modernising service management

Be part of the same dream – Service Management

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Panel discussions are so boring. Well, often. Particularly when the panellists agree with each other and drone on for ages about their pet topics. So I wanted something more attractive for ‘my’ modernizing service management panel discussion at the itSMF Norway conference. I call it my session because I was the host. But it wasn’t about me. And not even about the panellists. It was about the audience. I desperately wanted get them involved in the discussion, or the ‘multilogue’ as one of the four panellists, Michael Imhoff Nielssen (Microsoft and itSMF Denmark), called it. It wasn’t a dialogue between two parties, but between multiple parties.

As I mentioned, the topic was Modernizing Service Management, and to give some kind of structure I asked three questions. Why do we need to modernize? What do we need to modernize? How should we approach modernization? After each question was briefly answered by the panellists, the audience offered their thoughts and created a multilogue. The other three panellist were David Cannon (Forrester), Stuart Rance (Optimal Service Management), and Charles Araujo (IT Transformation Institute and itSMF USA).

Here is my summary of the findings:

  • There is already good guidance available but we need guidance how to apply the guidance
  • We need to put IT Service Management on the C-level agenda
  • IT(SM) should be taught at business school level
  • We need to focus more on the business and the value that we are delivering (do the right things)
  • It is useful to distinguish between ITSM for end user enterprises and ITSM for external service providers (e.g. SalesForce); and within end user enterprises, central IT departments use ITSM differently than decentralized IT functions that are often referred to as shadow IT or rogue IT
  • We could learn more from non-IT disciplines
  • Given the option to invest in improvement of people, process, products and partners, almost everybody would put their money in people
  • Just as it helps when IT people know something about the business, business people are more effective when they understand something about IT
  • Liberate the users (‘IT Spring’)
  • Involve the business more and help them ‘mature’
  • Speak business language (benefits, costs and risks)
  • Communicate the dream, the vision – be part of the story
  • Take an outside-in look at ourselves

For the sake of continuity, the major points from the previous year’s panel were:

  • Focus on value, cost, outcome and risk (address the right issues)
  • Position ITSM at C-level
  • Improve the guidance how to implement ITSM
  • Foster a collective spirit with the various IT disciplines
  • Show the IT practitioner the impact of his or her work on the business and their customers

The first three points were also mentioned this year and I’d be inclined to consolidate the additional points made this year into: collaborate much closer with the business; involve them and help them with their role; and all be part of the same ‘dream’.

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Mark Smalley, also known as The IT Paradigmologist, thinks, writes and speaks extensively about IT 'paradigms' – in other words our changing perspectives on IT. His current interests are the digital enterprise, IT operating models, value of IT, business-IT relationships, co-creation of value, multidisciplinary collaboration, working with complexity, and as the overarching theme, management of information systems in general. Mark is an IT Management Consultant at Smalley.IT and Ambassador at the ASL BiSL Foundation. Mark has spoken at 100+ events in 20+ countries.