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SM 2.0!

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Service Management 2017 is themed SM 2.0. In this post, itSMF Australia’s National Events Director Aprill Allen shares her take on how the way we work is changing and how that might be reflected at Conference.

It’s exciting to open 2017 with some insight into our plans for this year’s itSMF national conference. Of course, we  rolled right out of Brisbane’s conference straight into planning for what has turned out to be Melbourne, 2017. We immediately began discussing sessions and event feedback, but planning for the next one doesn’t feel truly underway until we’ve locked down the dates, venue and theme.

For 2016, the theme was easy to determine. I knew what shape I wanted our conference to take and the theme provided the frame for our speakers and reviewers to build and deliver what was in my opinion, our most outstanding program so far. I’ve got to admit, I sure did feel like a one-trick pony. With no 2017 theme already in mind, I was nervous. Enter my truly helpful committee and a collaborative Google doc, which helped us to test some ideas, scrap some and start over, and ultimately arrive at SM 2.0.

We wanted to give a nod to our twentieth year, somehow, but we particularly wanted to capture what might be coming next after we asked you to Shake I.T. Up last year.

ITSM, as an industry, is taking a long, hard look at itself. The thought leaders you’re familiar with are scouring the edges of our profession to look at the areas where what we do in Service Management overlaps with what other service providers are offering and achieving. Sometimes it’s about technology, often it’s about new approaches to working with others to achieve common goals. The most successful IT leaders are doing the same thing. We got a sense of that last year when our speakers and reviewers put forward topics about project leadership in general, and DevOps in particular, topics that traditionally haven’t been a big feature of the ITSM toolbelt.

There’s no doubt our workplaces and workforces are changing, inspiring the appetite for broader conference programming. Not just in the way the generational mix at work is transforming, but also in the way we work and where we work. What will your toolbelt look like for the next iteration of Service Management? How are your skills and stories evolving? Share your story.

By |February 15th, 2017|ITSM, Service Management 2017|

Dear reviewer

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Reviewers make up an integral part in the Service Management Conference. In this post, itSMF Australia’s National Events Director Aprill Allen shares her tips for the Conference reviewers.

Our Conference reviewers play an important role: our reviewers, made up of the itSMF community, are able to directly influence the shape of the conference. It’s thanks to our 2016 reviewers that Shake I.T. Up provoked the amazing amount of positive feedback that it did. I look forward to seeing the kind of program they will build for us this year.

As this role can be demanding, I wanted to offer some guidance.

Dear reviewer,

Check in with your stream regularly, if you can, so you don’t get a buildup of too many submissions to sift through in one sitting.

Check the topic title. Is it snappy and interesting? Does it relate to the rest of the submission content? If they’ve lost you, they’ll lose the audience, so follow up with the author, share your understanding of their submission, and ask for some clarification. Together, you may come up with a much better title.

Check the stream selection. If you feel the submission better suits another stream, feel free to encourage the submitter to move their submission – or make a private note and let the organisers know.

Check the audience level the submission is pitched to. If you feel the submission is more beginner, or more advanced, it might be worth confirming with the author. Reassure authors that we have delegates covering the spectrum, so pitching to beginners is not a limitation!

Check the session length. Ensure the topic will have the appropriate time for the greatest quality. You may have to trust the author on this one, because experienced speakers will specifically design their session for the format they’ve selected. There will be another chance to validate and address this point if they make it to the speaker supporter stage.

A note on topic selection. Your role, at this early stage, is to help the author put forward the best submission they can. If you don’t think a particular topic put forward is an ideal fit for our delegates, make a private note, rate it accordingly and let the shortlisting process weed it out. However, as I found last year, sessions from outside our typical domain rated highly on the day, so you may be surprised! But that’s half the fun of being involved as a reviewer 🙂

Find out more and sign up to be a reviewer for Service Management 2017 here.

