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This blog, written by itSMF UK leaders and guest contributors, offers service management thought leadership and discussion of industry trends. Please feel free to comment on these posts (you will need to be logged into the website as a member). We look forward to hearing from you.

 

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Only a week until ITSM15

Posted By Administration, 16 November 2015

It’s now only one week until our annual ITSMF UK Conference & Exhibition - #ITSM15. I look forward to seeing many new and familiar faces there – members, delegates, visitors, exhibitors, industry folk…

There is still time to book delegate places – two-day, one-day and exhibition passes – please contact our office (events@itsmf.co.uk or 0118 918 6500) if you haven’t yet booked and would like to join us.

The Conference schedule is available and features a number of excellent, compelling speakers, keynotes and topical subjects including IoT, SIAM, DevOps, Agile, IT4IT, people, Collaboration, Customer Experience – there will even be stuff about ITIL…!

Of course these topics will drive conversations in the coffee and bar areas and the great value of these events is the networking. The event venue is nicely set up for that, with our exhibition and session rooms all in one close and convivial area. We are delighted that the exhibition is fully sold out and there are a variety of different, new and familiar vendors and industry experts that can be found in the exhibition area.  

Our awards dinner is also fully sold out. For those who have not been able to get a ticket, the hotel has 2 excellent restaurants, plus 2 bars. These are all suitable for entertaining, team dinners or simply for more private dining and socialising (booking is advised). The awards and dinner area will also be open to all for music and socialising once the formal part of the evening is concluded (about 10.30).

I am impressed with the venue and am very positive about this being a really memorable and engaging event.

From my perspective, as new in this role, I want to talk to as many people as possible about how we can develop the industry, the value proposition around ITSM and how ITSMF UK can be a positive and essential part of that. If you want to have a chat about moving ITSM forward please contact me before or at the show – I look forward to seeing you there.

Barclay Rae | CEO

@barclayrae (twitter)

barclayrae (linkedIn)

 

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Profile, engagement and effectiveness at ITSMF UK

Posted By Barclay Rae, 28 October 2015

I’m delighted to be taking on the role of CEO for ITSMF UK for the next six months. Since this was announced I’ve received tremendous support from across the industry, with hundreds of positive messages. Thanks for all of these - I appreciate the sentiments and expectations and so there’s a job to be done…

I will try to share messages and information about plans and activities as much and as transparently as possible – the initial short-term focus is on the conference, which I am really looking forward to and where I hope to see as many of you as possible. Whether you opt to attend both days or you choose a one-day conference or exhibition pass, please do try to join us for what is always a sociable and rewarding event.

As an organisation there have been a number of changes recently – we are now a relatively new Board and can forge a new and positive direction. It’s also great to have some C-Level representatives joining the Board from member (service delivery) organisations – their input will be invaluable.  

My focus will be on three areas – (1) managing and supporting the ITSMF UK office and team to be as successful as possible, (2) looking at new ways to deliver value, including new products from ITSMF, plus (3) reaching out to as many potential partners and industry organisations as possible to widen the ITSM debate and achieve more as a unified industry.

Work has already commenced to follow up the recent Leadership Council initiative, with some research commissioned to look at how to develop our skills framework. We will also start to look in the next week or so, again with the support of the Council, at new ways to promote and market the industry and the ITSM value proposition. I will also be talking also to a number of other membership organisations about how they manage and maintain their services.

So initially I’ll be making myself available for conversations on collaboration and synergy – please contact me directly if you would like to engage. I’ll obviously be available at the conference and I hope to see you there.

My goal is to raise the profile, engagement levels and effectiveness of ITSMF UK – I look forward to your continued support in getting there.    

Best regards

Barclay Rae 

 

 

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Learning AND work – an accidental discovery

Posted By Philippa Hale, 21 October 2015

I have been focusing a lot of my recent work with clients on how to bring learning back into the workplace.  This is driven by the fact that in the ITDigital world these days, there is less and less time available for conventional training but an ever increasing need for continual learning. 

