Voted Best Answer
Mar 02, 2016 - 10:40 AM
Once you understand the basics of SAM, actually doing SAM well requires you to persuade other, non-SAM people that they need to prioritise SAM and commit resources to it. To do this you need to learn the correct vocabularies and management techniques these people themselves use to communicate.
Therefore my approach has been to branch out from SAM and do other IT oriented courses that help me communicate and persuade my stakeholders. First and foremost (in the UK at any rate) is ITIL - if you work in any company that pays any sort of lipservice to ITIL, do the ITIL Foundation course and possibly the Service Transition Intermediate course as a follow up, especially if your job title is 'Service Asset & Configuration Manager'.
Next on my list is a Risk Management course - in the UK I would do Management of Risk - this course changed _completely_ the way I approach SAM.
The other basic course you should consider is a project management course - even if you do not need to manage a SAM Project yourself, the Prince2 Foundation Course will teach you project management vocabulary and what all the project management related documents are and how they are used. Most organisations use project management to drive change, so it will come in handy when you get stuck and need to find ways to move SAM forward.
For the future I am considering doing a contract management course and perhaps TOGAF Foundation Training to help me talk to the strategy and solutions achitects I work with.
I also believe extremely strongly in ongoing professional development - courses are good, but they can only cover issues that exist now. One of the fantastic things about SAM is that there is always new challenges in the pipeline, so I try and get to a big SAM Conference once every two years.
I also constantly read - the current book I'm reading now is called Good Strategy Bad Strategy - it's the second time I'm reading it, it's so good! and after that will be IT Governance: How Top Performers Manage IT Decision Rights for Superior Results (I work in federated organisations, so this is a critical issue), and finally is IT Finance for Decision Makers - it's so dry it somehow keeps slipping to the bottom of the pile, but one day I will grit my teeth and actually read it!
So my view is that while courses SAM courses are good, they only take you so far. Beyond that, the challenge is not SAM itself, but communicating why SAM is important to other people so that they will help you do something about it. Communicating with other people is much easier when you learn their language and understand where they are coming from, which is why I've decided to do courses in lots of different areas and prioritise my own professional development - conferences and reading - so heavily.