Getting to Grips with Change Management – A chat with Greg Sanker

change management

With the itSMF Norway ‘Working 9 to 5’ conference mere days away, time to have a chat with another of the presenters from the event.

Greg Sanker is someone I have followed on social media for quite some time and his insightful blogs and contributions to discussions on various platforms have made me realize that we have something in common, the understanding that IT Service Management is, when it all boils down to it, just pure common sense. But as we are often reminded, common sense is not always that common!

Greg is using this common sense in his presentation on change management and he will give some really practical advice to people who find themselves in the position of having to establish or improve change management practices in their own organizations.

Greg’s presentation is intended to give people some easy steps to move them towards effective change management. He will look at what you should be doing in phase one of introducing change management, and what comes in phase two and so on. He is aiming to help people who are at the beginning of their ITSM journey, as well as those who have reached a point where they are not sure what to do next.

“We kind of do people a disservice by letting them believe that they can come back from foundation training on any framework and actually make stuff happen. We talk about ITIL island, you go off to training and everything is wonderful and everything works the way it should but really when you go back to your desk and try to do it at work you are faced with real challenges and they are not addressed in the training – the cultural changes, the people changes.”

“One piece that a lot of people struggle with is that they think of change management as the process or almost the bureaucracy around it, but they are not focused on what they are actually trying to achieve for the business.

“The business does not want us to ‘upgrade this or install that’ what they really want is more likely to be ‘increase customer conversions or drive more traffic’ so we really should be asking ourselves ‘did the changes we did produce the expected business value, if not then we have not been successful.”

Technology is all very well, but we really have to look upstream and ask the business what it is that they are trying to achieve and then ‘did we deliver that?’ We really need to stop and look at what value IT is actually delivering to the business when these changes are made.

Greg believes that ITSM is not about the processes it is all about achieving business value. The processes are important and we need to use and reuse them, but what is more important is the value that these processes allow us to deliver.

Greg thinks it is time for ITSM to stop hiding behind metrics – “how many times do we hide behind metrics and say ‘no, no’ no, all of our processes are operating within parameters and we’re doing well and I don’t know why you have a problem because we are really doing great!’”

Greg’s workshop is part of the Service Bazaar on Tuesday, and he is not sure if he is more excited or nervous about 90 minutes of interactivity without the use of PowerPoint.

“One of the things we are going to look at in the workshop is that you can only take change management so far in terms of maturity before you are going to need configuration management and release management. If you don’t keep all three at a similar level of maturity it is a bit like having a three-legged stool with one leg that is considerably longer than the others…it just doesn’t work!”

The type of change management you do must to reflect the needs of the organization you are working for. If you are doing effective change management without the use of a CAB or a typical change management process, maybe that is good enough for the environment you are working in.

The workshop is going to take us through some stages. “Firstly we need to ask ourselves ‘What is it that we are trying to produce for the business?’ Then reverse engineering this by asking ‘what are the processes we need in order to deliver this?’”

This workshop is all about getting started on the right path and heading in the right direction, so if you are after some good common sense with ideas that you can take back to your organization and make a difference to your change management, then this session is a ‘must attend’.

Knowing that there will be people at all levels of maturity in their change management processes Greg says that “wherever you are in your change management maturity, if you want to take it to the next step there are components you are going to have to invest in.”

Greg is excited to be presenting and attending the itSMF Norway event this year and is looking forward to meeting and networking with people from all levels of Service management, those who have been in the industry for many years and those who are just starting out. One piece of advice he wants the conference delegates to do is to make sure they interact with the presenters, come and chat, have a drink in the bar, ask questions. Everyone is here to share their knowledge to help build the ITSM industry, so make use of the ITSM wisdom that you will find in one place over the three days of the event, this way you will get a lot more value than you will if you just sit and listen to presentations.

About Greg

greg sGreg Sanker is an IT Service Management blogger, speaker, and practitioner with over 30 years of global IT experience ranging from Fortune 10 technology giant to public sector. He’s managed Service Management Office, Network Operations, Application Development, Service Desk and Support Operations.

His professional focus is helping organizations achieve Excellence in IT Service Management.

He lives in the Pacific Northwest (USA), where stunning natural beauty and high tech form a unique lifestyle. In his spare time, Greg hikes, bikes, and plays a bit of blues guitar. He blogs about Excellence in IT Service Management at



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Kirstie Magowan

Kirstie Magowan

Kirstie Magowan is the managing editor of IT Chronicles. Kirstie is an experienced journalist and publisher who has been working in the IT Service Management industry since 1999. Kirstie is a regular speaker at industry conferences globally.