By |January 23rd, 2017|Uncategorised|

What happened down under at Shake I.T. Up – Service Management 2016

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In this guest blog, Sunit Prakash wraps up Service Management 2016 and highlights the new standards for IT service delivery.

 

 

“It’s one thing to want to innovate, but how can you influence or implement those changes, and do you know where to start?” – Service Management 2016

The 19th annual Service Management conference in Australia showed us a glimpse of how service management is evolving beyond the traditional ITSM. This year’s itSMFA literally shook I.T. up by extending conversation to Agile, DevOps, and Lean – the latter finally making its entrance to the mainstream service management vocabulary.

Proliferation of cloud-based tools

At this years conference, it was clear to see that there were now a number of cloud-based IT service management tool providers offering rich functionality with very low barriers to entry. Which essentially meant no upfront costs, expensive licenses, implementation costs, or support costs – just following an elastic pricing model. Tools that were previously only available to top-end enterprise customers, were now available at a fraction of the cost to small and medium businesses – and to their suppliers and partners who look after them. The implication is that a whole new market could potentially move up from managing their IT and operations by email and spreadsheets to much more sophisticated tools that they previously did not have access to; and perhaps many others at the enterprise end of the market, could potentially move away from on-premise or more expensive tools.

What really happened down under

IT Service Management often does not get the same attention as say, security or architecture or project management; but to have Andrew Mills, the CIO of Queensland Government talk about aligning IT with business strategy was a rare treat.

Talking about the importance of driving self-service adoption in the workplace, Narain Muralidharan emphasized on the necessity for IT to think like growth hackers, and effectively market IT self service to the larger organization. He went on to give a number of simple, yet practical ideas taken from real-world success stories with the self service IT portal, and how to apply them in the service desk scenario – backing it with a case study.

Lean and mean IT

Introducing us to Lean, Em Campbell-Pretty stressed upon how the heart of Lean is its values and leadership – stressing on the need for leaders to create time for innovation with a case study of a telecommunication service provider. The conference peppered with Lean related sessions, and it demonstrated that Lean in IT was beginning to enter the lexicon for many.

Adam Seeber’s keynote about Lean and Agile was insightful – how it’s not a choice of one over the other but that it’s taking the best of both worlds to suit your business needs. He emphasized on the significance of it being adaptable, be it Lean, Agile or ITIL, and went on to describe how customers define value for the business more than anything else.

An eye-opener for the audience was Charles T. Betz’ session introducing the IT4IT standard with Lean language of value chain, value streams, digital supply chain, handoffs, capacity, and value. He explored the current state of IT and offered practical advice on holistically managing IT for business. With the key takeaway around product management being customer intimacy and cross-functional collaboration.

40 Agile methods in 40 minutes by Craig Smith covered various process improvement methodologies – Lean, Agile, Theory of Constraints and everything in between no matter how esoteric. He openly shared the concept, its history, the pros and cons, how widely it was used, and where to find more information.

Bringing in fresh air to the string of topics, Michi Tyson spoke of taking Agile beyond IT and combining it with Lean management and design thinking. Her Lean Canvas and startup background showing clearly in a conference dominated by mature IT departments and businesses. This one was of particular interest because one could see the Enterprise Architecture approach coming through, and the same discipline being applied to the business of IT holistically – once again, using Lean principles.

itSMF 2016 was another insightful, rewarding, and successful conference. It left the audience questioning the conventional way of ITSM – and leaning towards better IT service delivery.

This blog is edited, and first appeared on the Freshservice blog – you can view the original here

By |October 12th, 2016|guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2016, wrap up|

Shaking up communication and collaboration at Service Management 2016

Aprill Allen, National Events Director of itSMF Australia, shares her thoughts on Service Management 2016. 

