Happy New Year for 2016  !! I wish you success and happiness

Its been a busy year in 2015 ITSMG Logo low res

The ITSM world continues to rock daily between inspiration and opportunity, to introspection and despair – at least in terms of visible hype. The reality for most organisations that actually deliver IT services is often simply confusion.

For me the key is in ensuring that we are constantly working to deliver value, based on our customers’ and supported businesses’ needs. The concept of ‘customer experience’ (CX) isn’t new, but is at long last taking hold and precedence over blind adherence to ‘best practice’ and death-by-process.

DevOps continues to hold sway as the big idea that won’t go away – again there’s nothing particularly new here except the context, as it talks to a younger workforce than those who might still see ITIL as their mantra. Of course there is no real clash between those two worlds and both can learn from and live with each other. In 2016 I’ll be pushing out more practical ideas about how to achieve success using both (and together) – particuarly in relation to Service Design and Service Catalogue – so look out for that.

What is interesting is the actual level of interest in DevOps and other new and formative ‘-oligies’, inclduing SIAM and IT4IT – this will continue to grow and we shoudl see more variety and creativity being exercised in delivering new approaches to IT services…

If you want to catch up on more detailed throuights, please see my recent webinar (reviewing 2015 and looking forward to 2016, sponsord by BMC).

From a personal work perspective this has been a busy year, being involved with a number of complex procurement and ITSM implementation projects, as well as my ususal regular dose of workshops, operational reviews and audits. I have worked with some great people and organisations and am pleased to say that the interest and take-up level around short practical consulting work has been good.

I’ve also been involved as an architect of the new ITIL Practitioner scheme, with Axelos. I’m really pleased and proud of what we achieved as a team on this, whch has brought finally a new set of ideas and practices to the forefront of Service Management training and best practice. These include communications and organisational change management, as well as CSI and metrics.

As ever I continue to work with my long term partners, SDI – as a consultant and auditor, as also recently to review and update the SDI Standards and Service Desk Certification scheme. To me this is still one of the best and most practical tools to use for assessment, benchmarking and to drive service improvement.

In the last few months I’ve taken on the challenge of interim-CEO for the ITSMF UK – this is a great honour, which I’m relishing. There’s plenty to do to develop the service offerings and value proposition for this organisation, as well as freshening the brand image and re-asserting its position as a key independent voice at the centre of our industry. We had a great annual conference and my and the team’s taskBRITSM15 is now to move on with this positive momentum to transform and re-invigorate the organisation. We have some xciting plans for new services and industry content, so watch this space…

Of course my own independent business still continues and I’m delighted to have worked with some very supportive partners over the last year to write and present ITSM content, including, Sunrise, Cherwell, BMC and Sysaid.


2016 is looking like a fascinating year already, particuarly with plans for ITSMF – so I’m looking forward to that. I hope that its a really great year for you too..!

Please contact me directly if you’d like to discuss any aspect of the world of ITSM



Fav pic from this years SITS show with Matt Hooper and Malcolm Fry.

SITS Goodness and DevOps Slides

A busy and productive time was had this week at the sits15 Show – Many congrats to Diversified UK and particularly Toby Moore and his team who have taken this again to another level. To me if felt that the show presented the (ITSM) industry at a new level of professionalism.

I had a great time talking to many friends and colleagues as well as new contacts – as well as doing some work – and of course the round of interviews etc.

I received great feedback on the day and since on my DevOps for Dummies presentation – which basically I used to try and lay out some of the good messages on DevOps and also to burst some of the hype bubbles.


If you would like the slides – you can find them here.

DevOps for Dummies SITS15



Recording for AllthingsITSM with SureshGP Kirstie MacGowan and Simone Moore





All the ITSMGoodness cakes and caps were snapped up – if you did pick up a hat please do tweet pictures from around the world or whenever you are wearing it…!

TB SFJOhn Ncakes




Tristan Boot, Sofie Fahlberg, Cakes, John Noctor



The best thing about SITS for me  however is simply that great pleasure of catching up with friends, luminaries and colleagues – that’s what ITSM Goodness started out …


Malcolm Fry and Matt Hooper

Finally many congratulations to my successor in the SITS15 tiara – this years contributor of the year (m’lud) Stuart Rance…!


