31 Oct

I Compare Yoga to ITIL® - Sorry Not Sorry Featured

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The first thoughts when you think of ITIL® are not "I think I'll practice yoga". It's funny to hear an IT Leader in the industry for twenty-four years to compare Yoga to ITIL. It is funny, but when you compare the two a little more closely it's relevant and it inspires creativity to adopting ITIL which appears to be stuck, stagnant and losing it's single purpose to continuously improve value to the business through infrastructure and application services. Unbeknownst to me I've been practicing yogic ways long before I formally took to the physical and mental practice of yoga. As I continued to practice there was a shift in awareness in me which created more flexibility in my body. A bonus was my busy mind which had me chasing squirrels and quick fixes is more focused. The mind is full at times, however the state of being mindFUL is better. Feeling revitalized through a regular practice of yoga, I decided to study Yoga Philosophy & Science and acquired a teaching certificate in 2012. I continued my yoga studies and expanded them to Energy Medicine/Anatomy. It was during my studies after certifying it came to me, ITIL and Yoga Philosophy have many characteristics in common. And there it began and Yoga & ITSM© was created and since then bringing revitalized energy to transcending IT Service Management. Through a regular practice of yogic thinking in ITSM, it will bring more flexibility to mature ITIL, such as a regular yoga practice does for the body.

You do not need to know and practice yoga to leverage this concept. You just need an open mind and willingness to be flexible, because like yoga ITIL is flexible. During my eighteen years of using ITIL in the real world I have experienced it successes and failures. I've learned from each experience and have acquired knowledge to succeed in designing, using, adopting and maturing ITIL practices. I guess you can say I sort of grew up with ITIl in my professional journey in IT.

Before I explain the connection, consider having an open mind from the resistance we experience when any form of cultural or organizational change is prevalent. To succeed, the culture of the organization is vitally important due to the nature of being flexible which is opposite of what we're accustomed to. Using the concept keeps our focus on the business need and growth. I'm not suggesting we are rigid in our industry nor am I recommending to be soft and over-pleasing in order to succeed. What I am suggesting is to let go of the ever ending search of quick fixes, and the acceptance of fire fighting to succeed. Focus on the business and what the business needs in an infrastructure to succeed.

The Yoga and ITSM Connection

Some of the general problems in ITSM are demonstrating value, finding meaningful metrics, build strong processes which people will follow and adopt, effective training programs, where to put CSI, people issues, and bringing in the right mix of tools, technology and management information systems. The Yoga & ITSM connection is an essential fresh way of addressing these issues. 

I will explain. Yoga is a philosophy, which means "union" a means to integrate mind, body and soul. The practice of Yoga is both an art and a science dedicated to creating union between body, mind, and spirit. A Guru named Patanjali rewrote the anciet scriptures of Yoga named the Yoga Sutras. The Yoga Sutras provide guidance to enhance the vital life force that exists in all of us.  Sri Patanjali, living in the second century BC, is considered the greatest expounder of Yoga philosophy, These sutras, or guidelines, were developed into an eight-limbed path of practices which when followed lead to self-realization or “enlightenment.” The core concept in Yoga is to be present and mindful to heighten self-realization and live a life to its full potential and purpose. So you’re thinking: how does this relate to adopting ITIL for IT Service Management? 

ITIL serves an identical purpose in IT Service management as do the Yoga Sutras in the path to enlightenment. ITIL is a five-limbed path, The five limbs are Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation, Continual Service Improvement. Using the five limbs of ITSM practices will attain “enlightenment” in IT. Enlightenment in IT occurs when one realizes the difference between unconscious and conscious human behaviors in the day-to-day IT operation which triggers us to chase quick fixes.

The core concept in ITSM is to effectively manage the infrastructure components that make up a service. ITIL can transform your IT organization to run as a revenue enabler of the business without sacrificing value to your customers or inflating overhead. Yoga is an art and science bringing union of mind, body, and spirit. In the Yoga in ITSM model, ITIL is the art and science to create union between the limbs of Service Strategy, Service Design, Service Transition, Service Operation and Continual Service Improvement to strengthen the service lifecycle uniting IT Service Providers with the rest of the business. 

