Insights into IT Service Management Practice
An Interview with Mr. Scott Rose, Founder, Passion IT Group
Recorded on February 28th, 2014
Hosted by Amit Ginotra,
Master of Entrepreneurship (2014-2015), Western Carolina University
Click here to listen interview podcast
[Amit Ginotra] Hi, I am Amit Ginotra and today I have with me Mr. Scott Rose, founder of Passion IT group and an industry expert in field of IT Service Management.
[Amit Ginotra] Mr. Rose, welcome and thank you for joining me today and the opportunity to learn from you.
[Scott Rose] Thank you for having me, Amit.
[Amit Ginotra] Over past couple of years, I have spent significant time learning about IT Service Management and I must tell you that it has changed my perception about how technology services should be managed. It is a total paradigm shift. I also observed that most of the principles can be applied to almost any non-technology service we see around us.
[Amit Ginotra] Tell me a little about how you started? I understand that you have decades of experience with Big Blue IBM and other companies, what was the turning point that you gave up your secure job and started your own venture?
[Scott Rose] After 28 years with IBM supporting organizations with business transformation, coupled with the internal changes that were occurring within the company, I felt it was time to consider retirement. Even though I had a constant tenor within IBM, my many work assignments were associated with supporting IBM’s service management clients, which resulted in working with many different industries and over 15 different large corporations with my last 5 years being responsible for developing and implementing a global service management framework for a major US automaker. The success that was gained; through business process integration and the alignment to the desired business outcomes resulted in decreased overall outages, higher end user and customer satisfaction, reduced overall service delivery costs and a more consistent and quality centric support structure. This success prompted me to consider replicating this service management framework to smaller organizations. With this realization, I approached the organization that delivered the service management training to my IBM organization to determine if there was an interest in accrediting me to deliver service management related training, coaching and certifications. They agreed and assigned me to a major insurance company where I took vacation from IBM, traveled and delivered the training and coaching and returned to my role at IBM. After 6 months of this, I announced my IBM retirement and continued delivering training on a more full time basis. Within a year of working as an individual contractor, I realized that their was a tremendous market for business process alignment training and coaching and started pulling together like minded service executives, managers and practitioners into a highly interactive, functional competence pool and began offering tailored solutions that extend from certification, education into training and coaching. During this time, Passion IT Group began its growth journey.
[Amit Ginotra] What is the vision and mission of your business venture?
[Scott Rose] The vision that was established for the group is basic and simple.
“Exemplify the need for strategic partnerships between the business as the service requestor and the service provider through alignment with governance, processes and outcomes where value will be immediately attained and maintained for every service delivered.”
Our mission is also basic and simple.
To assist businesses achieve their service delivery objectives by providing them with service management coaching services in a cost effective and professional manner. These services are provided through education, certification, training and mentoring. We will help clients:
- improve business process alignment
- conduct process assessments
- establish strategic and tactical plans
- deliver certification boot camps
- develop tailored training
- negotiate critical success factors
- create indicators and metrics
- document current baseline
- visualize future state
- approach everything with a continual improvement mindset
- consistent, repeatable framework
- merger and acquisition alignment
- organizational health
The objective is to assist clients develop operational value and efficiency while increasing service satisfaction with minimal surprises, confusion and user impact, maintaining higher morale and productivity and reducing employee turnover.
[Amit Ginotra] How have the experiences that you have had during your entire career influenced the way
you now run your own company?
[Scott Rose] Recent surveys have shown that there is a significant disconnect between the business and IT related to IT enabled business investments. IT is seen as an expensive overhead not as a valued strategic partner and is not considered part of business advancement. This has been my observation, as well.
Over the past many years, the IT community has built themselves into a box, not allowing visibility or penetration which has resulted in the business not knowing and worse yet, not appreciating the value that could be gained by partnering with their service provider strategically. My experience has shown when IT enabled business investments are managed within an effective governance framework they provide organizations with significant opportunities to create and maintain value. However, without this effective governance, repeatable processes and integrated management, these investments tend to result in poor customer satisfaction, misalignment of objectives, disruptions to the end user and value being destroyed.
[Amit Ginotra] Could you give me some examples to illustrate the challenges you faced in starting your venture?
[Scott Rose] There is such disconnect between IT and the business, globally, that I took on too much, too fast, resulting in me seeing the same disruption internally that I was attempting to coach externally. I tried to be all things to all people and found that I was not being as effective as my own business vision and mission warranted. It was important for me to smoke what I was ‘selling’ so to this end, I established the necessary governance and process flow, that I was suggesting as a criteria for success. Once this was completed, I was able to build upon this foundational base and establish the consistency and growth that I’m currently experiencing.
[Amit Ginotra] What do you like so much about Service Management that it became theme of your venture?
[Scott Rose] As evidenced by the business name I choose, Passion IT or passionate group, you’ve asked a question that gets me excited. To understand service management we must first understand what a service is, which is simply a means of delivering value to another. So, another way to look at service management is to consider it as value management. There is not a single business entity that does not have has as one of it’s fundamental precepts, a value statement. Value is not about the technology. It’s not about the information and it’s certainly not about IT. It’s about value, which is individual in nature and unique to each customer and stakeholder. The IT investment is no longer only about implementing solutions, it is about implementing change which implies greater complexity and greater risk than has been in the past. The traditional management practices that have been applied are no longer sufficient. The message is clear; IT enable business investments scan bring great rewards, but only with the right governance and integrated management processes with full commitment and engagement at all levels. This is where service management comes in. It provides a clear way to consider these IT investments with the necessary monitoring, measuring and reporting on the success and/or failure of these investments.
[Amit Ginotra] Being an industry expert in the field of Service Management, when you provide coaching to companies, what do you find most worrying?