Check out these CHECKLISTs for SITS


If you are going to SITS15 – I hope to see you there… I’ll be on my (ITSMGoodness) stand, as well as presenting and facilitating on ITSM/ITIL/DevOps. Mostly I’ll be talking shop with practitioners and other industry bods about how to improve and achieve success with ITSM.

I’ll also be on hand to discuss the new ITIL practitioner programme, of which I’m delighted to be one of the architects. The (globally dispersed) team working on this will be meeting around SITs for planning and discussion – plenty to do.

As ever I expect this to be a busy bustling and practical event where ‘the industry comes together to do business’ – as the blurb goes. Its a practical and productive event for most, as well as being a great convergence of people across the industry.

Last year I was honoured to be voted ‘SITS contributor of the year’ and I look forward to seeing who is taking that mantle this time. SITS14

I’ve recently been very busy working on a number of client projects – particularly looking at tool selection and implementation – so if you are looking for practical guidance on any aspect of ITSM approach, tools, processes, etc, please come for a chat to my stand.



We’ll also be dishing out ITSM Goodness cakes (yes) and some fetching caps..

Guidance and Checklists

I am often asked either before or during SITs to provide advice and guidance on selecting ITSM tools as well as running ITSM projects – as a support for that I’ve created a couple of checklists that you can download here to help to guide your thinking and planning. These are not detailed or definitive, but give you a simple aide memoir for:

ITSM Project Implementation – Service Improvement Service Improvement Checklist

ITSM Tool – Specification and Selection ITSM Tool Checklist

Please download these and use them as you need – they might just help you to focus your thoughts on what you are looking for at the show. Please of course feel free to come to discuss any aspect of this at my stand.

I look forward to seeing you there!


ITSMG Logo low res


customer experience

H2H not B2B

customer experience

Time to reflect on an another engaging and successful SITS (Service Desk and IT Support Show) last week in London. Of all the ITSM conferences to me this feels the best of all, where the industry comes together and across all areas to do business, discuss ideas and generally do some real collective networking.

This year I was delighted to be asked to write the research paper – sponsored by SITS, SDI and Cherwell – launched at the first day’s breakfast briefing. This was based on research around Customer Experience (CX) and highlighted the need for ‘Human to Human ‘ interaction, plus the value of using a structured approach for understanding and building a successful Customer Experience. Producing the report and research was a really interesting experience – particularly talking to some practitioners who had used this to good effect.

For example QBE had brought a failing outsourced help desk back in-house and in doing so consulted with customers to build a set of desired IT staff behaviours and attributes – on which they then hired staff. So customer input on the experience of dealing with IT was more focussed around how they were treated rather than just the basics of technology.

The panel debate around this was interesting, from which it was clear that there are different interpretations of CX – although in essence we all agreed in principle about what it is and the need for it. Certainly we should be focussing our technology and ITSM projects on this area first and foremost. To me CX is the piece of jigsaw that we’ve all been waiting for – we have of course been doing this for years in service desks, but bringing it out as a defined concept across IT helps to focus the activities of service desks and service provider organisations to be doing the right things for the right reasons.

I also was involved in facilitating a panel discussion on the future of ITIL – The Final Countdown? In the past these sessions have ended up as neo/luddite battles around the value or quality of ITIL, whereas on this occasion we were trying to ensure constructive debate about where ITIL is/and where it is going – as such it was great to have the ‘emperor of ITIL’ himself Kaimar Karu on the panel (i.e. head of ITSM for AXELOS, as well as Andie Kis (TCS), Ian Aitchison (LANDESK) and – everyone’s favourite consultant/ITIL author – Stuart Rance (Optimal Service Management).

Some of the key points coming out of this:

  • ITIL is positive and useful content that can be used to improve service and support practitioners
  • The books and content need to be shorter and more readable, as well as providing more practical guidance and advice
  • CSI needs to be embedded all the way through rather than seen as the (separate) ‘book at the end’
  • There’s not enough guidance around human interaction, despite this being agreed as the most important aspect of Service Management

My own sessions on CSI and Service Desk Respect  were well received – in particular the simple view of CSI including Problem, Reporting and Knowledge management (See slide)


I also got a lot of positive feedback on the issue of service desk respect, where I suggested that there is still an issue with the level of respect and attention given to service desks – see also my recent blog – it seems that this is still a sensitive area and several people indicated that the presentation had helped them to formulate their own thoughts and responses to this. I know many other sessions from my industry peers were also well received – the quality and consistency of these sessions as a mini-conference equals and perhaps even outshines that of many other conferences.

