#itsmfusion13 – This could be the start of something big

Published on Thursday 24 October 2013 by in News with 1 comment

This could be the start of something big……the choice is yours to take!

To me this was the most inspirational and valuable itSMF event I have attended in a while. Primarily due to the fact that I was invited to take part in the #revnet discussions with a small selection of passionate ITSM  thought leaders and practitioners.  #Revnet stood for the itSMF USA revolutionary thinking group, organized by the itSMF USA. The aim of this group was to explore how to drive ITSM forward – how to remove the barriers and blockers that are hindering us, and how to ensure that ITSM can become, and remain relevant. Transforming from what it is now into a strategic business capability. #revnet produced a bold and challenging call to action to mobilize ALL those who want to commit to taking #ITSM to the next level. #revnet has now become the #SMCongress. A community driven platform for change. Visit the site

The #SMCongress call to action cited ‘…our industry has become stagnated by systemic and fundamentally broken set of attitudes and behaviors’. One of the symptoms named was a ‘Failure to champion individuals and equip them with proper competencies’ which is a key issue I am committed to help change.

During the conference I experienced stark reminders of why this issue MUST be addressed.  Many delegates at the conference were newcomers to the world of #ITIL, many having done their training and certification – yet they were unaware of the pitfalls associated with adopting and deploying ITIL and are meeting barriers that we met a decade ago!  It seems that we have not taken the painful lessons learned from the past and translated these into new ways of teaching ‘how to’ – we have quite simply, as an industry failed to walk-the-talk and apply CSI to ourselves.  We have focused too long on obtaining certificates as opposed to developing capabilities, focused too long on theory instead of practice.

What were some of the other symptoms I experienced during the conference that supported the #SMCongress call to action?

  • In the executive sessions the answers to questions about measuring the value of an ITSM initiative were predominantly internally focused indicators and not equated to business value and outcomes.
  • Still less than 5% people I asked in the management of change expert session, knew the definition of a service.  ‘It’s all about value outcomes costs and risks’. Most could name value. Only 1 person sadly, named RISK. Considering the fact that something like $980 billion dollars a year are lost on wasted IT investments and $26.5 billion or so is lost due to down time I would say that a core capability we need to develop is effective Risk management.
  • Very few are actively deploying CSI (Continual Service Improvement). Which in my mind is a core ITSM capability. Not one organization has ever implemented a single process from 0 to optimized maturity in one go, not one organization has implemented all ITIL/ITSM processes in one go….therefore ITIL is nothing more than a CSI capability. Which, in a rapidly changing business and technology landscape is a critical capability – to continually adapt to these changes, or even to enable these business changes. Not doing CSI increases business risks, doing CSI well improves the ability to drive value.
  • 100% of people that I asked recognized the top 5 ABC (Attitude, Behavior, Culture) resisters to ITIL/ITSM initiatives. These have been the top 5 for several years! ! why are we systemically failing to address this? (see #smfusion13 blog for top 5).
  • About 5% of people ‘ doing ITIL’ had read the OGC ITIL book ‘ Planning to implement service management’  worse still many had never even heard of it!. One reason being that you do not HAVE to read this book to become an ITIL expert. Yet ITIL experts are employed to ‘ implement’  service management!!! Where do the capabilities come from?
  • 80% of people I spoke with were not aware of business simulations as an #ITIL training tool. Instruments that help translate the theory into practice. When they heard what a simulation could do the answer was ‘Wow!’. Peter Hepworth in the Town hall meeting says AXELOS is ‘interested in gaming to bring best practices alive and make training more effective’.
  • 0% of people I asked actually measure the return on value of ITIL training!, only 5% focus on measuring and ensuring behavior change occurs. Most training investments are evaluated based on the ‘% of certificates achieved’.
  • More and more CIO’s are mistrustful of the label ITIL Expert. One said to me ‘ They can talk the walk….but when it comes to walking the talk, they lack the practical experience’.
  • ITSM is cracking apart. The question is will the industry mend the crack or simply pick up the pieces when it falls apart. #SMCongress  aims to mend it and strengthen it.

After hearing these systemic failures what could possibly be inspirational about the conference?

It was inspirational to hear :

  • The passion and energy from delegates who now recognize and support the fact that change is necessary;
  • In the executive breakfast meetings how many selectively use ITIL to solve business problems, rather than ‘ Implement’  all of ITIL, and to hear more people saying you do not ‘implement’  ITIL. It is something you adopt and adapt;
  • how many not only recognize the need for management of change capabilities but are now starting to insist upon them;
  • more and more voices criticizing the focus on ‘getting the certificate’  as opposed to ‘ developing capabilities’;
  • more and more people are recognizing that ‘people’ trumps ‘process and technology’.  If we can instill a feeling of personal ownership and accountability for ITSM it will be
    ‘one small step forward for the individual and one giant leap forward for our industry’.
  • how ABC – Attitude, behavior and Culture was not only a key aspect of the #SMCongress  call to action, but also a subject of more sessions and was recommended ny delegates as a separate stream for next year’s conference;
  • how AXELOS is embracing simulations and gaming as value added training instruments and not simply ‘ nice-to-have’  plug-ins, and how AXELOS wants to engage with the community to drive best practices forward. My call to action to those committing to #SMCongress is to actively provide input to AXELOS;
  • how the itSMF is itself embracing simulation games in its roadshow events to LIGS to help develop new competences;
  • how many recognized the 8-field model as being a revolutionary approach and missing link in the way we train, an approach that can help solve the systemic failure in realizing value from training investments.

The #SMCongress gave me inspiration, energy and a belief that this could be the start of something big……my only concerns are two of the ABC worst practice cards that are consistently year in, year out high scoring cards ‘ Not my responsibility’  and  ‘commitment – you have my FULL commitment, apart from time, effort, money and just so long as I don’t have to be involved’. #SMCongress success starts with YOU!

Become a part of #SMCongress and make ITSM a strategic capability, because if we are unable to transform ITSM, as one CIO said to me ‘We face the prospect of becoming irrelevant for the business’. The choice is YOURS to make.Call to action. Help make change a reality, become engaged and share best practices.

strategic asset

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1 comment

I especially enjoyed your comment on ITIL/ITSM simulations. In my experience I have seen more people get the concepts of Service Management out of a simulation than a Foundation class.

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