3rd Annual Pink conference in Chile
24 October. Pink Elephant held their 3rd annual IT Service Management conference in Chile. The theme being ‘Knowledge Translated into Results’, helping the ITSM Latin American community to gain Value from their ITIL Investments.
Before the conference Gerardo Reyes-Retana Dahl, Director of Pink Elephant Latin America was interviewed by CNN (Chilean Network News). The aim to gain more insight into Business and IT alignment issues and how ITSM frameworks are relevant. The theme being on the CNN radar as IT is becoming an increasingly critical enabler….or barrier to business performance.
I asked Gerardo for his top two key messages to CNN. ‘ITSM best practices are all about the results they deliver to the business’, confirming that we in IT often seem to forget this. IT being too internally focused, and ITIL is often the objective, not what it should achieve. A second key message was ‘Using best practices is all about People and behavior, it is an organizational change initiative. It won’t be easy’, confirming that this is a significant cultural shift for many IT organizations.
ITIL currently talks about Business & IT Integration. It seems that many organizations are still struggling with alignment. We must develop some trust and credibility before we can be seen as an integration partner for the business.
We have been promising for more than 10 years to align business and IT and demonstrate control of ITSM and most organizations are still struggling. A CIO top 5 issue in one survey was ‘Leadership development and staff training’ in order to bring about the change.
David Ratcliffe in his plenary presentation used his keynote to discuss and explain leadership. His title. ‘You don’t have to be in charge to get results’. Some of his key messages. ‘Leadership is about influencing people’.’Setting direction. Value, Vision and goals’ and making it ‘relevant’and in the ‘context’ of your business. Leadership is about empowering people to act on the vision, empowerment is more than ‘authorizing’ people. It is about enabling and facilitating. Leadership is about making change happen, realizing trust and credibility through ‘values, integrity and doing what’s right’. Finally David stressed the importance of effective communication. He missed one thing which I added in my presentation. Communication is also about ‘walking-the-talk’, ‘leading by example.’
Paul Wilkinson presented the poor state of affairs in ITSM, particularly the impact of training to bring about attitude and behavior change, and a failure to ‘translate knowledge into results’. Paul explained the 8- field model and measuring results, revealing that less than 10% measure the results or impact of their training investments. In the audience zero % measured the results. Most IT people on a training do not Know what results the organization is trying to realize using ITIL, and there is no process for transferring what has been learnt into demonstrable behavior change and demonstrable value.
David’s next presentation went into the business case. ‘How to justify an IT Service Improvement project to Executive management confirming the ABC worst practices ‘IT has too little understanding of business impact and priority’, and ‘IT thinks it doesn’t need to understand the business to make a business case’. A business case for ITSM needs to be presented to the ‘Dragons den’ of ‘C’ level managers. If you don’t justify the case you will be ‘eaten alive!’. IT must understand the types of questions that C level managers want answering in terms of Value, Outcomes, Costs, Risks. Too often ITSM proposals are more about ‘ITIL is the goal rather than what it is trying to achieve’
Paul’s concluding plenary presentation looked at the top 10 reasons ITSM improvement initiatives fail and the impact of the ABC worst practices on results. Revealing how the Extreme makeover project (UTHSC) had used business simulations to create buy-in, overcome resistance and significantly change the attitude and behavior of IT, including senior management. Using the 8-field approach they had also realized measurable improvements in behavior and customer value. Managers had also defined and executed on ‘desirable behavior’ that leaders had to display and commit to. ‘Walk-the-talk’ . ‘lead by example’ and continually communicate the Vision, value and goals they were hoping to realize.
Key messages during the final panel discussion revealed a need to focus on CSI as a core capability to enable IT to mature its ITSM capabilities as well as a need to focus on changing the behavior and Culture within IT. One question to the panel that raised discussions and different opinions was whether ITSM improvements should be done as projects or embedded directly in the line as part of CSI – ‘Improving your work is your work!’.
On day two a series of workshops were held, including two business simulations. Apollo 13 and Grab@Pizza. Paul facilitated a Grab@Pizza business & It alignment simulation to help people identify critical fail factors and success factors. In the first game rounds the team displayed many of the behavior issues and ABC worst practices identified on day 1.
- No insight into business vision,values, strategy, goals
- No understanding of business impact and priority
- No ability to demonstrate value realization
- Disconnect between business & IT understanding, communication, relationship
Key success factors captured by delegates Pat the end of the day.
- Communicate Business Vision/Strategy/Aims.
- Communicate – Information needed to enable us to prioritize and make decisions, and information needed to enable us to do our processes and allocate the right resources.
- Prioritization linked to Value, Outcomes, Costs, Risks (V,O,C,R).
- Agreed decsion making AUTHORITY. Business & IT.
- Risk management. Risks of doing changes, Risks of NOT doing changes. Risks to each service unit. E.g Service desk. Risks to realizing V,O,C,R
- Risks = Business decision. It can advize, decision making and acceptance of risk lies with business.
- Clearly defined, document and agreed responsibilities (and confronting people on agreements).
- Soft skills. make the best use of capabilities, skills and limitations. Communicate accordingly.
(Apply different leadership styles to different levels of skills and capabilities).
- Awareness of Business vision/strategy/goals to ALL in IT.
- Problem management – KEDB to reduce risks and costs
- Problem management – RFC, business cases linked to V,O,C.R (Problem management must understand business priorities and impact and help reduce risk).
- Guidelines to help ask right questions, to help assess weaknesses and help prioritize improvements (e.g a model/framework such as CobIT)
- Reflection skills and responsibility. Somebody needs to facilitate and record reflections and decisions as part of a structural, Pragmatic CSI.
- PPPP . Reflect and Improve an aligned and integrated people, process, product and partner capabilities.
- Justify investments (Justify ALL improvements in terms of V,O,C,R)
- Infrastructure to manage and control (e.g tickets, Portfolio of changes) and to enable metrics to help invest/decide.
- Flow of information and requirements through the end to end chain (from business to IT and back).
Key process areas discovered as vital. But NOT currently being deployed in the organizations were:
- Service Portfolio Management
- Problem Management. See the most recent blog ‘The Problem is Problem management…or rather the lack of!‘