Wednesday, 10 November 2010

Thoughts on the 2010 itSMF UK Conference

So that's the 2010 conference over for another year.

A night's sleep, even though it involved dreaming about CMDBs and Service Design packages, has given me time to reflect on it.

So here are my thoughts.

If I'm perfectly honest I normally find attending this event a bit of a chore, but I thoroughly enjoyed this year.

First of all the venue and location was better than the Metropole, and I didn't find myself getting lost navigating between sessions and exhibition halls. I was really impressed with all the hotel staff I interfaced with, which coming from a customer service background is pretty unusual. The same applies to the conference support staff as well. I'm afraid the food at the gala dinner was another let down, but I've come to expect that.

Secondly there was the shift to just two days. I felt that made the event more focussed, and seemed to push up the attendance in the individual streams. Last year a lot of good sessions didn't get the audience they deserved.

Perhaps some thought needs to be given the timing of the first and last keynote sessions. Coming down from Coventry I only just managed to make the opening session, and the final session had a relatively small audience. If I go next year I will seriously consider coming down for the Sunday night.

Thirdly, of course, there were the people. Now I tweeted from last year's gala dinner that I was the worst networker in the room, and that remains the case, but this year social media came to my aid and I had some great conversations with @servicesphere, @stephenmann, @duncs, and @ barclayrae amongst others. It would have been nice to have had a wider tweetup, I'm not sure why that didn't happen and have a horrible feeling I should have arranged it.

Confession time, I had to grovel to the wonderful @G2G3 AKA Linda King because I kept walking past the stand without talking to them, which taught me two valuable lessons. One is that we need to be consistent with our social media persona, and the other was that it is too easy to ascribe the wrong motivation to others. I'm just naturally shy. 

The only reason I mention this is that it was the  theme of a lot of the "People" sessions, which is the stream I concentrated on.

We need to  give out clear messages to our customers,
and make sure
we understand the messages they are giving to us

The less said about my own session on ISO 38500 the better, because to be honest I was just trying to get to the end of it without infecting 80% of the audience with man flu. I did get some kind comments afterwards, but I can't help feeling I've not got my presenter's mojo back just yet. I suspect that is partially because I'm looking for a new, minimalist, style to call my own. Hopefully I'll have that sorted by Pink11. My ideas are evolving rapidly.

What did strike me, and some of the audience, is that some people just don't get what we are trying to do with ISO 38500.

It isn't about how we do things inside of IT.
It isn't a recipe book like ISO 20000
It isn't a rational construct like ITIL

My gut feel is we have a lot of "storming" to do in the ISO 38500 world before we can get round to "norming" and "performing"

Not for the first time I was surprised people didn't realise the financial contribution the Tata group makes to society. I got the message that as a behaviour it still matters but we keep too quiet about it.

Most presenters, including some of the authors, seemed to take the view that ITIL has become a sideshow. The big issue is how do we solve a specific issue, and ITIL rarely helps in those cases beyond providing a common vocabulary.

Final conclusions: For once I felt we have matured as a profession. There were very few theoretical/perfect world sessions. On the other hand there were few sessions that pushed the boundaries to the art of the possible.

Now, off to write my slides for Pink11....

Thursday, 4 November 2010

Brandon Lane CIO - Episode 7

Brandon Lane has a vision

(Or a slightly premature ITSM Carol)

Ten minutes before the first team meeting.

Brandon rubs his temples.If only Yssabele was here to soothe his furrowed brow.

Actually, when he thinks about it, most of the furrows on his brow are of Yssabele's doing. Even how to spell her name normally confuses him, because she changes her preferred spelling from week to week.

Never mind. You get the picture.

And oddly, now does Brandon.

A mist forms in front of his eyes, and standing in front of him is a patrician looking vision dressed in black, complete with pointed beard.

"Who the Chris Dancy are you?" Brandon enquires, whilst desperately trying to reach for the intercom on his desk.

"I am Ivor, the ghost of ITIL implementations past" the apparition announces "I, and my consulting associates, Jimbofin, the ghost of ITSM present, and Ian, the ghost of Outside-In thinking will all visit you to..."

There was a chilling stillness in the room, as the apparition prepared to make its pronouncement...

"Help you deliver an ITIL transformation project."

Brandon looked at the apparition for a few seconds before responding.

(Look, I'm writing this on an Android phone and I'm sorry but my chances of spelling "apparition" right are quite slim. Get over it.)
"Heck, I know the Netherlands is ITIL's own country, and I've smoked but never inhaled a lot of weed, but what planet are you from?"

"Well, planet ITIL, if you  must ask. Anyway my task is to show you the world of ITIL past, which actually isn't that hard, because it lies just beyond your door."

Read on....

Wednesday, 3 November 2010

itSMF UK conference

I don't believe in self promotion, but I guess I should point out that I'll be speaking at this year's itSMF conference in London next week.

My topic is how you can use ISO 38500 to gain CxO level commitment.

Come and listen to me if you are interested in the topic, but more importantly if you are coming to the conference come and introduce yourself and speak to me, and the other great ITSM experts who will be there. Don't be scared. we won't bite, and I would love to hear from you.