Workshop

/Workshop

Six ways to build and grow

Supercharge your ITSM skillset by attending the Service Management 2017 pre-Conference Workshop day. As part of itSMF Australia’s 20th Annual Conference, these workshops are led by local and international experts and will focus on trending industry topics and know-how.

Choose to immerse yourself in a full-day workshop or you can mix it up by choosing from the half-day options.


Devops adoption: the Dev-Ops-ITSM triangle – Dave Favelle

DevOps is here, it’s in your organisation but not yet at critical mass. How do we help it get to a scale where DevOps and ITSM are contributing to business competitive advantage?

Next-gen Service Management: A survey of emerging techniques and case studies – Dion Hinchcliffe

Deep-dive into the latest trends in Service Management and examine how the practice will evolve over the next few years!

The three year Service Management roadmap – Dion Hinchcliffe

Build on the latest in Service Management and walk away with a three year strategic plan to adapt your organisational needs. You will have the opportunity to cross pollinate your ideas with like-minded peers.

Building an effective communication plan for your ITSM improvement effort – Karen Ferris

Effective communication is critical to success! Karen Ferris will equip you with the tools and techniques to develop and deliver an effective communications plan for any ITSM improvement initiative.

Bringing Agile to service delivery – Eduardo Nofuentes

Create mindsets that foster a culture of continuous improvement. Take away an Agile and lean way of thinking and learn how to apply a customer centric approach to Service Delivery.

Improve your process improvement – Michi Tyson

This workshop will introduce you to concepts, tools and techniques from the fields of complexity theory, systems thinking, experiential learning and lean management. The purpose is to help teams, departments and whole organisations improve their delivery strategies and methods efficiently, effectively and, most importantly, sustainably.


The Service Management 2017 Workshop day is being held on Tuesday 22nd of August 2017 in Melbourne. For more information and to register for the Workshops or Conference, visit this page.

By |2018-03-19T16:23:17+00:00April 19th, 2017|DevOps, ITSM, Service Management 2017, Workshop|

Announcing keynote speaker Dave Snowden’s Service Management workshops!

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Dave Snowden is founder and Chief Scientific Officer at Cognitive Edge, and the founder and Director of the Centre for Applied Complexity at Bangor University in Wales. He will give a keynote address at Service Management 2016.

 

 

Keynote speaker and internationally-renowned scholar Dave Snowden has announced two exclusive workshops at Service Management 2016.

Dave Snowden will offer morning and afternoon workshops on ‘Cynefin and decision-making’ and ‘Human sensor networks’.

This year’s workshops take place on Tuesday 16 August, giving attendees a chance to dive into topics like complexity theory, Agile, Lean IT and DevOps, Extreme Leadership, SIAM, operational readiness and more.

Cynefin and decision-making with Dave Snowden

Half-Day: 9:00am – 12:30pm

An introduction to complexity science and Dave Snowden’s Cynefin Framework that will change the way you understand leadership and decision-making. Take away a framework that will change the way you see the world, and tools to help you to understand and act on big, difficult problems and decisions.

Human sensor networks with Dave Snowden

Half-Day: 1:30pm – 5:00pm

Discover a new approach to policy- and decision-making, and learn how to make the most of your organisational networks. You will leave with the knowledge and skills to create and make the most of human sensor networks in your organisation.

For more information on Service Management workshops, please visit the website.

By |2018-03-19T16:23:18+00:00July 21st, 2016|Service Management 2016, Workshop|

Are you being served?

lanaTake a sneak peek into one of Service Management 2016’s pre-Conference workshops with guest blogger Lana Yakimoff. Lana is leading two half-day workshops this year: ‘Are you being served? An operational readiness review’, and ‘From BID strategy to operational delivery – where does it all go wrong?’

 

So many corporate and government organisations are ‘transforming’, ‘integrating’, and introducing new services. Stakeholders at times are nervous leading up to the actual ‘go live’ period. However, during Service Transition, an ORR (operational readiness review) can provide reassurance to the custodians of the new service, ensuring all elements required are ready to transition into operations.

The aim of the Operational Readiness process is to help reassure your stakeholders or customers while your project is in flight-mode. The key objective is to ensure the service is working towards readiness for operations to assume full ownership. This activity also helps to provide assurance to stakeholders, and there is sign off and acceptance from the Operational team. It can also identify and manage any risk during the review process. Those risks typically include omitted or unplanned components discovered during an ORR, and allows time to mitigate and resolve the issue/s.