I have discovered some excellent tools that encourage and enable learning on the job, and sharing learning, in particular, FuseUniversal, which combines the best of Youtube, Linkedin, FB and Google into an incredibly easy-to-use tool that instantly got my team swapping links, ideas, discussing questions and creating their own mini-videos using their mobile phones, which they have found far more fun and motivating to actually do that the dreaded ‘documentation’.

However, I am still an advocate of face-to-face whenever possible, even video conference or audio if used properly (right etiquette on speed, clarity, simplicity, length of presentation and careful listening to ensure understanding …) is better than any written tool as at least you can hear the tone of voice.  Research tells us that we hear around 80% of the message in the other person’s tone of voice, the words make up only 20% of the message, and we easily pick up when the tone doesn’t match the words.  A smart team member or manager will then diplomatically ask something like, ‘Are you sure you are ok with this?  I’m sensing something may be bothering you.’   It may be an assumption but how many far worse assumptions do we make based on a few words in an email? And at least we can check.

As well as looking at the new tools available, I also looked back at some research into learning and communication I did over 10 years ago.

In 2004 I did some research into successful knowledge sharing across diverse groups within the IT function of a UK Building Society.  I brought together Developers, Testers, Business Analysts, Service Support and Project Managers and inadvertently sparked a chain of learning/working activities which I now include in all my client projects, and will be able to combine with this new technology too.

We used an Action Research technique, where people from each specialist team came together for 3 half-day group sessions.

Session 1 - I introduced the project and proposed a set of questions for us to debate based on the objectives of my research project.  These were refined by the group and discussed. I wrote up the initial findings

Session 2 - I presented these back to the group for a second round of discussion, then wrote up and shared the final findings and recommendations – my own and the groups’

Session 3 – Was at the invitation of the group – could we do a second round of discussion because, although the groups appreciated the findings, they LOVED the Action Research sessions themselves, where they talked to people from other teams.  The knock-on effects were very useful indeed, as they had a new and strengthened network of people they could go to in the other teams to solve problems earlier and faster.   They said they felt they were:

  • Doing something challenging, a bit different and useful
  • Had a sense of being listened to and their ideas valued
  • Seeing an immediate feedback loop – in the session itself and also back at work
  • The leadership and facilitation of the sessions enabled the group to go from polite stand-off with a hint of cynicism to openness, collaboration and a surprising level of trust in just 3 short sessions
  • It was fun and they didn’t notice time passing.  A symptom of being in the ‘flow’.

Though there was no specific instruction to do so, they started to run similar sessions themselves.  Some used the techniques as a new way of running team meetings, others as part of project kick-off workshops or group working sessions on change programmes, with clear impact on project team working and delivery.

I am running a masterclass on ITSM Leadership on 29th October 2015 with Jean Gamester, and we will be exploring and demonstrating some of these techniques along with others so do join us if you are interested in this area. For more information or to book this masterclass please click here.

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ITSMF SIAM SIG – Too many acronyms but a great day!

Posted By Steve Morgan, 07 October 2015

Yesterday, I chaired the inaugural ITSMF SIAM SIG – not some strange codebreakers seminar as the long acronym might suggest, but the first ITSMF UK, Service Integration & Management (SIAM), Special Interest Group (SIG)!

I’ve chaired the Service Level Management Special Interest Group in the past for the ITSMF, and as SIAM is now my passion, I decided to get a SIG off the ground. Its aim is:

  • To agree on a definition of Service Integration and Management (SIAM), recognizing the various forms in which SIAM appears today, which is recognized by the industry as encompassing what SIAM is about.
  • To agree a common language and definitions of common terms for SIAM
  • To outline the variations of the various SIAM models, and comment on the suitability, benefits and disadvantages of each
  • To describe the implementation approaches relating to SIAM
  • To agree upon a set of common challenges in a SIAM environment, and publish content pertaining to these
  • Run a series of events for ITSMF UK members to share knowledge and obtain feedback
  • To ultimately collate the content produced into an industry recognized SIAM framework, publishing this content as an ITSMF UK publication

The SIG consists of representatives from the Service Provider community, as well as those who represent the retained IT organisations in the “Customer” world.

