Like a phoenix from the ashes, the IT service management (ITSM) podcast foursome are back with their usual mix of helpful advice, whinging, forward-thinking outlooks, and poodle humour. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about… itSMF UK has launched a “new” (well, a rebranded and revitalized) Service Management Podcast. The first episode of which has been live for a short while now, and can be listened to here (if you’re an Apple user) or here (if you’re not an Apple user).
So, What's the Purpose of the Podcast?
The podcast’s goal is to share knowledge and to get people talking about ITSM (and wider IT). There’ll be a new episode each week, and each episode will focus on a specific topic related to service management, or concentrate on an industry-related event.
In addition to the regular hosts (Barclay Rae, James Finister, Stephen Mann, and Patrick Bolger) there’ll also be a wealth of guests from all walks of IT (vendors, practitioners, trainers, consultants, etc.). Upcoming topics include the Service Desk and IT Support Show, ITIL, and enterprise service management (ESM), to name just a few.
On each podcast you can expect to hear:
- General musings about the ITSM industry
- Insights into where the industry is going and how it’s changing
- Tips and advice for practitioners (and often vendors too)
- Recommendations and suggestions for industry-wide improvements
- Debate over best practices, trends, and frameworks
- Really bad jokes (like… seriously bad)
- The occasional poodle barking in the background (blame James)
By sponsoring the podcast, itSMF UK is hoping to help the ITSM community pull closer together in a time of rapid change, with the ultimate aim of sparking change and improving everyone’s ITSM capabilities and outcomes. Plus, there’s always the hope that it might be quite entertaining too.
And no, it’s not as bad as THAT Episode One.
As already mentioned, episode one is already in the can and available to listen to here (if you’re an Apple user) and here (if you’re not an Apple user). You can subscribe to the podcast in both places too.
For those of you who maybe aren’t a fan of podcasts, or those who want a little more insight into the types of things covered before downloading and playing, I’ll endeavour to provide an overview of the main themes and comments discussed in episode one.
So, in addition to the usual suspects line up (Barclay, James, Stephen, and Patrick), the team were joined by:
And, as the episode was recorded at the Service Desk Institute’s (SDI’s) annual conference, this was the primary topic for discussion.
The Service Desk Institute
The overwhelming consensus was that the SDI team, members, and community is very welcoming. There was a lot of praise for the event as a whole, and in particular how successful the sponsor exhibition area was. And that there was a high-level of engagement between delegates and sponsors, and people seemed to be having genuine conversations – unlike at many non-UK events where the focus is often more on the free “swag” and scanning badges. Matt Hooper specifically spoke about the US needing to “step up its level of engagement at conferences”.
Wise Words for Sponsors
There was also a lot of discussion around what sponsors can do better (in general) at events. This included:
- To stop focusing on features and functionality.
- If you’re going to present at an event, invite a customer. Practitioners want to hear from customers, and things like: “this is why we bought it”, “this is what we've done with it”, “these are the benefits we've seen as a result of it”. Sally also encouraged customers to be honest, and to tell people what they did that didn't go so well too, because sometimes that can be just as helpful.
- Scan for quality over quantity. That it’s a false economy leaving an event with 3000 “scans” when 90% of them probably aren’t interested.
- Help people who want to be helped. “Old school” marketers still seem to be happy with 3000 poor leads rather than 3-5 quality conversations. It’s important to remember that conversations drive sales more than selling drive sales.
The consensus view was that, at the SDI conference, conversations seemed to be the primary interactions between the sponsors and the delegates. Probably, in part, because this is the kind of relationship and environment that SDI nurtures.
Focus on Value
As an industry, we need to ensure that the focus is on “customer value”. And it doesn’t overly matter which standards and frameworks you choose to provide that value.
Also, people need to realise that you can’t create something optimal from using every single part of every single approach, which means you need to take only what helps from DevOps, SIAM, ITIL, IT4IT, Agile, etc. Just take the bits that work best for your business. It’s something which Barclay has since blogged about in more detail.
Well I can’t do the words of these eight people justice in a single blog, so I recommend that you download and listen to the podcast at your leisure. Have it on in the background at work, listen to it on the drive home, or you can even play it in the shower (I know many who do… even though personally I find that a bit weird).
Apple users can download the podcast here.
Others can download the podcast here.
The Next Recording
Podcast #2 has already been recorded and is being edited as we speak. There are no guests, so with little to ensure the guys behave, I suspect there’ll be even more bad jokes and poodle conversation than normal.
That said, I think once you give the podcast a listen you’ll realise that this is the beauty of it, beyond all the good, helpful stuff.