An ORR can cover so many phases or lifecycles, as well as readiness for many different items, including:

  • Design documents: from a high level to detailed solution design documents
  • BCP and ITSCM design, test and acceptance
  • Testing phases documents: test strategy, test cases, scheduling, testing phase acceptance, defect acceptance
  • Business management system readiness
  • Entire Training Phase acceptance – but also tracking all items leading up to training delivery
  • Maintenance and service quality plans

An ORR also includes operational needs which are vital for a smooth transition into service:

  • Account login details provided
  • Support documentation
  • Knowledge articles at the ready
  • Administrative account access or privileged rights
  • Testing phase planning elements and completion
  • Training phase planning to completion
  • Operational monitoring readiness
  • Governance and management forums
  • Specific operational needs to support a service
  • Various operational needs of a business
  • Business processes designed and integrated, ranging from procurement, billing and/or customised reporting needs

Finally, ORR also includes service desk staff remote access and management tools, such as:

  • Procurement
  • Training
  • Operational testing
  • Operational access testing

This is by no means an exhaustive list; ORR also covers many other key topics, from security to organisational change readiness.

Every customer will have similar but also very different needs. A typical project plan will have high-level details and deliverables, however, there are many details that typically are not included in a project plan. An ORR can help keep track of operational items leading up to go-live readiness assessment and decision making.

I’ve undertaken many of these reviews to help provide assurances. A real-time pulse check can show where you’re actually at versus where you should be and potentially allow time to remediate and refocus effort. There are many business benefits to an ORR; when conducted correctly, it can add enormous value.

In my interactive workshop at Service Management 2016, we will cover:

  • A framework approach to conducting a complex or simple ORR
  • Workshops and meetings that can help you conduct an ORR
  • Building relevant IP required

This half day pre-conference workshop at Shake I.T. Up 2016 will provide information, discussions and IP to help ensure a well-focused ORR. Come and join me for a half day interactive workshop, whether you’re an operations lead, consultant, customer or service provider. Learn how to Shake I.T. Up before you Serve I.T. Up.

 

By |2018-03-19T16:23:19+00:00June 23rd, 2016|guest blogger, Workshop|

Communication breakdowns in dispersed teams, and how to overcome them

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Korrine Jones is our guest blogger today. Korrine will offer a workshop at Service Management 2016 on ‘Leading an invisible IT team’. Korrine is Director and Principal Consultant of OD Consulting, and author of Virtual Team Reality: The Secrets to Leading Successful Virtual Teams and Remote Workers. This blog looks at why communication breakdowns occur in dispersed teams and provides tips on using communication tools and processes differently to increase the quality of communication.

A 2014 study undertaken by Software Advice (Radley) found that communication was the top-cited challenge to managing projects with dispersed teams.  In fact, 38% of the almost 300 professionals surveyed for the study said that communication was difficult for dispersed project teams.

With a wide range of communication tools available these days, including instant messaging, project management tools, wikis, blogs and virtual conferencing via telephone or video, it is interesting to note that the survey found the most preferred communication tool for 41% of the respondents was still email. Delving into the data further, phone is seen as the next most preferred communication channel (36%), 12% selected virtual conferencing as the preferred collaboration option, and only 10% of respondents favoured discussion forums and chat rooms.

However, the survey also found that emails, particularly long email threads, are seen as the top obstacle to effective project communication by 23% of respondents.  In line with these findings, my personal experience has been that dispersed teams often overuse email as their most regular form of communication, with the result of deteriorating rather than building communication, rapport and trust across the team.

The survey results also found that 16% of dispersed team members experienced confusion about which communication channel – phone, chat or email – to turn to for which tasks. It is important to remember when we read these results that the tools are merely the communication channels. While teams I have worked with have found it useful to use a range of tools, to be effective in communication your team needs to agree on how they will communicate and then select the appropriate tool/s for their specific communication needs. Which channel will you agree to use for each type of team communication?