We certainly shook things up this year. I was confident at the start of the week that we’d brought together a compelling and varied program, but by the time we’d finished our closing drinks on the Thursday afternoon, I knew our conference had exceeded all expectations. Before the week was done, we had members telling us just how much they enjoyed the program and how they’d been inspired to put in place new ideas and behaviours they’d learned from our speakers. Of course, my highlight is always the social side of things—the welcome drinks, where I’m reunited with colleagues I may not have seen since the year before; the gala dinner, where I get to see serious professionals cutting loose on the dancefloor; and the more spontaneous things, like what happened this year, where Charles Betz and Matt Hooper busted out guitars for an impromptu jam in the itSMF lounge.

Aprill Allen

Aprill Allen with Michi Tyson, winner of “Best New Speaker” at Service Management 2016

It’s equal parts social and professional development, though, and the challenge for my service management cohort is that we have to try and cover such a broad range of skills and capabilities. Our role at the itSMF is to expose our members to better ways of working with the tools and processes we’re more familiar with, but also to reach out into adjacent professions to find out what they can teach us. And, what seemed like an odd mix of keynote topics and sessions that raised a few eyebrows along the way, clearly had the right ingredients.

Our community review process for speaker submissions provides the platform for our state committees and members to give voice to the most challenging problems of the day. This year, our reviewers wanted help with project and team leadership, how to be more Agile in their service delivery approaches, and how to be more strategic—thereby elevating IT leadership to a seat at the executive table. Our invited speakers were purposefully selected to break your regular pattern of thought. We launched head-first into our Shake I.T. Up theme with an opening keynote from Dave Snowden, who challenged our very way of best practice thinking. Charles Betz’s keynote went deeper into IT management and asked us to consider the risks we introduce with over-enthusiastic governance and controls.

The strong undercurrent running through the conference, however, was about communication and collaboration. When we put more thought and time into these behaviours, we have a greater chance of success and growth from failure. On that note, I’d love to hear what new ideas you’ve taken back to your place and how you’re working towards shaking your I.T. up. Please share your stories in our itSMF Bulletin or in our LinkedIn group. I look forward to seeing you in 2017.

By |August 29th, 2016|Service Management 2016|

itSMF CEO reflects on Service Management 2016

itSMF Australia’s CEO Alan Hollensen reflects on Service Management 2016.Alan pic

Well the curtain has been drawn on our 19th National Conference and it was a tremendously successful event.

The ‘Shake I.T. Up’ theme drew a great deal of attention even before the Conference commenced, and it lived up to this promise with a speaker program that had a different focus from previous years. Delegates were treated to insights of a future that is already unfolding at a dizzying pace, delivered by speakers of international repute. These were often ‘big picture’ presentations in which the well informed Service Management professional will thrive.

We were thrilled to see attendance climb again this year,  and sponsor support remained strong. In fact we welcomed a range of new sponsors along with attendees who we had not had the pleasure of meeting before.

The format of the exhibition space made for great social interaction and gave attendees a chance to chat to everyone and to see everything – we won’t be changing this for 2017!

But in the end the important thing was the opportunity for our professional members to gain insights they could implement back in their own setting and in this respect the Conference excelled. This was apparent from the first presentations when delegates were overheard making the point that they were emailing their offices with these new and important insights. It was apparent that people’s enthusiasm did not diminish on the second day – people were looking forward to another round of challenging presentations.

Another thing that received a lot of positive comments was the Gala Dinner and Awards night. People liked the new format of the Awards and everyone was delighted to welcome back Jean Kittson for her second stint as MC – a job she seems to have been born for.

Planning has already begun for next year and I suggest you stay posted for our updates – the countdown has already begun to our 20th National Conference.

Stay Tuned!

Alan Hollensen

CEO

itSMF Australia

By |August 25th, 2016|ITSM, Service Management 2016|

‘All shook up’

Last week over 400 attendees came together to ‘shake IT up’ at Service Management 2016!

