Friday, 23 December 2011

Episode 10: Xmas Present

We left Brandon Lane CIO at the end of Episiode 9 in the company of Jimbofin, AKA the Ghost of ITIL Present dealing with the prospect of explaining to Hans, the CEO, why no one on the service desk was answering his call.

"Tell me, Ghost of ITIL Present, this is really a dream isn't it?"

Jimbofin, Ghost of ITIL Present, paused briefly from his tuneless humming.

"Yes, of course it is, why do you have to ask?"

"I suppose I'd imagined you'd have just winked or something and we would have been in the CEO's office, rather than being stood here waiting ages for a lift, knowing that he's getting angrier and angrier that no one from IT is answering his call to the Help Desk"

Jimbofin looked at his watch, in the way that consultants do to remind themselves however dumb the question is they are still getting paid for answering it, or, for that matter, for not answering it.

"I'd like to look at your question from a number of different angles. First of all, just a little point, but ion the industry these days we no longer call it a Help Desk. we call it a Service Desk."

"Why is that? It just sounds like consultancy speak to me ."

"It is supposed to be because they provide a single point of contact for a wide range of services, but frankly it is because the users never find them to be much help. As for waiting for the lift, trust me it will become clear that this is part of the dream. For instance why do you think we are waiting so long for it?"

Jimbofin paused a beat.

"Actually don't bother thinking about it. You are still an auditor at heart and you'll be thinking through a nice rational explanation based on the heuristics the lift designers build in to optimise wait times across the floor of the building. Normally you would be right, but since this is a dream the explanation is much simpler: This is a lift designed and maintained by the IT department."

"Why on earth would an IT department design and operate the lifts?"

"Ah, apparently they've been reading that Business IT Alignment is old hat, and IT now is the business. So in this dreamworld IT have taken over running the business and the building. Don't worry, I'm sure it is probably safe."

At that moment the lift arrived, and after several aborted attempts the doors finally opened to let them in. The interior of the lift was unlike anything Brandon lane had experienced. He made sure to stand away from the wires that were most obviously sparking.

"I'm told the voice recognition system is state of the art, but apparently they had to abandon it after Barclay Rae got stuck in it for a week because it wouldn't  recognise his Scottish accent. Anyway the Muzak is good...."

"What Muzak, I can't hear any"

Jimbofin gave a panel a strategic nudge with an elbow and the loudspeaker burst into tinny life

"Welcome to ITSM Weekly.....the Podcast......"

"You know it is amazing how quickly that becomes background noise, though I would hate to have to listen to it for more than twenty minutes. I'm quite happy the Lift Operational Options Project Imitative who designed this lift  haven't adopted Ian Clayton's Outside In thinking: Not being good with heights I don't fancy having to cling on to the outside of a lift, even in a dream." 

"Who is Ian Clayton? Does he work for me?"

For a second a look of  panic came over Jimbofin's face, the look you see on a consultant's face when they realise the client has actually read the PowerPoint stack and so the big reveal at the end is going to fall flat.

"Er, no, but you will be meeting him quite quickly, I erm, suspect."

By now the lift was moving, but Brandon was perplexed.

"We seem to be moving quite quickly, but the floor indicator says we haven't moved"

"Haven't you been involved in any IT projects like that? Lots of apparent action but nothing actually happens. As it happens we've don't bother getting out we are just picking up at this floor."

Had Brandon wanted to leave the lift he couldn't have done, because as soon as the doors opened two suited and fragranced men pushed in and pushed Brandon and Jimbofin to the back of the lift, then they turned and took up the inimitable stance of the alpha dog and the wannabe alpha dog.

Jimbofin and Brandon looked at each other and said in sync:

"Management Consultants!"

Well, actually they said

"******* Management Consultants!"

As soon as the lift doors closed the two identikit consultants relaxed a muscle or two and started to discuss the case. However hard he tried, and despite how loudly they were talking, Brandon couldn't quite make out what they were actually saying. He looked quizzically at Jimbofin .

" There's no point asking me what they are saying, they are proper Managment Consultants from ********. I am but a humble ITSM consultant unworthy to carry a bag for them. All I do is go in and clean up the mess they leave behind. Don't worry by the way, it works both ways so we can say whatever we want. Or at least it isn't that they can't understand us, it is more a case of us literally not existing in their world. Not only that but they've pressed the down button to go to the lobby, and we'll just have to go along with them."

"I can tell you what they are talking about though. They've just come from a presentation to senior management,  in fact Hans, the CEO, was chairing it. Do you want to guess what they were agreeing?"

"Let me have a wild stab - the new IT Strategy?"

"Yep got it in one. I'm sure Hans meant to invite you as the CIO."

Brandon loosened his tie.

"Is it just me or is it getting warm in here and we seem to be going a long way down to the ground floor."

Jimbofin smiled.

"I wondered when you would notice. I told you this was a dream, and it isn't all bad."

The lift stopped,

The door opened.

The management consultants walked forward

Disappeared from view

and screamed.

A strange red colored, clawed hand appeared around the entrance to the lift, followed by a horned face. The appearance would have been much scarier had it not only been ten inches tall. It gazed malevolently at Brandon and Jimbofin before breaking into a wide grin

"Ow we doin boss, awright? Cor blimey you should ave seen their little face when they realised where they were. And the lads say hats off to you sir for thinking of that little touch of diverting their mobiles to an IVR saying "Press 1 if you want to speak to the CEO....I'm sorry all our executive leadership team are busy doing a proper job" was sheer genius"

"I do my best. Brandon let me introduce you to Wysiwyg , head of the ITIL Imps and guardian of what Kelly would call IT Hell. Don't worry, you and I are only visiting, for now at least. And now we really must go and see Hans."

With that the doors closed, though rather quicker than Wysiwyg was expecting, leaving him trapped in the lift with them.

"Well this is a jolly, sirs, I don't get out of that lower lower basement much, and isn't it lucky I just had time to grab my red hot trident. I know how much CEOs love being prodded to do something by IT people."

Brandon looked at Jimbofin in despair.

to be continued....possibly before 2012

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