The survey also found generational differences in communication preferences. Specifically, it found that preference for digital mediums (such as email) decreased with age, while preference for analogue communications (phone) increased with age. The study also found that these trends change when looking at videoconferencing, discussion forums and chat, with 35-44 year olds less likely to prefer virtual conferencing and more likely to prefer chats and discussion groups than both younger and older age groups.  This confirms my experience that people have very different preferences when it comes to communication modes and channels. Therefore, a multi-pronged approach is best, particularly in teams with diverse preferences. In this regard, the survey report recommends that a comprehensive communication strategy involving a variety of tools and techniques can help to solidify team connections and improve project visibility.

The richness of each communication channel and its appropriateness to specific conversations is also important for us to consider. For example, communication channels with low levels of richness, such as text-based documents and email, are appropriate for information sharing and one-way communication. As the complexity and sensitivity of the communication need increases, so should the richness of the channel. For example, feedback should be provided by telephone as a minimum and, for complex and constructive feedback, this should be undertaken via videoconference or face-to-face. A recent example of inappropriately delivered telephone feedback occurred within a dispersed learning and development team in a national consulting firm. During one feedback discussion and one performance review, a team member received some constructive feedback that she was not expecting. On both occasions she was taken aback by the feedback and became quite upset. She was quiet on the end of the telephone line for a few moments while she collected her thoughts and got her emotions under control. Each time, her manager responded uncomfortably to the silence on the line, promptly wound up the conversation and hung up on her. This left her feeling even more taken aback and upset. She felt that these situations impacted adversely on her relationship with her manager and eroded the trust they had worked to create.

If these conversations had been held via videoconference or face-to-face, the team leader and team member would have been able to read the body language of the other party and therefore respond more effectively. Therefore, sensitive feedback, as well as conflict and tension should, wherever possible, be addressed face-to-face. If this is not possible, then videoconference is the next most appropriate option.

It is also important to remember that you don’t necessarily need to have highly sophisticated tools to be able to communicate and collaborate effectively. However, you do need to have taken the time to build rapport and trust with team members to make it work. One example that illustrates the value of simplicity comes from United Nations Volunteers. I recently interviewed Michael Kolmet, team leader of United Nations Volunteers working in Africa, for my book Virtual Team Reality. Michael finds that communication can be effective even if the only tools available are email, Skype and telephone, and for them, the video for Skype can be very patchy. So, his team members will always begin a Skype call with the video, but will continue with voice if the video drops out. They find the initial video is sufficient to build the rapport they need to continue the conversation openly.  However, to make this work, Michael and his team members had previously spent time agreeing on shared values and taking the time to build trust and rapport.

The dispersed teams I have worked with, who communicate particularly well, opt for the communication tools that provide greater interactivity. For example, telephone is more interactive than email or texting and Skype or videoconferencing is more interactive than telephone. As the report findings illustrate, we are often guilty of defaulting to email, even with those we do see regularly, but we need to ensure that the more sensitive, complex and substantial discussions are made via phone, videoconference and, if possible, face-to-face.

As a final note, it is also important to choose a form of technology that everyone can use, and to ensure that every team member has access to the technology and has been trained to use it correctly. I have worked with many team members who have a range of interactive communication tools available, but either don’t know that they have access to them, don’t know their full capabilities or don’t know how to use them. It is essential for team members to be familiar with how to use the tools properly so that the team can maximise their capability.

Find out more about Service Management 2016 or register for Korrine’s workshop!

By |2018-03-19T16:23:19+00:00June 9th, 2016|guest blogger, problem management, Workshop|

SIAM: revolution or evolution?

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In today’s blog post, Service Management workshop leaders Simon Dorst and Michelle Major-Goldsmith provide a sneak peek into some of their thoughts on SIAM in the lead-up to their half-day workshop on SIAM: revolution or evolution, at this year’s Service Management Conference. Service Management Conference Workshops will take place on Tuesday 16 August 2016 in Brisbane.

 

Service Integration and Management (SIAM), like ITIL® before it, appears to have originated from HM Government (UK). References to SIAM began to emerge in the UK in the late 2000s, when it was purported to provide a framework to obtain better value for money from multi supplier service engagements.  Lately its adoption has increased globally due to the increasingly complex, modular managed IT service environment evident in most enterprises.

There is much confusion about whether SIAM is actually something new (i.e. different from ITIL), whether it will last, or even whether it is something relevant.

