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?


  1. James
    As you know, I completely support this initiative, and regularly give my time to share knowledge and experience.
    I think there are many more ways in which itSMF and SDI could support this, after all both organisations currently promote these same ideals through existing activity.
    As I said on the ITSM TV interview, priSM is about giving back through things like mentoring and CPD. There are countless examples.
    I've already taken some action to see what we can do to address some of the thoughts and suggestions you raised here to make it happen.
    I'll keep you updated on progress.
    Kind regards

  2. Thanks Matt. My personal view is that for this to work we need to mobilise as many existing sources of help and assistance as possible.Back2ITSM is not new in philosophy, the ITIL/ITSM community has always given back. What is different this time, I think, is harnessing the power of SocMed to get the support out to where it is most needed.