Believe – SDI Conference 2013Inspired, in action, better

Next week I’ll be at the SDI 2013 conference in Birmingham – it’s always a great mixture of learning, ideas and fun, and I’m really looking forward to it.  This year SDI have pulled out all the stops to make it a big event and get a big attendance – the content is interesting too.
The venue is Edgbaston Cricket Ground and here’s a sporting them with the Rumble in the Jungle, which I’ll be trying to keep under control as the host – more in this below…
Also the 2nd TFT event (#TFT13) is taking place at the same time as the conference and some keynote sessions  will be streamed live. I’ll be contributing a session on the ITSM Goodness 7 Steps, which will aim to clarify some key practical guidance on what to do for successful ITSM. There’s been some really great feedback on ITSM Goodness so far – particularly where people have said it is ‘simple’ and ‘clear’ and ‘gets to the point’ of ITSM – that’s been my aim.
What I’m really looking forward to is presenting a session ‘The Service Desk Inspector Presents…’ This is new content from me and – whilst it will reference the TV series – is really about sharing my experience of reviewing and improving 100s of Service Desks over the years.
The idea is to identify the key elements required to review/assess/benchmark/health check a service desk and ITSM organisation – in a way that attendees can take away ideas and guidance to do this themselves (when it’s possible and appropriate). I’ll be giving out a list of questions that can be used for DIY reviews to attendees – hopefully they can use these within the context of some of the wider points I’ll be making – e.g. around politics and agendas, staff and management skill levels, big picture awareness, interviews and observations, stage management, EITR,  presentation and report writing etc…
It’s an interesting topic right now with a recent very active Twitter thread started by Saraubh Daubney around the value of self assessments – I’ll be giving my views on these too at the presentation.
In short I think that these can be useful if done in the right circumstances by the right people, although I do have concerns in relation to frameworks and assessment models that they can miss the key points and set off a chain of action that is doomed to fail – e.g. an ITIL assessment may identify some process gaps but if the issue is lack of leadership or governance (and this is not highlighted and taken into account), no amount of process workflows and tool configuration will make a hint of a difference.
For me the skill of the external consultant must be to identify and get acceptance of the real issue and then give the organisation a way forward to resolve it.
Anyway I’m looking forward to delivering this topic and getting feedback on it. I’ll also have a small table top stand in the exhibitors area so if you want to chat you can find me… Hope to see you there…!
Finally, of course the big event on the 2nd day of the conference will be the Rumble in the Jungle debate, with Chris Dancy and Rob England – at which I will be the referee/facilitator/analyst/first aider. This should be fun but it’s also got a serious point for the attendees to take away – i.e. in an industry of constant change how can we plan for the future and keep ourselves relevant and current? This will be debated by two of the industry’s most innovative and creative minds – who often take quite polar-opposite views in this area.
Be Inspired. Take Action. Be Better. SDI’s call to action for this conference.
How would you like to see that happen?
What would you like to see emerge from next week?