We discussed this and other themes from the show in a podcast for The ITSM Review which features a cross section of show participants – James Finister, Melanie Kuranantne, Simon Kent, Toby Moore, Stuart MacGregor and of course our star visitor from India – Suresh GP…! It was great to meet Suresh at last in person and his knowledge, energy and enthusiasm for the industry and meeting new people was infectious and engaging. James and I also contributed to a LANDESK publication on Shadow IT which was launched at the show as a limited edition print run, and which will be available globally as an e-book soon via the LANDESK site.

So several strong themes emerging – Customer Experience, Service Desk Respect and the need for practical CSI, getting value from ITIL, now and in future, as well as how technology can be best leveraged to support these initiatives. For me the real point of focus and take-away must be the true understanding (at last!?) that we are people and need to interact as such – i.e. Human to Human. This is our job in IT as much as anywhere else and should be our starting point for successful IT and ITSM delivery.

If you have any further or differing thoughts or views from SITS14 please let me know here…

Finally I was thrilled and honoured to receive the inaugural ‘SITS14 ITSM Contributor of the Year’ award – beating off some strong competition from James Finister and Andie Kis amongst others. Well done to everyone who was nominated and voted for – and of course many thanks if you voted for me. It’s a real blast to get this as voted by your peers so cheers..!

SITS award SITS14

ITSM in 2014 – Getting ‘Hands On’



It’s another new year and of course there are many reviews and predictions for our IT and ITSM industries. See these recent ServiceDesk360 and Cherwell blogs of mine…

For me the most positive thing to emerge over the last year or so is the absolute and comprehensive confirmation around the 2 key goals of Service Management :

Successful business outcomes


Positive customer experience

We’ve moved on from process and other internal components of Service – important as they are – to celebrate and confirm successful business outcomes and positive customer experience as the over-reaching aims of our work. Of course these have always been the ultimate aspiration and have been delivered in many successful projects over the years, but there is now an ineluctable consensus and concerted voice that is shouting this out.

This time last year I blogged about the need for ‘practical unity’ in our industry and this is the most tangible evidence of it that I can think of…

As an industry we are of course waiting with some anticipation to see what happens next with the development of ITIL via AXELOS. There’s also a refreshing increase in activity around tooling and new product procurement as well as increased focus on new operating models such as Service Integration and Management (SIAM).

For me however on a personal and very pleasing note, the real activity and demand in the industry has continued to move towards more practical and ‘hands-on’ ideas, advice and knowledge. My own ITSM Goodness output has been well received and used (it has more than doubled activity on my website); there are many organisations using some or all of the content, and the content has been developed and used by vendors and industry people alike. I’ve also delivered workshops and webcasts to a number of people e.g. at SMFusion in the US as well as in the UK and delivered the ‘Goodness’ message via a number of conference presentations and workshops.

I’m going to continue to develop this over the next year, so look out for more activity in this area and opportunities to engage with the ITSM Goodness approach and simple message. The first initiative is an ITSM Goodness series of webcasts on my BrightTALK channel starting Wednesday 15th at 1:00 pm GMT. Over the course of the series I will be delivering the equivalent of a full day-long ITSM Goodness workshop, via 8 individual monthly webcasts, covering the 7 Steps, plus practical feedback from practitioners.

[important]As part of this series, I will be encouraging practitioners to participate as they work through the 7 Steps and send me updates on their progress. I will in turn share this real practical progress in the webcasts.  If you would like to participate, please contact me. The first webcast focuses on the 1st Step – Engage and Listen to Customers. [/important]

Finally I will be embarking on a new project with the ITSM Review to re-ignite the now defunct ITSM podcast and other media over the next few months – I’m excited about that and will provide more information in due course, so look out for more info.

Of course, I will continue to do mostly what I’ve been doing for years (celebrating 20 years of consulting this year…!) – that is real, practical ‘hands-on’ consulting and projects with client organisations. This has formed the basis of things like ITSM Goodness and the input I’ve brought to ITSM media in recent years – and for me it’s essential for currency and credibility that I continue to do that. I’m just embarking on a few really exciting new projects so watch this space for more lessons learned, feedback and practical ideas…

Have a great year.