In addition to enjoying two busy days of networking, sharing and learning, the highlight for many was itSMF’s Industry Awards Gala Awards Dinner.

parrot lady auspost winners with lei

Themed ‘a touch of tropical’, this year’s awards – hosted by the hilarious Jean Kittson – saw many guests don a Hawaiian shirt, a lei, or even a parrot!

photobooth singer

Amidst the music of Hot Sauce, pink flamingo centrepieces, and a popular tropical-themed photo booth, the winners of this year’s itSMF Industry Awards were announced.

le8is Rachel Seaniger

Congratulations to the winners – and finalists!

TEAM AWARD WINNERS

ITSM Project of the Year – Australia Post

Finalists: ANZ; Kinetic IT / Qantas

Innovation of the Year – Australia Post

Finalists: Clean Energy Regulator; SkillsTx

ITSM Capability of the Year – NAB

Finalist: Clean Energy Regulator

INDIVIDUAL AWARD WINNERS

Thought Leaders of the Year – Rachel Seaniger and Chris Morrison

Service Management Champion of the Year – Justin Gasparre

Lifetime Achievement Award – Aileen Cater-Steel

 

By |August 24th, 2016|Awards, Service Management 2016|

ITSM: don’t stop with Ops!

Rachel SeanigerIn this guest blog, Rachel Seaniger urges continuation of the IT Service Management (ITSM) journey to achieve lasting value.

 

My colleagues and I find that a large percentage of organisations implementing ITIL® only go as far as service operations (and often change management) but rarely get as far as formalised service strategy or service design.

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The ITIL lifecycle provides rich guidance on service strategy, service design, service transition and continuous service improvement. So why do so few go beyond the basic quick fixes of service operations? Every organisation is unique and there are more reasons than stars in the sky, but I see them falling into roughly five categories:

Reason #1: Obviously, the place to start is where the user is most directly involved with the IT organisation. The highest priorities are the areas of highest visibility – for example, processes for requesting a new laptop or incident management. That gets done then… nothing!

Reason #2: Having tackled the immediate, customer-facing issues to achieve early wins, the team simply runs out of puff. But there’s so much scope to go further with ITSM… Remember, the tortoises are the winners.

Reason #3: Sometimes the IT team tries to extend beyond service operations but simply fails. Feeling they’ve got their fingers burnt, they have little appetite for pressing on.

Reason #4: ‘Business as usual’ always prevails within IT, chewing up available resources and time – so even the best-meant ITSM implementations grind to a halt prematurely (the road to Hell is paved with good intentions!).

Reason #5: The business simply doesn’t understand the value of the more strategic ITSM processes, so is unwilling to invest further. Many senior IT managers also fail to see value in extending beyond ops. This is the big one and the hardest to overcome; without management commitment and sponsorship, the efforts of underlings are doomed to failure – however logical and passionately advocated.

For all these reasons, we often get just so far – when there’s still a way to go.

Why NOT stop here?

Users are happier, the organisation has paid lip service to ITSM and IT management feels that it’s fulfilling its charter. But how much more could be achieved?

There is tremendous value in following up with the service strategy and service design phases. This takes ITSM beyond merely what the user is interested in and what they need; potentially transforming the entire IT service delivery function to make it more efficient, less costly and infinitely more stable in the long run.

Without formalising these phases, you will always be playing catch-up. The ideal place to be is on your front foot: optimising emerging technologies and positioning IT to meet users’ future needs. Yes, I’m afraid that it’s all about the ‘I’ word that we all aspire (and struggle) to achieve: innovation.

Look at the symptoms; do any of them sound familiar?

Lack of service strategy results in:

  • Your business users googling ‘big data’ and ‘Internet of Things’ to find solutions to their IT issues
  • You’re no longer getting invited to strategic planning meetings, and everyone stops talking when you walk into senior management meetings
  • You’re spying an IT outsourcer brochure on the CEO’s desk
  • IT solutions rolled out that the IT organisation had nothing to do with
  • IT being perceived as an abyss, into which money mysteriously disappears with nothing coming back out

Lack of service design results in:

  • The business still using the old system despite the new solution being a raging success, according to IT’s objectives
  • User satisfaction dipping to new lows, although service levels are almost always met
  • Users not getting what they want while vendors are meeting all their service targets
  • Porsche promised, VW delivered – which does the job adequately, but just isn’t a Porsche
  • Service Level Managers needing trauma therapy after monthly service review meetings

This article was first published by UXC Consulting – view the original article here.