Our half-day pre-conference workshop for Service Management 2016’s Shake I.T. Up Conference will allow delegates to consider the various perspectives and stakeholders in a SIAM environment.  Based on current thinking, global developments and using practical scenarios, it provides the participants with an analysis of the core principles, processes, functions, governance and cultural re-engineering required for SIAM success.

In multi-sourced service delivery models, the key to success is the ability to manage the challenge of cross-functional, cross-process, cross-provider integration. SIAM enables an organisation to derive the benefits of innovation and flexibility that multi-sourcing brings whilst still presenting an integrated service wrap for the customer. SIAM is both framework and a function. Typically built upon the full ITIL lifecycle model, SIAM includes additional focus on ‘end to end’ service governance and controls across all suppliers.

The rationale for SIAM is insurance that the IT and business strategies align with the challenges in multi-provider environments. Integral to this is the three layers of Customer-Retained governance, SIAM Control & Management, and Service Delivery (or variants like Strategic-Tactical-Operational, Defining-Designing-Delivering, Governance-Control-Monitoring etc).

Organisations trying to implement SIAM need to understand the distinction between integrated service management and SIAM. For example, implementing a set of processes within a centralised management will not create a SIAM function. Failing to add the extra elements of SIAM such as governance, autonomy and the impartiality to manage the providers creates SIAM functions that rarely move beyond operational delivery.

For more information, you may want to read:

By |2018-03-19T16:23:20+00:00May 26th, 2016|guest blogger, Service Management 2016, SIAM, Workshop|

Shaken and stirred


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mark 

 This week we welcome guest bloggers Simone Jo Moore (Service Management Consultant and Trainer) and Mark Smalley (The IT Paradigmologist – ASL BiSL Foundation).  Simone and Mark will host a workshop at the Service Management 2016 Workshop Day on Tuesday 16 August 2016.

 

“Shaken, not stirred” is, of course, James Bond’s catchphrase that describes his preference for martini cocktails. “Shake I.T. Up” is the overarching theme of itSMF Australia’s annual Conference for 2016, that is intended to help you “find new ways to shake up your IT projects, teams and approaches for greater agility, lasting improvements, and better business outcomes”. Now this sounds great but as a seasoned conference-goer, I’m frequently disappointed by the effect that conferences have on their attendees. Despite us talking enthusiastically about new topics such as Cloud and DevOps, little in the real world changes unless people really get passionate. We talk the talk but why don’t we walk the talk? What does it take to stir people enough that they change their behaviour?

Behavioural change is one of the topics that fascinate my workshop partner Simone Jo Moore and me. In the process of researching, writing, and facilitating workshops, we’ve certainly learnt a lot and hopefully others have got a better grip of behaviour and the iceberg of factors that influence it, including values, beliefs and emotions.

We’ve done some writing on this topic and are pleased to share some of our work with you. You may like to read about ITSM problems – is poor behaviour the cause?, how to use behaviours to align people management and operations, or how to behave yourself – the business-IT relationship.

We’re offering a half-day pre-conference workshop for Shake I.T Up called Behave Yourself – Building Better IT Relationships. Our intent is to help you assess your organisation’s performance in terms of desired behaviour, understand what actually drives behaviour, determine your own core values and emotions and – most importantly, after the conference – start experimenting with interventions that actually influence behaviour. We’re very much looking forward to conducting this workshop and it would be great if you could join us.

It’s our conviction that I.T. will only change when people’s values, beliefs and emotions change, so let’s not only Shake I.T. Up in Brisbane but also Stir I.T. Up!

By |2018-03-19T16:23:21+00:00May 5th, 2016|guest blogger, Service Management 2016, Workshop|

Workshops for Service Management 2016 announced!

Service Management 2016 has announced workshops for 2016!

This year, a range of half-day and full-day workshops are on offer to supplement your Conference experience.

The workshops will take place in Brisbane on Tuesday 16 August 2016 – so you can dive in and get a head start on ways to Shake I.T. Up before the Conference kicks off on Wednesday 17 – Thursday 18 August.

Get practical career advice, develop your leadership skills, improve relationship building, ensure smooth delivery from project intention to outcome, discover new methods or rediscover new approaches to familiar topics, including Service Integration and Management (SIAM), Agile, Lean, DevOps, and the Operational Readiness Review (ORR)!