We had a great day at the inaugural event, which was hosted by HP at their offices in London.
The day started with an overview of the HP view of SIAM, and we soon progressed into some lively debate about “What is SIAM”, using a paper that will shortly be published by the ITSMF that I wrote as a discussion document to get the conversation started.

We also spent some valuable time discussing potential working groups within the SIG. The aim of the working groups is to produce some content in a series of Agile-like “sprints”. Our Working Groups are:

  1. (Processes, What’s in and What’s out of SIAM, what’s the demarcation between Service Providers and Retained>?
  2. Business Case
  3. Tooling (including Data Model)
  4. People, Cultural change, behavioural

We’re aiming to have fortnightly teleconferences, supported by bi-monthly face-to-face meetings. I’m really excited that as a collective group, encompassing both Customers and Service Providers, we can really start to define some principles around SIAM, its issues and challenges, and the benefits that it can bring.

If you would like to get involved, then please head over to the Contact Us area of the website and get in touch.

I’ll keep you updated as to how we progress.

Steve Morgan – Syniad IT

View Steve's personal blog here.

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ITSMF UK, not-for-profit and led by industry volunteers - continuing to evolve to meet member needs

Posted By John Windebank, 24 August 2015

Hi all. 

The ITSM community is rich with passion, dedication, commitment, expertise and opinion. 

I want to make a few points here, but before I do let me make it clear that if anyone wants to talk anything through with me please feel free just to contact me – john.windebank@itsmf.co.uk. 

Firstly let’s set the context... ITSMF UK has a growing membership, a thriving conference, a real buzz around our Regional and Special Interest Groups and extremely well received new initiatives such as our recently launched Leadership Council, which was exceptionally well attended by senior executives across the ITSM Industry. We are passionate, dedicated and committed to the ongoing support and success of our members, the global ITSMF movement and the ITSM industry as a whole. We are continuing along our journey as an independent, not-for-profit organisation that is purely and simply about serving the needs of our members. 

We continue to be led and directed by volunteers from across the ITSM industry and supported by a small but unbelievably dedicated, committed and effective staff team, to which I am deeply grateful. In today’s world, not-for-profit organisations can only survive and thrive by running a highly efficient, effective and compliant member service operation, whilst in parallel continuing to actively engage with its members, understand what they need and develop/deliver against those needs. That is our sole aim. That is what we are absolutely committed to doing. Nothing in that respect has changed.

I guess that statement comes as no surprise. You would expect me to say that. But you know what? It’s true.

I know that there are comments in some social media threads that have expressed concern over some of the underpinning organisational changes we have made. We are all passionate about the very purpose and the performance of ITSMF UK and I want to absolutely assure you that the sole intent of executing these changes is to enable ITSMF UK members to continue to achieve maximum value from their membership. The changes to things like our Articles of Association were not done lightly, and should not be seen as a one-off exercise. In the same way that we continue to take ongoing expert financial advice on how to operate the organisation in the most effective contemporary manner (cost efficiency and compliance is a must for an effective not-for-profit), we will continue to seek feedback from our members and input from our legal advisors on contemporary best practice in the area of governance, constitution and legal structure of not-for-profit organisations in the UK. We will continue to evolve, and very gratefully accept the time, opinions and expertise that any of our members are able to volunteer to contribute to help us continue to hone and improve our underpinning operation. The better we operate, the better we can enable our members to derive value from their membership and the faster and more effectively we can drive new innovation in our services, our members and the industry as a whole.

Of course, if you or your organisation are not currently a member of ITSMF UK, we would love the opportunity to talk with you and explain what we are, and how we serve the spectrum of organisations and individuals across the ITSM Industry as an independent, not-for-profit industry forum.


John Windebank

A passionate member of ITSMF UK and a proud advocate for the global ITSMF community... and as a volunteer, Chair of ITSMF UK.

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