives involved in continual improvement
  • Find out how you and your organization can make a difference by using the practices at the right time with a joined up approach

The workshop will cover:

  • Common challenges today
  • Continual improvement from different perspectives
  • customer, user, organization, service desk, service operations, service management system, service owner, service manager, process owner, project and supplier
  • Typical issues / risks from different perspectives
  • Adopting best practices
  • What should / could we do better?

Gaurav Dutt Uniyal - Institutionalising Continual Service Improvement culture for ongoing service optimisation

Service Management Process Leaders are always under constant pressure to optimize the service value chain but inability to sustain and improve implemented processes is one of the areas that hurt them the most. With ITIL V3 also recognizing 'Continual Service Improvements' as an integral part of service management lifecycle, organizations have started to dedicate focused effort for ensuring operational process excellence. For organizations which do not have a well defined framework for process excellence, it is essential to institutionalise 'Continual Service Improvements' for optimising service performance.

Change control processes together with CMS are critical for the stability and performance of IT systems and being the center of the service management nervous system, it is important that these processes are continuously improving to support dynamic and increasing business needs. Some of the key components for continuously improving process are operational governance, maturity assessments, quality reviews, knowledge management, business value articulation etc. In this paper, the author presents a systematic approach on how these individual components can be integrated and implemented for ensuring sustainability and continuous process improvements.

15.30 - 16.15

Robert Cowham - So how good are we? Assessing our value

This presentation will address criteria and a method for reviewing existing change, configuration and release management practices and processes.

Robert will describe processes and procedures used for successfully evaluating clients' capabilities in change and configuration management. This is aimed at software development and service management requirements.

In addition, he will look at ways of measuring our value to our organisations to how to quantify and communicate that value, thus increasing job satisfaction and security.

Ian Preskett - Getting to grips with your software assets

This presentation aims to show you what needs to be done for best practice SAM, what solution is best for you, and then how to establish a plan to do it.

At the end of the session a SAM practitioner should be able to relate the principle to their own situation, and feel that the end goal is within their grasp.

Many people who are given the task of managing SAM see it simply as a requirement to run license compliance reports, so software asset management is rarely done properly, or efficiently. They may not be able to visualise full extent of SAM or understand how to build and implement the SAM plan.

The session will show that software asset management relies on good hardware asset management. It will show why software assets require different management to hardware assets, and how they can be managed together or by separate functions.

It will define the order in which you need to create the policies, processes, procedures and technology.

One or more scenarios will be run to show companies that have different existing situations and show the process required by each company to arrive at the most suitable solution and implementation plan for them. If possible the scenarios will be taken from volunteers in the audience.

16.15 - 16.45

Panel session with invited speakers

A chance to review and wrap up the day, and also address issues to be addressed at future events.