Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Partnership with Talent Vault

Talent Vault and Gander Service Management partner to offer discounted online training to Talent Vault “contractors”.
Talent Vault are all about supporting talented people. When you want the best IT Contractor Specialists, talk to the New Zealand owned and operated recruitment Contractor specialists at Talent Vault.
Courses "Click Here" currently cover:
● ITIL (Foundation - Expert)
● DevOps Foundation
● Certified Agile Service Manager
● COBIT5 Foundation 
● Business Relationship Management
● Other courses coming soon

Why train online?
Any Talent Vault contractors received a 10% discount of normal price.
● Lower cost – eliminate all travel/hotel expenses and reduce your time away from other priorities
● Any time, any place, any device online access – to all of your training resources and materials
● Focus is on learning – rather than cramming for an exam in a few days, online training focusses on the retention of knowledge
● Courses are guaranteed – no last minute cancellations or re-scheduling
● Content on demand – allows you to pick up where you left off at any time
● Core messages are always consistently delivered to you – regardless of time and location
● Control the pace of the action – you can read, watch, listen and learn as many times as you want during the licence period.
● Make the most your time – by skipping familiar sections that you have already covered and spend more time on re-focussing on other material
● Mixed media repeats the message to you in different formats to stimulate interest and aid retention.
All online courses are offered by IT Training Zone Ltd (ATO)
For more information about Talent Vault or to contact them about this offer please visit their site at 

Friday, 26 August 2016

Classroom training or on-line training?

As you may or may not know, Gander Service Management provides on-line training in many different subjects:

  • ITIL (Foundation through to Expert)
  • COBIT Foundation
  • DevOps Foundation
  • Certified Agile Service Manager
  • Business Relationship Management
These are all excellent courses (of course) but you can also get classroom training for most, if not all, in New Zealand.

So which should you choose?  I'll share my personal thoughts and would be grateful for your feedback to let me know if I have missed anything or you feel I am wrong. 

Classroom Training
This is excellent for 
  • those working for organisations where several people need to be trained in the same subject, 
  • training needs to be undertaken within a short time-frame or for
  • those who learn best by being able to discuss subjects with others.
If your company decides that they want half a dozen team members trained up, for example in DevOps Foundation, then a classroom training session may be a better solution. If the whole department needs training in the subject, maybe you should engage a training organisation to come on site to perform training  tailored to your organisation.

However, classroom training does cost more to deliver, due to trainer costs, resources, classrooms, lunches, etc. Therefore the cost of classroom training is higher than on-line training.

On-line training
This is ideal for those
  • who wish to invest in their own personal development, 
  • organisations with a small training budget, 
  • organisations away from the larger training centres or where training can be spread over several weeks.  On-line training is generally spread over 30 to 60 days for Foundation level courses, or 90 to 150 days for practitioner level courses.  There are also options to have training packages spread over a year, for example ITIL Expert, where you can take all intermediate training courses and exams for a fraction of the cost of individual courses. (More on that coming soon!)

On-line training also allows you to cover the same areas time and time again until you are comfortable that you understand it, rather than moving at the same pace as the rest of the class.

If you have a limited budget, an on-line course may be a quarter of the cost of a classroom based course due to reduced overheads.  This would allow several of your team to attend a course for the same price as one classroom course.

Of course, there is no wrong or right answer, it has to fit you.  If you learn better in a group, on-line training will not suit you. However, if you are happy learning on your own, you can achieve more training in a year for a fraction of the cost of classroom training.

Find out more about on-line training and costs at

Monday, 29 February 2016

The 10 consulting commandments

Image result for stone tablets

A few years ago, I came up with my 10 commandments for consulting.  To be honest they probably make sense for life as well, but we'll stick with consulting here.

I'd be interested to know if you have any others that should be added.

I.  Always listen to the client.  You may need to help them think differently, but you can't understand them if you don't listen.

II. Always consider the impact of what you are doing on others.

III. Never assume that you know better than anyone else. You may have more experience in different areas, or more qualifications, but that doesn't mean you are better or know better. Remember that.

IV. Always be ready to learn something else. There isn't a week go by where I don't stop for a second and realise that I have discovered something new, or experienced a better / different way of approaching something.

V. Share. Share your knowledge and experience with others.  This may be through mentoring  people or just sharing on forums like Back2ITSM

VI. Start the day with a good cup of tea or coffee.  Does wonders for your approach to life.

VII. Be nice to others. Independent consulting is generally about word of mouth, whether that is recommendations or advice to stay away, so always treat people well and be professional.

VIII.  Don't believe EVERYTHING that you read.  If you are going onto a client site to look for improvements for example, then you will need to find out the core information yourself. You can't just take people's word for current state; it may be tainted.

IX. Don't overcharge your clients. This comes back, partially, to commandment VII. Clients are not cash cows.  Yes they may think you are expensive, but they are getting your experience, knowledge and network, to enable work to be undertaken (hopefully) better and quicker than if they were trying to do it themselves. That doesn't mean that you can add hours on here & there to bolster your bank balance.

Image result for me timeX. Always make time for personal development (& holidays).  It can be very easy to get into the "must make money" mindset, but often you will be working harder and longer than full time staff, and so you must make time for a break.  You must also ensure that you have time scheduled into your year for learning.  This may be learning new skills, or new areas of interest, or just improving the way that you think or operate.