Service Management 2016 is now less than a week away! Find out more about the Conference program, Gala Awards Dinner, and workshops!

 

 

 

By |August 12th, 2016|guest blogger, Service Management 2016|

Gender Diversity – Mentoring Women in IT

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Kathryn Howard  is the Deputy Chair of itSMF Australia, the Twitterchat facilitator and the Ignites wrangler.

 

In an era where innovation and differentiation of product and service are key to remaining viable and relevant, women can, and do, bring unique perspectives to the workplace. Developing the potential of women is imperative for our organisations, communities and society as a whole to grow. In short, we need to focus on gender diversification.

I have mentored for FITT (Females in Information Technology & Telecommunications) for several years. Initially I viewed it as a way to give back to the community at a time when I found a little space in my life. As my life got busy again I made sure I found time for FITT as I became profoundly aware of the benefits being realised by the program, plus the benefit to myself.

What does gender diversity look like and how do we blend women into the fabric of our corporate world? We need to pursue the removal of boundaries and continue to encourage by providing ongoing support and access to role models.

Boundaries

What are the boundaries of which I speak? It’s within living memory that women were required to resign from the public service when they married.  And what about women’s access to education?  My mother never went to high school. The only children in my family to go to university were boys. Due to limited education and gender bias my initial career options were few and could be best described as having been shaped by serendipity. I am, however, very fortunate due to a little thing called the “technology revolution”. I found myself in a field I liked and had some aptitude for.

But others were not so lucky and it is incumbent on every one of us, male or female, to remain vigilant to defend the continuance of boundary removal to gender diversity.  

In Australia, our fortunate country, no one can argue against the right of today’s girls and young women to an education. But we still have some way to go to enable those same girls and women to develop to their best potential. Why are rewards and recognition different for men on the journey to a fulfilling career?  Where is the affordable childcare and equal pay (the gender pay gap was 17.2% in 2015)?  Plus where is the flexibility in the workplace in working hours and parental leave? Some organisations get it and reap rewards – but not yet all.

Encouragement

Everyone needs encouragement but young people particularly need encouragement to optimise their educational opportunities.

IT roles have long been considered the domain of the geeky male.  Of course girls can achieve in technology just as well as their male counterparts. And we are finally seeing a generation of strong young women identifying with these roles – pioneers if you like.  They now have a landing position, but where is their career map to achieve their potential?  Where are the female role models?

Support

It’s very difficult to shape a career in a vacuum.  Mentoring is a proven mechanism to aid people in their professional development journey.  The FITT Mentoring program focuses on young women in IT to nurture self-worth, personal development, and supports the non-acceptance of boundaries based on gender.

I’m not a young person anymore and never had a formal mentor.  Such programs never used to exist.  Being a mentor for FITT, however, has helped me to hone my skills in communication and leadership.  It has also provided me with a mechanism to remain connected to young people and to engage with them in a world of ever-evolving attitudes and culture.

Different careers will continue to disappear and appear over the coming years in increasing velocity.  The new emergent careers are in fields we can only dream of and many will be in technology.   Empowering women to be ready when the opportunity presents itself is key and I’m proud to say I’ve helped some young women on this journey.

My mother would be proud to see me speaking on behalf of gender diversity.  It is a term she would not recognise, although she would recognise the impact of its absence.  

My late mother rejected the role she was allotted over 70 years ago – the role of “stay at home daughter-housekeeper”.  She demanded of her father: “I want a job”.  Her father held control of her destiny so there was no alternate avenue for such a request.

