#pink12 Monday morning action(s)

Published on Tuesday 3 April 2012 by in Blog with 1 comment

The intensive and inspirational  #pink12 conference is sadly behind us for another year, already a fading memory as daily reality kicks-in. It is Monday morning and many of us are sitting at our desks with a steaming cup of coffee and a heavy head crammed full of new insights, wondering what to do with all of our new found knowledge. I want to take this opportunity to remind you of the 3 Monday morning actions I suggested during the closing plenary session at #pink12. I want to remind you now before the daily grind and pressures of work squash any positive energy and enthusiasm which may still linger – I am sure another action on your already busy agenda is the last thing you need. However one of my actions will, I believe, revolutionize the ITSM industry. ‘Oh no!’ I hear you groaning ‘that’s all I need on a Monday morning, on top of the mountain of emails and outstanding work staring up at me, some idiot ranting on about revolutions’! Don’t worry, after revolutionizing ITSM that still leaves you Monday afternoon for all those mails. 

But first of all I want you to wake up to the warm glow and professional pride in knowing that you are now a strategic asset! Congratulations. As I explained at the conference, the significant growth in the use of, and dependency upon IT, as well as the increasing business opportunities afforded by emerging disruptive technologies, means that ITSM is becoming a strategic capability. ‘Groan… that sounds like even more work’! Better upgrade that coffee to a double expresso. We all went to the conference as IT professionals, and have in the short time since then evolved from being  ‘cave dwelling technoids who speak in Technobabble’ (These are the words of a business manager I spoke to, don’t shoot me!) to being strategic assets!…..I can hear the business managers already, ‘You mean those IT geeks are now strategic assets?….boy are we in deep doo-doo!’ (A new phrase to add to the glossary of ITSM terms).

I realize many of you will find this statement somewhat distasteful on a Monday morning and more than a little disrespectful, however this is the perception we hear from business managers all around the world.

This card, one of the most popular cards chosen by users doing the ABC (Attitude, Behavior and Culture) exercises sums up what they think about us.

The opening film at the conference raised the question ‘Do you get it yet?’ Many, I am afraid, do not!

What is happening in the industry represents a transformation for the majority of IT organizations. Indeed I have spoken with 5 senior IT managers this year who all used the words ‘IT transformation’ without me mentioning it at all. This represents a significant shift in the attitude, behavior and culture of IT organizations. IT is a PEOPLE thing. 

During my sessions at #pink12 I showed an image of a T-shirt I wanted to have made. In fact Jan and I at GamingWorks think we will have it made! It is something to remind us all in IT that we are ‘Strategic assets’! We in IT have the responsibility and accountability to make this true. If we do not break out of our ‘internal, technology & process focus’ and ‘victimized’ feeling we will be seen as ‘Tragic asses’. Once again as the opening film suggested, we will then be seen as ‘irrelevant’ and prime contenders for outsourcing…..very tragic!


It is in our hands to do something about it.  It is in our hands, each and every one of us, to take ownership and start creating ITSM 2.0 – Start acting and behaving like business people, not IT people. Business people who specialize in delivering services based around IT.

Action 1: is to pin this image onto your laptop so you can see it every-day as a reminder. At the end of each day ask yourself ‘Did I behave to-day as a strategic asset or …..’ 

I went on to ask how many people were ‘doing ITIL’, as usual about 85% of the hands went up. I then asked how many could tell me the definition of a service. Less than 25% of the hands went up. I said ‘Imagine I am a business manager,  in response to this sorry state of affairs I would now say “How dare you sit here and tell me you are spending MY IT budget on ITSM and you can’t even tell me the single fundamental concept of what it is all about”’! This could be why business managers think they may end up with doo-doo! A Service is ‘a means of delivering Value to Customers by facilitating Outcomes they want to achieve without the ownership of specific Costs and Risks’. Four words that EVERYBODY in IT should be aware of: Value, Outcomes, Costs, Risks (V,O,C,R).

Action 2: Go and ask everybody you meet what the definition of a ‘service’is, if they don’t know, then tell them, and tell them in the context of what your organization is trying to achieve using ITIL.

This will help overcome the number 1 ABC worst practice card chosen in the Customer exercise ‘IT has too little understanding of Business impact and priority’.

My final Monday morning action is this. Action : Let’s make Monday 27 February ‘NationalGO and meet a USER day’!  I mean it. Many IT people have never actually SEEN a user. To many a User is a creature that lives somewhere in cyberspace and has a similar effect on IT as say, a Virus, or a bug, a User is another term for a known error. Irritating and annoying and likely to cause IT to stop working!

The theme of the conference was ‘Knowledge translated into results’Go and ask a Userwhat results they want to see you realize with all this new found knowledge. Don’t ask them using emails or facebook or twitter or any of the social media technologies. Go and ask them face-to-face, meet them and shake their hands, look them in the eyes and ask them – as a business colleague. ‘Talk to a User’!! I hear you say, ‘hit me with another expresso’!

This will help us break out of another of the top ABC worst practices ‘IT is too internally focused’.

I have designed a new web button, it is the ‘face-to-face button, showing people shaking hands. Business & IT, technoids and Users. Let this be the symbol of ITSM 2.0.

ITSM 2.0 starts the minute you sit down and start talking with the business and asking questions so that we can understand their needs and issues. What is the value and outcomes they expect? How can we help reduce costs and risks? In the beginning they may shy away and look at you suspiciously wondering what you are up to. Don’t give in perseverance is needed.

I am sitting in the aircraft going back to Holland as I type this and I notice that every time I get in an aircraft they remind me ‘your safety and comfort are our primary concern’, perhaps we in IT should adopt a similar mantra ‘Your value, outcomes, costs and risks are our primary concern’.

I have fourth action I have sneaked in (Start chewing the coffee beans!) Action 4: I’d like to ask EVERYBODY to tweet this message ‘Make Monday 27 Feb the national Go and meet a User day’, to mobilize other IT people to go out and meet a User. Let us create, like Mark Smalley a good friend of mine and self-proclaimed ‘IT paradigmologist’ says , let’s create an ‘IT spring!’ an IT uprising, only let’s make it a positive one. One in which ITSM claims the position it pretends to want. Aligning with the business. Lets not start talking about Business and IT integration or Fusion or any of that stuff yet. First let’s get the alignment sorted out. We need to gain trust, credibility and respect before the business will take us seriously and start seeing us as a ‘partner’ and start talking about integration.

If you do actually go and meet a User, please tweet what you discovered using hashtag #pink12. Not that I expect any tweets. After all one of the top chosen ABC worst practice cards world-wide is ‘Not my responsibility’.



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