Workshops include:

  • Agile, Lean IT and DevOps – a survival guide for the mid-career professional with Charles Betz
  • Extreme Leadership Workshop: taking the radical leap with Em Campbell Pretty
  • Behave Yourself: Building IT Relationships with Simone Jo Moore and Mark Smalley
  • SIAM: revolution or evolution? with Simon Dorst and Michelle Major-Goldsmith
  • Leading an invisible IT team with Korrine Jones
  • “Are you being served?” An Operational Readiness Review
  • From BID strategy to Operational delivery – where does it all go wrong? with Lana Yakimoff

Register for workshops and the Service Management Conference with the Earlybird rate before 27 June 2016.

And remember, you can still submit to be a speaker this year!

By |2016-04-29T16:26:22+00:00April 29th, 2016|Service Management 2016, Workshop|

The Missing Ingredient For Successful Problem Management

Michael-Hall

 

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Michael Hall.

Many problem management implementations fail or have limited success because they miss one key ingredient in their practice: having trained problem managers leading problem investigations using structured methods. By following a few simple guidelines, your problem management function can be successful from day one or rescued from its current low levels of performance.

Typical implementation

A typical problem management process document usually covers roles and responsibilities, how the process works and a little bit about governance.

Roles and responsibilities usually covers just resolver groups and the process owner. It is surprising how frequently the problem manager role is not defined at all. Responsibilities for the resolver group usually includes ‘investigate root cause’ and ‘update and close problems’. The problem manager is often given responsibilities like ‘assign problems to resolver groups’ and ‘track problem progress’.

The process normally covers the steps but does not say how to go about solving problems. Commonly, the process is simply ‘assign the problem to a resolver group for investigation’. Usually the resolver group also owns closure. This means that there is no way of knowing if the root cause found is correct or if the solution is adequate.

The result is that many implementations do not achieve their expected results. I call this approach ‘passive’ or administrative problem management. The impact on reducing incidents is usually minimal.

If your monthly major incident data looks like this, you may have one of these typical implementations:

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Major-Incidents

Figure 1: Monthly Occurrence of Major Incidents.

The Alternative – ‘Active’ Problem Management

The missing ingredient in a typical implementation is skilled problem managers using a structured approach to solving problems. By structured, I mean a consistent, evidence-based method, either by adopting one of the major problem-solving frameworks such as Kepner and Fourie, or by agreeing your own set of steps (I set out one version in my book). Deciding on a standard method that everyone will use with NO exceptions is the critical success factor for effective problem management.

The benefits are:

    • Speed to root cause – a standard approach yields results more quickly –around  60% quicker in fact (see Figure 2)
    • Consistency – all your problem managers can be equally successful
    • Certainty that real causes are found – because investigations are based on evidence and not guesswork and theories, you can show that the causes found are correct
    • Collaboration – if you do problem management the same way every time, teams know what to expect, they can see the good results and they get used to working together without confusion

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Average-time-to-root-causeFigure 2: Average time to find root cause in two problem management implementations.

Problem Managers Lead Investigation Sessions

Because it is the problem managers who are highly skilled in problem solving techniques, they should facilitate problem management investigations in conjunction with the technical experts, then work with subject matter experts to determine solutions to problems and track implementation to ensure the problem is entirely fixed. The problem management function should be responsible for reporting root cause, progress on resolution and all the metrics and KPIs related to problem management, but (very important!) making sure that the subject matter experts get the credit for solving the problems.

Track and validate solutions

To gain the main benefit you are after – reducing the occurrence of major incidents – problem management also needs to apply a structured approach to finding solutions, getting approval to implement and tracking the implementation to an agreed target due date.

The Results

This is what successful problem management looks like when you have skilled problem managers using a structured approach to finding root cause and finding and implementing permanent solutions. When problems stop causing incidents, the incident rate goes down quite rapidly.

SMAC-2015-Blog-Michael-Hall-Graph-Major-Incidents-2

Figure 3: Monthly Occurrence of Major Incidents.

 

Michael has over 25 years experience in IT, developing and leading teams, managing change programs and implementing Service Management. Now a specialist in Service Operations, he founded Problem Management as a global function at Deutsche Bank and is a Chartered IT Professional (CITP). Michael will be leading a workshop on Implementing Real World Problem Management at Service Management 2015.