A “success-based” attitude to adopting ITIL is more useful than a “failure-based” attitude. Yoga in ITSM helps improve the skills and abilities of you and your staff by influencing the culture to commit to the same things.  

Yoga, ITSM, and Continual Service Improvement (CSI)

Patanjali does not tell you specifically how to carry out the eight limbs in the Yoga Sutras—that’s up to you. But if you align your life with them, they’ll lead you to your highest aspirations: balance, peace, truth, abundance, harmonious relationships, contentment, and acceptance—the essence of happiness. 

It’s the same with ITIL: it does not tell you specifically how to implement service transition plans and processes—that’s up to you. But aligning your IT organization to the principles and guidelines of ITIL will create flexibility in the organization to achieve the highest aspirations of excellence in delivery and cost management—the essence of balance. 

ITIL is an ongoing initiative with no end. The concept comparing yoga to ITIL realizes that to succeed in ITIL, a thriving and realistic CSI plan and process is essential. A common mistake businesses make in ITSM is investing a large portion of the funding into the launch and implementation of ITIL. Instead, the bulk of funding should be invested in CSI, because CSI is where the real benefits are obtained: cost reductions, cost avoidance, enhanced value in service delivery, and customer satisfaction. Too often, organizations raise the white flag of ITIL defeat when that strong desire for instant gratification isn’t met or is lost after the implementation phase. Instant gratification is a symptom of unconscious (non-mindful) decisions stemming from specific work beliefs.

Progress doesn’t always come quickly. Progress may seem excruciatingly slow. There may be times when you attach to the outcome, the results, and the improved metrics that you want. This will make it difficult to be fully mindful in the day-to-day process. It’s impossible to be mindful when obsessing about the future.  Stay the course, "slow and steady wins the race".

Small steps moving forward are far better than no steps—or than trying to get there in one giant leap. Once you release the attachment to the outcome, things will start to shift. Value benefits will happen naturally, such as:

• IT Staff work less on autopilot, becoming more mindful in day-to-day decision-making, and work toward the same goals.

• Communication between IT organizations improves. 

• Customer credibility of your support organizations improves. Customers expect technology issues, but credibility lies with how responsive your support organization is in addressing the issues and the quality of communication during a crisis situation. This means establishing and maintaining credibility with your customers. Their first interaction feeds their beliefs about your service. 

• Service delivery, service operations, efficiency, system automation, customer satisfaction improve. This is a huge area of beneficial gain. The ability to improve at a consistent rate within a fiscal year keeps the ITIL journey alive in attaining measurable longer-term benefits and sustainability. 

• Usable, workable, and maintainable processes develop. Processes are living documents and should be updated once per quarter or twice a year at a minimum. Use KPIs and CSI information as inputs to process improvement. 

• Change Management environments are manageable in the present, enabling organizations to react successfully to changes in the environment. This is a benefit which equates to cost avoidance thereby reducing overhead costs. 

In Summary

Using the concept comparing yoga and using it's philosophy will be a fresh turning point in how you see and manage your ITSM environments. You won’t look back at the past, as each new day will bring your organization one day closer to yielding a sustainable, manageable, IT environment that reaches new heights daily. 

Who is Beverly?

Beverly Weed-Schertzer illuminates and inspires innovative thinking in ITSM. She has 24 years’ professional experience in IT. Her areas of expertise are business improvement, specializing in the areas of IT Service Management, support services, infrastructure management, and implementing best practice methodologies (ITIL, ISO, COBIT). She has formally worked with ITIL since 1998 and is ITIL V3 Expert Trained. She is experienced in ISO 20000, 9000, 9001, IT Governance and Strategy planning, Global Business Transformation & Quality Performance Improvement. In addition, she is an Experienced Registered Yoga Teacher (E-RYT) with the Yoga Alliance. Director of Energy Flow Yoga School and the creator of The Art of Practicing Yoga in IT Service Management. 


Read 419 times Last modified on Monday, 31 October 2016 18:40
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