Thursday, 12 April 2012

How Time Flies

Unlike the prolific Stephen Mann I am dreadful at going considerable periods without blogging.  Some of you might have noticed that in fact my general socmed profile has been rather quiet of late, and indeed I would like to thank all of you who have messaged me to check that I was OK. Yes I am, but my attention has been elsewhere recently both professionally and personally. We introverts sometimes need our space to do our deep thinking in, and that is where I've been of late. I must ask my Finnish friends how their concept of hiljaisuus works on-line.

Of course I haven't been that quiet - I've still been churning out episodes of ITSMWPROW with the usual suspects, attending ISO committee meetings and doing BrightTalk webinars, and I'm in the middle of writing my presentation for SDITS in a couple of weeks time. The net result is the last month seems to have flown by.

Time is a curious concept. One of the challenges I find in ITSM is maintaining multiple perspectives on it. There are those things that are important from a day to day perspective and those things that can only be achieved over the long term. Often hard won progress can be lost imperceptibly as our attention wanders elsewhere. Many of us make the mistake of focusing too much on a single time frame. Often the choice of that time frame is very defensive "I'll do it tomorrow, or when I retire" or about trying to believe we are more in control than we really are "If I can just get to the end of my to-do list for today I'll be back on track". Very often our chosen time-frames don't correspond with those others around us are working to. Nowhere is this more true than in the world of metrics where we are often reporting on the least useful time periods for our customers. Two weeks into April do I really care what happened in March?

The mis-match can also be found in how we sell and (attempt to) deliver the benefits of ITSM initiatives, which is what led me to develop my road-map based approach to ensure alignment. It is more of an observation than a criticism that early versions of ITIL talked about operational service support and tactical service delivery, both of which were based around easily recognizable time-frames. Since ITIL v3 the focus on the service life-cycle is perhaps less tangible and more abstract to many readers.

A curious thing to examine is the careers of people in ITSM, especially those who at some point have made a name for themselves. Some seem to choose to endlessly repeat - in a good way - the same pattern but moving between organisations, others claim to "grow out" of ITSM and move on to the next great thing.

Sometimes it is good idea to sit down and examine where we are from multiple perspectives. Sometimes it is good to sit and think "What are going to leave behind us?" Sometimes we just need to ask "What next?"

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