5 reasons why IT teams should use Net Promoter

SMAC-2015-Speaker-Dave-OReardon

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Dave O’Reardon

For those of you not familiar with Net Promoter®, let’s start with a 1 minute introduction..

Net Promoter is an open-source methodology used by 65% of the world’s top 200 companies to grow their businesses by increasing customer loyalty.  At its heart is a metric called the Net Promoter Scoresm (NPS®) that measures the willingness of customers to recommend a company’s products or services.

An NPS is calculated by asking customers a question along the lines of, “On a scale of 0 to 10, how likely are you to recommend us to a friend or colleague?”. Based on their rating, a customer is categorised as a Detractor (when they give a rating of 6 or below), a Passive (7 or 8) or a Promoter (9 or 10).  The NPS is then calculated by subtracting the percentage of Detractors from the percentage of Promoters. This results in a score ranging from -100 (all your customers think you’re rubbish) to +100 (all your customers think you’re the bee’s knees).

Two very valuable follow-up questions ask the customer why they gave that rating, and what the number one thing is that they’d like to see improved.

With me so far? Great. Net Promoter, as a system for driving service improvement, is often overlooked or rejected by IT teams because of the irrelevance of the “likely to recommend” question for an internal service provider. But that concern is easy to address by simply changing the wording of that question (a topic for another day!). With the question reworded, you’re free to enjoy the benefits that Net Promoter has to offer.

Here are the top five reasons that IT teams should adopt it:

1. It is a globally proven service improvement methodology trusted by brands such as Apple, Google, Rackspace and Zappos. There are a mountain of case studies that show how effective it can be. Net Promoter has been around since 2006 and Google Trends shows that interest has been steadily growing ever since – it’s not going away anytime soon! If your organisation is already using Net Promoter, then using it for IT is a no-brainer. And if it’s not, then IT can lead the way. Your organisation probably won’t be far behind.

2.  Unlike traditional surveys for gathering customer feedback, a Net Promoter survey – with only three questions – is ridiculously quick and easy for customers to complete. Not only that but the third question (“What is the number one thing we could do to improve?”) is like having a service management consultant working for you for free. Forget process maturity assessments! If you’re serious about improving service and delivering value, everything you need to know is contained in your customers’ answers to that one question.

3.  The Net Promoter concept is simple to understand by staff at all levels.  The survey is simple, the calculation is simple and the behavioural change it requires is simple – focus on reducing the number of detractors.  And how do you do that? Just read the feedback given by your customers in answer to Questions 2 and 3 and all will be revealed.

4. About 75% of IT teams do customer satisfaction surveys of one sort or another. They run the survey, calculate a metric and bury the results in a management report. But in all but a few cases, no improvement action is taken. This is where Net Promoter comes into its own. It includes some fantastic practices that help you turn customer feedback into prioritised actions that lead to improved customer satisfaction/loyalty.

5. When you use a standard question, rating scale and calculation method you can benchmark yourself against others using that same method. An NPS is standardised so you can compare your NPS to that of other IT teams. Hell, because brand and industry NPS scores are widely published, you can even compare yourself to other organisations such as Qantas, iiNet or the Commonwealth Bank.  One of our clients, who used Net Promoter to improve IT customer satisfaction by 25 points in just 6 months, had the rallying cry of “Let’s not be a Toyota, let’s be a BMW”, referring to the relative Net Promoter Scores of those brands.

If you’re not surveying your customers to understand how they perceive your performance, you should be. And if you’re not using Net Promoter to do it, you should be.

Dave O’Reardon is leading a workshop onCustomer-driven service improvement with Net Promoter’ at Service Management 2015.

Net Promoter, NPS, and the NPS-related emoticons are registered service marks, and Net Promoter Score and Net Promoter System are service marks, of Bain & Company, Inc., Satmetrix Systems, Inc. and Fred Reichheld

 

 

 

By |2018-03-19T16:23:22+00:00June 22nd, 2015|blog, guest blogger, ITSM, Net Promoter®, Service Management 2015, Workshop|

Guerrilla IT – how to be an IT rebel with a cause

Mark Smalley Photo

 

 

 

 

With guest blogger Mark Smalley

I conducted two pre-conference workshops about ‘Guerrilla IT’ at the itSMF Norway annual event in March 2015. The idea for Guerrilla IT emerged in conversations with itSMF Norway’s Sofi Falberg at a conference in 2014. We spoke about people feeling the need to make relatively low key and informal individual contributions to improving ITSM, possibly under corporate radar. And that’s when I coined the term Guerrilla IT. Then before I knew it, I had committed to delivering a workshop about it in the new Service Bazaar format! In an expanded format, this workshop is programmed as one of the pre-conference workshops for itSMF Australia’s annual conference.