[Scott Rose] No organization is in business to lose money, however I’m seeing more and more of what I would consider mature organizations moving from the long term strategy to short term. They have lost sight of their vision and have moved from a strategic business focus to a more tactical approach focusing on the month-to-month shareholder return and missing their true target which is continued growth through customer retention and satisfaction. The latter approach results in a higher, longer-term shareholder return.
[Amit Ginotra] And what do you find most exciting?
[Scott Rose] The answer to the prior question provides the answer to this one. I feel like the gatling gun salesman who has stumbling upon a fist and knife fight. An organization can say “I don’t have time to talk with you, I’m too busy fighting” or they can look at what the service management process framework offers and make the necessary improvements in their existing processes. The important aspect of having a framework is its flexibility. No two organizations are the same and all organizations are good at most aspects of service delivery. So the exciting thing for my business model is in the assessment phase where we determine first, what is working well for the organization and start the improvement efforts from the positive. It is not about looking for the mines (or defects) as they will identify themselves over time, prioritizing appropriately. It is all about establishing a culture of continual process alignment and improvement through a defined governance model and associated repeatable, integrated processes.
[Amit Ginotra] In our earlier conversations, you mentioned about game-ification of Service Management practices. Would you like to give some insight into that?
[Scott Rose] Absolutely! Gamification puts the fun into process improvement! Gamification can add significant value to education and training. Research has shown that using gamification to help provide instruction and instant feedback to learners it tends to generate increased improvement in results and higher retention. By creating the perception of social interaction, outcomes improve, and the learner gains more enjoyment from the actual learning process. Through multiple rounds, a scripted business with multiple agencies and services, generating transactions, creates a fast paced environment common to most organizations. Changes are review, incidents occur, capacity is measured, mirroring is considered, request are fulfilled, problems are analyzed and throughout the many rounds and the associated discussion between the rounds, all service management processes are discussed and analyzed along with the necessary stakeholder communications that must occur for delivered value success. Gamification takes the learning out of the classroom and puts it into action through self reflection.
[Amit Ginotra] How do you see the future of Service Management discipline?
[Scott Rose] As businesses continue to demand better alignment between themselves and their service provider, the service management discipline will continue to be in the forefront of process improvement and alignment. I do predict that we will see a merging of project management and service management in the next 3 – 5 years. The 2 disciplines are complementary and each needs the other for complete business success. As projects have a defined start, defined stop, defined budget and defined schedule; service management is ongoing and requires project management for major change and development support.
[Amit Ginotra] How do you keep up with current events in your industry, and as a business person in
[Scott Rose] In this constantly changing, technology driven, world, it’s important to not just stay current, but to stay ahead of the industry. Every business is developing a 3 – 5 year strategic plan to ensure they continue to focus on better understanding the business of their customers, improving the necessary business processes, and delivering innovation. By participating as an officer in the ITSMF and HDI organizations, attending industry centric conferences, writing white papers, soliciting speaking engagements and regularly contributing to the industry linkedin forums, I am able to observe the well rounded roadmap and participate in the direction that the industry is taking.
[Amit Ginotra] What advice would you give to someone who was considering a career in the field of Service Management?
[Scott Rose] First, everyone participates in the services industry in some form or fashion. To this end, the field of service management is open ended and does not specifically relate to what we traditionally know as IT. We know what the acronym IT stands for; Information Technology, however in today’s world IT’s not about either information or technology. It’s about service delivery; minimizing disruptions in the respective service and setting the correct expectation to all stakeholders. From a career perspective, since this is predominately a relationship based industry, it takes a servant oriented mindset, with a customer first attitude to succeed in the service management profession. For some, service management is akin to process engineering, but I would characterize it most as service engineering; where the technology meets the business, so a hybrid degree in business and engineering would be helpful to anyone considering a career in this field.
[Amit Ginotra] Scott, Thank you so much for sharing your experience and opportunity to learn from you. It was a great please speaking with you and thank you for joining me today.
[Scott Rose] Amit, it was pleasure talking to you and thank you for having me. Goodluck with your graduate degree.
Mr. Scott Rose is the Founder of Passion IT group and an industry expert in field of IT Service Management.
He retired from IBM in 2010 as a Delivery Executive with 30 years experience in the Service Management Industry. After spending 6 years in the US Navy, his 28 year career with IBM extended from hardware design and engineering to software and services including Software/Hardware Development, Systems Integration, Logistics, Manufacturing, Training/Consulting, Transition/Transformation, Service Management and Project/Program Management. He is also contributor to several patents at IBM.
He received Project Management Professional (PMP) certification after completing the George Washington Masters program in 1997, attained IBM’s Executive Project Management certification, served on IBM’s Project Management Certification Board for 8 years and taught project management during that time.
He has a degree in Electrical Engineering and a BS in Business Management, certified as an ITIL v2 Service Manager, v3 Expert and accredited as a trainer for all ITIL certifications.
During his IBM years, he led many large and global IT outsourcing engagements, providing Executive leadership in all aspects of Service Management including organization/people management, transition, operations, supplier management, training, financial and security management.
Since IBM, he has enjoyed educating, training, and coaching service management, providing IT assessments, gap analysis, strategic plans and conducting organizational health workshops aligning IT with the business. Scott enjoys working with people, active as a youth coordinator at his hometown church and conducts seminars related to youth and parenting.
Amit Ginotra is an experienced Information Technology professional with expertise in Technology Strategy and Transformation. He is also currently enrolled in the Master of Entrepreneurship Degree Program at Western Carolina University. Webmasters and other article publishers are hereby granted article reproduction permission as long as this article in its entirety, author’s information, and any links remain intact.
Copyright © 2014 by Amit Ginotra.