The future workforce of blended diversity will enable us all to fulfil our individual and collective potential.  The good work of organisations such as FITT empowers our young women to the next step of self development and to demand of our working communities ……“I want a career”.  

Come along to Service Management 2016 to see Kathryn Howard’s ‘Ignites’ session.

By |August 9th, 2016|guest blogger, Leadership, Service Management 2016|

Give up control to Shake Up IT

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Guest blogger Corrinne Armour will be speaking at Service Management 2016 on ‘Fearless Leadership: 12 ways to derail your project fast‘. Waging a war on wasted potential, Corrinne’s mission is to empower leaders and teams to step up to Fearless Leadership. Recognised as a provoker of change and growth, Corrinne is a highly regarded leadership speaker, author, mentor and coach. She shows leaders how to release the human potential in their careers, teams and organisations. For more see http://corrinnearmour.com.

I have never met anyone who likes to work with a leader who can’t—or won’t—delegate. And yet I work with many leaders struggling to give up control!

Andrew Carnegie said, ‘No man will make a great leader who wants to do it all himself, or to get all the credit for doing it’.

A paradox of leadership is balancing being in control with releasing control. A leader who holds tightly onto control risks increasing their own anxiety while disempowering their people. A leader with an excessive need to be in charge could be viewed by others as demanding, dominating and/or directive.

A high need for control will foster micromanagement and thwart the ability to delegate due to the belief that no one can do the job as well as them. This often translates to high workloads and a struggle to achieve a work-life balance. This leader may be seen as self-focused, controlling or not motivated to collaborate, and will be critical of colleagues whom they regard as not taking sufficient responsibility for the quality/timeliness of the work.

Might this be you? While your positive intention—the inner motivation driving your behaviour—is probably about producing a quality outcome, that’s not what others will be experiencing.

Here are four ideas to support you in releasing control:

    • Reflect on the personal cost for holding on to so much work. What is the cost to your professional reputation as someone who won’t delegate?
    • Ask yourself: Who is ready to be developed into my role? How am I supporting their growth? Use your responses to guide your delegation.
    • Focus on the outcome you need. What is the minimum amount of involvement you need to delegate this task?
    • Delegate responsibility and authority—not just the task.  

Don’t let being a ‘Doer’–an inability to delegate–derail your leadership. Loosen up on control to become a better leader.

Go fearlessly.

corr

 

 

This blog is based on Corrinne’s latest book, Developing Direct Reports: Taking the guesswork out of leading leaders. This book explains 12 leadership derailers, including ‘Doer – Inability to Delegate’. Curious about the other 11 derailers and how they could impact on your career, your project’s success and your organisation’s future?  Find out at Service Management 2016.

 

By |August 4th, 2016|Leadership, Service Management 2016|

Congratulations to the 2016 itSMF Industry Awards finalists!

The finalists for this year’s itSMF Industry Awards for Excellence in IT Service Management have been announced! This year the Awards categories were updated and a large number of submissions were received.

Finalists in the three ‘team’ Awards categories include:

Project of the Year

ANZ

Australia Post

Kinetic IT / Qantas

Innovation of the Year

Australia Post

SkillsTx

Clean Energy Regulator

Capability of the Year

Clean Energy Regulator

NAB

The winners of the individual awards will also be announced at the Gala Awards Dinner on Wednesday 17 August 2016.tropical

This year’s Gala Awards Dinner theme is ‘a touch of tropical’. Attendees will be getting out their Hawaiian shirts and hula skirts and enjoying beautiful Brisbane!

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The dinner, which takes place during the Service Management Conference, will be hosted by comedian Jean Kittson with musical entertainment from Hot Sauce. Find out more about the dinner here.

 

Congratulations again to all the finalists, and our sincere thanks to all nominees!

 

 

 

By |August 2nd, 2016|Awards, Service Management 2016|