I announced the workshop as follows:

“Do you want to do something really worthwhile in IT yet keep getting ambushed by mealy-mouthed middle managers with their petty policies? In this interactive workshop we’ll explore and discover how to identify realistic initiatives and how to deploy them under corporate radar while keeping out of friendly fire. You’ll leave the session with some ideas for your specific situation as well as an arsenal of weapons for an IT rebel with a cause.”

In the Norwegian workshop we explored the following eight topics:

  1.      The concerns they the participants had at their organisation or in the case of consultants, one of their clients
  2.      The relationships that they thought needed the most improvement
  3.      The kind of behaviour that business people and IT people should exhibit
  4.      The factors that drive behaviour, and therefore need to be changed in order to influence behaviour
  5.      The degree of freedom that their organisation consciously or unconsciously afford them to take behave like an IT guerrillero or guerrillera
  6.      Their person appetite for heroic behaviour
  7.      The kind of guerrilla IT tactics that, given their organisation’s and their own nature, would be effective
  8.   Their ‘rebel’s resolutions’ – the takeaways that they could apply at work

Given the limited nature of a blog, here are the participants’ concerns and their thoughts on the kind of behaviour that would help improve things. This should give you an idea of what your peers think.

Participants concerns

  •        Ill-conceived services being abandoned on the doorstep of the ITSM department
  •        Lack of IT awareness of the business context and in particular the customers’ interests – in other words no business focus
  •        The shift from ITSM to Service Management in general
  •        The difficulties of changing the culture in an organisation, in particular resistance to change
  •        Lack of basic trust
  •        The challenges of working in a dysfunctional organisation
  •        The challenges of working in a disconnected organisation in which IT seems to live in a world of its own
  •        Change-overload – too much change to deal with

Desired behaviour  

I started off doing the behaviour part of the workshop in 2013 and have compiled and summarised the results of seven workshops, fine-tuning them from time to time as new insights emerge. The findings are categorised in three sections: (1) behaviour that applies to business people and IT people in an enterprise in equal measure; (2) IT-related behaviour that effective business people exhibit; (3) behaviour that you observe in effective IT people.

  1.   Enterprise

The enterprise fosters a culture in which business and IT share a joint vision and are part of the same story, have an ongoing dialogue, have mature conversations, strike balances, enjoy working together

  1.      Business people
  •        Specify outcomes rather than solutions
  •        Articulate needs and expectations clearly
  •        Set priorities, take decisions, accept risks
  •        Understand IT’s capabilities and limitations
  •        Participate in activities such as testing
  1.      IT people
  •        Understand business processes and outcomes, and impact of IT
  •        Talk in business terms about benefits, costs and risks, not systems and features
  •        Proactively suggest innovations to the business
  •        React to business change without being surprised that things change
  •        Replace ‘technical’ SLA’s by simple, honest and meaningful reporting

The burning question, of course, is how you achieve a change in behaviour. This is why I asked the participants to think about which factors drive behaviour. Their main  findings were: an understanding the consequences of their actions, a belief that change might be for the better of the enterprise and customers, a common goal (or enemy), likelihood of personal benefit, urgency, a ‘half-full’ attitude, and KPIs that are effective rather than those than invite contra-productive behaviour.

I’m much looking forward to exploring this further in Sydney, and will most certainly publish the findings.

 

This post was originally on Mark Smalley’s blog.

 

Mark Smalley is an IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT and is specialised in application management and business information management. He is affiliated with the non-profit ASL BiSL Foundation, APMG-International, GamingWorks and AllThingsITSM. Mark is an inaugural member of the industry initiatives SM Congress and Taking Service Forward.

 

By |2018-03-19T16:23:22+00:00June 22nd, 2015|blog, GuerillaIT, guest blogger, ITSM, Service Management 2015, Workshop|