Friday, 18 November 2011

Making Back2ITSM Work

A while ago Stephen Mann used his Forrester blog to launch the concept of Back 2 ITSM.

He summed it up as a call to:

  1. Recognize that we are a community and a community that often struggles with the same issues (particularly with ITIL adoption).
  2. Offer up our time to help out others (and often ourselves).
  3. Identify where our efforts need to be applied (for example with the creation of a set of standard (core) ITSM metrics and benchmarks).
  4. Deliver on our promises to the ITSM community.
  5. Never stop trying to improve our collective ITSM capabilities and the quality of delivered IT and business services.
I would like to think that these align very closely with the ethos this blog has always had.

To get the ball rolling he launched the Practitioner Health check which is being hosted by Hornbill and at the itSMF UK Conference this year we used our recording of the ITSMWPROW podcast to formally launch the Twitter hashtag #Back2ITSM and we will continue to use the podcasts to spread the  message. 

Stephen has set up a  Linkedin  but most of you know my opinion of Linkedin groups. We've also just established a Facebook page and group as an experiment. 

So, all very laudable, but will it work?

I'm a practical kind of guy. No really, I am, despite what my wife says. So the theory sounds good but good intentions aren't enough. We need actions. I'm also an auditor, so I have a somewhat cynical view of human nature, so I worry that some might subvert the concept to their own ends. You don't need to be an ITSkeptic to imagine a vendor labeling a sales pitch with the Back2ITSM label. 

Making it Happen

So here  our my ideas, and I stress that that is all they currently our:

Branding -  We already have the hashtag but it would be useful to have a logo vendors, conferences and blogs could use to show both their support and that the content is in line with the ethos of Back2ITSM

Quality -The branding needs to be backed by some form of community enforced quality control.  That probably means having a very simple set of guidelines and requirements , for instance requiring content to be published under a Creative Commons licence.

Accessibility - The content needs to be easy to access, perhaps via a central hub web site.

Co-operation - Where solutions already work they should be exploited rather than re-inventing the wheel.I don't, for instance, see Back2ITSM as competing against itSMF or SDI, but perhaps I foresee those bodies putting event on that would have Back2ITSM branding. I'm glad to say both SDI ansd itSMF UK have already made offers of support.

Making Connections - For me what lies at the heart of Back2ITSM is people giving their time, skills and experience to help others. Only so much of that can be done on paper. How doe we facilitate this? Social media is obviously one channel but I believe that a Back2ITSM conference, or unconference might be a jolly good idea, whether as a standalone event or as part of an existing event.

Well, those are my initial thoughts, what are yours?

Thursday, 17 November 2011

The Usual Tumbleweed

Quiet here, isn't it? Not a lot of action since my Week in Provence, which seems like a lifetime ago.

Needless to say a lack of blog activity actually  means I've been ferociously active elsewhere, so here is a quick update.

First of all I do have a day job, and recession or not TCS continues to do rather well for itself, and I'm pleased to say that my Service Integration and IT Governance team is no exception with great year on year growth. Of course that does mean I sometimes actually have to do some work. Unfortunately the two big developments I've been working on will have to stay under wraps a little longer, but watch this space for announcements.

One TCS initiative  that I can tell you about is that we were privileged to have Mark Toomey deliver an ISO 38500 Masterclass to our team. As far as I know we are the first major consultancy to make such a public commitment to this relatively new standard. Delivered in Mark's inimitable style the course generated a lot of debate and a lot of great ideas.

Needless to say I've continued my ranting on the ITSM Weekly Podcast Rest of the World edition.  I got extremely animated about metrics, and at the live recording (sic) we made at the itSMF UK conference I voiced my concern at the lack of a sense of urgency or any call to arms from within the industry during these interesting times.

Despite my rant the conference itself was a good event. As well as the live show we collected material for two other podcasts including a "vox pops" of delegate impressions.There is no doubt that the new location is much better than Birmingham in nearly all respects, except possibly the exhibition hall. It was good to meet up with so many people, though as usual I came away not having managed to speak to many of those I wanted to. I'll repeat something I've said before and which was echoed by others - if you see any of the so called ITILuminati wandering around at these events do feel free to introduce yourself and chat to them - most of them they don't bite.

There were a number of highlights for me. Sharing  a table at the gala dinner with the likes of Ivor Evans, Phil Montenaro and John Groom brought back memories of the early days of ITIL and Stephen Mann's session on Value was a timely reminder that we can't chose to avoid key topics just because they are difficult. Hopefully I'll be contributing a guest blog for Stephen on how my pet topic of service integration can help make the value proposition more explicit.

Bright-talk ran an interesting on line summit on Service Catalogues this week, and all the sessions are available for off-line listening. I took part in the panel debate with Chris Dancy, Charles Betz and Charles Araujo. We had got some interesting questions from the audience, and some equally interesting mixed  feedback.  Clearly from some of the comments there are people who still think there are simple answers to very complex questions that lie at the heart of service management - like "What is a service?"

Chris again raised a point that I made after Pink11 which is that there are some very different perspectives on ITIL and ITSM on the two sides of the Atlantic, reinforcing the idea of two nations divided by a common language. The reasons for this deserve a post of their own.

And finally.... and probably the main reason I've been too busy to post...and as Stephen Mann has just reminded me, the ITSMWPROW News Poodles, Daisy and Darcy, produced four little news poodles. Say hello to Roxy, Digby, Dougie and Ruby